123 Revolution


Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working?

Timeslot (Premiere date in parenthesis)

Wednesdays @ 8:00 pm on Citytv Toronto


Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why?

Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down, the lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it?

On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman's life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously - and unbeknownst to her - had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.

From director Jon Favreau ("Iron Man," "Iron Man 2") and the fertile imaginations of J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke ("Supernatural"), comes a surprising "what if" action-adventure series, where an unlikely hero will lead the world out of the dark. Literally.


Please note that these reviews may contain spoilers.
Gordon McDougall's Take
Think about it for a minute. Everything around you that requires a power source stops working. Forever. Your phone, your computer, your car, good grief, your coffee maker!!! That’s the fear being played upon in Revolution. Cars stop dead in their tracks on the highway and have to be abandoned. Airplanes fall out of the sky. You can no longer contact anyone outside of your own vicinity. Society–as we know it–is over.

That’s the premise that is established, and then, jarringly, we’re moved 15 years into the future. Governments have fallen. Farming collectives have emerged, but so have local militias. There are the people who just want to live their quiet lives, and there are the ones who want to seize control. It sounds terrifying, but people do what they have to do, and they survive…for the most part.

We follow the survival adventures of the Matheson family (or what’s left of them), as they try to reunite with one another and battle the forces that are trying to tear them apart. Why them? Well, it seems one of their now-deceased relatives held the secrets to the blackout, and it’s believed that knowledge has been passed down. People will kill to get that information, and there appears to be a network of people out there also trying to protect it.

If it sounds like one of those shows with a whole mythology built around it, it is. That has been bad news for many series in recent years, but this one seems more straight-forward and not as hard to follow as other shows have been. That said, it IS coming from the creative mind of J.J. Abrams once again, who has confounded many fans with shows such as Lost and Fringe. He’s looking to build a more accessible show that a larger audience won’t feel alienated by. It’s going to take several episodes to figure out whether he’s achieved that this time.

I think this is a show I will stick with. I stayed until the bitter end of Lost. I’ve loved every moment of Fringe, but I was turned off of other “mythology” shows, such as The Event, Alcatraz and Terra Nova. This one feels as though it could build a following.

The breakout star of Revolution is the big bad guy. Giancarlo Esposito has proven time and time again that he can play a great menacing character (fans of Breaking Bad—and even Community—know this), and he even got to chew the scenery nicely in this past season’s Once Upon A Time. If this show can get off the ground, he will be the man everybody loves to hate this year!

Another drawback for the show, though, is its timeslot. Mondays at 10pm don’t usually work for NBC (remember last year’s can’t-miss surefire-hit, The Playboy Club? Me, neither.), and the competition is stiff with Castle and Hawaii Five-0 already established hits. Unless the network can be satisfied with viewers who record or download Revolution, they may not have the patience they need to give this show a fighting chance.
Rating: Limited success (Might survive a full season)
About Gordon McDougall
TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com