Need I say more?
Ok, yeah, I should probably say more.
The first thing I heard about Revolution was the fact that it was created by Eric Kripke. The same guy who brought us Sam and Dean Winchester. I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew was that the show took place after a mass blackout, in a world that has become used to having no electricity, and I knew the show’s creator. I wanted characters I could fall in love with as much as Dean, characters as tormented as Sam.
Instead, Revolution is light-years away from Supernatural. The latter focuses on two brothers, Revolution has a bigger main cast whose lives have been shaped by the last fifteen years. For the younger characters, that means not knowing what Google is. It means not really needed electricity or anything that comes with it. They’re used to walking everywhere, used to hunting for food. For the older characters, it means accepting that life will never be the same again and understanding what needs to be done to survive in this new world.
We follow Charlie on a desperate quest to save her brother, forming a friendship with Aaron – a displaced man who was on top of the world, working for Google, before the blackout reverted him to being a geek in the playground. She grows closer to her sort-of step-mum Maggie, as they try to find Charlie’s uncle, Miles.
Right off the bat, the characters are solid and interesting. They draw you in. Charlie is at times really annoying, but it’s easy to forgive because of the way she is constructed. You understand her, completely, and get why she acts the way she does. It’s easy to feel sorry for Aaron, but he remains likeable and funny. Nora, when introduced, is shown to be a tough-as-nails kind of girl, who will do whatever it takes for what she believes to be right. And Miles. Where the hell to start with Miles?
He’s downright awesome, with a past he is ashamed off. In the flashbacks shown, it looks like Miles never really gave a shit for family except for when it suited him. Charlie becomes his key to redemption, and she offers him a way to make up for his past without her even realising it.
Every so often, there’s a reminder that this comes from the same guy who brought us Supernatural, beyond the appearance of everyone’s favourite devil. Supernatural in some ways is all about family. Revolution is, too. Charlie is driven by the search for her brother. Her mother is willing to sacrifice everything for her son. Miles’ potential redemption comes from reforming the links between him and his family. And, like Supernatural, families present some of the biggest conflicts in the show. They’re shown to be flawed, and blood-ties can be devastating.
The woman willing to give up everything for her son ignores her own daughter. The father loses everything under the Monroe republic because of the disobedience of his son. But, what was most interesting for me, was the relationship between Miles and Bas – aka, General Monroe, aka a paranoid man who seems to be losing his own mind in the role of leader.
The two aren’t brothers by blood, but they sure as hell are brothers. They grew up together, enlisted together and formed the Republic together, until Miles leaves and buries himself away from the Republic and away from the conflict growing within it. The struggles between the two are brilliant, well-balanced with regret and an urge to just kill each other. And it’s easy to see, in both of them, how the destruction of their friendship has almost destroyed them, though in different ways.
On top of all that, this is a world where civilians aren’t allowed guns, where ammo is precious and where the main choices of weapon are swords and bows. The sword fights are some of the best scenes in the whole series, and are always pretty damn epic. Let’s face it, fighting with swords always looks more badass than with guns, and it’s almost a shame when the guns do become more easily accessible.
The characters, even the ‘bad’ ones and annoying ones and ones you want to slap in the face, keep you completely locked to the screen and story. You come to actually care for them. Though don’t go caring for any of the extras. Whenever there is any sort of fight – and this is especially in the gun fights – the main characters seem to have invisible bullet proof vests surrounding them, meaning they can stand in the middle of the cross fire and not get hit. Unlike the number of different characters who try to help them out and end up getting mowed down.
Revolution won’t change the world. We won’t end up casting away our laptops and phones and tablets in favour of…well, not many people seem to even have books so God knows what they do for entertainment. (Most likely fight. Or hunt. Or go on dangerous quests that may end up in lots of non-named people getting killed) But it is fun. It has its flaws but so does everything else. And it will make you damn grateful that you can watch it on a TV screen or laptop while at the same time making you wonder what you would do if those things were taking away from you.