Revolution "Chained Heat" Review: Snooze Quest

Revolution S01E02: "Chained Heat"

"Chained Heat" was one of the most eagerly anticipated episodes of television in this young season in my household, because second episodes of serialized sci-fi shows can be the most telling indicator of quality and competence. With high-concept shows, many pilots can get away with asking the same question over and over again; in Revolution's case, that question was, "Who turned out da lightz?" But it's the second episode that tells us what to expect each week and gets us comfortable with the characters. Well, the power isn't the only thing that isn't working in Revolution.

"Chained Heat" failed most tests as a second episode, staying roughly in line with the quality of the inept pilot and really defining this show as a modern-day ham radio adventure tale—or, for you more modern folk, an 80-plus-hour role-playing video game. And as anyone who's ever huddled around a speaker in the 1940s or played Skyrim for hours days on end knows, that means fetch quest after fetch quest after fetch quest. Go talk to this guy, go get this thing, go help out this villager who has been waiting impatiently for someone to come along and accept a mission. Yes, there are fights along the way, but even those become a bit of a drag, particularly when the outcome is so predictable (Miles will kill a bunch of people). It equates to a bunch of busy work, and while there's some sense of accomplishment in doing it yourself (Xbox achievements!), watching someone else play a video game is very low on the list of things I enjoy. That's what watching Revolution feels like at the moment.

This week, Miles' quest (which means it's Charlie's quest, too) was to add to the adventurers' party by finding Norah, someone Miles believes can help them find Charlie's kidnapped brother Danny (finding people to find people is apparently going to be a theme of the series). Despite traveling in the Illinois wilderness with no GPS, they located her rather easily as a prisoner in a yellow-tank-top chain-gang that was dragging a helicopter with all the fake exertion the extras' faces could muster. And thank God the only yellow tank top left for Norah happened to size XS, right fellas? Miles and Charlie sprung her—again, rather easily—but Norah wasn't ready to leave until she got what she was there for: a gun that she could sell on the black market (or give to the resistance). This didn't give us a real sense of story as far as "Hey we're watching a television show" goes, it just gave the show's characters something to do.

Which led to one of Revolution's action scenes in which the bad guys take an ass-kicking and pile up casualties by attacking one person at a time and the good guys suffer barely a scratch. Dear readers, we need to talk about these action scenes. I'm into the land-pirates thing, where swords are swashed and buckled and some of the guns require a gunpowder cram before firing. But the fights so far have been boooooring, and they're taking away the purpose of having a sharpened blade in the first place. No matter how many twirls and no-look slicing Miles does, I just can't get into the action because they're more ballet-like and less visceral than what swords deserve. Quick question: Would you rather be shot in the arm or sworded (fake word!) in the arm? Answer: shot, because there's a good chance you'll be able to do something with that arm again. If a dude comes down full force on your arm with a sword, the last thing you'll do with that arm is carry it to the garbage can and throw it in, because that sucker's coming off. That kind of violence needs to be on display in Revolution if I'm going to take these sword fights seriously. Can we get a blood spray or a limb falling to the ground? The show has no problem with blood when guns are involved, but all these swords do is make stuntmen flail sharply in the other direction. I know, broadcast television and all, but this is a 10pm show and if The Empire Strikes Back can show Luke's hand getting cut off (whoops, spoiler alert!), then Revolution can lose a limb here and there. I'm probably in the minority here, but try re-watching one of Revolution's fights when you have a moment. A good action sequence should still be exhilarating on multiple viewings. Repeated views of Revolution's fights are not.

Neville remains the best character on the show thus far, partly because Giancarlo Esposito is the only one with charisma and partly by default because the other characters are tiring chores. "Chained Heat" attempted to give Charlie a little more bite (they couldn't have given her less in the pilot), but only managed to pull off "meddling tag-along teenager." It was an improvement, and Charlie blowing away the warden with the sleeve gun was admittedly the badass moment of the episode, but she still has a long way to go before I think of her as anything more than a face that belongs in a makeup commercial. Miles remained on-course to be this season's half-written primetime rebel, but did some positive growing with feelings of familial responsibility. Danny, well, he's just there to look like a puppy. It's like he wasn't even on-set with everyone else, thanks to all those cuts to him staring blankly and saying nothing (seriously, I think all his bits were re-shot with him in front of a green screen). Aaron is Aaron and will always be Aaron. Oddly enough, it was ice queen Maggie who was humanized the most this week, with her memories of her children held prisoner by a drained iPhone. Team Maggie all the way.

We also saw that Revolution isn't shying away from the flashbacks to the early days of the outage, and that's both a good and a bad thing because it shows what Revolution can do and also what it isn't doing most of the time. The flashbacks are much more interesting than the "present-day" storytelling because the sense of danger is plain and close. Those days look a whole lot worse (and therefore interesting) than a decade-and-a-half later. That scene where that creepazoid grabbed young Charlie and threatened to smash her face in? That was the tensest situation in the entire series so far and made me want to spend more time in the freshness of post-energy anarchy than the Frontierland of 15 years later. It's not a good sign when the appetizers are better than the entree.

