I review the first episode from JJ Abram’s 2012 sci-fi series Revolution, directed by John Faverou. Spoilers Within.
Revolution S1x01 – “Pilot”
I’ve been wanting to check out Revolution for a while now, ever since I first heard of the show around the same time it was starting to air in America. After all, with a show with such names behind it as the likes of JJ Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII, and already the man behind the current Star Trek films and Jon Faverou, director of Iron Man, working on the pilot – what could go wrong? The concept was ambitious and interesting enough for me to eventually get round to watching this episode, but I couldn’t help but come away disappointed which is a real shame as with a show like this, it had so much potential.
The first thing that’s wrong with Revolution’s pilot and probably the most important thing is its characters. The female lead, Charlie – was designed to appeal to the fans of Hunger Games and Twilight. However, I just can’t help but wanting her to die so we can have a decent female protagonist in this series. I know it’s rather blunt and harsh of me to say that, but she didn’t make me want to feel any emotional attachment to her whatsoever and when she was near death, I couldn’t help but wanting for her to fail so we can get a decent lead, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like things are going to go that way. The rest of the characters are so forgettable that I can’t even remember their names and I saw the Pilot yesterday. There’s the comic relief/nerd character who’s allergic to wasps/bees,the inevitable love interest who seems to be working for the militia of the Monroe Republic, the asthmatic brother who looks too like Justin Beiber to be likable – and you get the point. They just aren’t interesting, captivating characters.
The costume/makeup people haven’t done a good job as well, and I think you can tell that from the image that I’ve attached to this review and the trailer alone. After 15 years with no electricity, why do they all have perfect looks, and clothes that look like the top-of-the-range design? It’s clear that these people aren’t going to win any sort of awards for their design, and they should have been taking notes from The Walking Dead. It just adds to the whole negativity that is emitting from the show so far.
By playing out the global disaster within the opening act, not only do we avoid the element of angst-ridden drama about the fact that there’s no electricity anymore, we also open up the possibilities of flashbacks in future episodes, to show how each character to got to where they are by now, how Charlie’s dad lost his wife and stuff like that. People who have seen further episodes in the series than I have will probably be able to confirm this, but for now, I’ll just have to wait and see (or, if I don’t like the next two episodes, give up and look on wiki). The 15 year gap also means that we’ve watched children grow up in the world without electricity, and it’s very interesting to see the differences between people who are old enough to remember. This is a positive thing, and although I’ve mentioned earlier that most of the cast weren’t very interesting, there are a couple of notable exceptions, such as Tom Neville, the cold, ruthless militia man who is played by Giancarlo Esposito, who is fantastic in his role.
The action sequences are where this show shines, and that’s so surprise as this pilot was directed by John Faverou. The final fight scene at the episode featuring the badass Uncle Miles, is particularly well shot and probably one of my favourite moments of this otherwise detestable show. It’s got me convinced that there actually is hope for Revolution, and with the likes of JJ Abrams behind it than I will give it at least two more episodes for it to deliver – and it’s too early to judge on its pilot anyway. However, as I’m watching loads of other shows at the moment that are far better than this, don’t expect this to be anytime soon.
REVOLUTION SEASON 1 EPISODE GUIDE: S1x01: Pilot, S1x02: Chained Heat, S1x03: No Quater S1x04: The Plague Dogs, S1x05: Soul Train, S1x06: Sex and Drugs, S1x07: The Children’s Crusade, S1x08: Ties That Bind, S1x09: Kashmir, S1x10: Nobody’s Fault But Mine, S1x11: The Stand, S1x12: Ghosts, S1x13: The Song That Remains The Same, S1x14: The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia, TO BE AIRED: S1x15: Home, S1x16: The Love Boat, S1x17: The Longest Day.