Someone Tweeted after the Emmys that network dramas will probably never win an Emmy again because they can't compete with cable's storytelling possibilities. I think that's probably accurate. As cable gets riskier, more adult, more involved, network TV often seems to regress to becoming as broad and inclusive as possible. This is a generalization. But Revolution seems to feed into that mindset.
If Lost were made today instead of 8 years ago, in a network TV universe where shows like 24 existed (as uncompromisingly violent and risky as network TV can get), would Lost have been as smart and daring? (Say what you will about how it turned out, or your preferences, Lost was a great show. It's certainly a higher caliber than its clones that followed or Revolution, its current stepchild by some of the same fathers.)
Anyway, Revolution so far has not been terrible. It's not great, but it's not total shit either. It's better than Terra Nova, the show it reminds me of as much as Lost. It's still finding itself, and that's fine. It's doing well in the ratings and should have the time it needs to figure itself out and tell the story it's laying down.
This week, they dropped some bombshells. I guess the big one is that Elizabeth Mitchell is sticking around, not just in the flashbacks to the days after the Blackout, but that she's alive in the "present", estranged from her family, and mysteriously in some sort of cahoots with Monroe. I hope Revolution works out better for her than V, another example of an extremely stupid network sci-fi show.
I counted three big action scenes/swordfights this week, which is probably a lot. These characters barely have time to argue and give necessary exposition before they launch into another sword fight. Revolution seems to love to swash buckle.
They worked hard to give Charlie a bit more to do, make her more heroic and resourceful. She's pretty, sure, but I agree with uncle Miles, she's really annoying. But she's not useless by any means; she outsmarted that Militia dude who seems to have the hots for her, and she was the key player in their gambit to kill the militia members, acquire the sniper rifle and helicopter, and save the slave chain gang (who all kind of just vanished after Action Sequence #3). I also liked Charlie pointing out she was the only one concerned with freeing the slaves from the chain gang.
Apparently, they've already killed or are about to kill the lady with the working computer in her attic. And they're laying down thick the whole idea of the Resistance "trying to restore the United States of America".
Overall, it was okay. I almost wish it was just godawful so I can make fun of Revolution, but no, it's just all right. Revolution bought themselves another viewing next week.
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
I really gave this an honest shot. Truly (and largely because Giancarlo Esposito deserves to be given a hardy chance in anything he does), but I just don't have it in me to care about any aspect of this show.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaAs cable gets riskier, more adult, more involved, network TV often seems to regress to becoming as broad and inclusive as possible. This is a generalization. But Revolution seems to feed into that mindset.
And this is largely why I can't get into 'Revolution'. It looks wrong. It almost feels like it's a late 1970s or early 1980s sensitized version of a dystopian future - where even the dirt looks clean enough to eat off.
Personally, I think broadcast TV (and radio, for that matter) is in serious trouble. At the moment, the only supporting article I have the energy to drum up is this 2010 Hollywood Reporter article (hollywoodreporter.com) - which discussed the aging audience that still watches broadcast television. I watch the 11pm news in utter awe that the format is *still* the same after... what, 40+ years now? 50? With literally no acknowledgment that the important news they are covering is likely OLD NEWS by 11pm. Anyhoo...
I'll spare everyone the longer-version rant I normally delve into regarding the lack of forethought and innovation in the broadcast mediums, save that after 11 years as a broadcast radio engineer, I wanted nothing more to do with broadcast anything when I moved to NYC. The rant is a lot more interesting in-person and after a few Manhattans. (NOTE: It is still not that interesting.)
Originally posted by LeroyI watch the 11pm news in utter awe that the format is *still* the same after... what, 40+ years now? 50? With literally no acknowledgment that the important news they are covering is likely OLD NEWS by 11pm.
If broadcast TV news is anything like print, that's probably because all the reporters have gone home for the day. Our deadline's somewhere around 10 p.m.
You wanted the best, you got... the Out of Context Quote of the Week.
"£8.70 for a measly 16 out of your average fag machine." (dMr)
I'm very bother by the complete lack of power in the show. Where's the steam power? Why does everyone use candles instead-of oil lamps? How did hydroelectric plants stop working? Were there meltdowns at all the nuclear plants? Did the nascent wind energy farms all freeze up?
I think we made it as far as samoflange before giving up.
"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
In much the same way that Once Upon a Time and Grimm seem inspired by the success of the much better comic book series Fables, Revolution seems inspired by the much better Emberverse series of novels by S. M. Stirling. The first book in the series is Dies the Fire. (Highly Recommended.)
The big difference between Emberverse and Revolution is that in Emberverse gunpowder doesn't work, forcing people to use medieval weaponry. Also Emberverse works on the basis that the power is not coming back.
(Both series work on the basis that some outside agency is altering the laws of physics, although Emberverse's explanation tends to be more spiritual than technological.)
Just as an aside, I suspect that the nuclear power plants didn't melt-down because the laws of physics turned them off rather than just the electricity turning off. Raises the interesting questions what would happen if the electricity turned back on. My point being that the nuclear plants wouldn't melt down if the fission was just turned off.
One thing that Emberverse emphasizes and that Revolution has shied away from is how many people would die in this sort of event. As an example, as a diabetic I'm dead probably within a year. Plague, starvation, cannibalism - it wouldn't be pretty.
(To be fair to Revolution, they did have the first hunger related murder on the 2nd show in a flashback, and they may fill in the ugliness a little and one of their characters does struggle with asthma, but it's a much prettier disaster than the grim "reality" if the power really went out.)
One thing that Emberverse does really well is having a wide range of survivors with diverse reasons for their survival including survivalists, wiccans and SCA enthusiasts. It will be interesting to see if Revolution has characters like that in the future. So far, the two main fighters are both ex-military.
Seriously, the only way to stop Hydro/wind/nuclear generation is for the actual wires carrying the electricity away from the source to stop working!
Steam engines have existed since ancient Greece, and gas heating/lighting predates the industrial revolution. You're not going to go 90 miles an hour in a steam vehicle, but civilization would probably find a way to be back to nearly normal* within a decade.
*excepting the massive radioactive zones around any former nuclear reactor, and you'd be surprised how many universities have one.
(edited by Mike Zeidler on 26.9.12 1018) "Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
but it's a much prettier disaster than the grim "reality" if the power really went out.
This is what really turned me off by the promos alone - the girl cheerfully says "when the power went out, I came alive", while 90% of the world's population must've been wiped out in the first year. That's something the power hungry opportunistic villain should be saying, not the hero.
Thanks to everybody for all the positive feedback from last week's writeup, both here and on Twitter. (If you're more old school, I still accept email at firstname.lastname@example.org!) CABLE GUIDE SEZ: New, HD, "Like More Than a Friend", (2011)