Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NBC's 'Revolution' is a mixed bag

‘Revolution’ was supposed to help save NBC.

Instead, it might need some saving itself.

The show – created by Eric Kripke of ‘Supernatural’ and executive produced by JJ Abrams (‘Lost’) – ‘Revolution’ was supposed to be high concept and addicting.

In a nutshell, ‘Revolution’ is set 15 years after some “event” turned off all the power. That means no lights, no cars, no television and no government. Why the government fails in this world when it managed to go on just fine in the days before we had any of that technology is beyond me. I guess you're supposed to just suspend disbelief.

I tuned into ‘Revolution’ with a great deal of hope Tuesday night. I left feeling a little disappointed.

It’s not that ‘Revolution’ doesn’t have promise – because it does. It just has problems with follow-through.

First off, series lead Billy Burke as Miles Matheson has the most potential as a character. As a former military man that now spends his time hiding from the military – including his former friend – Miles has a lot of intrigue surrounding his character.

Burke is the strongest actor in the bunch so far – but Elizabeth Mitchell is joining the show full-time in a few episodes. While show runners have been cagey about Mitchell’s position on the show, I don’t doubt that her Rachel Matheson is probably still alive. I can’t see them bringing on an actress of Mitchell’s caliber and wasting her on flashbacks.

The other character I immediately connected with was Zak Orth’s Aaron, a former Google executive that wanders around in an ACDC shirt. We don’t know a lot about him yet, but he’s clearly going to be the new Hurley.

The initial set-up of ‘Revolution’ was done so fast that it felt forced to me. When ‘Lost’ was launched they did it smartly, with a two-hour debut and a lot of set-up.

‘Revolution’ has absolutely no set-up.

I like a show that is about mystery, but ‘Revolution’ needs to slow down a little bit and let the viewer explore the new world they’ve created. Instead of doing that, the writers tossed everything at the wall in an attempt to see what stuck.

The mysteries should be doled out slowly. We need to get a feel for these characters. Clearly Charlotte and Danny Matheson – Miles’ niece and nephew – are supposed to be the heart and soul of the show. The problem is, they’re so poorly outlined in the first episode they have no rooting value.

Instead we have a nonsensical love interest thrown at Charlotte and a mysterious savior – and then betrayer – named Grace meet up with Danny.

Pacing problems aside, I still feel like ‘Revolution’ has a lot to offer fans.  I think the additions of Mitchell and Kim Raver are bound to balance out the cast and root it in some form of reality.

Fans should remember, even though ‘Lost’ was set in a fantastic world of polar bears, smoke monsters and mysterious hatches, the strength of the show was that the characters were grounded in reality.

That’s clearly needs to be done with the ‘Revolution’ characters.

The series had strong ratings Monday – with 11.7 million viewers tuning in. To hold on to those viewers, though, you have to give them what they want. They want action, adventure, solid writing and believable character development.

Kripke and Abrams have done this numerous times before. Let’s hope they can do it again this time.


Blogger Revo Fancaster said...

hmmm, here is how the govn't could fall. No communication, no tv's to send out the word, most gov't vehicles (except for some military vechicles)don't work. Not EVEN the gov't can deliver food if no trucks can run. Can't fill up the trucks with fuel cuz the power to the gas/diesel pumps is gone and pumps don't work. How the heck COULD the gov't work when approximately 75% to 90% of the US population would perish in the first 12 mos after an EMP type event that crushes the grid. You just need to bone up on your EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) event. Those numbers came straight from you Gov't in a recent report on the threat of an EMP event.

You can learn about this real threat as we discuss each show weekly at the Podcast:

September 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM 

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