Following the success of Lost, J.J. Abrams has been focused a lot in the features aspect of filmmaking working on a great number of films during the final seasons and after Lost including Cloverfield, Mission Impossible, Super 8, and Star Trek. This fall he makes his return to television with Erik Kripke, creator of Supernatural, the television show known for the sexual tension between two brothers. And they also happen to fight demons. Taking the role of executive producer to creator Kripke’s new show Revolution, Abrams returns to television in late September on NBC.
Revolution takes place, like most of Abrams’ work, amonsgt apocalyptic chaos and dystopian soceities. After an unexplainable een causes all of the world’s technology from cell phones to cars to those tiny energizer batteries to stop working, the earth is plunged into the dark and left wondering on how they are going to continue considering nothing turns back on. Fastforward fifteen years and governments have crumbled, entire cities now resemble little more than just ancient ruins covered in vegetation, and a twentfy first century world is plunged back into the dark ages without warning. This of course, is just the setting. The series focuses on the Matheson family, whose patriarch seems to know what caused every electrical appliance and advanced form of technology to stop working. And also how to fix it. This appears to be the primary conflcit for the intial few episodes as we follow Charlie Matheson as she hunts for uncle in Chicago to save her brother and father. And it appears she’s adept at shooting a crossbow.
In the same fashion of Lost, Abrams and Kripke have taken another common occurrence, in this case, a black out and turned it into something unexpected and something that changes the nature fo society. However, from the trailer the striking thing to witnes in Revolution is the marked combination you can see of Kripke and Abramss creative infleunce. Lost was known for its tropicl setting, its dystopian prescence, how one seemingly normal occurrence turns out to be anything but. In addition to these though, it was also known for its large and everchanging cast of characters and a difficult storyline ot follow if you did not get into it the first season. Kripke seems to remedy that. Revolution looks to be about a young girl, journeying to help her famly and herself, bringing in the more streamline elements of family and direction, something that you can see in Supernatural, aside from the creepy sexual tension between the two brothers.
Revolution also appears from the trailers to have a very distinct identity from other science fiction shows. There will be fights, and they will be with swords, guns, crossbows, knives, simple bow and arrows and probably a few brawls. Without lasers, despite it being set in the future and it being the year 2012, we were already promised hoverboards. In addition, the visuals it provides create the sense of adventure and exploration. People no longer can just goof around on Google maps to figure out where they are going, they need skill and focus.
What helps with this fresh identity is the relatively new cast of actors and actresses. Charlei Matheson, who appears to be the main protagonist is being played by Tracy Spiridakos, a newcomer for teelvision. In fact the biggest name to join the cast is Elizabeth Mitchell, who already has a few science fiction titles under her belt, being one of the main characters of both Lost and V.
If NBC plays their cards right, and doesn’t decide to inexplicably change time slots without announcements, make any weird budget cuts and just stay away from complete executive meddling- they could have a new hit on their hands. After all both Abrams and Kripke each have created successful television shows, each with a rather rabid fanbase.
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