‘Revolution’ surprises audience with unique concept

Revolution surprises audience with unique concept

Lauren Puckett

Used under fair use doctrine
Few television programs have passed the “Busy Test” with as much finesse as Revolution, which premiered on Sept. 17.
What, you might ask, is the “Busy Test”? Well, it’s something I’ve developed over the years; a method to determine which TV shows are worth watching. Allow me to explain.
My mother is a workaholic. She will deny this vehemently, but it’s nevertheless true. Working full-time as an OBGYN at Boone Hospital Center, she rarely has a moment when she doesn’t have her hands full. Juggling forms, papers, and laundry, she’s constantly moving back and forth from kitchen to bedroom to desk.
Smack in the middle of those three areas is our television, where I’l occasionally sprawl across the couch with a journal and pen, switching on the newest episode our DVR has recorded. This is when the “Busy Test” begins.
While Mom is on the move, practically galloping from kitchen to bedroom, I’m watching TV. If the show is good, she’ll slow down, her footsteps turning from impatient clicking to soft padding. If the show is awful, she’ll zoom by without so much as a second glance.
Last night, when I turned on the premiere of Revolution, my mom actually stopped. In fact, she froze in her tracks, reeled around, and trotted back to the television. Naturally, I was shocked.
Clearly, there was something special about this show. So I started paying closer attention to what I was watching, really analyzing every second of screen time. What I found was this: there hasn’t been a show quite like Revolution in years.
Revolution tells the story of an earth without electricity. A sudden black-out causes the entire world to lose power—permanently. Fifteen years later, the planet is overgrown and deadly, lacking a government or sufficient economy, overrun by militias and rising tyrants. Darwinism takes the stage, as the weak are killed and the strong survive.
In the midst of this, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, “Being Human“), a strong-willed young woman living in a small rural community, sets out to find her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, “Memphis Beat“), who’s been captured by a militia. Joining her are Maggie, her father’s girlfriend, and Aaron (Zak Orth, “Romeo + Juliet“), a comedic if nerdy friend of her father’s. Together, they form an unlikely trio, and begin to unravel the secrets behind the black-out.
Although the beginning scene is cheesy at best, the pilot episode of Revolution quickly regains its momentum. Excellent special effects, gorgeous scenery, and fast-paced plot all add to this Lost-esque show’s appeal.  I was surprised how easy it was to become engrossed in the story.
An interesting cast of characters is what really pushes the program along. Main character Charlie carries a strong female role – one that isn’t defined by sexuality or men—a rarity in today’s society. Her brother Danny is also unique; he has asthma, and in a world where the outdoors is indoors, an asthma attack can become his death bed.
But perhaps the best thing about Revolution is the idea itself. What would we do if we didn’t have any electricity—at all?
It’s what we live with, what we survive on. And without electricity, how many jobs would be lost, how much money would be wasted? In the show, Aaron brings up a mind-boggling idea: “I used to work for this company called ‘Google’,” he says. “…80 million dollars in the bank, and I would trade it all right now for a roll of Charmin.”
The action is swift, the dialogue is realistic, the set design is beautiful, and the plot carries an immense amount of potential. My vote, and the vote of the “Busy Test”? If the creators are careful, Revolution could be the best new show of the year.
Revolution airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

By Lauren Puckett