As for the big reveals and steps toward solving the grand mystery, so far it's just the typical trickling-out of barely relevant details. We learned that the computer girl is named Grace and saw some headless guy named Randall creep up to her and get his zap-stick ready, but it was so out of context we had nothing to actually process. Yes, he's probably a bad person, but without knowing why Grace has the computer, what it's used for, or even who she is, it all becomes a home invasion aside that didn't fit in with the rest of the episode. We also discovered that Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) is alive! Not entirely surprising because who in their right mind would limit the wonderful Mitchell to flashback duty? But what was surprising was how much the writers changed her situation. In the original pilot, which wasn't screened for the public, Rachel—then played by Andrea Roth—appeared in the final scene with her arms draped around Monroe like they were more-than-friends. Here, she was a prisoner and even attempted to Joe-Pesci-from Casino the bad guy, a total 180 from the original pilot. I'm guessing the character change had a lot to do with the recasting, because for the life of me I can't imagine Mitchell playing anyone but a sympathetic character and not a two-timing traitor. And if you're really into details, Aaron thinks the whole power outage was manmade. Yeah, we figured.

But what is really dragging Revolution down is the thing that was most interesting when the idea was pitched. The world isn't as interesting as we thought it would be, and it's full of inconsistencies. Why is Monroe staying in a defenseless camp of cloth tents while he keeps Rachel prisoner in a mansion? How is everything blown back to the Stone Age except for fashion? Why do the guns stay silent during the show's sword fights?

Revolution is being compared to The Event, FlashForward, and Terra Nova, which is partially accurate because they all share the same DNA. But The Event was misguided and made things up as it went along (with hilarious results), FlashForward was way too ambitious and collapsed on itself, and Terra Nova was just plain bad. None of those descriptions really apply to Revolution, which has its own problems. It's just not interesting (yet) and it doesn't have a sense of direction. Right now I don't see hope for it to improve.



NOTES

– What was the real point of C. Thomas Howell's bounty hunter? Just to add color and give Miles the general location of Norah? And why did he run away from a handcuffed Miles after showing no fear of him in their earlier swordfight? And why did the goons release Charlie and Maggie just because Miles said to do so right before he gave up? Shouldn't those orders come from C. Thomas Howell? And is anyone else already over this C. Thomas Howell career comeback?

– Miles: "That's Norah. The hot busty one in the tight tank top."

– The most unbelievable thing in this whole show? Trying to pass off the idea that young Charlie would grow up to be older Charlie.

– Probably not a good idea to have a close-up shot of a deer carcass if it looks fake even from not close up.

– I'm not a huge fan of cutting off a conversation in the middle for dramatic effect. When Charlie asked "Nate" why he saved her, I wanted a damn answer, not a cut away to the next scene.

– Did Danny puff up a bit in between the pilot and this episode?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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OMG FINALLY SOMEBODY SAID IT ALL. Finally. This was a great show at the start but it was amazingly frustrating to watch after the first episode. I'm on SEASON2 EP22 and I'm almost out of hair and dishes. I can't believe how frustrated I am watching this even though I keep reminding myself this is just s show. But I get the feeling the directors/writers just have no clue what they want from these characters. They're all GODS, they are completely indestructible and no matter how bad their plans are they always win. Example EP22 dozens of men guns shooting at the trios and they get away due to the safety of a rock. WOW. What is this my little pony tails. Seriously, I feel as if the directors/writers gave up even before they started. Anyway I'm just very happy that someone wrote about it. I feel grest sense of satifaction now. Thank you. :)
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i was able to get through 2 episodes because i'm simultaneously playing a game on my phone. agrees to the bad acting, inconsistencies, prisoners/slaves with a uniform - yellow, first stop in Chicago and they immediately find Miles, and the Cameron Diaz-look-a-like girl with bad acting.
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Something tells me this is going to be a "rescue of the week" kinda show. And if I have to sit through week after week of Miles having to rescue someone or be rescued by someone, I'm going to get bored fast. Oh wait. I'm already bored. Yeah, not good. Not good at all. I had hope for Eric Kripke's writing to help this show, but so far..... not so much.
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The LA Times recently published a review of the NBC show "Revolution.

http://tinyurl.com/revolutionlatimes If you are a fan of the show,

what is your opinion of this review?
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OK, I made it through the pilot and about 15 or 20 minutes into the second episode, but I just couldn't watch another minute of wretchedly amateurish acting by Tracy Spiridakos. Even the prospect of more Elizabeth Mitchell scenes couldn't make me hang around. I wanted to like this show. The various weaknesses Tim points out (especially the many glaring inconsistencies and the overly choreographed looking fights) really put me off, but the bad acting was the deal-breaker. I don't think my standards are absurdly high -- I actually liked "The Event" and "Flash Forward" (though I couldn't stand "Terra Nova"). I also really liked "V," and I love "Falling Skies" (just wish we could have twice as many episodes per season!). "Revolution" seems too derivative and like it is just "going through the motions."
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I love Kripke's work, but seems like he doesn't realize he's on a different network now; he seems to think that he's still on the CW where low ratings are normal and shows keep going on despite of that.
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I really wanted to like this show, but...



I lost interest during the pilot. I like the premise, but I found the overall feel of the show to be completely unbelievable. For starters...even in this modern age of medicine and technology, thousands of people die of asthma every year, in the US alone. I'm not a doctor, but I find it hard to believe that this kid would still be alive, with such an obviously SEVERE case of it. This was just one of the many things that bothered me about their portrayal of a 'post-apocalyptic' world.



I was also very disappointed when they shot ahead to 15 yrs after the blackout. I agree with Tim on this one...Shortly after the blackout would have been a much more interesting story.



That being said, I tried to overlook these things and just enjoy the story and the characters, since my hubby really liked it. WEEK 2 - hubby spent the second half of the episode playing a game on his phone! Not a good sign. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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I really hope this show improves - as the premise has potential but it's just *bland* so far.



I want to see more of the "power off" event. We saw planes falling from the sky and lights going off - but didn't see any nuclear power stations melting down (which is one of the first things that would happen if all power went off ... no more coolant being pumped to keep the reactors under control).

And all we're being told is that this affects electricity ... but if that's the case why are there no cars running? Yes, many modern cars have computers and electrics that would be affected. But 'internal combustion engines' do not run on electricity. Yes batteries are used to kick start the motors into life ... but they're not actually needed (any old spark will do ... old cars used cranks) - and once running there is no electricity draw (apart from accessories). So, when the power issue hit ... while the lights/aircon etc would go off ... the engines would stay running.



I'm also a little curious about the "mystical amulets' that have a wee light in the middle. They can't just be a localised cancelling of the effect that is blocking electricity from working ... as there are now no power stations running to even try to generate power (unless they have some Tesla tower somewhere)... they have to be generating power somehow? And also directing the generated power quite precisely (Randall's only supplied power to his cattle prod; Grace's powered her lightbulb and computer). The amulets don't look to be overly configurable - so wonder how they decide what to power ... generally "induction fields" aren't too picky on what they charge.



And one of my *main* laugh out loud moments in episode 2 occurred when Grace powered on her computer ... and you hear the unmistakable tones of an analogue modem handshake/negotiation before she logs onto her communication connection with her unknown friend.

Seriously? WTF? Unless they have a cable laid that physically connects the two machines (which would made tracking down Grace's friend a little easy - and also make the use of a modem redundant) how is this connection occurring? Where is the working phone exchange that is facilitating this phone call?



All in all ... they are doing their best to not go into the science of how this event could possiblly take place (by everyone shrugging and saying "we have no idea what happened - but we think it's man made") ... which is actually a good thing. Think "The Force" before Lucas had a brain-fart and introduced "midi-chlorians".

So they really need to make a little more effort in the areas that they are 'explaining' as virtually nothing they have come up with so far makes any sense.
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Are you under the impression your car still has a carburetor? What do you think spark plugs do? Or do you think your gas pedal and shifter are still mechanical connections? We've been over this and over this in the comments. They might be able to reconfigure an old diesel to run without electricity, but not gas powered engines.



You don't know the answers to any of your supposed problems because they haven't told us...but it means that you don't know the explanation doesn't make sense yet.



Go watch Last Resort for a hour and pick apart all the silliness over there. It's all right out in the open, no mystery just illogical crap. It will make your life easier.

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illogical crap? seriously? are we sure we watched the same show? oO
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You didn't find any flaws in Last Resort? Nothing that jumped out at you which made you say wth? Weird. I could swear the whole thing was completely ridiculous and downright laughable (yet entertaining). Are YOU sure we all watched the same show?
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Honestly? No. Certainly not to the point of calling the show ridiculous, laughable or illogical crap? Maybe I was blinded by the awesomeness and coolness of it all and should watch it again. I think I'll do that before the episode 2. But still. Can you give me an example of what you found so ridiculous and laughable and crapilly illogical? =]
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And while we're at the topic of website improvements, it's a real nightmare to find anything in the mobile version of this website, except for the five or six news articles that appear on the front page.
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We need a "load ALL comments" button for pages like this. Here I have to click "Load more comments", scroll down, click it again, scroll down, click it again, scroll down, click it again,...

Actually, why not replace the "load more" button with a "load all" button?
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That's a good idea.
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Agree with FringeFanatics comment 100%. I have to admit, I stopped reading Tim's reviews because he tends to just bashing the place without reason, just because he can! One thing in particular "Miles will kill a bunch of people?" Well.. Reese will shoot a bunch of people in the knee. But THAT is while being predictable just so much cooler, right? Tell you what: It's exactly the same! It is JUST as predictable and it is the same level if some guy shoots ten other guys in the knee, because he is just so damn badass, or if he slices them with a sword, interrogates them, and breaks their neck, because he is just so damn badass..





I thought Tim was a bit harsh on Terra Nova last season, but hey. Maybe no one else wanted to review the show on tv.com, or maybe I was the only one who did not think it was total bullcrap. But now.. again? And more obviously biased then EVER? No, sorry!



So Tim, have fun reviewing the shows you don't like and acting like a child about it. This was the last review I read, with your name on it.
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The problem is, and I say that as a SciFi fan, Tim is right. And the reason why Reese is different is for one, they don't take themselves serious with it, and two, there is a conflict we can feel for. We care about it, even though we know what is going to happen. I completely don't care at all for the characters on Revolution. Actually, I even hope someone would shoot the girl and the show would surprise me with going into a completely different direction that may actually be fun to watch.
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Michael Westen doesn't take himself seriously...Reese is pretty intense and the entire show is super serious about itself.
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Just because they kid around a bit in a few moments doesn't mean Reese and Finch aren't taking things seriously. Reese is one of the most intense characters ever and Finch is pretty grim when it comes to things he holds dear! Those lighter moments are to give the audience a breather. Have you seen the first couple of episodes of POI? You have to compare ONLY them instead of the series as a whole! Reese is basically Terminator there and nothing else! It didn't have lighter stuff till many episodes later! POI is basically a procedural, albeit an excellent one and hence has the comfort to fall back on its case of the week for 35-40 mins while developing characters for 2-5 mins. It does more than that in most of the episodes and that's why POI shines. Revolution is a completely serialized drama and of course there will be a few flaws, but bashing from the get go isn't right! Most of us enjoyed the first two episodes! We like the mystery to unravel slowly while the characters get better! I also like the girl! She's much better than 90% of young women on tv! The action is as awesome as POI's! The score is what makes the it feel different! POI has this angsty, raw, hardcore feel to it, while Revolution has an old world grittiness to it which is reminiscent of Game of Thrones music score! I'm hoping Revolution succeeds in creating a good storyline and deeper characters since it already has an awesome premise, while the ratings hold up!
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I see your point, even though I don't agree with it. POI is just an example of a very good show, it's not about comparing it episode by episode to Revolution and counting the score.



