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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Revolution 1x2 - "Chained Heat"

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. It's McDonalds sci-fi.

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".