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Revolution Series Premiere Review: Powerless to Resist

Revolution S01E01: "Pilot"

Here we go again. A high-concept sci-fi television drama with big names attached to it comes along, and we'd murder a puppy to shorten the wait to see it. Then we finally see the pilot and we feel awfully guilty about what we did to Mr. Cuddles, because it wasn't worth it. We're a smarter audience than we used to be, but we are still stupid enough to put way too much belief into network serialized science-fiction shows and forget the lessons of FlashForward, The Event, and Alcatraz.

When Revolution, from Lost producer J.J. Abrams and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, was first announced, we fell back into the arms of hope, our thoughts devoted to great sci-fi shows like Alphas and Fringe instead of to the meteor that crushed our expectations, Terra Nova and those that came before it.

But I'm going to go ahead and fall into the same damn traps I've sworn to avoid and hold out hope for Revolution, knowing full well that history and common sense aren't on my side. This isn't a good review of the pilot. In fact, I think the pilot was pretty terrible on most accounts. But I'm putting a lot of faith in Kripke, who delivered one of the best three-season stretches of television in the last decade with Supernatural's third, fourth, and fifth seasons. He gave me three seasons of amazing television, I can at least give him a few episodes to prove himself once again.

Revolution boasts an interesting concept that's easy to latch on to. Due to some bizarre mess that will be the series' key mystery, technology has up and bricked itself, and electricity, batteries, car starters, jet engines, and anything else that isn't person-powered failed. This is all set up in a spectacular opening scene where a quiet evening with the kids playing on their iPads and watching Bugs Bunny cartoons is interrupted by cars clunking out, the skyline of Chicago going dark, and commercial jets spiraling to the ground in an explosive heap, like poorly made paper airplanes folded on the short bus. (By the way, planes wouldn't crash like that if they lost power.)

But Revolution takes place 15 years AFTER the "blackout," in a society that's been rebuilt on horse-drawn buggies (literally, half of a Volkswagen Bug is dragged by horse), bathtub mojitos, and farm-fresh veggies. And this is where Revolution both excels and betrays itself. Here's a world that's unique. It's post-apocalyptic but with the absence of technology, creating a vibe that's part swashbuckling adventure, part dusty Western, and part almost Steampunk. That setting is a welcome invader to a TV landscape full of detective offices, two-story suburban homes, and talent-show stages—point, Revolution. But that same world posits a lot of questions because the details just aren't there, resulting in a world that looks fake. Why does everyone look like they're wearing fresh pajamas and not tattered clothes? Why are some structures littered in ruin while others are sparklingly pristine? How, after 15 years, do things still look like the world's longest-running Renaissance Faire and not a world that's starting over?

As many pilots do, Revolution's tried to do too much in its opening hour and each aspect (setting, character, story) cannibalized the others. I actually really like the general look of Revolution; for an after-apocalypse show, it's incredibly lush and vibrant with color, as opposed to the typical dark and gloomy. But the visuals only raise more questions that the pilot didn't have time to answer. And these aren't big questions, these are the basics. Sorry, but I really want to know how stupid things like currency, government, property ownership, and that stuff works. And though I'm prepared to wait for those answers, the cartoonish quality of some aspects of life without technology (our first look at town life of course included two men in a street brawl while others paid then no mind) makes Revolution look, at times, like the next addition to Disney World, stashed somewhere between Frontierland and Tomorrowland.

Characters are also off to a slow start; again, this is a result of the show trying to cover too much too soon. The heroine, Charlie (Being Human's Tracy Spiridakos), isn't a chore to look at, with gorgeous big blue eyes and lips more succulent than swollen gummi worms. But the character is milquetoast at best, a dreamer with typical young-person problems like a stepmom she doesn't get on with. Miles (Twilight's Billy Burke) is Han Solo with a sword and less conviction, first saying he's going to stay and drink Scotch while the militia comes to get him, then changing his mind and then deciding to leave after they show up and he effortlessly paints the floor with their blood. Nate (J.D. Pardo) would have been an Abercrombie & Fitch model had technology kept those sweatshops running, but instead he's a militia member with the sweets for Charlie. Maggie's the stepmom who's a thorn for Charlie, Aaron's the former tech-geek millionaire and current comic relief, and Ben was the alarmed dad with all the secrets who died early in the episode. Only Giancarlo Esposito as the manacing Captain Neville brought any real life to his character (though he's still a long way from his performance as Breaking Bad's Gus Fring). The early problems here stem from the fact that the characters we're traveling with on this journey—Charlie, Maggie, Miles, Aaron—don't feel like they have any bond at all. It's even questionable if any of them like each other. They've been slapped together and didn't even really share a victory by the end of the episode to give us a sense of a team. So far all we've got is a handful of strangers going on a long walk; is this how we want to spend an hour every Monday?

As for the plot, the pilot was written like it had checkpoints to hit rather than a story to tell, making it a lot more boring than it wanted to be. A lot of character decisions were made to push the story in the right direction rather than make them seem like real human beings. For example, Danny, Charlie's brother who was eventually kidnapped by Neville, approached a no-win situation against a band of armed marauders with a crossbow. Not a good idea. Obviously things went bad, and what could have been a simple abduction became a town slaughter, all because Danny was dumb. So Danny's father was killed (along with all his secrets), Danny was captured, and we had our heroes' first quest: Save Danny. Mission accomplished in the writers' room, but gah! Putting wheels in motion by making characters act stupid is painful to watch, and we'll certainly never trust Danny with a weapon again.

The rest of the story was held up by moments of incredible convenience, taking away any of the potency of characters' special "connections." Danny's asthma attack led him to the doorstep of one of the people who knows the secrets of the blackout. Nate happened to be around to kill Charlie's attacker, and Maggie was coincidentally carrying some poisoned whiskey that only started taking effect after both bad guys lapped it up. In Chicago, the first person Charlie asked about Miles turned out to be Miles. Miles' old buddy is bad guy General Monroe. And [this scene was deleted in the final cut of the pilot after appearing in the advanced screener sent out months ago, but rest assured, it's another very convenient thing]. In this expansive, mysterious world, we're only seeing the slice that's immediately involved in the blackout, twisting our perspective on the situation. If Danny can pass out and be randomly saved by a woman who knows a ton about the blackout mystery and Miles is the first person in Chicago to talk to Charlie, then how big is this world, exactly? Right now it seems like everyone is in on the secret except us.

With all that said, even though the pilot was a rickety mess, there's enough here to give it a chance and let it develop. I know, I know. Fool me twice and all that. But the characters will get better. There's a whole world to explore in which city-states have evolved differently with no power, really opening up the possibilities. And then there's always that mystery of the blackout that is impossible to resist. Yes, they're the same pitfalls that have burned us before, but the chance that the pilot was just a victim of pilotitis, studio notes, and trying to do too much—combined with having Kripke at the helm—is good enough for me to return for more. But the leash is short and I'll have a candlelit game of Scrabble ready to go as backup Monday-night entertainment.



NOTES

Revolution is shaping up to be a throwback to old adventure movies more than a copy of the wave of recent serialized sci-fi dramas. If it can develop its characters, it could really work.

– In every post-apocalyptic world, why does every outcast have rape first and foremost on their minds?

– It looks like the blackout started somewhere on the East Coast, near New York. Here's a screenshot of the first frame of the shot where the power goes out, with an overlay of a map of the U.S. Most of the power is already out in the Northeast, and it goes dark radially from there. Is it too simple to say that's where it starts, and that's where we'll get most of our answers?




Comments (325)
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You people need to stop over-thinking everything and just enjoy the show. It's a science FICTION show, anything can take place in FICTION because it's not real! Definition of FICTION is not real, make believe, made up. If it were real it would be called science-non-fiction! Get over yourselves and just enjoy the show for what it is, science FICTION!
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I had high hopes when I first heard of this series, but what do you know....







The script had big holes in it. I'm talking supermassive black holes, in fact.







Firstly, the armies of various countries would take control, due to their access to stockpiles of weapons, not some dudes from somewhere trying to be tough guys.







Secondly, we had law and order, long before we had electricity. So why, all of a sudden, would we cease to have law and order without electricity?







Thirdly, electricity could be restored to the world by a flashdrive? This is a fantasy beyond my comprehension. It's even more of a stupid idea then a worldwide loss of electricity.







J.J. Abrams, I am truly disappointed.
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Hope I'm not repeating anyone's comments, but...

'Jeremaya' anyone?

The pilot's plot is almost a copy of the Luke Perry series from the 90's.

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Jericho was an awesome series with characters that we cared about and what happened to them. Will it be the same with Revolution? Only time will tell.
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Was I the only one getting some serious Jericho vibes?
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And it is on NBC with a horrible record with anything SciFi

- -remember "Surface"?
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Like many people, I thought it was kind of boring, but I'm willing to give it time because of Kripke. I gave Abrams the benefit of the doubt with Alcatraz (and Undercovers) and I won't do that again.
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I can't wait for the next episode. I haven't felt that way in awhile. All this generated talk about where the show is headed and already conspiracy theories abound. That's what makes this "Hunger Game" like series marketable. It's what made LOST an original.
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Don't know whether you're genuinely flabbergasted (Idontwannaliveonthisplanetanymore) or just trolling around...
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Apparently it seems that (some) electronics still work in this world. When the messenger Captain Neville dispatches to General Monroe arrives at the camp, did anybody take note of the Heckler & Koch UMPs that Monroe's personal bodyguards are sporting have EOTech holographic sights WHICH USE BATTERIES mounted on them?
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This is exactly the kind of things that makes wonder: why some electronic and others don't?



Why cars but not these devices? Why planes but no holographic sights? What makes some consistent and others not
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The only thing I don't agree with in this review is the nitpick about clean clothes. There's no reason for the clothes to be tattered or dirty. Handloom weavers and leather outfitters operate without electricity in many parts of the world even now - and most exclusive garments are hand tailored anyway.
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The shoes can't have that quality with old fashioned shoe-makers. The clothes can't be that well ironed after a hike, or that clean in a world that can't produce dehodorants. Its like an asthmatic brother who survived til 19 in a world where people with pacemakers didn't.
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The science is just wrong on this show.



1. Why don't they have cars. The First cars created didn't use electricity. Fire still exist therefore an Internal combustion engine can be used. I'm pretty sure they would have found a way to transform existing cars or at list use older cars that didn't have all the electronics.



2. Human bodies generate electricity.(our brain for exemple) .Everything we do is controlled and enabled by electrical signals running through our bodies. Whithout it we would simply die.



And no need to look for an excuse like it's an exeption and all. Even potatoes produce electricity.



If the concept of the show is just ridiculus, I don't think I can just get past it.



In some shows I don't mind. Doctor Who for exemple, even if sometimes it makes no sense, it doesn'n take itself seriously.
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I completely agree: the science is so wrong. There can't be a magica explanation for it, there must be a plausible reason or its The Happening all over again IMO
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As one person below commented -

"The laws of physics went insane." So applying your understanding of the laws of physics isn't appropriate!

The laws are different and hence this is a different world, a second Earth where your standard understanding of science isn't applicable anymore. Also, its a device which is controlling the flow of energy. I thought that was pretty obvious.
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"The laws of physics went insane."



How is it not obvious, based on this quality of writing, that the show is destined for greatness?
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Car engines have nothing to do with electricity. If guns still works, car engines too ! I think they were just lazy and didn'nt work that hard to build a plausible world.
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Gasoline doesn't explode without an electric spark...that is what your spark plugs are for...so yes car engines have a great deal to do with electricity.



Old diesels that don't require fuel injection systems, should still combust assuming you had a way to get the compression started--definitely would need a retrofit though.
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Starter for Engine : An engine can be start with compressed air.

source wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starter_(engine)

Pneumatic

Some gas turbine engines and Diesel engines, particularly on trucks, use a pneumatic self-starter. In ground vehicles the system consists of a geared turbine, an air compressor and a pressure tank. Compressed air released from the tank is used to spin the turbine, and through a set of reduction gears, engages the ring gear on the flywheel, much like an electric starter. The engine, once running, drives the compressor to recharge the tank.

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You need a spark for each combustion...think engine "misfiring." Are you thinking they should find a way to stick a match in there?



They tried steam powered engines first, 1800s, they are incredibly heavy, which is why they all got turned into trains--you could make iron rails to transport them. They haven't showed us trains yet, so there is the possibility that those still work.



I'm not sure you know how internal combustion engines work.
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It's only to start the engine, if in 15 years they didn't find a way... And they could still use vehicules that use steam energy.
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Great show. I don,t watch shows twice but I wanted to watch this one twice. Yeh! Originality and not just another medical or police show!!!!!
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It was a very standard pilot, and the problems stemmed from the fact, as you said, that it 'was written like it had checkpoints to hit rather than a story to tell, making it a lot more boring than it wanted to be' and that the 'characters are also off to a slow start.' That being said, a pilot does tend to have to tick those checkpoints, unfortunately, so we don't really know what the show will be like week to week.



Character wise, all I see are stereotypes and/ or severely under-developed characters.

Charlie is boring and left no impression on me whatsoever, Miles is annoying as the overplayed reluctant hero, and Aaron is the geeky/ comic relief stereotype with the unfortunate addition of 'I remember when-itis'. Maggie has potential though, anyone else thinks she's working for the militia?



The show does have potential though, the way the after-blackout world runs could be very interesting to learn about, and the characters really are blank enough canvases to work with. Plus, I'm a sucker for an over-arching/ serialised show, and that cliffhanger ending is the sort of television I love.
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After watching the pilot it seems to me that JJ Abrams read a review of SM Sterling's "Dies the Fire," and said: "Yeah, I can do this." I'll give this show four episodes to stop snapping my suspension-of-disbelief so hard, and then I will consign it to the same trash-heap as the rest of Abrams' stuff.
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Eric Kripke, not J.J. Abrams. Abrams is just an executive producer.
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"Just an executive producer."



lol
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Bad enough that he's an Executive Producer, you can see his thumb-prints all over this thing. To date, Tracey Spiradakos is the only reason I continue to watch it, as it goes from bad to worse.
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It takes more than one episode for a show to properly develop. And more than a four-episode test, too. I remember what slow-burners Supernatural and (especially) Fringe were. Hell, I didn't start fully believing in Fringe until being at least mid-way through Season 1.

As far as I'm concerned, Kripke still has ample time to work out the quirks and prove that the concept works. If anything else, he's earned some trust.
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Agreed. It took me more than 11 episodes to finally start liking Fringe and the last 5-6 episodes of the first season to truly love it. I stuck with it since I love sci-fi and now look how brilliant it has become.

But Supernatural is another case altogether. Fell in love since the first episode. Season 3-5 had some of the best hours of storytelling, acting and cinematography I've ever seen. Kripke has earned all my trust. I'm sticking with Revolution no matter what.
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I WANT to like this show. I so WANT this to be a succesful show, because we NEED more good sci-fi after the string of network flops we've had over the past three years.



But this feels like more of the same, and even worse. There are just SO many plot holes and impossibilities in the first episode. I mean, who did they get to consult on how this only 15yo post electrical world would look? It looks more like 50 years or more. And who cleaned up all the corpses from the 90% mortality rate that it appears has occured? Unless magnetism itself has been affected (which if it had been on such a grand scale it would probably rip the Earth apart), anyone can generate electricity with a magnet and some coiled wire. Obviously (as you mentioned) airfoil dynamics have also been affected since nothing will now fly straight. Also, it's a good thing that Special Forces guy who's been hiding out in a hotel bar for 15 years had training in sword fighting. It sure came in handy. And I could go on and on...



That said, I know I'm still gonna watch this when my DVR tells me there's a new episode. Why? Because I'm a sci-fi junkie, and I still SO want this story to be good. I'm praying for a miracle.

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You are applying assumptions and calling it a plot hole. Yes, there are many easy ways to generate electricity, obviously those no longer work, ie, the "laws of physics went insane." So applying your understanding of the laws of physics isn't appropriate! The laws are different. Maybe the people who were left cleaned it up? How long does it take to dig mass grave? 5 years? 10? oh right, 50 according to you. I know if I stopped mowing my lawn and weeding and cutting stuff back my yard would be a jungle in months, so 15 years down the line? Probably couldn't see my house for the forsythia and grape vine and buckthorn engulfing the entire street. And sure 15 years isn't long enough for a highly physically trained and proficient career military guy to pick up a new weapon, usually it takes two or more decades just to move from pistol to rifle shooting. Come on. Sure there will be shortcuts, like how did only TV pretty people survive or gosh evil minions aren't the best shots, it's TV! those things are expected. We don't think aliens or vampires are real either, watching involves some suspension of disbelief. But stop and think about what you are upset about it and ask is that an assumption you are making based on no information or is that an actual error within the world of the show itself.
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I liked the show, and hope it can get better. Kripke is a genius. Maybe he needs to put in 2 hot guys to get it going???
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Yes. Everything is better with 2 hot guys in it.
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it may be the diff between the like and dislike watchers has to do with age and amount of tv watched??? i know that this seemed old to me. i tried tera nova was so excited to try something that seemed newer and adventurous. it is eary thou. i have gone back to even 1st yr of great shows and they seem much less of what they became after the yrs started passing...and with that i always wonder where firefly would have taken us?
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they were clean with beautiful teeth and hands. it looked like jerico at the end. good actors,but i am really worried that it is going to be another walk thru the boring and been there done that world of post post post duldrums!!!
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Suspending disbelief is one thing, having nothing make sense is another. The woman who hid the kid in her house has her hidden computer lab in the rickety old barn, "protected" by a door with about 5 locks. Gee, just gotta look behind that door!



That, and it would have been so much easier to just kick down the slats NEXT to the door jamb and be done with it. (The slats have the mandatory two-inch gaps between them to make photograph really nice.)
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Im getting tired of the writers tearing shows apart from a pilot. If you all went back in time and got to watch the first episodes of many hit shows, you would probably do the same thing.



Shows take time to develop. Give it time.



Also, I didnt think the pilot was that bad. I actually enjoyed it. It went in a different direction than I had hoped, but still alright non-the-less.
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Not true.







While it's possible a terrible pilot needs time to develop (i.e. fix everything that's wrong with it), it's often times obvious a formula won't work. We've heard the same nonsense from people watching The Event, Terra Nova, FlashForward, Alcatraz, etcetera; shows that had miserable pilots and hordes of fans convinced development was all they needed. Most times, networks just lay eggs.
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I agree. I enjoyed the pilot and I'm looking forward to seeing the story develop. It's an interesting concept to explore and it doesn't have a vampire in site. I rarely listen to critics because they are almost never in agreement with each other anyway. I know what interests me. I like to give a good many scripted shows a chance if only to encourage the demise of "reality" tv. I will be watching or DVR'ing Revolution. My complaint is NBC's ridiculous scheduling of it against too many popular shows that already have their fan base. Thank goodness for DVR and On Demand.
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Sounds fair enough to me, I'll give it the same amount of episode trial.
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TV is not fast food. Give it a little time.

I was pleasantly surprised after reading all the negative reviews from online viewers.

Was it great? No. I thought Jericho was better. But...it was entertaining and has potential.

At least it is NOT a Terra Nova which felt like a Disney Channel show.

I will be watching.
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All I know is that I liked the pilot. Obviously, there were a few plot holes but I've learned to ignore and just sit back and enjoy watching it. It's understandable that it was suffering from pilotitis but some people are jumping to conclusions and already quitting the show before giving the show a few more episodes. A little patience goes a long way and I think that the show can improve and become better than all those other failed sci-fi shows - especially if it's under the helm of Kripke. I mean he gave us the best 5 seasons of SPN in recent TV history and with that, I have nothing but faith and respect for his work. So with that, I think that Revolution will become a great show if more people gave them more chances.
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Also enjoyed it and wish people would give shows a chance to develop.
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It's NBC, they always give them a chance to develop (and enough time to build a finale episode in case it doesn't work out).
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Totally agree. :)
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I am assuming the Amish will be doing great? A regular for them
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ROTFL!
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It's only a pilot people. The pilot of American Horror Story was pretty much a giant mess and in the end it ended up being a pretty good show overall.



I enjoyed the good parts and chalk some of the bad up to pilotitis. All I know is after I was done watching I wanted to see more, and that is all I care about. The 2nd episode is the one that should be a better indication of what we really have with Revolution.



My Monday is pretty lean, so I am willing to bank on the premise, show runners, and cast to make this a much better show than it's pilot.
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Agree with you. I mean The Vampire Diaries' pilot episode was horrible and it went on to become an awesome show so I have no doubt that Revolution will, given time, become a great show.
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Exactly. I actually made the mistake of dropping TVD after watching the pilot. Thankfully I had a friend pull me back into it last Summer and I loved it.



Lesson learned, pilots will suck sometimes... but it doesn't mean the show will.
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In a post apocalyptic world, if electricity stopped, nuclear power plants would explode.
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Well somebody 'changed' the laws of physics, so an easy copout would be to say that something regarding atomic energy changed to. Since they say that batteries also stopped working. This is stupid indeed, but for now that's what we'll have.



I already see forums and comment sections flaming with obvious plot holes and whatnot when they finally reveal why and what happened.
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So would the brain. This show isn't going for science.
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You are stupid I did not read further because anyone who uses an expression about abusing animals to illustrate something is a moron with no valid opinions.
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^^^ Look up! It's someone who doesn't understand the concept of metaphors. ^^^

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Or logic. Even a puppy murderer can have a valid opinion about something. Like what soda tastes best. Or what shade of yellow to paint the kitchen. Or what is the best product for removing puppy blood from one's clothing.
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LOL Way to illustrate a point :)
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the google guy/token fat dude will be captured tortured and then give up the 'usb stick of power' thingy then the hero's have to steal it back and or find more to have more power and then a fight ensues



story is now done no need to watch it lol
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Wasn't impressed with the pilot, the acting was mediocre and everyone looked clean with brand-new clothes on. I'll suspend my disbelief that all electricity is gone even though it's scientifically impossible, hopefully this won't drag on and they get power in season two. I'm going to give Revolution a few episodes out of respect for JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke but so far it hasn't had a good start with me.
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Oh science, the bane of shitty writers everywhere.
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I liked it. It wasn't great, in fact, it was perfectly average but for some reason I liked it. I walked away feeling like it had enough going on to keep me interested for the time being. I don't watch much on Mondays anyways. Plus, I can't remember a pilot episode that I really enjoyed... maybe Lost... or Suits... but usually it takes a few episodes for a show to find its groove. So I'll stick around.



How long until the mom is discovered not to be dead? That shouldn't qualify as a spoiler because we all are expecting it, right? I say 5 episodes.
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In spite of what I may have said about J.J. Abrams, "Lost" was well written, mysteries were effectively paced and there was some plausibility to the story... until we found out at the end that it was all a big scam where they didn't know (or care) how the story would end and just dropped the audience like an old potatoes bag...



They should all forget about doing another "Lost" anyway because it will always fail. Start fresh! Start new. Respect your audience.

Like those two ex-Lost writer/producers who are doing OUAT. They're not trying for a new "Lost". They're just trying to give us a good story. And they respect the audience by tying some loose ends (questions-answers) by the end of the season while introducing new ones for the next. The "lets wait five seasons to find out" is over. It won't work anymore.

I don't believe that the average viewers are as "stupid" as the Networks seem to think. They want to make millions from advertising? They better give us some good material because many of us are paying (directly and/or indirectly) for that.
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My (admittedly) half-baked ideas. Some sort of 'cabal' was formed from one of the brain trusts, who learned how to overturn (some of) the laws of physics. Why? Because (maybe) they had extrapolated the probabilities of our world continuing on the way it is, and found the odds were overwhelming that we would destroy our world totally within 'X' amount of time unless something radical were done. Without power, there is now no way to detonate nuclear weapons. Without telephones, internet, etc. the different radical factions can no longer keep in touch with each other. They have no way at present to even cross the oceans for any reason. This cabal weighed the costs (in human life, etc.) against the benefits and decided this would be the lesser of all evils. Before they 'turned the world off', they invented those devices that would allow them to communicate with each other in case of emergency. Of course, nothing is ever totally secret. There are always 'infiltrators' who learned what was happening, and they are now looking for these devices. Apparently they learned the names of at least a few members of this cabal, and are searching for them. They probably don't know how things 'work', but are prepared to find and torture the members they know of in order to learn how it was done, and to reverse parts of it to give themselves power. This could also explain the uncle's alcoholism. He was most likely against the plan on moral grounds, but was overruled. His guilt at being part of it, and at least indirectly responsible for so many deaths is weighing on him badly. He probably understands that it WAS the 'lesser of two evils', but that doesn't help to alleviate his guilt.

At any rate, now that I've supplied at least most of the answers, nobody has to bother watching this boring mess any longer. (JOKING!!!!)
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That doesn't explain the absurdities but you have an excellent point there...

You may just have given them a "way out"... (if they ever read this) :)
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Tim Surrette, you're a ****ing idiot.
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Please!
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The pilot was interesting, but I'm not sure I'll stay with it. I do find the question of how bodies still work to be rather interesting - especially since it *could* lead to a potentially interesting subplot: If the electricity human bodies generate is somehow different from the electricity that powered all technology, then maybe scientists should study them to figure out what the difference is and if there's a way to reproduce it outside the body. In a relatively lawless world like this appears to have become, who determines what the ethics of that research is and who ensures those ethics are held to?



One thing I did have to keep reminding myself when it seemed like people were doing or had things that seemed too neat or convenient for a tech-free society is that society survived for many, many, many more years WITHOUT technology than it's had it. There had to be ways to clean, iron, create things and so forth. Reminding myself of that helped make it a bit easier to get through.



I think I'll read the next few recaps and the 4-episode test before I decide if I want to spend more time on it...
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I felt like I was watching a "previously on..." with everything sort of just there at once... I wouldn't have minded having all this information spread in at least two episodes or something. Maybe actually make it look like they were on a very long walk? hehe

The "reveal" that the boy was working for the militia wasn't even shocking or anything. Maybe if they'd spread the story a bit, we would've gotten to know him and felt a little more betrayed, I don't know.

I liked the fact that the stepmother seems to know how to handle herself, and I don't think she happened to have the poisoned drink, I think that was sortta the plan. She did say something about having been out in the world when she was younger.

Yeah, the boy with the crossbow thing was stupid, really really stupid. I'd think there would have been a better way to make that happen... I didn't live through five episodes of Terra Nova or Alcatraz, but I'm not giving up on this yet. I want to know what happens next.
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Seriously? Amidst a TELEVISION show - entertainment if you will, you want to know how the currency system works? Exactly how many hour-long prime-time shows do they break out the tip calculator cards??
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Putting that kind of thought into the worldbuilding, ESPECIALLY in the pilot, differentiates a good television show from Falling Skies/Terra Nova levels of crappiness.



This show definitely falls into the latter category.
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Is it so hard to assume it is a barter system until anything else is stated?



Oh no, sorry... we have to lump it up as a **** show. They totally should've spent the majority of that first hour explaining the economy, politics, and all that stuff people LOVE to hear about! Stop dragging a show down into the mud before it even gets a chance to build it's world fully.
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Worse than Terra Nova. Don't waste your time watching this.
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How do you know that it's worse than Terra Nova when you've only seen ONE episode of it?
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The pilot was to forced, they were literally jumping with the scenes from one place to another, it was all too quick and as I said forced, I can only hope next episodes are much better.
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Seriously guys, all these "why don't they just [blank] to make electricity" posts and "if electricity is gone how do human bodies still function" annoyances. Stop and think guys. If your first, kneejerk reaction is to find these really obvious problems with the setup, then maybe the setup is more complicated than you are giving it credit for being? I know it's hard after Lost and they promised up and down for the entire first season and every season after it that they weren't in purgatory and then bam! they were in a basically purgatory-like space, surprise! But don't jump up and down on a show for having a huge plot hole that is nothing more than a mysterious premise right now. Give them at least a chance to explain it (not six seasons of course, but a few episodes).
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There was more than one HUGE plot hole... that's the problem.
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Not plot holes...yet...just plot mysteries. There was a lot to cover in the pilot and we've only had the barest glimpse of the world at this point. I really think it should have been 2 hours. Not explaining something and an explanation not making sense are two different things.
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You're right and I'm hoping it is explained well but far too often excellent premises either don't get explained or it's some stupid explanation.
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Right. If these things were so obvious to so many, then it's a good bet that the producers and consultants thought of them as well. Far too soon to condemn the entire premise. We should give it a few episodes to give them time to explain a little more in depth.
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Probably is just another "black smoke"... to keep viewers interested, wondering, wanting to know "what?" for as many years as they can... Well, it was just that blah blah blah... well... the show is over, sorry folks... Bye.
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Because Abrams and his team of idiots who can't write a plot out of a paper bag didn't write it. Kripke did. And he doesn't write crap like Lost. His stuff doesn't promise an all-inclusive tie together even little symbols mytharc and then bam it turns that for 5 seasons he had a plan and all the puzzle pieces fit and they mean something. He's said they'll explain, don't crucify the show for Bad Robots' crimes before we know if he fallen into their trap.
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The no electricity is not the only main problem here, Isbloom. No government? No more army or police force? No more infrastructure? 15 years! What happened to the engineers? Mechanics? Does human intelligence, ingenuity and resiliency also disappear with electricity?

Sitting a story on such weak premises as an excuse for a "post-modern quest" is not very good writing and tends to end-up never explained.

Ho, sure, I'll give it a couple of more shots but I'm a bit deceived that Kripke went that route...
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There are governments and police and army--they are just smaller. I assume some infrastructure has been maintained, but no I'm guessing we're not repaving roads cause goodness knows how you make asphalt. The road that we live in requires mass production and mass communication to survive. We couldn't have settled the west without the telegraph. But in this case we were spread out to begin with, so it isn't hard to imagine that we'd shatter into little groups and towns that could be fairly self-sustaining. Mass production also requires natural resources, which aren't as easy to get as they once were. Especially in Europe. If you no longer have access to raw materials or the entire supply chain alot of production would stop. I know engineers and they have no earthly knowledge about how to go about a mining operation and now we're spread out and can't talk to each so how to do you get the right people together in the right place to start a new mining operation to make something new? Doctors don't know how to make medicines. Knowledge is very partitioned right now, everyone specialized.



There are lots of rationales. We have seen nothing that says human intelligence disappeared, just that we've adjusted to a new kind of life.
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Well, sometimes I'm very happy when I'm wrong... ;)

Lets hope that this will be one of those times...

Heck, "Falling Skies" was able to keep me for 2 seasons: I'll definitely give this one a chance.

The thing is that we too had high hopes because of Kripke, but this pilot had more of an Abrams-after-taste then a Kripke flavor...



But are we going to go for 5 seasons before we may get some explanation of the absurdities which were introduced in the pilot? That, I don't know...
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Kripke said no. I don't think the why the power went out mystery is the point. I think he wanted a post-modern quest and to do that he needed to get rid of cars and planes and stuff. I could be misinterpreting everything. :)
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Who is making all those candles and supplying the oil for the lanterns after 15 years? I love those off the rack pressed and clean clothes and the fresh shaved faces and salon styled hair. What a joke. Oh, and guess what... that gadget that will someday turn the power back on except the equipment and machines are all rusted and decayed. Oh, what about wild animals running amok and dragging off the children? Who's working?
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I imagine that right after this occurred there was free-for-all looting going on. The population is now much less than pre-catastrophe as well. So, there would obviously be plenty of pre-catastrophe goods at this point, with most likely some sort of 'black markets' selling these things. It really isn't all THAT far-fetched that there would be that much available at this point. As far as having clean and pressed clothes...most clothing is 'perm press' and people have been doing laundry long before we had electricity. Ditto, ironing clothes. I'd also imagine the Amish are all rich now, since they know how to manufacture goods, etc. without power. (They really should write this in...LOL!) Still, I was mainly bored by the entire thing. I'll watch one more, but if they don't improve, that's the last one I'll watch. (But then I lost interest in Lost before the first season was over. I'm not an ideal audience member for most programs. So far Grimm is the only program that's managed to hold my interest through the entire first season. Oh, and Saving Hope, which they've already cancelled. Of course.
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you think after 15 years, in a modern society, that people forget to do their damn laundry? That people don't know how to take care of good clothes? That people didn't loot extra clothes in the city? Damn people are such idiots and the writer of this blog is an idiot for leading people to believe this way.
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I liked it. The plot so far is predictable and cookie-cutter, but it has potential with lots of questions to answer. I like the characters so far and I love the set design and special effects (this is how you spend money, Terra Nova.)
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I loved it, but I could be biased - I had a similar story in the works that I was planning to make into a novel. I like to think mine would have been better (though who knows? not worth writing now), but still - this show isn't as horrible as everyone in the comments seems to think it is. Though maybe this is a good thing - universally loved shows almost always get cancelled.
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I really didn't think it was that bad. Sure, there is HUGE room for improvement, and yes I hope they answer the electricity question sooner rather than later. But given we knew the likes of Terra Nova, Flash Forward and The Event were dead after about 30min of viewing, whereas here I'm actually kind of look forward to ep 2 to see where it goes, I would say Abrams and Kripke are already ahead.
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I didn't get get that feeling when I saw the pilot of Flash Forward, but I did when I saw this one. On the other hand, Revolution is much better than Falling Skies, and FS keeps getting renewed.
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It has its problems. I didn't like the editing...maybe writing? Some scenes seemed rushed ( I didn't learn the names yet and I'm to lazy to look for them ), like when they were at the campfire...next shot is this girl looking for water.

