Revolution: Episode 3. An ad by any other name, is still an ad.

I was actually excited to watch last night's episode, and even cut short an online session of Borderlands 2 with my buddies to go watch it!  The show remains interesting to watch, though I must say I multi tasked and assembled a tactical squad while I was watching it. (I would never do that during Walking Dead.)

I think with this show, these reviews are going to end up being more nit picky than praising. Such is the nature of the beast!

This episode had several red flags that I noticed while looking up and holding arms to torsos and letting plastic glue set. First one? In show ads.

In show product placement is nothing new. Jerry Seinfeld with his cereal for example. Some shows and movies even spoof it. But NBC clubs you over the head with it while they think they are being sneaky.

I will give you two guesses at who the primary sponsors of NBC's Revolution are...

I don't have an Iphone, but you would think that after fifteen years of inactivity, the thing would have spent some time rebooting, and searching for updates? She turned on her phone, and within a second had a crisp and new Apple logo, then her long lost pictures of her kids. You know, the now 20 something babies that she hasn't seen for over a decade and a half and live 3000 miles away yet seems to lament as if they were just taken from her. (I'm not saying she would not mourn the loss of her kids, I'm saying that over fifteen years most people would find new motivation to live, or give up.)

This Iphone thought it was being looked upon
crossly by a baby being held by it's mother on the other side
of the room and shattered itself. Turns out the baby just had gas.

I am assuming this is the Iphone 5. Can any one confirm? But more importantly, Apple is suggesting that their Iphone could survive fifteen years bouncing around in this chick's purse. I have heard horror stories about people breathing wrong on their Iphone, or opening a soda near it, or dropping it to the surface of a table a tad too roughly, and having it never work again. Hers has spent more time in her backpack than the life span of most NFL stadiums nowadays, and it snapped on in seconds with brilliant and crisp images. I had my Droid in my pocket and lightly bumped a table and shattered the face. And they were supposed to be tougher!  Her phone looks brand new.  Sure, it is conceivable that she locked hers away some place safe. But for 15 years??? I don't know why I have such a hard time with this issue. It just seems so forced and contrived.

On the other hand, I loved how Mr. Google responded to the music. This is something he has not heard a note of for 15 years. I'm sure the experience would have been profound and none of us can really fathom how we would react.  I was a little annoyed though about how the tech geek was showing his prowess by rifling through Grace's now broken computer and naming the bits. I think just about every member of this show's preferred demographic can identify a CPU.  Mr. Google was naming the parts as if trying to piece together a mystery... "Yup, she WAS using a computer, here is a CPU!"  He whined a bit much about once having so much power and now being subject to all the bullies again but he is becoming my favorite character.

Ladies, you walk too fast and my butt is chafing!
(Notice Charlies perfectly placed bag strap.)

We do need to start a game keeping track of how many times he makes references to how rich he used to be. He has done it at least once an episode. Again, this is 15 years later folks, you would have thought that every one in his little town would have been fed up with him reminiscing about his millions and told him to STFU and he would be over it by now.

Lets see if I can name them all from memory:

Trading his millions for toilet paper.
I used to own a plane, I should know where the med kit is.
I used to have 300 employees, now I suck.

What did I miss? Fun Game!

I enjoy these two much more than the main plot of the show.

Frankly, I didn't pay much attention to it.  Most of the time Charly is on screen I tend to block out.  Lucky for me I had that time to assemble some plastic! There was a bit of humanitarian nature with her helping the wounded boy and he was flirting with the hot model with perfect hair who inexplicably found her way into this Applebees to help him.  But they forced in an emotional connection by having him get jacked.

Then of course she had to do her critical action bit by shooting her crossbow, and blowing up the bridge. Hmmm...

First, I don't quite know how Katniss would hold a crossbow, but I doubt any true marksman would hold it like a rattle snake. She couldn't have gotten that thing further from her support base, and was pretty much shooting from the hip, and lobbing that bolt up and over terrain and shit. One hell of a shot!.  Two weeks in a row Charly delivered the Coup de Gras. Lets keep tabs how many times she is the hero.

Look at this... she has the butt of the crossbow
resting on her right collar bone. 

Then there is the issue of blowing up the bridge with a satchel placed on the surface of the tarmac.  I imagine there would been a crater... but most of the force of the explosion would have harmlessly blown up into the air. In order for the bridge to blow from that satchel, I would imagine it would have needed to be sorta embedded within the structure or a whole lot bigger?  Perhaps they placed more explosives elsewhere on the bridge that were ignited by the satchel.

Speaking of the resistance... They were sure lucky they got their hands on that sniper rifle!  But why didn't the sniper shoot the guy who obviously looked like the officer? (dressed in cool black with the 100 dollar hair cut while the others wore uniforms... giving orders.. yah that guy)  Isn't that rule of engagement among the top three of guerrilla warfare? It is not like they were trying to hide him, or he was trying to be inconspicuous. He was standing there, giving the order to FIRE!  Shoot the guy giving orders dummy!  There was pretty much a big neon sign pointing at him! Nah.  The sniper started with the front and began working his way willy nilly through the ranks at random until the officer finally realized there was a sniper who was NOT shooting a musket, and ordered a retreat.  At least 4 guys dropped before he made sense of it, and those would have been four rounds through his forehead had I been the sniper.

