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Revolution: The Complete First Season DVD review

The first season of the post-apocalyptic drama is hit and miss.

Revolution Season 1

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Revolution takes a look at America 15 years after a worldwide blackout. Centered around a group of survivors led by Miles Matheson (Billy Burke) a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant and his niece Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), the show is about the war between the survivors and the ruthless militia who are trying to take over the country and hold the key to turning the power back on.  Charlie’s brother Danny (Graham Rogers) and mother Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) are being held captive by the militia and Charlie along with Miles’ help sets off on a journey to rescue them.

Revolution is created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and produced by JJ Abrams. The science-fiction drama had a fairly steady ride in terms of ratings in the US but wasn’t particularly loved by the critics. The entire premise of the show is beyond the realms of possibility which is one of the things that makes it hard to suspend disbelief. Surely if all the electricity in the world went out, mankind would very quickly die and there would be mass devastation? In this show apparently not and everyone still looks like they’ve just walked out of a make-over commercial.

We can forgive TV shows a lot of things if the storyline is solid and the episodes gripping but Revolution is missing something. Within the first few episodes you realise that the show has used the template for Lost for its narrative device. Each episodes switches between past and present as you get to understand the events leading up to the power outage, and see the effects it has had 15 years later. The show also borrows a little from The Walking Dead in terms of the survival aspect and the warring factions.

The biggest problem with these things is that shows that concentrate on a different character every week can alienate audiences if you simply just don’t care for that character. There’s also no central gripping element of big bad to keep you wanting to tune in week after week. The militia are a very generic threat with little in the way of development whilst the survivors appear to be getting on just fine without power so you don’t really feel much for them.

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The key to turning the power back on lies in a series of pendants that are scattered around the country. This part of the plot is complete science-fiction, which is fine, but again relies on you putting logic, common sense and science to one side in order to just go with it.

At the centre of the show is the excellent Billy Burke (Twilight) who puts in a solid performance proving himself to be leading man material. The cast as a whole is excellent with Tracy Spiradakos portraying Charlie with believability and Zak Orth being the standout as MIT graduate Aaron Pittman. Fans of Lost will be pleased to see Elizabeth Mitchell back on their screens too as Charlie’s estranged mother who is being held captive by the militia. Giancarlo Esposito swaps Once Upon a Time for a meatier role here as one of the show’s antagonists Major Tom Neville.

Extras on the boxset release include behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Revolution: The Complete First Season just simply didn’t do it for us. The slow pacing took us back to Lost (we’ll never get those years back!) and the storyline was so far beyond belief that it’s hard to take the show seriously. Despite solid performances, and a stellar cast, we simply couldn’t put aside all of our issues and enjoy the show. Revolution has been renewed for a second season but we wouldn’t be surprised if the show becomes more of a cult show than something lapped up by the mainstream. If this is what a post-apocalyptic world really looks like then it may not be so bad after all.

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