Lol, did you see how the plane fell from the sky? That was awful lol. Unless some magnetic thing is what messed up with all the technology ( it could be...when the lights were going out there was this noise...) IDK. But a world giant magnetic field seems a little far fetched. I buy that for the momment. Actually it sounds kinda good. An EMP would screw with your electronics but just for a while...and I don't think it would mess with a fossil fueled engine...but don't trust me I'm not an engineer. They're perfectly capable of making fire, they should be able to burn fuel...that's what I don't get. I understand there's no electricity...they can't produce it anymore? They should be able to charge a car's battery and start that mother fucking engine. Unless something is screwing up with the metallic components, aka a magnetic field or something like that. But if it's a magnetic field they shouldn't be able to use anything metal if it's that severe...I don't know how anything of this works and it's a freaking sci fi pilot so I'll stop thinking.

Sword fights!...That could be a plus in the future. I did not like the sword fight this time but it could be good.



Well, it has the potential if only they answer what the hell is going on with the electricity quickly and it's a good answer...I won't wait seasons for a crappy answer. They'll lose me if I see they're not going anywhere with the main mystery which might be a plothole.

Good numbers for the premiere...it's going to go downhill fast if the next episode isn't better.

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Basically I found it a disappointment, I was hoping for a show that dealt with the REAL problems to be faced in this situation.

But I got some teenageish, clean cut, bad melodrama. Swords, crossbows, and muzzle loaders, REALLY ? One guy kills a whole squad of trained solders, in a sword fight ! Give me a break !

A waist of time, won't watch it again.
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wtf do you expect? You really think that trained solders in modern times can handle someone who is skilled with a sword? In a fictional universe such as this, swordfighting really only picked up in the last 15yrs. The guy who took out that whole squad happened to be a soldier himself! Pay attention!
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And when and who from did he learn this sword fighting? He's been hiding out in a hotel bar for 15 years. Did he train in sword fiighting just in case the militia came looking for him (even though his original plan was to let them take him)? It just doesn't make any sense.
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When I watched the trailer in early summer I predicted this would be yawn yawn. Anyone with a decent presence during physics know how to make electricity from flowing water...or something. This show is just not crecible and way too...oh, I don't know. I just don't believe it. And why do you americans always have to turn everything into a war?

I would also like to point out that if it would have been my hair after fifteen years without blowdryers, flatirons and hairdressers, I would have a full head of grey steel wool. NOT a perfectly styled mane.

I need answers quick otherwise I'm not going to stick with this show. i'll give two more episodes...or it might become one of these shows that are excellent to use as white noise during nap time.
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What bothered me the most were Charlie's obviously synthetic clothes....
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Well, I might not have any clue as to how to go about making gunpowder, but any freshman chem student learned how to make nylon.
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There are perfectly fine naturally made oils which can substitute for every hair product you use, you know! Its not like they started styling hair in the last century!
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I'm certain you could find plant-based hair dyes, not to mention bleaches, even with no electricity. There are also curling irons, flat irons, etc. that can be heated over a wood stove...our great grandmothers used those. There are also tons of 'recipes' for home made shampoos, conditioners, etc. when all of the left overs from pre-catastrophe are gone. I have several books with formulas for home made beauty products on my bookshelves right now. Lots of them use homegrown plant materials, at least plants it would be easily possible for people to grow in this situation. Women will always find ways to indulge their 'vanity'.
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Cause we're Americans and that's all you need to know about that. About the hair, do you really think that modern cosmetology is so behind that we can't do anything without our high technology? There are smart people out there that know exactly how things work and they don't need technology to do it. I'm sure that they developed new improvised tools for what they needed. Grow a ****ing brain.
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I was really looking forward to this show. The pilot was very poorly acted and they lost me with that stupid sword fight Miles got into with like 20 guys. It would have been more believable with a few guys, maybe 5. It was completly unbelievable.
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Did you realize he improvised and made use of the space he was in! That he was a trained soldier who excelled in sword fighting! That just makes him more of a badass! If you want to see 5 people being taken down, go watch WWE!
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I am conflicted about this show (I like a lot of us really want a show like this to work), my first thought after watching the pilot was...um...isn't this just Jericho? I am going to hold on based entirely on my faith in Kripke because those particular seasons of Supernatural were big in the mythology and tied up all sorts of loose ends along the way but seemed to realize we as the audience needed an occasion random monster of the week episode. Or we needed a trip to Bobby's. And all our characters had motivations that we could recall and even though behavior was predictable (i.e., Dean's deal to save Sam and Dean refusing to share details when he returned), heck, you kept Ruby around without any of us suspecting her. So, you have me likely for the season Revolution, I just hope you give NBC reason to stick around so you can work out your kinks. And one random Supernatural point, the first season was fun, but go back and watch it...Jensen Ackles is a way way way better actor now, they were pretty much just dealing with urban legends, but we stuck with it.
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Corny as hell, makes me miss Jericho :(
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