Pilot Perception: Revolution

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Revolution, NBC, Mondays at 10/9c

The Pedigree: Revolution was created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and executive produced by Kripke, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest, etc.). Kripke wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man).

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars Tracy Spiridakos (Being Human), Billy Burke (Twilight), Daniella Alonso (Friday Night Lights, My Generation), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Tim Guinee (The Good Wife, guest spots on every show you’ve ever loved), Zak Orth (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Maria Howell (The Vampire Diaries), David Lyons (The Cape), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), JD Pardo (Drive, Hidden Palms), and Graham Rogers (Memphis Beat).

The Premise: Fifteen years after all technology “blacks out,” a young woman sets out on a journey to reunite her family, and gets mixed up in a complicated situation involving a militia, politics, and potentially the secret behind the blackout.

A Taste:

What Works: The pilot was more watchable than I’d expected, and so far the show has a fairly good sense of pacing and dramatic tension. And though I’m very skeptical of the whole set-up – more on that in a minute – watching this vision of what would happen to the world under those extreme conditions may be interesting to see play out. Several of the characters were engaging, and some of the interpersonal dynamics and history interested me enough to make me want to see more. Also, Billy Burke is amazing.

What Doesn’t: I feel like we’re ready for a break from dystopics, but that’s not really this show’s fault. There are very heavy overtones of Terra Nova here, and that is not an association you’d really want people to make with your show. And as I mentioned, I don’t have much faith that the show will ever solve the mystery of the blackout in a satisfying way. (Though I’d love to be wrong!) While some of the results of the blackout made sense, others didn’t, or seemed too extreme, at least so far. There are a lot of characters, and while the pilot worked reasonably well, it didn’t do much to make me believe that the whole show will really hang together. But within a few episodes, we should probably get a sense of whether there’s a cohesive narrative here or whether it will devolve into mess of dystopia soup.

Our Favorite Line: “Sir, owning a firearm is a hanging offense.” “So go hang yourself.”

You Might Like This if you like dystopics or post-apocalyptic dramas like The Hunger Games, Divergent, or – dare I say it – Terra Nova. Or, maybe, think of this as a less depressing version of The Road.

If You’re Interested: Revolution premieres tonight on NBC at 10/9c.

(Photo courtesy of NBC.)

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