Revolution is created by Eric Kripke who is best known for creating the popular T.V series Supernatural , which i am a big fan of myself. Albeit it went a little off the rails in an X-Files way, rather than Aliens, with Angels & Demons, still fun though...i digress.
Revolution has a lot going for it out the blocks, with a good creator, great premise & strong production team of J.J. Abrams & Jon Favreau. The premise is that for unknown reasons a scientific group working on a top secret project, enabled a device that turned off all the power in the World, essentially setting mankind back 100 years in evolution. Where it's the survival of the fittest who rule, as each American state is run by a faction who have different style's and hierarchy structures, but are more often than not warring against each other for power. The first few episodes were pretty good, routine & set the seeds of the story, focusing around the Matheson family, who had a hand in the blackout itself. Showing them before & now some years later as they try to survive in the new World order. However they're peace is soon shattered by Major Tom Neville (Esposito) of the Monroe Republic (the ruling faction of the state) who are sent to capture Ben Matheson (Guinee) for as yet unknown reasons. However he is gravely wounded in the attempt, and his son Danny taken in his place. The remaining family member Charlie Matheson (Spiridakos) is determined to seek out her uncle Miles (Burke) to help her track down Danny. However, it's not going to be as straightforward as that.
The production values of the show are really nice in terms of the props & setting, there is plenty to like here. Such as the army using Roman/American Civil War style hierarchy, tactics & methods. While each state has it's own little quirkiness, as you'll find out. The use of flashbacks are a good tool for the writers to use, to give back story to the characters or introduce new ones as they wish. The acting is pretty good on the whole with the odd weak link, but even the stronger cast members are left out to dry at times with the material to work with. And the fact the characters aren't particularly likable with either some ulterior motive, selfishness or Prima Donna syndrome. Makes it that bit harder to endear yourself as the viewer to any of them, in similar fashion really to Defiance, a distinct lack of warmth in this respect.
After a while of watching the show grow, a pattern soon arises in the structure of the script/stories, where more often than not in every episode someone has been captured by X & must be saved by Y, which is rather repetitive. The main characters who are supposed to be ordinary people for the most part, up against trained solider's, seem rather 'too good' with guns as they dispatch dozens of enemies with crack shots while the're foes can't hit a barn door if they're life depended on it. At times this is so thickly laid on with the absurd body count it chokes a lot of the believability & tension/suspense out of things as to feeling the immediate danger for the character, which is one of the cruxes of the series as a whole TBH. And again, you'd be hard pressed to believe that they were roughing it in this post apocalyptic setting, as they are fresh faced each week & lathered in makeup. Compare it to something like Falling Skies , whose cast of characters look filthy, dirty faces, rough beards & generally unwashed in they're Alien invaded Earth, and you can visually imagine the smell of the sweat on them from the visuals, rather then the lavender, soapy Revolution cast. These simple attentions to detail make quite a difference.
Some of the main content is rather interesting, particularly the battle between Billy Burke (Twilight) & David Lyons (The Cape) the leader of the Monroe Republic, who were good friends, like brothers, that have parted ways, but destined to meet head on due to the course the story takes. And the writers know this, but when they take use of it too much & focuses too heavily on them it becomes a little overpowering & loses that air of mystery & suspense. You can see they wont kill them off, because it's too good a story to cut short. Another of the more interesting characters is played brilliantly by Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) who really comes across as enjoying & relishing his role as the universally disliked turncoat, whose 'on, off' respect with his son can sometimes be just as annoying as the constant captures & escapes, but it's usually a good episode if he is featured. Elizabeth Mitchell's (V ) character, Rachel Matheson, has grown a lot in the series, but she is one of those truly un-likable selfish characters, or at least IMO she is. My passion to see the series through was infact fueled only by the anticipation that she will meet a grizzly demise, and they tease me so much. Tracy Spiridakos (Goblin) is the smoking hot youthful lead character, who makes things more visually pleasurable *cough* more than anything. But along with her other co stars, aren't the most interesting of folks & meld into the main story.
In conclusion, i'm disappointed that Eric Kripke's post apocalyptic premise has gone so flat, so quickly. It's really well presented on the whole, but could do with some tweaking to the realism to sell me more on it & the stories aren't all that varied or indeed consistently so. I just don't find it a believable survival series that has me hanging on each episode like say, Falling Skies, for example. Otherwise, it's pleasing enough to pass the time & while season 2 seems to have started well, it's fallen back into it's old ways a little as well, but it's otherwise more promising than season 1 thus far. Rachel Matheson must die!! Contains mild language & graphic violence. Worth a watch.
Update: Revolution was cancelled after season 2 due to falling ratings & the show's large budget. It finished on a good cliffhanger with expectations of a 3rd season, so no wrap up for the characters or story.
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