When I saw the coming attractions for the new NBC series Revolution, I knew it was something I wanted to watch. Packed with all the elements of survivalism and geopolitical dynamics in a dystopian world and a generous amount of swashbuckling and stabbing, Revolution is sure to please.
Currently the first season of Revolution has been in hiatus since Thanksgiving, with the show scheduled to resume sometime in March. As has happened time and time again to many a great show, network executives either frequently change the show’s time slot, air episodes out of the intended order of the storyline, give it a mid-season four-month hiatus, or find some other ways to ensure it loses its audience. A slow, disappointing network-induced death a la Firefly, The Event, Terra Nova and Jericho.
But I digress.
If you’re not familiar with Revolution, here’s the synopsis: epic global electromagnetic pulse, except nothing electric ever functions again. Modern conveniences are a thing of the past as the 21st Century world is suddenly set back 200 years. The U.S. government and political subdivisions thereof collapse, militia take over. Fifteen years after the power goes out, the United States now looks like this:
The Monroe Militia comes to her village-fort looking to arrest her dad and bring him to General Monroe, in Philadelphia, the nation’s capitol. Charlie’s brother Danny intervenes, refusing to let the militia take their dad, fighting ensues and dad is shot dead. The militia take Danny in an attempt not leave empty-handed and Charlie begins a journey to rescue her little brother. She is joined, despite her protests, with her next-door neighbor, her stepmother and a few other people she picks up along the way as she marches towards Chicago to find her uncle Miles, who she believes will help her in her quest.
As the journey progresses, we learn more and more about the state of affairs in the new North America with each episode. Bullets are in short supply, and the Monroe Republic is so pro-gun control, any civilian caught with a firearm is sentenced to death (on the spot), so pretty much everyone who wants to kick ass carries a sword, knife or crossbow.
There is some degree of freedom in the MR; all narcotics appear to be legal, as one episode takes place on a poppy plantation. General Monroe is obsessed with defeating the neighboring nation-states and controlling the entire continent. To achieve this lofty goal, he has been searching for a way to restore power in order to fire up a bunch of choppers and assault vehicles to crush his rivals, including a rebel militia determined to restore the United States.
The irony of seeking power by obtaining power is not lost on me. The use of the double-entendre to describe power in the sense of exerting force over others and to describe electricity and fuel is common in every episode, as soldiers, innocent civilians, our protagonists, bandits, mercenaries and other assorted thugs conflict, collaborate and connive in this strange world where fundamental physics as we knew it has checked out. And speaking of power, yes, (spoiler alert) power is restored to a tiny extent, and once the power source is discovered, the scramble to possess it makes the show even more compelling.