Entertainment » Television

Revolution - The Complete First Season

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Sep 3, 2013
Revolution - The Complete First Season

What would we do if the electrical grid failed and never came back on? What would happen if not just appliances, but even battery-operated devices like cell phones and flashlights no longer worked? If we literally lost the power that makes modern life possible, what would that mean for other forms of power -- social, political, military?

Eric Kripke ("Supernatural") and Jon Favreau asked that question, and J.J. Abrams helped them take it television and run with it in the series "Revolution," so-called because of the vaguely addressed patriotic themes the show incorporates. For one thing, the post-blackout world is ruled by warlords... pardon, by militias, some of which want to see electricity restored, and others of which like the world as it is, post-tech, with a huge percentage of the population now dead and the grass and vines reclaiming vast swaths of once-teeming cities.

One such warlord, Monroe (David Lyons), the head of the Republic he's named after himself, figures he can defeat all the other warlords if he can get the juice to flow for his helicopters and other hoarded war machines. To do this, he pressures a captured scientist, Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) by harassing and killing members of her family. But Rachel's daughter, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), a young warrior in the "Hunger Games" mold, isn't afraid to take Monroe on, and she's got her uncle Miles (Billy Burke), once a close confidant of Monroe, to help her out.

Like "Lost" before it, "Revolution" spins web and web or tangled plot lines, and it's not shy about killing off major characters. The show also puts the primitive conditions in which its characters live front and center; each hour is replete with torches and retro-fitted living spaces that exist cheek-by-jowl with the occasional still-working piece of technology. How and why the lights went out is more or less answered by the first season's game-changing cliffhanger finale, but electricity is just the MacGuffin that powers the narrative engine; it's the characters, and the huge puzzle of a story in which they each have a role, that makes the show maddeningly watchable. Again, like "Lost," the show reveals backstory bit by bit, with the use of extensive flashbacks.

The Blu-ray / DVD combo pack includes all 20 episodes on discs of both formats (four discs for Blu-ray, five for DVD; the set also access to online streaming via "Ultraviolet"), along with a small slew of special features. The extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel, webisodes (five in all, filling in a pre-pilot chapter of the story), and a couple of featurettes. One such is "An In-Depth Look at the 'Revolution' Pilot" -- the title says it all -- and the other is "Creating a Revolution," which examines the practical and digital creation of the show's post-blackout future. There's also an exclusive Blu-ray feature, "'Revolution' Cast and Creative Team at the 2012 PaleyFest."

Fans will love the chance to scrutinize each episode in hi-def detail; casual viewers will find this show loses its luster with repeated viewings, rather like "Lost" did. Choose a side and purchase accordingly.

Blu-ray / DVD Combo

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook