Revolution: from bad to worse in 10 episodes

20:45, Dec 12 2012

I'm getting more and more upset with Revolution - TV2's sci-fi show from Eric Kripke (Supernatural), starring Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito, that went on its mid-season break last night. I'm always upset when a show has such an intriguing premise, then fails to deliver on that premise in a satisfying way. And Revolution has consistently failed to deliver. I almost hate it at this point.

(Warning: This post contains spoilers from last night's Revolution mid-season finale.)

It's not even so much that it fails to deliver; if TV shows were posties, Revolution would be that evil one who just keeps the mail (in this metaphor, the mail is any kind of answer or action sequence that satisfies viewers) at their house because they're too lazy to deliver it, or dumps a couple of streets' worth into a ravine every day because Ellen is on.

Okay, yes, that's a weird analogy. But it's just so frustrating that the show has hardly delved into the world in which it exists, instead giving us a few predictable details about the relationships in the show - Miles and Monroe used to be besties! Rachel is Charlie & Danny's mum! - in lieu of actually answering anything that would keep me invested.

For example, how did the blackout happen? Since the show is ostensibly about what has happened since and whether the power can be turned back on, this is a question that could be answered. Or here's another one: How did Monroe set up his militia? How did Monroe's militia become so powerful? What did the "war" that took place look like? The militia is not the empire and Monroe is not Darth Vader (or Emperor Palpatine, if you think Esposito is the Darth Vader of the Monroe Militia). It doesn't need to be kept a secret until Revolution Series 3: Revenge of the Mathesons or something.

We haven't even had many more epic post-apocalyptic civil war-styled ninja sword fights either - when last I wrote about Revolution, at least we had those to look forward to.


Even worse, the show is utterly formulaic and predictable, not just thematically, but weekly too. Every episode seems to follow these basic steps - if you're a screenwriter, feel free to have a go yourself!

* Charlie and Miles argue about finding Danny while walking through a field.

* Someone (or something) interrupts them, forcing them on a weird side mission.

* Neville does (or says) something totally badass.

* A member of the militia mentions how awesome Miles was back in the day.

* Rachel says something mysterious, usually to Monroe.

* Credits.

Seriously, that has been every episode of Revolution so far - and I'm a little tired of it.

I haven't even started on the numerous little story elements that we've seen coming a mile off. Resident doofus Aaron figures out the necklace can power things up and accidentally sets off a lighthouse (of course). The gang trek through a dangerous abandoned subway tunnel to a secret exit which has, unbeknownst to them, been blocked (naturally). Rachel is meant to be researching the pendants but built a bomb instead (why wouldn't she?).

Even last night's big cliffhanger - a helicopter rises into the sky and starts winding up its gun, as Miles and the gang watch in horror - was telegraphed a mile off. It was only a matter of time before it happened.

It's actually kind of depressing how mind-numbingly average Revolution has been through 10 episodes. Is it a watchable show? Sure. There is plenty worse on TV. But compared to how promising it seemed after just two episodes, and how intriguing that premise is, I think the show can only be considered a disappointing failure through 1- episodes. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to stop watching at this point.

Are you still watching Revolution? How are you feeling about the show as it goes on a break?

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