But if you insist, lets do it. I saw a homeless special forces guy in POI with a past and a deep inner conflict, and I wanted to know more about him. And I saw Finch, with a leg injury, rich and with a mission - and again, with a deep inner conflict - and I wanted to learn more about him. On the other hand, I have just stereotypes, a good girl in a bad world, a one-man-army-barkeeper, a fat nerd and so on, in Revolution and I don't care at all for them.



Take another example from LOST, if you like. We learned early on that Sayid was in the gulf war - but not on the good side but at the republican guard. That made him a character I wanted to know more about. Just imagine he would have been an US soldier, with an US flag tattoo. Instantly I wouldn't care, because this story has been told so many times before.



The second episode of Revolution was worse than the pilot. It was all about just showing that the good girl is a good girl. As if we didn't knew that already and I was bored to death about it already. But lets just give the good guys the American flag, just in case there is any idiot still not seeing who the good guys are. That's about as boring as it can get.



Revolution is just like "Hercules" or "Xena" without the buddy part and without the fun. And it can't get any better because there is nothing I want to know about any of the characters. Tim is absolutely right, the only interesting characters of the whole show are in the flash backs. And that's a very bad sign for the main story of a show.
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What!! You thought Reese wasn't a stereotype!! He's the perfect example for a stereotype! I had guessed he'd have been betrayed by the military and must have lost someone special! The writing improved vastly and made him worth watching! Finch - Bored, rich guy wanting to change the world! Everything is a stereotype nowadays. One has to look past that.

The 'one-man-army-barkeeper' (sounds exactly like Reese) is from the military and highly trained! I want to know more about Miles! What happened to him in 15 years to make him so ruthless! How did he and his best mate, Monroe fall out! How did Monroe get so much control! And Neville was an accountant before, whom I assumed was a cold-hearted killer, but in the second episode had some kind of empathy towards his own man who was dying and that made him so much more intriguing! Obviously, I'm not that interested in Charlie, but she's still young and she stands for righteousness! Even her killing that sniper guy was based on her strength and morality! She can be an awesome character in the future!

The mystery behind that amulet/usb drive is riveting! I agree fat nerd is a chore. But Maggie is cool. She's smart and knows what to do! You cannot say she's a caricature, not after that awesome poisoned wine move in the plane! Also, the iphone thing made her so much more endearing and I want to know how she fits into the grander scope of things!

I don't think the US flag thing showed us the whole truth. It can't be that on the nose and is obviously a smoke-screen. The leaders behind the rebels might be the bad guys as well. The post-apocalyptic scenarios have been done to death and I want to see something new which is this! Enjoy those scenes for what they are. They give us insights to the motivations behind the actions of certain characters. I'm totally digging this show! If the dialogues get better, this can achieve its potential!

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I have to admit, I agree. I usually don't review the reviews, since their authors have the right to their own opinions and I'm the last person to try and take that away. But I do find this, let's face it, hating on this show that Tim seems to express.



And it's not just him. Many commenters here seem to have a beef with this show from the get go and I find it a tad surprising. I mean, I do see flaws in both of the episodes but certainly not in that volume and to the extent some people seem to.



What surprised me most was Tim's complaint that the show doesn't reveal enough. Come one. It's the second episode of a series that's supposed to have a 22 or something run. They can't reveal too much too early. If they did more, than Tim would probably complain about them doing too much exposition. :P



As for the blood - first of all, they clearly use short and light swords on this show and it's not that easy to sever a limb. If they had some of those two-handed longswords, then sure. But otherwise? Plus, someone here pointed out earlier that aiming for limbs isn't all that efficient and that's true. Why try chopping off the enemy's hands when you can slash through their heart in one good strike?



Another matter is that NBC isn't HBO. And as for the GOT comparison? Well, as much as I LOVE GOT (and I do), I do think that they overdo this a bit at times.



As a viewer, I'm not that bloodthirsty.
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word. I just read the comments and skip the review lol! It's like giving him the finger!
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Pretty harsh review for only the second episode.
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First impressions last. If you don't lay all your cards on the table at the onset -- if you don't strike hard from the get-go, you have every right to be criticized.

