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Revolution TV Show Review: The Best in Bad Television

  • When Terra Nova was cancelled after one season, I was crushed. When it came to bad television, terrible acting, horrible plot lines and ridiculous deus ex machinas, Terra Nova destroyed the competition. There's was nothing I could do but continue to watch and mock week after week until it met its season-ending demise.

     

    That was the same season that The Walking Dead season two was airing on AMC. Bookended by incredibly well plotted, cast and written shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I had to believe The Walking Dead would at least be on the same Olympic podium and pull down a bronze to their gold and silver medal presentations.

     

    Alas, that was not to be. For me, The Walking Dead season two was like a mashup of 80's Knot's Landing meets that lame Jenna Jameson Zombie Stripper movie that everyone says they didn't see, but you know you really did because it was on late on Cinemax and well, nevermind. Apologies to Jenna Jameson though. Her acting is actually better than most of what was seared into my brain during TWD season 2.

     

    Anyway, now that The Walking Dead is sort of getting back on track ( at least they are killing zombies again and not just talking about everyone's feelings ) I needed something to fill that void for terrible television left when Terra Nova departed.

     

    Behold. ABC's Revolution.

     

    Take a great premise: A pseudo post-apocalyptic world where there is no power and everyone who survived has had to revert to pre-electricity tech levels while trying to figure out what happened and fix it.

     

    A great name was attached to it: JJ Abrams. But after making it to the second episode, I really doubt he has much to do with the writing or the story.

     

    And a decent time slot on a major network.

     

    Where to begin? How could all those promising elements go so horribly wrong? How about right from the beginning.

     

    It's been fifteen years since all the juice went out. Nothing electrical works. Something seems to be stopping the very spark that is electricity. No engines, no lights, no nothing. Except of course bio-electricity, because that's what fires our brains, and if that didn't work, you wouldn't have a show, so we'll skip that.

     

    The US has been splintered into factions and republics, and people are living in culdesacs where they cultivate gardens in their yards by hand ( no one has a horse, until you need one for the plot ) and no one seems to have located an old push mower or hand clippers to keep the bushes trimmed. Like they did before electricity.

     

    My first happy moment when I knew this show was going to be pure craptastic gold was when we have the dramatic flashback to the daughter ( later known as Charlie, because guy names are cool when you are channeling post apocalyptic tough girls and you want to cheat a little by giving them a guy name. Rather than something like soft and feminine like Gwen) eating the last of the ice cream, because her mom wants her to 'remember what it tasted like'.

     

    Because the writers apparently have no knowledge of history ( or access to Google ) to figure out that just because the power goes out, doesn't mean you can't have ice cream. ( Clue: Ice House, hence Ice, Cream, Sugar, Rock Salt. Churn. All things available long before electrons zipped through copper wires. )

     

    Or steam power. ( at least until a few episodes after they were dragging that helicopter through the woods by hand )

     

    But damn, they sure know how to make a crap load of candles and must have found the Abercrombie, Crest Whitestrip and Proactive Skin Care warehouses because everyone looks and dresses like they just walked off a modeling shoot.

     

    There's too much to put in one post, so I'm going to break it up and try to ask and answer these critical questions:

     

    Why does Katniss ( I mean Charlie ) seem to get punched in the face at least once, sometimes twice in every episode?

     

    Why is the US now the size of a postage stamp, where everyone just runs into exactly the person they need to find ( or randomly encounter ) in the middle of nowhere to move the plot along or shock us with a nail-biting cliff-hanging surprise right before the commercial?

     

    Why does each character have exactly one primary character trait. They are like the seven dwarves of emotions ( try to match them up: Grumpy, Angry, Whimpy, Smug, Bitter, Wheezy and Depressed ).

     

    How does Miles have the exact same facial scruff every single day?

     

    How does Charlie's brother get that Miss Clairol blond color in his hair?

     

    Does anyone not have a brother / sister / ex lover who has been taken hostage by the militia and needs to be rescued during the episode?

     

    Will they ever stop saying they shouldn't couldn't wouldn't do something stupid, only to turn around and do exactly that thing?

     

    Stay tuned.