Short Review of Revolution

NBC was hoping for a hit with its new show Revolution.  Although it joins a long string of other post-apocalyptic stories that have appeared on the screen, it managed to grab audience attention and earned high ratings for its premiere Monday night -- the most viewed drama launch in the past three years.  Certainly all the advance buzz helped, and its creative team is impressive with producer J.J. Abrams of Lost, director Jon Favreau of Iron Man, and writer/creator Eric Kripke of Supernatural.

The veteran members of the cast were superb, especially Giancarlo Esposito as the militia captain Tom Neville. With a disarming smile and piercing eyes, he is a commanding figure with a volatile dangerous side, but also brings a humanity to the role instead of just playing it as a two-dimensional villain. There are surprising deaths, but promises of flashbacks (as well as plot twists and turns) will surely bring some of the more familiar faces back again -- Elizabeth Mitchell, for example, recently seen on V, is a series regular, even though her character Rachel seems to have met some mysterious off-screen deadly fate.

The younger castmembers are competant enough. Tracy Spiridakos is Charlie, a spunky crossbow-wielding teen out to find her uncle Miles (played by Billy Burke), save her brother, and avenge the murder of her father.  Yet, she (and the other young stars) look like models cast in a CW show -- perfect hair, perfect clothes as if taken right off the rack from the trendiest shops, perfect "natural-looking" makeup (but still obvious makeup). If these people had been without any electrical power at all for fifteen years, it pushes the threshold of belief to look so clean, fresh, and fashionably trendy.

The action is fun, if a bit overly choreographed and cheesy.  Some are hoping that this show might be another Lost, but that hit series had much more believable characterizations, violence, and suspenseful plotting (even when it jumped the shark into outrageous and mind-numbing time-travel scenarios.)

Revolution, for now at least, seems much more lightweight.  There are some nice mysteries and surprises, however, so I'm willing to keep tuning in for a while to see where it goes.