Revolution Episode 2: Step on a Nail and Die, Already
Why the TV talk at PCI? Two reasons:
2. The premise is irresistible: Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working?
Revolution Episode 2: It Hurts, Mommy
That little bit of intricate exposition is from the show’s voiceover introduction. And it’s about as gripping as Revolution gets. The upside is we get to hang on those artful words every week.
In “Chained Heat” we watch big sister Charlie free thirty slaves from dragging a Huey helicopter through the forest and move closer to rescuing her perfectly manicured brother by bloodlessly blowing away a pair of cardboard cutouts. Oh, and we learn that the bad guy’s psychotic enforcer (Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, whose performance is worth watching), in a stunningly original twist on the bad guy genre, may in fact contain a moral compass, however poorly assembled. The old “bad guy with a heart” routine. Kind of like Dick Cheney…if Dick Cheney had a heart. (I know Dick jokes are totally stale, but the man is still alive, and he’s still The Evil Bastard, nonpareil.)
When I originally thought of subjecting myself to this show, I didn’t realize that I’d be subjecting myself to anything. Certainly not the kind of pain that comes with the most nonsensical writing this side of Thomas Friedman. You see, I grew with MacGyver and Quantum Leap, and it’s quite clear the writers did, too. But instead of going for it and turning Revolution into an enjoyable sendup of a schlocky 80s action series, they manage to gum up the works by saddling the show with deadweight characters. The poor abducted brother, Danny? I’m pretty sure there are several million Americans out there hoping he steps on a nail and dies already. His sister? Her character development and backstory consists of too frequent flashbacks to when she was…two years old. Not a lot to go on there, folks. All two year olds act like petty, drunken tyrants (excepting, of course, Kim Ung-yong, who at this age was fluent in five languages and understood concepts of differential calculus). And Uncle Whatshisname? Poor Billy Burke. He’s trapped in a role written by hacks who don’t understand that the Kurt Rusell Romancing the Stone stereotype seems positively pervy opposite a teenaged niece.
GUNS BEAT SHOVELS
Armed with nothing but beards and shovels, future farmers are pretty much serfs at the mercy of local militias. Too bad Transition Towns didn’t teach rudimentary firearm competency.
GOD DID IT
ALL ROADS LEAD TO NOWHERE
Mommy, this show hurts. I don’t enjoy trashing J.J. or Jon Favreau, both of whom are, by all accounts, Grade A guys and who have architected some compelling entertainment. But if they want to save their Revolution, they’re going to need to hire writers who know something about the world they’re crafting. Hint, hint.