That's not to say you can't redeem yourself, but it's pretty basic: GRAB the attention, establish the tone AND do it well.
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Yeah, but many awesome shows had some shaky initial episodes. This always reminds me of Stargate SG-1. I adore this show with a passion and I've seen all 10 seasons, like, ten times. But I did have a hard time getting through the first episodes. The only reason I did was that a good friend of mine promised me an amazing show. And it was an amazing show, despite the first not-so-amazing episodes.
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this might be a good show if was just a little more believable,, not with the cute teenage girl in the belly shirt. although I am trying to give it a chance..
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I'm just now watching this episode and... I cannot believe Eric Kripke wrote this. I mean, I saw his name in the credits, under writer. I KNOW he wrote it. I just can't believe it. The dialogue is just so stilted and cliched. Even Giancarlo's acting couldn't save Soldier #1's death scene from just being painful to watch. I just can't see Kripke writing something so trite.



All I can think -or hope- is that like Whedon during Dollhouse, it's the network raping his work, and Kripke is just a pawn. I have to think that. Because the alternative just plain sucks.



But Pellegrino in the trailer WAS pretty awesome.
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I vote we let FringeFanatic review this show from now on. Much more fair and balanced than Tim is with this kinda show.
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So glad I crossed this off my watch list after the pilot.
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...and i agree. the flashbacks are far more interesting than the "present". wish they would have made this show from the begining of the blackout. that woulda been sick
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Totally agree.
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looks like another Terra Nova in the making to me....peace out revolution.
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I'm already thinking on quitting the show. So predictable and boring.
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I agree, Tim is bashing this show and my family and I love it. We find it interesting, far from boring!!
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I usually don't comment, but this one warrants it. I feel like you, Tim, are thrashing this show already (2 alright episodes) plainly because of the previous terrible shows which were recently in this genre, without even giving it fair chance. You sound like a 12-year-old who has recently learned he/she can swear and get away with it! What happened to the tv.com 4 episode trial!! I also feel you should pass on reviewing this show to someone who actually wants to review it honestly without any bias.

I hated Fringe when it started and ditched it. One of my friends convinced me to watch it again (when it was in season 3)! I loved it only around the 20th episode in season 1 and never looked back.

Person of Interest was one of the best new shows last season and you know what, the first 3-4 episodes weren't any good. I just watched it because of Michael Emerson and Caviezel! It started out as a plain old procedural crap with a messy sci-fi aspect tagged along with it, but it became so good.

So stop ragging on the show and that girl, Charlie. I am liking this show much more than Alcatraz, Terra Nova and The Event already. The girl was brilliant in this episode, made loads of intense character development and she's totally hot in a realistic way.

Finally, everyone must read FringeFanatic's comment. I'm simply copying and pasting it below:



WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EXPECT, TIM?!

What's with the completely unreasonable and unrealistic expectations? The first two episodes of Revolution aren't NEARLY as bad as you've made them out to be. We've only seen 84-minutes of Kripke's vision and it's like you thought every little post-apocalyptic discrepancy would have been addressed and answered already. I don't remember you being this critical at such an early juncture with ANY of the shows compared to Revolution. What happened to the 4-episode-test?



Here's a rundown of your many criticisms that I take issue with:

- TOO MUCH LIKE A VIDEO GAME

Revolution is an Action-Adventure! The essential nature of an adventure is the heart of the plot revolves around a quest. This shouldn't be news to you. And side-quests aren't tedious divergences, but necessary roadblocks the group will inevitably and believably encounter traveling across post-apocalyptic America. Not once did I feel like I was watching a live action video game. Flashbacks, exposition, and character development made it much more. I think you've been playing too much Skyrim (if that's possible).



- THINGS ARE TOO EASY

They were able to spring Nora so easily because she was there willingly to steal the sniper rifle. This nitpick seemed to be just a tack-on to fill space.



- FIGHT SCENES AND AFTERMATH NOT VISCERAL ENOUGH

Now this one I just absolutely disagree with. Revolution is never going to be GoT or TWD. It's Network TV, and we're not going to get limbs flying and heads rolling. But let's put Revolution's fight scenes and violence into perspective. Were The Event, FlashForward, and especially Terra Nova ANYWHERE near as violent? I thought Miles's awesome swordplay was fun to watch and definitely had visceral qualities. Again, PEOPLE ARE DYING! We've seen swords implanted in abdomens, gunshots to the chest, and necks being gloriously and cavalierly snapped. Also, LET THERE BE BLOOD! There has been more violence and blood in the first two episodes of Revolution than the entirety of Terra Nova's first and only season. I must reiterate, we don't seem to be watching the same show.



- APPETIZERS BETTER THAN THE ENTREE

What is the point of flashbacks? They are there to provide context and insight for the present. In this episodes set of flashbacks we learned a LOT more about Charlie's motivations. We found out why she feels the driving need to help get her brother back. You can't look at a TV show like a meal in a restaurant. The metaphor simply does not apply. We're getting one product. Not 3-4 separated and segregated components.



- INCONSISTENCIES

I'll give you this one. There are things we don't know, that haven't been explained, or just plain don't make sense. BUT, once again, 84-minutes, dude. Let's give them some time to work the kinks out.

