Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Revolution: A World Made by Hand

I mentioned the TV show Revolution last May,* when I wrote that the trailer looked intriguing. My wife and I finally watched the first two episodes last night, and I have to say that the show lived up to my expectations. I found the characters interesting, the action exciting, if bloody (the show has a TV 14 rating, and deserves it), and the handling of the post-collapse setting fairly realistic. For a taste of the setting, characters, and violence, here's a clip of a particularly dramatic and action-packed scene.

Captain Tom Neville comes to Sylvania Estates in search of Ben Matheson.
As you can see, it pulls no punches.

Even the weird science that underlies the premise has been handled well so far. The show acknowledges that shutting off electricity permanently violates the laws of physics, but notes that if it's man-made, it's not only explainable, but reversible. That premise will be driving the plot for years as the characters pursue their epic quest. It's also what will make this world different from Kunstler's "A World Made by Hand" series, which it strongly resembles on the surface. While I've only read excerpts of his books, I know enough to say that he likes the post-collapse world he's created. I have difficulty imagining him making anyone who wanted to turn the power back on as the heroes of his fiction.

As for the plot, well, this is J.J. Abrams, who created Lost. It took me until the polar bears showed up in that show to realize that I was watching a science fiction program. At least with Revolution, I know it's a science fiction series from the get-go. Also, since this is J.J. Abrams, I'm looking forward to seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes. I'm sure it will take several seasons to get to the bottom, let alone explore all the side tunnels--and there will be side tunnels, as the show's creators and the actors hint to in this promo clip.

Get the lowdown on the premiere episode from the actors and creators of Revolution.
As someone who used to work at a now-closed roadside attraction, I find the abandoned amusement park in the first episode creepy. I should get used to it, as the rest of the first two episodes have lots of derelict vehicles of all kinds littered all over the landscape, to say nothing of all the ghost cities and empty highways.

In case you are wondering, there is already a TVTropes page for the show. Keep an eye on it as the list of tropes and examples expand.

*I also mentioned The Hunger Games. I've read the first book and have the movie recorded. I'll write something after I watch the movie.

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