I totally agree with Dale Price’s review of this new television show which he titles “A completely impartial TV program review.”
For the moment, I’m going to completely bracket the fact that NBC’s Revolution is a blatant, soulless rip-off of my friend Steve Stirling’s Emberverse series. Instead, I’m going to give it an objective analysis, focusing on the strengths and flaws of the series, as based upon my viewing of the first two episodes.
Just read his whole review which is much more insightful than anything I can really add.
Dale introduced me to this series of books that started with “Dies the Fire” and has progressed through the years. I really love when a cool idea is taken to the logical conclusions and displays great storytelling as this series does. My first reaction when I first heard of the story was pretty much the same as anybody aware of the Emberverse series that the idea was ripped-off. Though the problem with the series goes beyond this in that if you are going to go ahead and rip off an idea then don’t screw it up by not ripping off enough of it. In “Dies the Fire” the consequence of electricity just stopping to work along with chemical reactions such as gunpowder was put forth in a totally believable way once you accept the premise. It was believable because of the way the characters reacted and how they formed social groups to fend off starvation. Revolution has taken a great premise and chops it down to more B-Movie storytelling with plot holes galore.
Back in 2006 the show Jericho told the story of a town in the aftermath of a nuclear war. There was a believability about the characters and story of the first season that is just lacking in Revolution. I just can’t see the future that is painted after such a massive die-off of the human race. Placed 15 years into the future you just get no real idea about the collapse as if it only happened in some suburban neighborhood or two.
…And only one reference to religion? I’m left with the distinct impression of the Apocalypse According to Aaron Sorkin–and no, that’s not a good thing.
One of the things I enjoy about the Emberverse series is that religion is not just left out or just added in at times like an afterthought. The surviving groups coalesce around leaders and some form of religion – which is quite varied in this series.
…Overall, I can see why people would watch it, but only if you don’t think too hard about it.
Do yourself a favor and pick up the books instead. Though this advice rarely fails in general.
I posted on the review site but it bears repeating. If I understand the premise right, electricity doesn’t work? And so cars don’t work? Do they realize that diesel engines don’t require electricity (don’t need a spark for combustion)? So trucks, construction vehicles, some cars, etc. should all be good to go.
So far, I like this show. I’ll admit, I’ve never read the books that Mr. Price is referring to, so if I had, maybe I’d feel like it was a poor ripoff.
With that said, this show seems to me similar to Lost and Flash Forward in that you have an absurd premise, lots of mystery, and very slowly answers are revealed to you.
The character development so far isn’t as good as Lost, but then again, what show has held up to that standard since.
I think any conclusions about this series without seeing an entire season develop, or at least half a season, is going to be for naught.
So far, we’ve found out that Charlie’s mom is alive and held captive by Monroe, Miles actually was the founder of the militia, and there’s a mysterious man with a taser.
And they’ve also injected a Catholic Priest, sans cassock :(, who is at the heart of the rebel movement, hence a community coallescing around a religious leader.
I’m not 100% sold on the show yet, but so far it’s good enough to keep me watching.