Revolution: The Amish Are Thriving

Revolution, a combined effort on behalf of Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams, premiered Monday night on NBC, a week before everything else is scheduled to come out.  Not surprisingly, it scored excellently, bringing in the most viewers for a drama premiere in the last 3 years.

So, what’s the show about?  15 years ago, the electricity just stopped.  There is none.  Lots of people died, some people learned how to get along without it, and the Amish just went on with life as usual.  What a great time to live in the heart of Amish country.  If you’ve made friends, as my grandparents have over the years, maybe one of them would take you in.  The sets look like they were taken from the documentary “Life After People,” except there are still people wandering around.  The leader of the local militia thinks brothers Miles and Ben know something about why the power went off, and more importantly, he thinks they know how to turn it back on.  So he tries to lure Miles out into the open.    These are the high points of the show, the areas that actually deal with the larger plot of the missing power and how people are surviving about it.

Unfortunately, the show suffers from one fatal flaw, in the form of Charlie.  Charlie’s actress can’t act.  When she has to string together more than two words, you can see her struggling to remember her lines.  If she needs a reaction shot, you can see her trying to remember what reaction she’s supposed to be delivering, not holding it for long enough, and then faking it when she realizes the camera is still on her.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Charlie wasn’t supposed to be a major character.  The entire issue is compounded by the fact that you would think she would be capable of taking care of herself, what with knowing how to use a crossbow and having to live without electricity her entire life, but she constantly needs a Gale knock-off to save her.  Whatever happened to a heroine who was able to save herself?  Well, I suppose that would be a post for a different day.  Underline it all with what appears to be a budding romantic tumor and this plot makes me want to change the channel.  It feels horribly misplaced within the context of the rest of the show and the timeslot it was allotted.  Which is a shame, because the rest of the show is fantastic.

I’ll give it a few more weeks before I cast a final judgment, but at the moment it’s lacking the spark that makes shows so memorable to me.

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