September 7th, 2012


Fall TV Preview: Revolution

I think I'm on the mend, as the fever has dropped and the aches have stopped. The aches were the worst part. I still have a bit of a cough and not much of a voice, but then I don't really need to talk for the next couple of days. I'm supposed to lead the singing in preschool Sunday school on Sunday, but I think I'm going to see if someone can switch with me, just in case I'm still not up to it by then. I spent last night lying on the sofa, marathoning the season to-date of Grimm and eating ice pops.

I also found the pilot for Revolution OnDemand, and I have to say that I'm leaning toward "don't bother." I won't even get into the iffy science of having electricity just "stop working" in a way that they can't even generate power anymore or the iffy sociology of having society fall apart that badly, to the point that the buildings are gone, in just 15 years. The visual of Wrigley Field in the wilderness was cool, but that's a pretty dense urban area. I'd think the houses would survive longer than the stadium because people would want to maintain their homes but might plunder the huge building that nobody's living in to get supplies. And wouldn't the El tracks still be around? Not to mention the clean, well-fitting, mass-produced clothing worn by the main characters. The female lead is wearing a snug-fitting, midriff-baring tank top with obvious Spandex, and everything Spandex I own gets either stretched-out or crispy after a while, and I'd think it would be worse without any climate control. Expose that stuff to extremes of heat, cold and humidity, and your Spandex is toast. It might not decompose, but it's not going to fit anymore.

But the real issue for me was the characters. Namely, what I tend to call "plot teenagers." It's Wesley Crusher syndrome, where the teen characters exist to both create and solve the problems. Just about every major event that happened in the pilot involved someone (usually one of the teen/very young adult characters) making a too-stupid-to-live decision, and most of that came from making these kids act like our teenagers today. The problem was, these kids had grown up in this environment, so they'd have a totally different mentality. When you have to defend your suburb against roving bands of bandits and militia and when you've already lost one parent to all the danger and destruction, you're probably not going to be doing the typical, "But Dad, you never let me do anything fun, like going out exploring in the no-man's-land wilderness," whining. I could see more of the typical modern semi-rebellious teen act if we were getting the immediate aftermath of the electricity no longer working (though most teens I know would probably sit there in a catatonic state with their thumbs twitching after their iPhones quit working), but kids who barely remember any other kind of life would probably behave very differently, and when you're living a subsistence agrarian life, an able-bodied teenager isn't going to have time to run off exploring. And then there's the falling asleep while in the middle of nowhere in a place with roving gangs of militias and bandits without leaving anyone standing guard. I can't imagine these people survived even fifteen years.

So, teen or very early 20s characters who act like teens front and center, making "plot teenager" decisions, combined with really weak worldbuilding may amount to, at most, hate-watching just to make fun of it.