Revolution: Is the NBC TV Show Worth Watching?

NBC TV show RevolutionThe networks have struck out with numerous “mystery” TV shows like FlashForward, The Event, Missing, The River, and Alcatraz. Would Lost have been a success if viewers knew up front what kind of show it was to become? Seems doubtful. Still, NBC is trying a new one with Revolution. Will this series be a ratings success or will it be cancelled by the end of the season like so many others?

On Revolution, we find that all power has ceased to exist on Earth. That means that car engines, planes, radios, computers, and even televisions (!) are left inoperable. Flash forward 15 years later and we find that society has changed in many ways. It seems that members of the Matheson family may have clues to what happened and how the problem might be able to be resolved. Not surprisingly, not everyone wants the latter to happen.

The show’s cast includes Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Anna Lise Phillips, Graham Rogers, JD Pardo, Zak Orth, Maria Howell, David Lyons, Giancarlo Esposito, Tim Guinee, Elizabeth Mitchell, Derek Webster, and Daniella Alonso.

Is Revolution worth your time? Here’s what some critics think:

NY Daily News: “Just by the law of averages, some show about life after a near-terminal apocalypse is bound to catch on, and NBC’s new Revolution isn’t the worst candidate. That sounds like faint praise, but there are several things to like in a story that picks up 15 years after a worldwide power failure.”

LA Times: “But as a professionally discerning adult, I could not help but notice that the characters are fairly stock, the situations familiar and, some nifty digital backgrounds notwithstanding, the production continually felt more like an elaborate game of let’s pretend than it did a window into some real other world. I didn’t buy a second of it. Still, I will stick around for a few more episodes at least, hoping the show lets its hair down a little — it is serious about a situation rife with opportunities for humor. Possibly, it will find the time to think more about the ordinary culture of the post-apocalypse.”

USA Today: “The less you think about Revolution (NBC, Monday, 10 ET/PT * * 1/2 out of four) the more apt you are to like it. That may not be a big problem tonight, when what you’ll most likely focus on is the apocalyptic premise that makes this fast-paced NBC adventure one of the year’s better first hours. Unfortunately, once that hour passes, you may find yourself asking whether the world it constructs makes much sense — and whether the questions it raises will ever be answered.”

Kansas City Star: “Have your popcorn ready Monday when Revolution begins, and be grateful your microwave still works… It’s going up against Castle and Hawaii 5-0, but NBC has reason to be confident: Revolution mixes a terrific cast, breathtaking visuals, sharp action sequences and brave twists into a low-tech Mad Max where cars don’t work anymore.”

TIME: “It’s all far from terrible, but there are few gasps, goosebumps or laugh-out-loud moments — the sort of things that convert wanting to like an ambitious show into actually liking it for itself. Revolution has promise. It has crossbows and swordplay. It has a lot of room for world-building and stories that could sustain for seasons. What it still needs is that magic that makes you thrill and care about characters whom you feel you know as distinctive people. For lack of a better word, I’ll call that: electricity.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Look, we’re all going to have to just go with it. The pilot is a winner, and it will pull you back the following week. The question is whether the story not told in the pilot will be the story that keeps viewers around or sends them away.”

Chicago Sun Times: “The hourlong pilot had a strong start and finish. It was the stuff in the middle that gave me pause. But before I pull the plug, I’m willing to hang in there for a few more episodes to see where this Revolution is headed.”

So, what do you think? Have you watched NBC’s Revolution TV series? Will you watch again? What did you like or dislike about it?

Canceled and renewed TV show

42 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Mike says

    Thought this was pretty good tbh. Those who say it’s awful are the type of people that have no imagination and would prefer to sit there and watch crap like X-Factor!

    • Rob says

      many new jetliners are fly-by-wire making it entirely plausible that with no electricity, a plane may stall and go into a flat spin as we saw in the up close shot. It is kind of funny though to see all the planes crashing in exactly the same manner…wouldn’t some crash nose first or something?

  2. David Crawford says

    As a research scientist and a technical consultant to the film industry, I have some apprehensions as to the sustainability of “Revolution”. The story is steeped in science fantasy and I fear that if the science isn’t eventually grounded in reality, viewers will grow tired of too much magic used to explain away an unrealistic plot.

  3. Michael says

    It’s basic premise is somewhat believable however the antagonists in the show are the sterotypical official gov’t version of militia terrorists! It appears the purpose of the show is to present the currrent militia movement as an Americanized version of Al Queda! If that is the case, the show won’t make it past one season!

  4. James says

    It was meh, I felt like there was a little bit of a hunger games vibe with the cross bows and sword fights, but I was hoping they would dive into a world without electricity and actually develop this world and not jump right into the obvious story line of I have electricity but Im not sharing… The premise itself is slightly laughable, but I wasnt expecting it to be ground breaking. All in all, I might tune in next Monday but it wasnt that entertaining if I am completely honest.

  5. Ron says

    Spoilers below:

    One of the better shows on network TV recently. The lead chick is hot and a good actress, the main villan is believable (that icky “respect my authorati or else” post 2000 law enforcement attitude, argghh) and the uncle characters final fight scene was original/well choreographed. Plus for a network show, great special effects, they usually look like crap on network.

  6. JoyousOne says

    Watched the pilot – will watch more and see where it goes. Like the cast and visuals so far. I’m a fan of both Castle and Hawaii Five-O but will include this in my watching via either tv or online. Love the action sequences and this is good to keep me awake in the 10 o’clock time slot. Too bad they couldn’t use the talent of Elizabeth Mitchell more unless they bring her in from time to time as flashbacks. Hope it does give us that “electricity” as mentioned in the article above to keep on wanting to watch it. So many have tried and failed. Don’t know if any show could ever keep a draw like LOST did and be a “water cooler” discussion but let’s give it a try. I’m not a lover of all the reality shows and glad networks are airing more drama/thriller/sci-fi shows. Ones that make you think and entertain.

  7. Director from the old school says

    Before there was electricity on Earth and in the USA –before edison, ‘society’ was not run by chaos, why would it be like that now? The show points out that millions died in the first few years (in the cities) so that lowered the population right there. From there the remaining people would be in a situation like americans were in the 1800s—soooo why on earth would they all of a sudden be barbarians? Less educated people of the 1800s weren’t as a whole like this, why would we be like this now? What irks me is that idiot JJ Abrams says this is an “undeniably good idea”. Yeah right Abrams just like your remake of Star Trek (you know where you pulled a reverse deus ex machina and destroyed Vulcan off the bat) was “undeniably good” huh?

    ‘Revolution’ won’t last the season.

    • Rob says

      Isn’t at least possible that a society ripped of its modern day technology is more prone to falling to barbarism?

      I had to respond to your Star Trek comment, the redux was awesome work.

      Lastly, I agree that this show wont lat a season.

  8. Deana says

    Completely jumped the shark. Creating improbable situations in order to further the (weak) plot line. 15 years and no one has figured out how to build a generator from surplus parts? Puleeez…..

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