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Review: Revolution

September 6, 2012

NBC has spent the past few years in the ratings cellar, so it makes sense that they are trying to get the jump on the 2012-2013 TV season by debuting the pilot for JJ Abrams‘ ambitious new project, Revolution, two weeks early. After a packed house debut Tuesday night in Manhattan, the project is now live on Hulu for your entertainment. I’ll let you watch it, then we can discuss. And, lest you’re not really following what I am saying, I will be revealing plot points below. So, watch and then read or stop and go read something else. Okay, now that that’s done… enjoy!

I need to be upfront: this is, without question, the show I was most excited about seeing this fall. As a devotee to the JJ Abrams canon – LOST, Alias, Fringe, Alcatraz – I was ready to jump in` without even looking. Add in the fact that I am a sucker for shows of this nature (where the world basically goes to Hell in a handbasket) – Jericho, The Walking Dead, LOST (again), Terra Nova – and the fact that one of the regular cast members is a friend of mine and I was sold. And, I have to say, I still am. Do I know a lot about these people so far? No, not really. But do I want to know more about them? Yes. And that is what is important.

Let’s start with the story, since that’s really where the rise and fall of a good TV show begins. We don’t know what made everything associated with electricity just stop working, but by the end of the pilot we know that brothers Ben and Miles Matheson (Tim Guinee and Billy Burke, respectively) and Miles’ military buddy Bass/General Monroe (David Lyons) have a complicated past and that Monroe is ready and willing to forget any friendships to gain more power than he already has in this post-apocolyptic world. We know that Grace (Maria Howell, that’s my girl!!!) is mysterious and has the same fancy schmancy flash drive as Ben, who handed his off to his kindly neighbor Aaron (Zak Orth), the former Google exec worth $80 million (shades of LOST’s Hurley?) just before he died. And, that fancy schmancy flash drive turned on a light bulb and a computer! So, Grace looks important. I like that. Fingers crossed she stays around. The always-impressive Elizabeth Mitchell also plays Ben’s wife. But she’s supposed to be dead. I don’t believe that. Oh, and current Emmy nominee Giancarlo Esposito plays the militia’s leader, bringing bringing a lot of gray to what would otherwise be a clearly black/white role. And, it was just announced that Kim Raver will be joining the cast in a role not yet revealed, but significant. Maybe the girl Bass was texting when the world went haywire?

Other cast members include Tracy Spiridakos as the lead, Charlie (Ben’s daughter), J.D. Pardo as Nate, the militiaman who develops some sort of relationship with Charlie and Graham Rogers as Danny, Ben’s son. A couple of interesting notes: according to the NBC website, Daniella Alonso will play Nora, “a rebel fighter battling against the militia.” Anna Lise Phillips, who plays Maggie and is featured prominently in the pilot, is not on the NBC site. I guess she has a short lifespan?

Will Revolution get a DVR pick up at my house? Without a question. I love high-concept shows and am really hoping it does well. That being said, I was so excited for FlashForward, The Event and Terra Nova and all three imploded mid-way through their first seasons. We will have to see how they handle the season. Revolution premieres on NBC Monday, September 17 at 10PM EST.

There she is! Work, Maria Howell. I love ya, mama!!

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Not following me on Twitter yet? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland
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