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Fall first thoughts 2012: NBC's Revolution

Revolution (2012) poster

Written by : published Tuesday 11th September 2012

Fall first thoughts 2012: NBC's Revolution main image

Someday what if everything just stopped working? Like a giant EMP hit the entire planet Earth? It’s a valid question, one that goes up there with ‘what would you do during a zombie apocalyspe’. I mean, because if you stop and think about it, almost our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if one day that anything running via electricity just stopped working? Well that is the question the guy who practically made ‘the mystery-box-show’ mainstream (with a side of lens flares) executive producer J.J. Abrams asks with his newly produced NBC’s series Revolution which aired tonight. How does the “Pilot” of Revolution hold up?

The plot is sort of basic on the whole mystery box concept (which you can see him discuss here) which is what if one day the power goes off and the entire planet is thrust back into the dark ages; no electricity meaning no technology. Without any modern technology, who can tell us the who,w hat, when, where and why’s?

The series opens with scenes of the blackout with two groups of individuals: Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Ben (Tim Guinee) Matheson and their two children as they deal with the blackout, something that Ben seems to know about before it happens, which leads to him calling his brother Miles (Billy Burke) who is driving in a car with his friend (David Lyons from NBC’s much maligned The Cape) miles away from Chicago where his brother is.

Charlie fights for her life Cut to fifteen years later, where life is back to what it was long before the industrial revolution: no electricity. Ben watches over his two small children who have grown into teenagers, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and Danny (Graham Rogers) Matheson. Things seem fine in this quaint farming community until Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) a general or sergeant of a section of ‘Monroe’s Militia’ who is sent after Ben ends up killing Ben and half of the village. Taking Ben’s son Daniel as hostage, Ben’s final words is to get his brother Miles who is hiding out in Chicago. And so away they go, off to get Miles and save Daniel who Neville takes as insurance back to Monroe. And there are a few twists thrown in for good measure, which is naturally electricity, does still exist plus the guy in the car with Miles at the beginning is Monroe.

Revolution is a show that is a tough call; it sort of tips back and forth from being not good to interesting enough. Some of Revolution’s best moments are any scene involving Lyons, Burke, or Zak Orth as the nerdy ex-google worker Aaron. The direction headed up by Favreau is quite good as well, but as a lead, something about Spiridakos’s take on Charlie left me feeling cold. And it isn’t exactly a miscast so to speak, as she does okay but she is missing that something that makes me want to root for her in her situation. Granted, the plot dictates that we automatically like her, but I just don’t care about her character’s arc as per the “Pilot”. Instead, I’m way more interested in Miles himself. 

Being we don’t get back to Miles until much later in the episode so the idea that after the show opener of the lights going out leading to stuff with Charlie, her father Ben, etc is good on paper and even looks good but being that as an audience member I personally seemed more interested in the Miles character, it screwed up the pacing of the episode for me.

Miles finds the spy...

Overall the “Pilot” of Revolution was mediocre, and is kept going by excellent direction and intrigued of what did cause the power to go out and the relationship between Miles and Monroe. Revolution won’t be the next L0ST or Fringe but that could be incorrect. With a proper amount of time and proper writing to hit the point home, Revolution could equal such great Abrams produced works, or it could fall to the wayside like Alcatraz which is: plenty of potential wasted until the last two to three episodes but by that point the series audiences mostly abandoned the show. 

About the author goodbadgeeky


Nick ‘Nitro’ Arganbright has an extreme love for a good story, whether it be in film, tv, video games, comic books, music or more and it shows in each article and podcast he produced. The titular podcast he produces is called The Good The Bad & The Geeky with co-hosts Jon Bettin and Nathan ‘DJ Meat’ Haley. The podcast has helped him make a few contacts within in the industry which he hopes to use to entertain and inform readers of his reviews on Examiner.com and The TV King, offering an average joe opinion that is often overlooked in major print and online publications. If you’d like to e-mail him, please do so at [email protected] or you can tweet him on twitter at @goodbadgeeky.

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