I loved the guy getting whacked through the car door though. Pretty cool.

I also liked the flashbacks, which like the story line with Mr. Google, are more interesting to me.  Though I do get a kick out of how none of them age.  I definitely look older than I looked when I was 23.  Most of these guys look like they are in their 40s. So would have been in their spry 20s in the flash backs or at least early 30s. They look like the current person just doing something else.

So it is interesting how they explain the militia. Founded on a good premise... to save what civilization there is by taking a hard line on criminals. I agree with that.  But obviously it got distorted and now the militia is the thugs.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely!  But Miles seems to have a sense of honor, and I want to believe that he would not let such corruption happen. We will have to see how that power struggle between him and Monroe works itself out.  What happened??

I fear for the future of humanity if the resistance is so inept. I didn't catch the logic, but why were they trying to tunnel out of the back of a mall restaurant any way? Why didn't they just run into the mall? It is not as if 50 men could have surrounded the entire mall!  Plus they were shooting muskets in formation, which meant they were all lined up next to the restaurant.  Wait for volley, then run from Restaurant door to mall door, and disappear into the darkness of the mall. Oh wait... it was dark. The militia have antique muskets known for their short range and inaccurate shooting.  How about... wait for it... they just run in any direction!  It is not like there were spotlights, plus the sniper had them pinned. Every one who was in the restaurant could have simply run out the side door into the mall, or shit, the front door into the darkness of night. Nah, lets get assaulted, take the officer prisoner, then give him the very rifle they were fighting to keep, and release him because there was no way possible for them to get away from a handful of incompetent soldiers, in a dark mall, at night, in a world where there are no lights...

Oh wait the writers had to create a situation where Miles' past was exposed to the resistance, and he was also taken prisoner giving them a chance to save him... or not, and finally tie in the officer with the origins of the resistance.  Blah blah blah.

There isn't much else to say about the episode.  Little brother gets bullied by a junior officer, then puts him in his place under the approving eye of Commander Chicken. (breaking bad reference)  Google and British realize the depth of their involvement in the future of the world, Charly continues to be more useful than trained professionals, and Miles walks the line between bad and good.  The only thing we were missing was an appearance of Abercrombie. He seems to be the most capable member of the militia thus far, why would he not be with that officer? We got a bit of background and some nonsense plot decisions and pretty much a bunch of lazy writing, and I might be mistaken but did they preview a major character death in the fourth episode? Are they already resorting to desperate plot devices to boost viewers?

I smell a very soon massive drop in viewers, and a possible mid season replacement when they pull a Caprica on this show. (Remember when Syfy yanked that stinker off the air and never even aired the last few episodes they taped?) At the very least,  I project a 99% non-renewal for season two.  Firefly, a fantastic show, didn't even get to air the entire first season! Jericho got a second half season due to fan support, only to have season two be among the worst seasons of any show in the history of the world. I see trouble ahead!

It seems that in the two days it took me to write this, NBC has picked up Revolution for an entire season. I suppose they film 9 episodes to see how it does, then decide to continue based on the reaction to the first few. That doesn't mean that they won't pull it though.  I have a feeling that this particular show will go the way of The Bionic Woman 2007, which also did very well the first couple weeks then slumped to the bottom of the rankings when the nostalgic interest went away .

The problem with Revolution is that NBC may have been a little hasty.

Of course it had good ratings the first few episodes.  It is a cool idea that speaks to the nerd in all of us.  However, Revolution lacks that nostalgic element, and really is just a one trick pony lazy TV show. It's formula is stolen from shows from the mid 2000s mini TV revolution like Jericho, Heroes and Lost. (Main characters follow the plot while sub characters reveal the secrets and twists, keeping us interested which was a departure from the BSG and Stargate SG1 episodic programming that was king at the time.) And it uses tricks to get us invested in the characters, rather than good writing and character driven plots. (See Battlestar Galactica which started strong on nostalgic interest but increased it's viewer base with gritty, smart writing. The Chief for example had a huge and compelling character arch.) In a couple weeks The Walking Dead will explode back onto TV giving something way better for us all to talk about. That, along with Revolution already starting to show it's age, will leave it quagmired at the bottom of the ratings and JJ Abrams and NBC shaking their heads.

Oh, does any one have a Forgeworld Dreadnought Pod? :)



Drathmere said...

Iphone 5 is incredibly durable. I've dropped mine quite a bit and it is doing just find. After 15 years the battery would be useless though, so there is no way it would power up. Did they explain that?

Jawaballs said...

No, I suppose the medallion thing could work as a power source, enabling it to power sans battery. I guess we will have to hope the show lasts long enough to explain!

40k Junkie said...

the balls has spoken. The show is over. :) in all seriousness, I completely agree with you. I think to show has one season two tops. the concept is nice but I don't feel like they are taking advantage of the whole of it. it seems like another show with great potential, but sub-par writers and a network that is quick to give up on shows.

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