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. jerry says

    I have to say that I was excited about this show until I watched it. I think it would have been much better to follow the family as they struggled to survive in this world post-electricity. I agree that the planes would not have simply fallen from the sky but would have been able to glide somewhat. The thing that really bothers me the most is that this girl who supposedly grew up in this post-apocalyptic world still has a modern day sense of fair play, right and wrong, and a too naive worldview for the times she lives in. An unrealistic representation of the status of women closes out my objections to the way they have ruined an otherwise exciting premise.

    • says

      If you had continued watching you would have seen how “that girl” Charlie grew and became a warrior who would gut you like a pig. I’m sure Revolution is too far above you to understand what a great show it really is, so just go back to watching Bad Girls do L.A. and American Idol, I’m sure those shows aren’t quite so far above your intelligence ability, but then again some of those girls do use words with more than 4 letters from time-to-time, so maybe you should stick with American Idol.

  2. Brian McKeown says

    Yeah, like every episode of any version of CSI or Law and Order wasn’t cliche. (Ohh they did a version where a teacher and student fall in love and kill the parents, is like it was straight from the headlines!) give me a break.

    Revolution has some flaws, but most tv shows do if you analysis them to ad nausum. Why do critics of scifi always get to be picky on the details and I have to suffer through crap like Castle. It was a better show when it was called Remington Steele.

    I am sticking with it because if not it will be replaced with a new version of Hill Street Blues. (Except its edgier and more topical!)

  3. Mike says

    Not for people that think! The power outage shouldn’t mean only swords and crossbows! There’s plenty of guns and ammo in this country! What about steam power? and Diesel engines work off of compression, not spark ignition. There’s nothing in this but a cheezy knockoff various formulas cobbled together.

    • Azrael the Cat says

      Not a big fan of the show, but they end up explaining that. It isn’t that guns don’t work – it’s that after over a decade of constant war between the militias, with no modern factories to pump out new ammunition, the BULLETS become rare as hell. They revert to musket-like guns (not actual muskets, but guns that can fire metal balls rather than factory-made bullets) because of the available ammunition, not the other way around.

      My favourite scene in the show is the bit where Monroe and (forget his name – the girl’s uncle) are fighting in ‘the Trenton campaign – 5 years after the lights went out’ and one says to the other: ‘word’s coming through that with everyone shooting so much for so long, the whole place is going to run out of bullets in another few years – we’ll be using swords – we’ll be like PIRATES!! And both characters start pissing themselves laughing’ – zoom out to present tense where they’re all wearing swords with the semi-occasional low-tech gun and the very rare genuine sniper rifle.

      • Benjamin says

        WHY are there no factories making ammunition? There is absolutely nothing about modern ammunition that requires electricity. Humans have been marking cartridge ammunition since before the Civil War. Even today, the machines use an electric motor out of convenience. It could be replaced by a steam engine or anything else that produces rotary force.

        You would think that at lest one militia would have realized that securing an ammunition factory, and recruiting any personnel that they could, would be a good idea.

  4. ram says

    A total dud , the biggest revolution is this even getting air time it was boring and slow and the acting was not the greatest definitely not must see tv , I predict this will be canceled a little like t
    he playboy club

  5. klein says

    I found myself thinking of it the following day.
    Who is good who is bad, a select few have access
    to power and communication and who are they?
    Why was the power turned off? Did someone do it

    I think its good

  6. Dillon says

    I agree with Clay. I am sick and tired of getting into a show and then having it canceled WITH NO CLOSURE whatsoever! It’s not just NBC, but other networks with showS like…..(let’s name a few) Journey man, Terminator (Sarah Conner Chronicles), Alcatraz, Terra Nova, Unforgetable, Moonlight, Star Trek Enterprise, The Event, The Agency….. It goes on and on.

    I think a big reason why shows fail these days is that nobody wants to invest their time in something, only to have them (the network) pull the plug because it doesn’t live up to “Their Expectations.”

    Just last year, I purposely wouldn’t watch “Person of Interest” for just that reason. Then one Saturday, they were replaying a couple of shows and I got interested in it. I went back and watched all the back episodes and now I’m hooked! I am really glad it is coming back

  7. Glen says

    A very pale and weak adaption of SM Stirling’s “Dies the Fire” book series. If it makes it through the season, it won’t return for a second.

  8. Joisey says

    I like the premise but I am disappointed that the show fast forwarded through the first 15 years of post-electric society. That many died of famine is alluded to, but I would have liked to have seen mass starvation and the social upheaval that would have ensued to have been portrayed onscreen. Ditto with showing us how these several feudal Republics formed, although they aren’t Republics at all apparently but mere warlord tyrannies. And for those who did survive, was it because they were Preppers? Why not give a nod to that movement, since this show is obviously aimed squarely at them.

  9. Richard says

    Didn’t watch the show. Not that anyone has a copyright on the electricity shutting off, but I’d rather read the S. M. Stirling series than waste an hour of my life watching a TV show.

  10. Why Watch says

    Will give it one more showing, but nothing in the first episode screamed keep watching. I feel it’s plugged will be pulled before it ends the season.

  11. Clay says

    It’s NBC. They have a tendency toward pulling the rug out from under their watchers. I refuse to invest in anything they make. If it’s a success, I’ll get it on Netflix in a couple of years. Otherwise, NBC has let me down before and all the faith in them I can muster is faith that they’ll let me down again!

  12. Rick Brawley says

    I think the show has promie!! People dismissed a very good show some years ago called Journey Man. This show Do You Hear NBC give it a chance!!!!

  13. Chris says

    Horrible. Could they come up with a cheesier background or a worse story line? How do they all stay so clean and well groomed without power? A waste of air time!

    • Joisey says

      Chris makes a good point. This show would be much more compelling if we had realistic portrayals: Men and women with dirt on their skin, under their fingernails, and messy, flat hair. They should be wearing rags, or homespun clothing, not perfect fitting machined synthetics neatly pressed.

      Call in the folks who do wardrobe and sets for Game of Thrones and then they might get it right.

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