What would you do if an electrical blackout suddenly engulfed the world in darkness today? Would you remain at home, protecting your family and territory? Or would you venture from the comforts of your bedroom and out of town, armed with a gun? Fifteen years passes. Where would you be now? But, most importantly, what would you be doing? NBC's new television series "Revolution" prompts viewers with the same dire questions.
"Revolution," directed by Eric Kripke and produced by J.J Abrams, transports audiences into a post-apocalyptic world. The show's premise focuses on a mysterious blackout that instantly shuts off all of the electricity around the globe. Fifteen years later, the blackout continues to shroud the humans in unpredictability and little is known about the cause of this nebulous phenomenon. By now, the national government has been replaced by locally-ruled "republics" in several regions of the United States. The lead female protagonist, Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson (portrayed by Tracy Spiridakos) reunites with her uncle, Miles (Billy Burke), in order to rescue her younger brother, Danny (Graham Rogers), who has been seized by the ruthless Monroe Republic militia. When it is discovered that the Matheson family possesses a special pendant that has the ability to switch on electricity, Sebastian "Bass" Monroe (David Lyons), the leader of the Monroe Republic, sets out to obtain the pendant for his own use, just as Charlie and Miles embark to rescue Danny from Monroe's imprisonment. Through bloodshed, traumas, and tears, Charlie and Miles must face an electric-free world of betrayals, hidden pasts, and uncertainty.
I will admit that I was first intrigued by "Revolution" because it reminded me of last year's Fox television series "Terra Nova" (which has now been sadly, axed of a second season). Perhaps it was the fact that both series had science-fiction elements in it; I eventually tuned into the pilot episode of "Revolution," only to be met with initial disappointment of how anti-climatic and predictable the premiere episode was. However, I still continued to devote my weekly one-hour Fridays to watching "Revolution" and I am pleasantly glad that I chose to stay and brave the show. I thought "Revolution" progressed in quality as the episodes went on, and I especially loved the flashbacks that most of the main characters receive; the flashback usually unraveled the character's life prior to the blackout, and it is quite interesting to see how some characters have changed internally as the result of the blackout. A particular favorite flashback of mine was with the gradual evolution of the comedic relief character, Aaron (Zac Orth), who was a former Google executive before the blackout. Living in a world where one must annihilate others in order to survive has transformed Aaron from the young man who could not defend himself to a man who is capable of killing militiamen and detonating bombs.
What also intrigued me was the use of weapons in an electric-absent world. Swords, daggers and bow and arrows are now the choice weapons for killing, as guns are scarce, unless one steals it from a Monroe militia soldier (hint hint, Charlie). The constant sword fighting scenes reminded me of "Pirates of the Caribbean," while the bow and arrows were reminiscent of "The Hunger Games." I also took note of how the men were well-groomed and the women fashionably attired; as a fashion blogger, I am always noticing the characters' wardrobes and wondering how it would be possible to dress like a H&M catalog in a time of non-existent electricity. I fancied Charlie's brown leather jacket and rustic combat boots, but it was a bit off-putting to see Charlie donning a new necklace every few episodes (would you really be concerned with accessorizing when you are about to slit one's throat?) The men, on the other hand, looked as if they had just waltzed out of an Urban Outfitters store, furnished with frayed shirts and earth-toned pants (it's a rugged essence that I actually like). All of the characters appear to be clean-cut as well, with nary a speck of dirt on their face for most of the episodes. I am guessing they are immune to all of the impurities as they travel from city to city, engaging in warfare on the way?
Lastly, I found the character of Monroe, the merciless leader of the Monroe Republic, to be unbelievable as the "commander" of the republic. David Lyons excels in his role as the antagonist Monroe, but I had imagined a much more mature and experienced man ruling over the Monroe Republic. In comparison, Monroe exhibits a young and somewhat stubborn leader, who easily falls into his own trap of sympathy for past friendships. At the moment, I am predicting that Monroe will be overthrown by one of his majors, Captain Tom Neville (portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito, who is one of the best actors on "Revolution," in my opinion). Perhaps the future of "Revolution" may see the demise of the bloodthirsty Monroe Republic, but just as the characters are uncertain about where they will sleep or who they meet each night, it is uncertain of what will happen in the next few episodes until it returns in March 2013.