A Revolution Community
NBC (ended 2014)
In the review for the episode "Patriot Games" here, TatraFan and myself had an interesting conversation in the comments speculating about the shows ratings, survival chances and weaknesses. TatraFan believes its problems are ideological, writing:

"The problem with the first season is still plaguing the series: the ideological differences between the factions at war in the series. Revolutions tend to have a strong ideological element to them. Think of the Marxist-Leninist Revolutions in Russia and China (later Vietnam) and so on or even the American Revolution. It is as the old saying goes: "hearts and minds" must be won. We ran into the same problem in Iraq as we did in Vietnam-- we couldn't really win over all the factions "hearts and minds" especially not with Bombs! So, until Kripke comes to grips with the rather lack of ideological context of his villains and heroes he will always have a flat show. "

My reply is as follows:

I agree about there being an ideological problem, but I also believe its rooted in poor character development.

For all the talk of Monroe being a sociopath or evil, we actually saw more of Neville as a big bad - he was, and is now more devious and amoral than Monroe.

Monroe never really developed as a character and his stalker like relationship with Miles added to this problem. It seemed like he wanted him dead but wanted someone else to kill him - which made him weak in my eyes.

Also it would seem they were aiming for the Patriots to be the overall big bad from the start, with Randall somehow easily manipulating Monroe and eventually setting off the nukes - which might e the reason for not fully developing Monroe as a bad guy, but leaves the audience with a poor villain.

Not actually showing Monroe commit atrocities or even planning them- and instead having henchmen do most of them out of fear - stopped the audience hating him.
In Breaking Bad we see Walter plan and actually do horrible things, so we know he is capable, with Monroe its all implied.

The poor development doesn't stop there though.

Without a strong bad guy, the good guy does not inspire viewers either, so Miles is hamstrung for the whole season. You can have all the sword skills in the world, but without a protagonist the audience truly wants to root against there is no substance to the cause

Charlies brother was another problem - we never knew him really, so when he was killed we didn't care and had no emotional investment in Charlies revenge motivation.

Rachel actually comes across as a unsympathetic. She left her family to save them, but we never saw her put up much resistance - we didn't see her fight for her family - then when she is finally reunited with Charlie she goes off with Aaron, basically abandoning her in favor of stopping the nanites. There is no real connection between them because of this and Rachel ends up looking like a poor parent - and no one will empathize with a bad parent. In fact her parenting style easily draws parallels with Neville.

The lack of good characters, motivation or any real development stopped the audience investing in situations or the protagonists

Of course we could both be totally wrong and Revolution is an EMMY deserving show that neither of us truly understand.
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