Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How to Fix Revolution


Revolution is the NBC television show with the premise of the lights going out and how people are coping with that in the future. I have to start this with that description as I'm pretty sure that I'm one of four people still watching this show. And I'm not even sure why I'm watching. I gave up on it about halfway through its first season, and have no intention of going back to see what I missed. In fact, it was accidental that I even knew when it was on this season (Wednesdays, 8:00) and that I was even tuned into NBC at the time. But now, here I am, and I guess because I've seen all the NCIS episodes USA runs over a billion times, I'll sorta maybe stick with it. And I will say I've seen a slight (very slight) improvement from season 1. But that doesn't mean there's not room for even more. A lot more. And so I figured I would do what I could to suggest some fixes to this show. Though I'm not sure the show will last much longer if the ratings are any indication.

Regardless, let's see what we can do...

1. Create a villain who is truly a villain

Problem: Last year we had Monroe, who I guess was creepy, but as the series went on, got paranoid and emo, and honestly wasn't that much of a big bad anyway. He was the leader of a group, who had take advantage of the no power situation and rose to the top. He's not the guy who made the power disappear and therefore doesn't offer us much satisfaction when he gets overthrown. 

There's also Tom Neville who has flip-flopped so many times (and continues to do so), that no one knows what he's up to (specifically the writers it seems) which does nothing except waste Giancarlo Esposito. More on him later.

And so now this season, the "patriots" have been introduced, which could be the remnants of the US Government, or could be some sort of shadow government or...look does it really matter? The situation of no power has made the US a shambles, so really if there's a group looking to come in and offer stability, I'm not sure why people are mad about that. Regardless, there's no face to this organization yet. And the people they've trotted out (that woman with Tom Neville; the guy overseeing the town where everyone else is) are so vanilla bland that there's no conflict developed between our heroes and them. Every good show has a villain that the viewer loves to hate. Remember Lost? Remember Ben Linus? We loved him because he was such a clever asshole. On Revolution, it's too much of the situation and not enough of the characters that are evil. Which doesn't give the audience any footing to stand on and understand the conflict. 

Solution: Give us a face to the overall conflict and make them a worthy foe. Not someone that Miles will chop down with his sword because apparently he had some sort of ninja training.

2. Can the magic stuff (or at least tone it down)

Problem: Zak, or Google now has magic powers because of the nanobots that are in his system. Obviously, this technology will be how the revolutionaries (our heroes) eventually overthrow the bad government or do something good. Something that we won't see because I assume Revolution won't get picked up for another season. Whatever. The problem with the magic nanobots that apparently Google can sort of control is that that idea so came out of left field. The nanobots went from helping cure people of disease (which yeah, is a little magical but nothing too far out there) to making people burst into flames. It's so out there, and such a strange left turn that every time we to that story line it slams the brakes on the rest of the show. Seriously, you have an interesting enough premise: there's no power and there's a revolution coming. Magic doesn't need to be introduced. 

Solution: Let it kinda go away quietly, and bring back the Google that makes a couple quips every show. Comic relief is needed; he provided it last year and everyone said he was their favorite character. And now in season two that's been ruined.

3. Give Giancarlo Esposito something to do

Problem: When the reviews from the premiere came out for this show, most of them followed this format: "The show is uneven but Giancarlo Esposito is in it and he's awesome so we''re still going to watch. Then we got a stupid backstory about him (and really it didn't completely work. Nerd insurance agent who doesn't stand up for himself but boxes at night in his basement who then turns into a badass who kills people without thinking about it is kinda of cliche and boring). And then we got his son mixed into everything, and then we got him helping the people he was chasing and then we got...he was just completely all over the map and it watered him down so completely that now no one is saying how great Giancarlo Esposito is. And that's a crime.

Solution: Either kill him off, make him the ultimate enemy (though I'm not sure how you can do that now as once again he's looking for his son) or make him part of the heroes quest, but give him something specific to do and let him do it. The wish-wash of this show has got to stop. 

4. Give Miles et al. something to do

Problem: The show is so reactionary. The heroes get to some place and then something happens and they have to deal with it. I mean, we're 5 episodes into the season and I'm still not sure what's going on. Figure out a plan, and make the characters do it. Personally, I'd kill off Rachel (I'll give the writers credit with Charlie - they've improved on her, and hopefully they will continue to do so) and get them out of this small town they're in. Because the town really does look like a set. Regardless, there is never a plan of action on this show. 

Solution: If he survives tonight, give Monroe a character makeover (I thought that's where they were headed until he killed the Texas Ranger, just another head scratching moment in a show full of them) and assemble a team. It's pretty much here: Miles, Monroe, Charlie, Google, Google's woman, Rachel (I guess) Rachel's dad, and two or three more people and have them start establishing the underground resistance. Pull some history books out and steal from WWII and the French resistance of the Nazi occupation and the show will write itself. The allegories are all right there! Then at least the show will have some focus, and we can go from there!

Sadly, I think with even these fixes it's a little too late for Revolution to be a success. And that's a shame because I think somewhere in there, there's a decent show that people would watch.

1 comment:

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