Think about it for a minute. Everything around you that requires a power source stops working. Forever. Your phone, your computer, your car, good grief, your coffee maker!!! That’s the fear being played upon in Revolution. Cars stop dead in their tracks on the highway and have to be abandoned. Airplanes fall out of the sky. You can no longer contact anyone outside of your own vicinity. Society–as we know it–is over.
That’s the premise that is established, and then, jarringly, we’re moved 15 years into the future. Governments have fallen. Farming collectives have emerged, but so have local militias. There are the people who just want to live their quiet lives, and there are the ones who want to seize control. It sounds terrifying, but people do what they have to do, and they survive…for the most part.
We follow the survival adventures of the Matheson family (or what’s left of them), as they try to reunite with one another and battle the forces that are trying to tear them apart. Why them? Well, it seems one of their now-deceased relatives held the secrets to the blackout, and it’s believed that knowledge has been passed down. People will kill to get that information, and there appears to be a network of people out there also trying to protect it.
If it sounds like one of those shows with a whole mythology built around it, it is. That has been bad news for many series in recent years, but this one seems more straight-forward and not as hard to follow as other shows have been. That said, it IS coming from the creative mind of J.J. Abrams once again, who has confounded many fans with shows such as Lost and Fringe. He’s looking to build a more accessible show that a larger audience won’t feel alienated by. It’s going to take several episodes to figure out whether he’s achieved that this time.
I think this is a show I will stick with. I stayed until the bitter end of Lost. I’ve loved every moment of Fringe, but I was turned off of other “mythology” shows, such as The Event, Alcatraz and Terra Nova. This one feels as though it could build a following.
The breakout star of Revolution is the big bad guy. Giancarlo Esposito has proven time and time again that he can play a great menacing character (fans of Breaking Bad—and even Community—know this), and he even got to chew the scenery nicely in this past season’s Once Upon A Time. If this show can get off the ground, he will be the man everybody loves to hate this year!
Another drawback for the show, though, is its timeslot. Mondays at 10pm don’t usually work for NBC (remember last year’s can’t-miss surefire-hit, The Playboy Club? Me, neither.), and the competition is stiff with Castle and Hawaii Five-0 already established hits. Unless the network can be satisfied with viewers who record or download Revolution, they may not have the patience they need to give this show a fighting chance.
TV Gord’s final verdict: Limited success (Might survive a full season)