Early Thoughts on ‘Revolution’

Should you check out Revolution tonight? The show premieres tonight at 10/9c on NBC, and the premise does seem compelling. All the power turns off the world, and we’re just left in darkness. Fifteen years later, militia have taken over (as well as other unruly people), and the world is a dangerous place.

In the midst, we have Charlie, who’s in route to find her uncle after her brother is taken. She hopes he can help to save her family, or at least what’s left of it.

I will admit, when I first heard the premise, I was interested in the series. Having seen the first episode, I can’t say that it really delivers on what a real post-apocalyptic series could deliver. The plot moves too fast (for people who have no choice for travel other than walking and horseback, Charlie and her comrades seem to reach their destination in no time), and there’s little character development. While I realize most pilots fall into the trap of too much exposition (boring) and too little (clearly this), there are many ways in which the show could be improved, just by the use of smart flashbacks. In fact, the ones they include, which are few and far between (I can only recall two) are probably the most interesting of the show. Flash back a bit more, and you might actually learn who the characters are.

Instead, you’re forced in, expected to fall in love with puppy-faced Charlie. If you don’t (and if you’re like me, you’ll agree she needs some warming up to), then her teary speeches just feel empty, which doesn’t make you too invested in her cause.

It’s disappointing, as the show has potential, given its cast. Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito are two that can handle good material…if they were given it.

Meanwhile, the music during “dramatic” scenes are so over the top that it’s distracting (perhaps this was because I saw it on the big screen), and it’s used not to add to the series, but to force you into an edge-of-your-seat tension that I’m not sure the show delivers.

Was there some strong parts? Sure. Clearly, the crew had some good fight choreographers, and there is some story arc there that they’re setting up. But the first episode just delivered too much to fast, and I have no idea where it could go from here. If it had had more faith in its characters and slowed down to make you really invest your time, there would have been a much better payoff — and a smarter show.

But for now, I’d say this is one you probably don’t need to see. Hold off, and if you hear that it has improved, then catch up. Otherwise, I think you’re devoting a lot of time for a cliffhanging cancellation.


Thursday Open Thread: Anticipated New Series

It’s September.

Let me restate that.

It’s September.

It’s fall, people! That means new episodes of our old favorites and new series premiering. It’s possibly the most exciting time of the year. It’s basically Christmas for TV reviewers.

So what new series are you excited about?

There’s a wide assortment to choose from. After all, later today, I’ll be attending a screening in Boston of the new show Revolution (and for you not in Boston, you can watch it early, too). It looks like an interesting premise, but I’m not quite certain what we’ll be getting yet after seeing more promos.

A show I’m particularly excited about (and I may be one of the few) is Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, two of my current favorite-but-unappreciated actors. I may not be spoiled by the BBC series’ interpretation, so I won’t be watching it, playing a comparison game (even if they are two very different series). And frankly, I want to see what these actors can do.

What else? Surprisingly enough, Arrow on the CW. Who would have thought a CW show would make the list? I have faith that they can do a superhero series right after Smallville  (though now that I’m thinking about it, Smallville did have its best seasons on the WB). Nonetheless, I’m curious.

I guess the last show I might add is Nashville, the newest show to join the singing and dancing trend. It’s not necessarily the songs that get me as much as the cast. Connie Britton has impressed me in recent years, and I’ve tended to follow Hayden Panettiere’s work around (perhaps I shouldn’t admit that; I even saw her horrible Bring It On sequel). While country music doesn’t grab me, the show might. Of course, I’ll have to get over my mild freakout that we’re supposed to see Panettiere as an adult.

Anyway, that’s a small, initial list. I’ll, of course, catch some of the other shows, but those are the ones grabbing my attention right now. Here’s a list of the new shows that are coming up.

What shows on your list?

For any of you interested, looks like there are some sneak peek pilots of The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate online, too. And, of course, Go On is still available after its premiere during the Olympics. Feel free to check them out and report back.

Hey, Boston! Here’s Your Chance to See ‘Revolution’ Before It Premieres!

What would you do if tomorrow you had no electricity? Everything was off, and you had to survive?

That’s what NBC’s new show Revolution aims to find out. In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, Revolution is also about family — both the family you’re born into and the family you choose.

This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, Being Human), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, Memphis Beat). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, The Twilight Saga), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if — or how — it will ever return.

Revolution premieres on NBC on Monday, September 17, at 10/9c, but for some of you in the Boston area, you can see it even earlier.

That’s right. On Thursday, September 6, at 7:30 pm, there will be a screening of the first episode of Revolution at the AMC Boston Common for some special Boston viewers. All you have to do is a few simple steps.

First, go to this link for your ticketDownload and print your ticket. There is a limited number of tickets, so get yours soon!

Second, show up. Seating is first-come, first-served, so make sure to show up early to get a seat.

Third, enjoy! 

And that’s it! Not only will you get a fun night out, but you’ll even get the bragging rights of having seen the show more than a week before anyone else!

Want to know more? Check out the Revolution website, where you can watch an extended trailer, read about the cast, and even play a game. And don’t forget to watch the show when it premieres on the 17th!