We watch a lot of TV – some of it good and some of it…not so good. For the 2013 pilot season, we’re checking out a few series we won’t be writing on regularly, but may check back on throughout the season. Next on the docket: the second season premiere of NBC’s Revolution.
Let’s bitch it out…
I will readily admit that Revolution was my biggest disappointment of the 2012-2013 television season (the summer honour goes to CBS’s similarly inept Under The Dome). Revolution was a show that had everything going for it: an awesome premise about the loss of powerful, a handful of great-to-solid actors, a nice dose of genre hybridity and a creator, Eric Kripke, noted for crafting shows that fans love.
And then the sucker debuted and almost immediately went into the crapper.
The problems with season one are legendary at this point, so I was intrigued to check out the second season to determine whether the issues had been fixed or if the show was the same old piece of garbage I hate-watched last season. So how does Revolution 2.0 fare?
Honestly, it’s not bad. The pace is slower and despite being divided between three different locations, the time allotted to the groups of characters is well managed. Perhaps it’s spreading these individuals out, but not having them on journeys that makes this re-introduction work. The focus is more on reestablishing who these people are and why they matter than moving them around the country like game pieces. Giancarlo Esposito’s Neville and JD Pardo’s Jason get the plot heavy portion as the Patriot tallship lands in the refugee camp they’re staying at outside bomb-decimated Atlanta. Miles (Billy Burke), Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Aaron (Zak Orth) have sought refuge with Rachel’s father, Gene (Stephen Collins) in the Republic of Texas where marauding War Clans are raping and pillaging. Oh, and Rachel has PTSD following last season’s nuclear fall-out.
And then there’s Tracy Spiridakos’ Charlie (a show-ruiner) and David Lyons’ Monroe (still miscast) who are hanging out in the laughably named New Vegas, a Western dystopian version of the city of sin (on a budget). Perhaps the idea was to dump these two in the middle of the Plains Nation in the hopes that they kill each other off? As it stands their stories amount to little more than bareknuckle boxing (is this a bad TV trope???) and a weakly plotted assassination attempt…so…yeah.
As far as rescuing the show from the disaster that was S1, ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ is a step in the right direction. Spending more time fleshing these characters out, introducing a mildly interesting new mystery (what’s with the fireflies?) and an ominous new set of villains (the Patriots) could inject new life into the show. That’s provided it keeps its wits about it, since many of us thought the writers would turn things around several times last season, only to watch in horror as things somehow got worse. Plus, with the continued reluctance to actually kill off characters (is Aaron really not expendable?), there remains a troubling lack of consequence that threatens any emotional investment viewers may have in the proceedings…
Needless to say I won’t be watching with any regularity, but Revolution is the kind of show you can pop in on fairly regularly in the event something merits attention. I’m interested to hear from other viewers, though: will you continue to watch? Has enough character rehab been done to rehabilitate these people? Do you wish people would actually die and not be magically resurrected? And do you care about either the fireflies or the Patriots? Hit the comments with your thoughts below
Revolution airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on NBC