After all this ardent defending I may sound like some rabid fanboy who can find no fault in this show. This is not the case. Let me be clear, Revolution has its flaws. The central mystery and the convenience in which Grace was drawn into the plot is one main sticking point that really bothers me. It doesn't appear like the writers know where they want to go. The destination is a muddled mirage on the horizon. But it's been said many times that it's about the journey, not the destination. And for now, I'm just happy to be along for the ride.
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The dialogue thus far is PAINFUL. Everything Charlie rants about (while her hair is looking perfectly styled in a post-apocalyptic world, and her leather jacket in very good condition despite she wears it all the time) is a snooze. (yawn)



Miles is "really good at killing people". Yes, he's pretty much been made IMMORTAL. What is the point of watching a fight scene with Miles in it, when we all already know he is going to triumph without a scratch. Even when he's handcuffed. (double yawn)



And now, Norah is "good at blowing stuff up". (eye roll) ...I wonder what the next character is "good at". Maybe good at putting viewers to sleep. Oh wait, I'm thinking of the writers of this show.
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It was an ok episode but the "whinny teen" has got to go! And while she did kill, the scene felt so forced that it wasn't impressive. Same thing with the "I'm going after my uncle" aspect. I'm finding it disturbing that I'm sympathizing with the bad guy as he buries one men and shows real emotion for the loss.
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Yeah I can agree with this, she is pretty annoying and whiny. Also, as someone else already mentioned, she's not attractive. So whiny, annoying, unattractive = not appealing. Honestly, if they would have done a better job casting for THAT role, this show would probably be receiving much less criticism. But even so, it could turn out to be great maybe after some course correction with the girl.
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So had high hopes for this show but when I spend more time snorting at how bad it is, I feel shame for wasting my time. Charlie....she's a local girl, I want so bad to like her but she's just a whiny little brat. Seriously, she's mad about Miles killing people? In a kill or be killed world? Grow up! I'm so bored with this show, so glad Castle and Hawaii 5-0 are on at the same time slot.
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I'm sticking around for Mark Pellegrino, and if he doesn't make the episode good, it is a lost cause...
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I've been waiting for a LOST replacement and like, The Event, Flash Forward & Terra Nova that were all billed as being similar to LOST have all been disasters....now looks like this one is heading that we also!! BRING BACK LOST!!!!
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This is part of the PROBLEM not the solution! Stop even talking about Lost, it's just perpetuating the problem. Lost is done and will never be back and there will NEVER be another show like it. If you buy into the claims that a show will be like Lost then you're only asking for disappointment!
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It's not a great show, but it's not that bad either. I'm curious to see what they're going to do with the overall plot in the first season.
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No this was not a bad episode, this is not a bad serie. Look at the tv rating. Don' t always follow the revues, they only express there personal opinions.
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Because ratings are a good measure of how good a show is? That Two and a Half Men show is definitely better than Community and Parks and Rec, right?
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Maybe I'm desperate for a new show (because all of mine seem to be ending or on the bubble already), but I didn't think this episode was that bad. It wasn't great; oh no, it was far from great. But I wasn't throwing things at my TV or anything. I felt that Charlie was the weakest link in the episode, but she doesn't make the show unwatchable. I enjoyed Miles and the mystery of who Randall is and how Charlie's mom is still alive.
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Falling Skies, Terranova and now this piece of crap but yet they cancel Caprica, Defying gravity etc.......I could go on and talk about Flash Forward, Rubicon great shows that were different but seemingly to high brow for the greater American audience or so the bs rating system they have in place says!!!!!
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This was poor. I made a disparaging remark on Twitter, and I assumed that would be it. But it was so bad, I ended up post-live-tweeting the episode with sarcastic comments. I enjoyed the opportunity, but I would've preferred a good show...
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Seems like another "Lost" cause. Pun intended JJ.
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I agree that most aspects of this show are lacking. The storyline is not doing much so far, the characters seem un(der)developed, the weaponry and fight scenes seem somewhat fake, etc. etc etc. The main thing that bothers be aside from the above is that everyone always seems to know where they're going, all the time, without stopping to think about it or consulting a map or something resembling a map. When it seems to me that it has been made clear that no one has really been off wandering around away from home a lot. At least Charlie hasn't. I don't really buy that Aaron or Maggie have. Miles maybe has, he's the most believable. Unless the entire "world" of the show is going to be within a 5 mile radius of metropolitan Chicago, which would be a little disappointing. Despite ALL of this, I still will watch this show because I love post-apocalyptic shows. I love knowing how they got from then to now and what happened in between. I want to know what happened between Miles and Monroe and how Rachel got to be Monroe's prisoner(?). I want to know more about the Resistance and how it got started. But seeing as it's only the second episode I assume much more information will be forthcoming. As a side note, I found it very interesting how fast Miles has slipped into a father-esque role now that he's around Charlie. Maybe he's less of a badass than we were first led to believe...
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Swordplay can't be too visceral, it's a family show.
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The best thing about apocalyptic shows is that they are dark and gritty and when people accomplish something it provides those brief moments of hope and the unbreakable human spirit. This show is ridiculous, dull, predictable with rainbows and cliches around every corner. I was hoping for a Jericho/Walking Dead/Survivors (BBC) feel. Instead it is barely watchable.
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The disappointment to me is that it could so easily have been good. The story, the characters just seem rushed and ill-conceived. Anyone like hero Miles ?
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It was OK. I'll keep watching. It fills my needs.
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This show is terrible. They did not give us an episode that showed what happened in the weeks after the lights went out. They did not make us like the characters. They did not explain how Charlie got to Chicago so easily. Did it take days, weeks, months? How in the world did they find Miles in the very first place they stopped at? Why aren't they dirty? Why do Charlie's clothes look new? How long have they been on the road? Where are the rest of the 100's of millions of Americans? How did Charlie get to be such an expert with her bow and arrow? How did the brother just happen to stumble on to Grace's yard? The questions are endless. Nothing makes sense or adds up. Watched the first two, but won't watch anymore.
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Man, I love Esposito but his character is one-note just like the rest. Everyone is a little too caricature and seems to be there to serve a purpose - I'd like to see some shades of gray in the characters.



