TV REVIEW: J.J. Abrams Revolution FAILS

Show: Revolution
Season: 1
Episode: 1 “Pilot”
Grade: F


By Walrus September 17, 2012

With maybe one of the flimsiest premises to base a series upon, J.J. Abrams’ latest sci-fi venture for the small screen fails miserably.   There’s just no other way to say it.

As someone who followed LOST religiously, I watched this pilot with heady anticipation; would Abrams learn from past mistakes?  Would we be getting a bit of that LOST magic we nerds have been pining for?  The answer is NO and YES… and that’s a bad thing, because it forced me to remember how much I despised that last season.

To begin with, for anyone who doesn’t know, the major gist of Revolution is that for reasons unknown one day all electricity just turned off, thus throwing the entire world into chaos.

Our first encounter is with a family of four: mom, dad, brother and sister. The dad apparently knows what’s going on.  He “mysteriously” downloads something to a flash drive right before the world goes dark.*

Next we cut to 15 years later where our family is now living the agrarian life in a tiny village surrounded by bandits… kinda like Sherwood Forest except less interesting.

Cutting to the chase, predictably, pretty soon the dad ends up dead (100% the fault of his doofus son who also gets himself taken by the bad guys) and so sets up the quest for his moody teenaged daughter to find her uncle in Chicago who will ‘know what to do’.

Before all this happens, however, the dad gives his flash drive to a friend (an obligatory cheap laughs character), who just happens to have owned Google or something prior to the collapse, for safe keeping.  Little did he know.

Anyway, cheap laughs decides to come along with the daughter as well as dad’s girlfriend (the mother died apparently) who the teenager doesn’t get along with.

After about what seems like a fifteen minute walk to Chicago they find the uncle in the very first place they looked.  Go figure!

The son (an asthmatic) meanwhile escapes, has an attack and is eventually re-captured, but not before meeting a woman who has a secret that is revealed in typical Abrams fashion at the very end.

And, oh yeah, the world has been taken over by a militant group who just so happens to be an old friend of the uncle who has the battle skills of a ninja warrior.  GO FIGURE!

You got all that so far?

Before you say to yourself, “hey that doesn’t seem that bad”, believe me… it is.

We’re still gonna be reviewing every episode this season ‘cause we’re masochistic that way… and we’re hoping beyond hope that it gets better thus avoiding having to become this season’s The Event or even worse… Terra Nova.

Random thoughts:

  • WHAT?  No one’s heard of hydro electric power?  Windmills?  COAL? In FIFTEEN YEARS no one has come up with anything? Bueller?
  • The main character is a petulant bore who is good at archery…  hmmm… where have I seen that before?
  • The acting is uniformly stiff, most egregiously of Tracy Spiridakos, the daughter; a Scarlett Johansen lookalike, with the acting skills of a Scarlett Johansen body double.
  • JJ Abrams is fast becoming the small screen equivalent of M.Night Shamalayan.
  • Speaking of directors, Jon Favreau (Iron Man) directed this episode… Was he sleep walking?


*This scene (complete with airplanes falling out of the sky) was the only mildly cool part of the entire horrid pilot

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