Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Posted: October 11, 2012 in TV

I didn’t bother writing up a review of Revolution this week, but this one hits about the same tone and gripes mine would have.

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Okay, after my marginally-positive (or at least optimistic for the future) take on last week’s episode, I’m backtracking hard.  I was a brief optimist, but everything that didn’t work about the show in the first two episodes, but maybe you let slide in hope of a sort-of-watchable post-apocalyptic experience, pretty much smacked you in the face in the most recent installment.  Then there was more bad stuff added on top of that.

For me, I’ll go ahead and say it is likely I won’t intentionally watch any more of this show . . . at the very least because the writers/producers seem to think anyone who would watch it is dumb enough to go along with the kind of nonsense they are coming up with.  (Seriously, a novel with these problems would never get published.)

So, forget the hedging or “hey-they-have-room-for-improvement” angles, here’s a few short takes on why this episode was so dismal:

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I’m still watching this show . . . for now.  While I watch very few tv shows, I’m too much of a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories to not at least stick this out for a few weeks.

Overall, the second episode (called “Chained Heat” . . . apparently because there are people “criminals” in chains and it’s hot where they are, get it?) improved a bit on the original pilot/premiere episode (it’s streaming here).  This improvement is largely due to character development for Charlie, the female lead, and further revelations of background information (mostly conveyed via flashbacks).  The overall quality of the show will likely get better as more episodes are aired (in my eyes, anyway) due to accumulation of knowledge about the story’s world, the need for which could have been avoided with a pilot more intent on setting the scene than getting the action going.  The same is possible, though not certain, of Charlie’s character development, which will likely be the make-or-break element of the show’s success or failure.

That said, the show’s storylines are still clunky and the acting is pretty mediocre.  That and a number of problems with the premise that I pointed out here and Seb Breit covered exhaustively here remain.

Spoilers below the cut

this totally makes sense

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NBC’s mostly-poorly-received post-apocalyptic drama will air its second episode tonight.  I reviewed the pilot/premiere two weeks ago and am planning on at least watching another 2 episodes.  So, I was looking over other reviews by those with real interest in the p-a genre and came across this excellent and exhaustive critique by Sebastian Breit.  He makes some of the same arguments I do, but is far more wide-ranging and comprehensive in both major critiques and setting nitpicking.  And his points are dead-on.  If you are watching this show, you should read this:

A first look at NBC’s Revolution-Sebastian Breit

“Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for post apocalyptic TV series. I loved JMS’s Jeremiah when I was younger, and I very much liked CBS’ Jericho despite its flaws. Ignoring the politics of the people behind it I found William R. Forstchen’s One Second After a quite compelling read. S.M. Stirling’s Dies the Fire series also ranges rather high on my ‘have to finish reading it’ list. So you can probably imagine my delight when I stumbled across NBC’s new project called Revolution earlier this year. The two men behind the project also made me prick up my ears. Erik Kripke of Supernatrural fame and Jon Favreau, the man behind the Iron Man movies are two titans of recent scifi and fantasy entertainment. Ever since the announcement that it had been picked up in spring I was excited about it, even though the promo videos offered reason for concern. Here’s what its all about:

Revolution takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Fifteen years earlier, an unknown phenomenon permanently disabled all electricity on the planet, ranging from computers and electronics to car engines, jet engines, and batteries. People were forced to adapt to a world without technology, and due to the collapse of public order, many areas are ruled by warlords and militias. The series focuses on the Matheson family, who possess an item that is the key to not only finding out what happened fifteen years ago, but also a possible way to reverse its effects.

Is it any good? Well, they pre-aired the show’s pilot a few weeks and I was able to watch it. And what can I say? I’m a jaded bastard. You see, the problem is if you like post-apocalyptic fiction and consume your fair share of the genre you not only become somewhat genre-savvy but also become very observant regarding the small things that can make or break a setting. And Revolution? Well, in my opinion it’s not off to a good start in that regard.” [emphasis added]

 

Most people have probably heard that NBC has jumped on the post-apocalyptic bandwagon with a new show for fall called Revolution.  Helmed by executive producers including J.J. Abrams, and kicking off with a pilot episode directed by Jon Favreau (the Iron Man films and, of course, Elf), there appears to be a fair amount of anticipation for the show (and NBC is doing a ton of promotion, including theater pre-screenings of the pilot in select markets).  The anticipation might just be studio-generated hype, or earnest and ongoing interest in the post-apocalyptic genre, but, in my mind at least, there is also the fact that network tv has an abysmal track record with the genre, and I expect some are probably interested in whether this show will totally trainwreck despite the big names attached.

The series premier (ie, the pilot episode) will air on September 17th, but the studio has already posted the full episode, which I watched this past weekend, on their website and Hulu.  Here it is (link below if wordpress drops the embed):

Watch the pilot on Hulu

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