Also, never say a bad word about The Event.
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I gotta say, when I finally got around to watching this week's episode, I had a bad feeling that even with the uncle (who I don't mind), this show was still heading downward. Man, was I surprised--LOLjk. This show is bad. Much worse than Alphas and V (which I didn't mind much), now worse than Flashforward, The Event, and maaaybe even Terra Nova. That makes me frown to type.



Still better than The Cape for now.



I'll give Charlie credit for the fakeout, but that's likely the coolest thing she's gonna do before it's canceled. The worst part about the fakeout was how easy it was to believe. Did anyone not immediately fall for it? This chick sucks. As I said last week, there's something to be said about being cunning and cautious, and what we're getting here (and most everywhere else) is "I'm gonna do what I want, when I want, because I'm the star of the show and nothin's gonna happen to me." She's pretty, I guess, but I usually hold characters at an 8 until I see how stupid they are. As Barney from HIMYM once touched on, there's a ratio between a person's conflicting qualities, and Charlie's cuteness isn't worth the annoying. If you're still happy to see her, she's cuter than annoying. If you're not happy to see her, the opposite. Like the brother from Terra Nova, all I hear when she speaks is my inner voice telling her to shut up. And then I tell my inner voice to shut up, and then I hurt my feelings..



LOST wasn't much more disappointing than this show for me, because although I didn't expect it to make sense (or more importantly, be worth 98% of the cast dying off like campers in a Jason movie), at least it was captivating. That's why I could *tolerate* the endless flashbacks, though I never wanted them. Here, it's like eating oatmeal with no flavor, and having someone walk up and pour mustard on it...before taking my spoon away. Just mean.



I get it: the dad was a pussy, but the mom stepped up and defended her family when Charlie went off and did something stupid (and hey, she's alive! Who could've seen that..).



Aside from the fact that someone could've just pistol-whipped The Evil Accountant, what it really showed me was that Charlie's (almost?) an adult now, and she hasn't learned a damn thing about human nature and the wild unknown. If that memory's burned into her head, it only makes her naivet..ay so much worse, because she should know better. All she can do is hunt herbivores. She cannot fight, and she cannot defend herself from anyone that sees her coming. She's a sniper in a small room filled with hostiles. It's time for the cockiness to go.



So this show isn't for me, and I don't think I'll be playing along much longer, but I doubt anyone else will, either, whether they enjoy this show or not. It's doomed.
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You are right Tim, this show is so boring and pointless. They should have done a post-blackout episode...maybe with a first flash forward episode with grown up charlie and then all about the post blackout, crazy dudes stealing food from babies and so on. Now it's so boring that i can't stand watching a whole episode without skipping some parts.

And it's not a show about what happens when you lose electricity. It's a show about what happens when a crazy dude plays dictator using a challenging situation to gain power. I think that in Revolution world, in Europe, all is fine....

And I found the fact that the rebels use the american flag as their symbol just lame and cheesy. Come on!!!

So I will wait, if you Tim will give someday this show a positive review I will watch again...for now...there are others things to see...
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What an interesting thought! The blackout is only in America and the rest of the world is just carrying on and watching them like fish in a bowl. I like!
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TL:DR. Tim's review is not worth reading. I read the comments and that's all I needed to read. Most people have a bone to pick with Tim's review. The eye opener was finding out that he was biased towards Alphas but trashed Revolution just b/c he could. Clear sign to me that his review is trash and his opinion isn't worth anything. I've read many reviews in my day and come across this kind of behavior all the time.
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If he's biased towards Alphas, maybe you should go to that review page and complain about *that*. It doesn't make much sense to complain about a review you haven't even read. I don't agree with all his points, but many of them are certainly valid. I understand that the things that the show could have done better don't bother you much, but that's not a reason for a reviewer to not point them out.

I guess Tim is the anti-Price. Tim's reviews are often pretty negative. When the show is doing something wrong, he notices it and mentions it. Price on the other hand seems completely unable to recognize a single flaw in the shows he likes.

Tim is pretty good at identifying the problems with a show. One of his best reviews is the very negative review of the season 2 finale of Falling Skies:

http://www.tv.com/news/falling-skies-season-2-finale-the-skies-are-falling-29372/

The first comment I wrote on that page said "That was an excellent review Tim. I don't know what else to say, because you pretty much said it all." It got 13 thumbs up. So I don't think everyone agrees that Tim's opinions aren't worth anything.
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You should read Price's 'Dexter' reviews. They were pretty scathing and half the Dexter fans were enraged, including me until the half way mark. Even then, he didn't attack the show this much!

The problem is Tim isn't being a critic as much as just ranting off like a jerk. You gave an example of that Falling Skies' season finale. Go ahead and read the first few episodes review of season 2 and he was still hopeful even when I thought it was downright horrible (it was till the end). But Revolution is barely a 2-week-old infant and attacking it in this manner isn't professional, nor deserved.
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Now that you mention it, I did skim a couple of Dexter reviews during the previous season, and thought they were too negative. (I don't remember who wrote them though). It's OK to be disappointed and even angry when a show that used to be fantastic turns mediocre, but when the reviewers just complain about everything, it gets a bit silly. Especially when they don't even acknowledge that Michael and Jennifer are still fantastic.

