What do you get when you cross Falling Skies with Lost, throw in a cast of average actors and a mediocre script that assumes your audience is a bunch of idiots? You get J.J. Abrams’ latest television offering Revolution, and after giving it a probationary period of three episodes I am confident it’s not worth watching further. Yes, I know Abrams brought us Lost, Alias, Fringe and the Star Trek reboot so suggesting his latest show is absolutely rubbish is a pretty bold claim, but it’s a claim I’m willing to make none the less.
Revolution is set in the near- post apocalyptic future where civilised society has more or less crumbled after all electronic devices simultaneous stopped working 15 years ago. Admittedly it’s a solid premise and a pretty cool concept but it’s really not enough to make up for the average script and painfully bland characters. The actual storyline revolves around Charlie and Miles Matheson, an uncle and niece trying to rescue Charlie’s brother, Danny,who was captured by the oppressive Monroe Militia. Through dialogue and the occasional flashback, the Monroe Militia, led by General Sebastian Monroe, are positioned as the opposing force of the series and are determined to restore the power in order to use their stockpiled helicopters, tanks and other modern weapons that haven’t worked since the blackout to gain military superiority. The absence of electricity has also resulted in a scarcity of bullets and guns leading to lots of swordplay and civil-war era weaponry.
As for the actual characters, Miles is the cookie cutter ‘bad guy on the path to redemption’. He’s an alcoholic killer whose deadly with a sword and, surprise surprise, has a dark past. Somehow the creators have managed to make Charlie even more unoriginal. She’s a head strong teenager who can look after her self, wields a cross bow and is essentially indistinguishable from Katniss, the protagonist of The Hunger games. The supporting characters are all equally unoriginal archetypes and are composed mainly old acquaintances of Miles with the occasional mysterious figure who knows something about the blackout thrown in for good measure. The worst part is none of these characters are actually cool, funny, relatable or even interesting, though they are trying so hard to be. The acting all feels terribly forced.
The more I watched Revolution, the more I was convinced it was desperately trying to be Lost. It uses the same story telling techniques, primarily flash backs and switching between characters all with a healthy helping of action, but lacks the compelling characters. Sure, a good premise and flashy special effects might get me to tune in for an episode or two, but if the characters are rubbish I’m not going to stick around.
For a show claiming to be innovative and original, Revolution sure does steal a lot from other TV series and films. It looks like The Walking Dead, plays out a bit like The Hunger Games, is structured like Lost and treats its audience like idiots just like every reality TV show. In conclusion, Revolution is over-hyped, poorly written and even more poorly acted. With great shows like Madmen, Game of Thrones and the Newsroom (to name a few) on offer these days, I can’t see why any one would choose to waste their time watching this drivel.