First and foremost, thank you network television and Hulu for teaming up and posting pilot episodes of the freshman class online. CBS, I’m not talking to you. Aside from THE MINDY PROJECT (new favorite comedy btw), the show I’m most excited for is JJ Abrams’ REVOLUTION. Now, I usually give his shows a three episode chance to win me over and most of the time he does. Exceptions include Undercovers (although props to you for casting African-American leads on prime-time, network television) and Persons of Interest (James Caviezel, your awesome at being hot and brooding but that’s about it). But after watching the pilot of REVOLUTION, unless it takes a weird, mid-series, sans-Abrams turn in its freshman year, I think NBC got lucky and saddled us with a hit.
My initial reaction is this: REVOLUTION is essentially Firefly meets Lost meets Alias with a sprinkling of Spielberg no doubt influenced by their recent partnership in Super 8. Themes of family, mystery, revenge and otherworldly dominate this dramatic playing field, and if written carefully and thoughtfully, it will be amazing.
Protagonist Charlie (short for Charlotte), like Katniss Everdeen, Sydney Bristow and Kate Austen, has a penchant for badassness, empathy, and an overwhelming sense of how the world ought to be. Like her Abrams created predecessors, she believes in the good in people, stubbornness is her fault, and she is smart, friendly, kind and can wield, quite expertly, her weapon of choice. For now, I liker her. Other players include the asthmatic little brother Danny, the dead father from The Good Wife, the dead mother (I still think she’s alive – Irina Derevko anyone?) from LOST and ER, the comic relief (who reminds me of Bilbo Bagins), the “militia” (I wish Gregory Hines were still with us to play this role) and an ex-algebra teacher who has same, mysterious looking thumb drive that Charlie’s father gave to Bilbo to “keep safe.” All the while, all technology, which seems to be anything invented during or after the Industrial Revolution, ceases to work.
- Why are half the cast dressed as if they were on Little House on the Prairie and the other half from the late 90s?
- Does every female lead in a JJ Abrams show have to wear a tank top?
- Where’d the horses come from?
- Why is NBC or Hulu advertising Revolution while we’re watching Revolution?
- What are the gun laws? Why do all the guns look like they came from Will Smith’s version of Wild Wild West?
- Where is Greg Grunberg?
In conclusion, I’m hooked. I’m interested to see where Danny’s fate lies. I’m curious about the militia. I’m wondering why all the “power” went out (good job JJ on your Mystery Box) and I wonder how this will be episodic on one level and overarching awesomeness on the other.
That’s my two cents. Hopefully I can write about other shows before their premieres later this month that I’m looking forward to see.
Until then, watch the pilot
if you haven’t already and if you’re, for whatever reason, anti-watching-shows-on-the-internet you can catch the premiere on September 17th on NBC.
[series pilot directed by John Favreau (Iron Man), written by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and produced by JJ Abrams]