Is there evolution for NBC’s new series Revolution?!

Executive Producer(s): J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jon Favreau, Eric Kripke
Producer(s): Athena Wickman, Robert M. Williams Jr.
Production Company(s): Warner Bros. Television, Bad Robot Productions, Kripke Enterprises
Genre(s): Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic fiction, Science fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Mystery
Running Time: 47 minutes
Broadcast: NBC
Schedule: Monday 10:00 pm EST

When I first heard about Revolution my thought was, “Here we go, another disaster show and the typical struggle for humanity’s survival.” Thankfully, I may have just been proven wrong. Revolution does appear to be anything but typical. How it starts out is that there is a worldwide blackout of all technology. Think back to the Y2K scare of 1999. Unexpectedly and without warning, the world goes dark. Now, fast forward 15 years to a world that has been plunged back to simple times. No phones. No lights. No motor cars. Not a single luxury. Everybody’s living like Robinson Crusoe. This isn’t so much a ‘disaster’ show rather than a survival show. I like the premise of how humanity has to adjust to life without technology or modern conveniences. The question of what would happen if we are suddenly without technology is conveyed through this.

The one thing that may separate Revolution from other crisis shows/movies is the simplicity of it. When you take a look at movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow” or “2012”, there is some cataclysmic event that takes place and ravages to Earth, leaving the surviving population to rebuild. That doesn’t appear to be the case of Revolution. Though it may explained later, I have an idea that after the blackout the world was thrown into chaos. Riots ensued and governments collapsed, signaling the downfall of humanity. It was a large scale free-for-all and since there is no technology, the people had to resort to basic means of weaponry thus beginning everyone fighting for survival. Then one person arises and brings order to the chaos and establishes a militant government, which brings us to the beginning of the series premiere.

Tracy Spiridakos takes aim as Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson "Hunger Games" style

The focus of the series is on the Matheson family. Ben Matheson, played by Tim Guinee, apparently knows the cause of the blackout and may have found a way to reverse it. He lives quietly in a small community with his daughter Charlotte, played by Tracy Spiridakos, son Danny, played by Graham Rodgers and Maggie, played by Anna Lise Phillips, a medical doctor who became involved with Ben Matheson following his wife’s death. Their peacefulness is interrupted when members of the Monroe Republic arrive, asking for Ben. I thought it was cool that these dudes strolled into town on horseback carrying swords medieval style. No advanced weapons so what else are they going to carry. Ben, to protect his family when they are threatened, willingly surrenders but his son Danny was no having it. Danny whips out a crossbow and it’s time for a Hunger Games moment. A fight ensues with the people fighting the militia until Captain Tom Neville, played by Giancarlo Esposito, ends the melee with a few shots from his gun, taking down several people including Ben Matheson who saves his son’s live. With Ben dead, the men of the Monroe Republic take Danny in his place. Charlotte decides to track down the men and save her brother. But first she must find her uncle who may have the answers as to why her father is wanted by Monroe.

Welcome to "Vine" Square

Charlotte, aka Charlie, sets out with Maggie and family friend Zak to find Miles Matheson. Along their journey, the viewer is treated to a shot of Chicago Cubs stadium covered in the vegetation that has overrun it. This leads to a city wide shot of downtown Chicago covered in plants and vines and other types of floral life. With this illustration, one can begin to imagine how much Mother Nature has begun to reclaim her world. I was just picturing other famous landmarks like Manhattan’s impressive skyscrapers wrapped in vines or Times Square overrun with woodland creatures or the St. Louis Arch draped in vines. Can you see a forest growing in Beverly Hills or the hands of London’s Big Ben held tight by gripping vines?

Charlie and company soon find Miles, played by Billy Burke, working as a tavern owner. Privately, he tells his niece that her father may have found a way to reverse the effects of the blackout. Charlie begs her uncle to come with her but he refuses as he is hiding from the Monroe Republic militia. Angered by Miles’ refusal to help her, Charlie leaves without him. Through a mole, the militia finds Miles and this leads to a really cool scene. It is a dozen militia soldiers against one guy in an awesome sword fight. Miles, being a former US Marine Corps sergeant, utilizes the surrounding environment and his tactical training to come out on top. Charlie returns to help her uncle and form an uneasy partnership.

The Revolution-ary cast: (counter-clockwise from top left)Tim Guinee as Ben Matheson, Graham Rogers as Danny Matheson, David Lyons as Sebastian "Bass" Monroe, Tracy Spiridakos as Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson, Billy Burke as Miles Matheson, Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson, J. D. Pardo as Nate Walker, Giancarlo Esposito as Captain Tom Neville, Zak Orth as Aaron, Maria Howell as Grace, Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie

Overall, the series premiere of Revolution was quite impressive with a Hunger Games meets Survivor vibe to it. I see potential for this to be an engaging series. I would continue to watch to see how the relationship between the characters develops, especially between Charlie and Miles. I see something in the way of Naughty Dog’s upcoming post-apocalyptic game “Last of Us” coming into play as the series progresses. Plus, Erik Kripke, who created “Supernatural”, is behind Revolution. He has imagination but my only worry for the series is its longevity. How long can Erik keep it going before there is no more source material or without it becoming stale? This could shape-up to be a good series and I don’t want to suffer the same fate as the reboot of “V”. Hopefully, Revolution stays afloat and lives up to the expectations as a stand out series.

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