‘Revolution’ Is Hanging Onto My Interest by a Thread
When Revolution premiered last year, I was totally prepared to fall in love with it…which is why I was really surprised when I didn’t. Maybe it was my high expectations that doomed Revolution to disappoint me from the start, but with such a great cast and a compelling premise, is it too much to expect extreme levels of epic-ocity? (Heads-up for anyone who wants to avoid spoilers—they’re a-comin’…)
Things started off shaky, but by the winter finale I was pretty convinced that the show had found its footing, and I was prepared to commit to it for the long haul. When it returned this March, s**t was hitting the fan—which should have been a good thing, in terms of being entertaining. But unfortunately, said s**t included Danny getting killed in a feat of badassery that almost made me like him as a character. Okay, just because a character is annoying and has bad hair doesn’t mean you should kill him off. (I mean, sometimes you should, but not in this case.) I understand that in the early stages of a TV show it’s important to streamline overly crowded storylines, but when Danny died, all I could think was, “ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?! WE JUST SPENT HALF A SEASON TRYING TO GET THIS BRAT BACK AND NOW IT WAS ALL FOR NOTHING BECAUSE HE’S DEAD. *throws down remote control in anger and storms out*”
I’m sorry for my outburst. But seriously. I hate when plot development goes to waste. Granted, we did get a lot out of the whole finding-Danny saga, which is why it was so blatantly lazy to kill him off! It’s like the writers said, “Well, we’ve gotten as much use out of this MacGuffin—I mean kid—as we’re gonna get. Let’s cut him loose.” Which, yeah, okay, it’s their job as writers, and I get it, but I like to at least be able to maintain the illusion that these characters are people, not just chess pieces being moved around a storyboard in an effort to nab the largest number of residual Voice viewers.
Hey, remember that time I started writing this post with the intention of telling you why I’m still watching Revolution, and then I went on a rant about why I’m annoyed at it instead? Good times… Anyway, as I was watching this week’s episode, I was contemplating removing the series from my DVR, and then something happened: a single line of dialogue. I’ll sum up the preceding interaction so you’ll have some context:
*Jason punches Miles in the face*
(blah blah, hostile manly banter, blah)
Miles: “If you go anywhere near him, I will bash your little boy-band face in.”
*Miles turns dramatically and storms off*
Jason (looking confused): “What’s a boy band?”
Congratulations, Revolution. You have successfully piqued my interest for one more episode. Please feel free to include lots more of this kind of clever humor (also found in that scene where Neville is listening to Lionel Richie—hilarious), and much less of Elizabeth Mitchell staring into pools of acid, looking like she’s suffering from appendicitis. Don’t get me wrong—I love me some Elizabeth Mitchell, and if there was an Emmy for staring into pools of acid, she would have it locked up, but there’s no need for this show to be so morose all the time. Which brings me back to, OH YEAH THEN WHY DID YOU KILL OFF DANNY YOU JERKS? (Sorry…I did it again, didn’t I?) This turns Rachel into a hopelessly depressing character because she’s understandably distraught over the death of her son. Of course, her emotional distress also led her to make out with Miles, which was great because Miles is by far the most interesting and entertaining character, and he makes other characters more interesting by interacting with them. I guess in the world of television, likability is sort of like herpes: you can catch it just by kissing someone who has it. (Or more than kissing…) Every time she makes out with Miles, or does that really-close-face-talking thing, Rachel gets a little more likable in my book. The same goes for Jason every time he punches Miles in the face. So, to review: Miles is awesome. Everyone else is tolerable at best.
Things That Are Working for Me on Revolution:
Rachel and Miles’ complicated past—See: aforementioned correlation between level of interestingness and Miles-adjacency. Plus I’m a sucker for a good the-one-that-got-away romance.
Jason—He’s a badass with daddy issues. What’s not to love? Also, he sometimes punches Miles in the face, which frankly, Miles needs every once in a while.
Giancarlo Esposito—I feel like I have to mention him, because he’s an amazing actor, and he’s just generally awesome.
Charlie (sort of)—I’m liking her transformation into a hardened warrior (thanks to—who else?—her uncle Miles’ training in combat and sarcasm), but I hope she maintains some of her endearing, if occasionally annoying, compassion…which might be at risk now that her brother is dead.
Things That Are NOT Working for Me on Revolution:
Aaron doesn’t really do anything anymore—What’s the point of having a token comic relief character if he never gets to be comic? He got a lot more screen time in the first half of the season, and there was even a moment when he was kind of a hero, but now he just sits in the corner and twitches while Rachel drops flash drives into pools of acid.
Everyone is all mopey now because Danny died—I think I pretty much covered this already.
Charlie (sort of)—For the first half of the season, she was irritatingly naive, but now she’s just, like, a soulless robot who doesn’t even show any real emotion about avenging her brother’s death. If a romance with Jason is what it takes to coax some passion out of her, so be it. Just give Charlie something to do other than clench her jaw.
Thus endeth my analysis of Revolution and why I still have a glimmer of hope that it could be as great as it should be. Please feel free to leave a comment regarding your thoughts on the matter. Or on how you think Nora manages to keep her hair up in such a perfect Cinnabon ‘do while she’s actively engaged in a gun fight. Something to think about…