One thing that really annoyed me during the previous season was the article titled "7 Dexter characters who should be killed off". It listed pretty much everyone, including Deb, which has always been fantastic. That one was Price's work, so he can clearly spew hate all over the shows he isn't in love with. The list also mentioned Aster, who was great in the last episode I though was brilliant (Teenage Wasteland, about 3/4 into the Lumen season), Masuka, who is a great comic relief character and Batista, who is at least OK when they don't write him too stupid. The others were Quinn, his dead dad and LaGuerta.

http://www.tv.com/news/7-dexter-characters-who-should-be-killed-off-%0D-24232/
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Dexter last season was terrible and deserved every single bit of the criticism. I love Dexter as much as anyone but I don't get butt hurt when someone calls it out for being bad.
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Gotta watch it anyway, since there's no other "science fiction" to watch anyway practically.



I'd also like to point out that watching other people video games is an extremely popular thing. Streamers (especially for competitive games such as League of Legends, and Starcraft 2) make quite a bit. Furthermore "lets play" series are extremely popular on Youtube, and are the primary contribution of Youtube's most consistantly popular channel. (just saying..)
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Ok, I can see a lot of your points... but you didn't mention the overarching main direction of the series... revolution... Norah introduces a very poignant angle - Saving America... she is a patriot and she is committed... maybe a bit brazen to tat the flag on her shoulder... but she stands for something...



The arc will be how Miles becomes more entangled with the rebels and fighting to restore freedom, individual rights, overthrow oppression etc... I thought the introduction of Norah's goal was timely and gives you a glimpse of the series direction...



Sure, i certainly agree and noticed that guns get blood but swords haven't... I want to see more also... maybe this is a subtle political rant against guns... they are illegal to own in this future. And it's a subtle way to show guns are "more" dangerous than swords cuz guns make you bleed and swords just make you fall down.



Did you notice the "Amulet Manual" next to Grace as she frantically tried to get back "online"? A Kripke clue...



And I totally agree with the flashbacks... I am way more interested in that aspect as we could find ourselves in the real situation as the "current" world is faced with when the lights go out... just one nuke detonated about 300 miles above the surface of the US and there goes the entire electric grid probably forever... just one SCUD on a freighter as far as 200 miles offshore could do the trick... Iran could help Al Qaeda get that done... and BAM! we'd be back to 1859... (google Carrington Event)



IF this series could get through season one how cool would it be if the 2nd season was ALL just-post-lights-out and 15 years in the future took the backseat with short flash-forwards?



That would capture some ratings...



Me and my Co-host scrutinize the show, speculate, talk sciency stuff and can't wait to get feedback from someone like you who has an opinion... EVERY WEEK on our weekly PODCAST - RevolutionFanCast over at RevolutionFanCast.com or on iTunes...



Come on over and check it out... as of 2nd episode we have two shows in the can... cheers, Jake

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Great second episode, loved the flashbacks, the bigger question with Rachel, is she with Monroe by choice and Tim you are so wrong, the younger Charlie would grow up as older Charlie!!!!
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Well said, you nailed all the issues I had after watching. And the fetch quest thing isn't always bad if it's in service of a bigger story (as in LOST, or at least some of LOST). Since we don't KNOW the bigger story (going to your excellent comments about the flashbacks which are the only source of context we have, and are far too brief), then it feels like we're watching people doing busy-work (like the bad episodes of LOST). It is possible to inject an audience into a story sometime after a huge event, as in *Falling Skies*, but there still needs to be some sense of imminence and danger and senseless violence and loss for it to work. (At least if it's post-apocalyptic.) This felt more like they were seeking out drama for the sake of drama, and could just walk on home any time they want to. That will get old FAST. And there are the improbabilities. We don't know where they are (which is frustrating), but we assume the midwest b/c of the scenes last week in Chicago. (Which was not nearly as scary and horrifyingly post-apocalyptic as it needed to be.) But some scenes look more southern. If so, how are they making tracks so fast on foot? Computer lady Grace was introduced too coincidentally and would have been better served by being introduced in a FB with her family, so we can relate to her and feel invested in her outcome. As it is, we just see her in some kind of danger, which doesn't mean anything too us, there's no context. I agree they need a better stunt coordinator and choreographer given the premise. (Very surprising considering the show's pedigree, you'd think they'd have the best on board.) I will give it another week or two, but if this story doesn't become a STORY after that, they will probably lose me. And that will be sad for me b/c I like both JJA and EK.
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I liked it, and thought it was a big improvement over the first episode.
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Before you shout at me, please try to see where I am coming from but i get a feeling of Jericho in some weird way when I watch this show. Yes the plots are completely different but something about this show reminds me of Jericho, not sure what it is yet. By the way Charlie is going to be the death of Nate if he does not teach her quickly... aahahahahahahahaha
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I thought the same thing for Jericho. But you know what, up to know I like this show but it still makes me miss Jericho more.
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Did Charlie ever tell Miles that "Nate" was following her?
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The creation of Charlie makes me miss Josh from Terra Nova.
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Hehe! I disliked Charlie quite a bit in this episode, but she still has a LONG way to go to catch up to Josh.
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Please! Charlie isn't half as bad as Josh! I wanted to die everytime I saw him!
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So harsh...so accurate.
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