Pilot Preview: The CW's Lord of the Flies-ian The 100
Hey you! This isn't a review, it's a PREview. Huge difference. Most notably, the "P." Also, these PREviews are based on early cuts of pilots that might change drastically by the time they officially hit the air, so we can't properly review them. But we CAN give you an idea of what to expect. In this series of early looks at the new shows of fall 2013, there's no contemplating, no deep analysis; just super-duper quick thoughts on what we just watched that we're passing on to you. We'll revisit each previewed show in the fall with the hyper-intellectual breakdowns and fart jokes you're used to from us goons here at TV.com.
The 100 – Midseason on The CW
STARRING AND CREATED BY: The 100 has a two-sided cast; half are familiar adult faces and half are somewhat newcomer youngsters. You should recognize Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), Page Turco (Person of Interest), and Isaiah Washington (Grey's Anatomy). As for the hot teens, you'll get acquainted with Eliza Taylor (Australia's Neighbours), Marie Avgeropoulos (Cult), and Thomas McDonnell (Suburgatory). The series is based on the first book of an upcoming novel series from author Kass Morgan. Jason Rothenberg is executive-producing and handling the adaptation.
THE GIST: The whole series is set in the near(ish) future. Humans couldn't stand each other and waged full-on nuclear war. Earth's surface got blown to bits, rendering it uninhabitable. To keep the species alive, everybody left the planet for a massive space station called the Ark, where they lived under a pretty strict Draconian mini-government that had a no-tolerance policy against unruly teenage behavior. So when it came time to give living on Earth another shot, the powers-that-be decided to send 100 teenage delinquents down to the surface to determine whether the air was breathable and the mutant animals were friendly. The pilot covers their departure from the Ark, and from there, the series has an upstairs/downstairs feel as we follow the power struggle among adults on Ark and the unsupervised teens trying to survive on post-apocalyptic Earth.
SNAP JUDGMENT: Thank you, The Hunger Games, for making it okay to kill teens! The 100 has a surprisingly brutal and survivalist feel to it, continuing The CW's shift away from high-school hookups and toward legitimate science-fiction. The influences are clear: You'll see familiar notes from Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Lord of the Flies, and that's a good thing. The side-by-side duality of the Ark's bleakness and Earth's lushness provides a great foundation for a fascinating premise that asks all sorts of great sci-fi questions. Yes, there are sexy young actors stripping to their skivvies and starting love triangles, but they're additions to the overall story and not the focus. I was very impressed with the pilot; it's fun.
PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: Quick, clunky voiceover catch-up is front-loaded in the first few minutes, leaving plenty of time for the rest of the episode to get down to business. Which means shooting teens out of a spaceship and violent politics on the Ark. Given the complexity of the concept, the exposition is forgivable.
FACES TO LOOK OUT FOR: Ladies! Get ready for McDonnell as the rebellious hunk Finn. His face should be plastered all over high school lockers by next summer. Taylor and Avgeropoulos are also fresh faces to keep an eye on.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: VERY IMPORTANT! It's THE HUNDRED, not "the one hundred." Even though it's numerically laid out as the one hundred because of that giant 1.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: Pretty high, actually! Every year there seems to be one CW pilot with the potential to be really fun. However, I have to point out that last year I thought Cult had a ton of potential, so I fully realize The 100 could stink. Still, I'm slapping a 7 out of 10 on this baby and, based on the pilot and the impossible-to-measure potential, placing it higher in the Power Rankings than I probably should.
PILOT PREVIEW POWER RANKINGS:
(Where we rank the fall season's pilots based on very early impressions)
1. Almost Human - J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman's robotic buddy-cop drama
2. The 100 - Teens have fun (and die) on post-apocalyptic Earth while the adults fight each other in a big tin can orbiting the planet
3. Intelligence - Josh Holloway stars as a Cyber Command agent who has Wi-Fi in his brain
4. The Blacklist - James Spader is a master criminal who turns himself in to the FBI on one condition: He only works with the pretty new FBI agent
5. Dracula - Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the fanged one in this re-imagining of the classic story of an undead guy chasing his old girlfriend
6. Lucky 7 - A group of gas-station employees win the lottery, for better or worse
1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Andy Samberg and a bunch of buffoons are cops in Brooklyn
2. Trophy Wife - Malin Akerman marries into a big family and ends up with two ex-wives and three stepchildren in the process
3. The Crazy Ones - Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are a father-daughter team in the advertising business
4. Enlisted - Geoff Stults goes to army reject camp with his two brothers
5. About a Boy - Jason Katims' TV adaptation of the film adaption of Nick Hornby's novel about a man-boy friendship
- Comments (56)