Stuff like Revolution
is the reason genre TV is in such a sorry state right now. Like George Steinbrenner's Yankees, the showrunners have gathered every hot genre actor from the past 5 years, expecting magic to happen. And yet those actors are relegated to background roles, or villains with vaguely-defined motivations. Meanwhile, the core cast was hired straight off the catwalk, as per usual for network TV. Already, this meant trouble. It meant that the network wasn't aiming for telling a story: just beautiful people throwing spats. This is a big problem with NBC's programming in general, but it was keenly felt here.
Enough has been written abut JJ Abrams already that I don't need to bang on about it. He's a skillful imitator, but inside beats the heart of a CEO. Kripke is something else again. He cannot stand up to the network or to Abrams, and consequently his resume is building up quite a collection of turkeys. Supernatural
was like striking gold: you have a go-anywhere premise, no particular destination, and fanservice; you're set. Revolution
were conceived as big epics, and those types of stories are really suited for cable.
It's kind of lamentable. Didn't we do this twenty years ago? Everything on TV was suddenly styling itself to resemble Twin Peaks
. Now, we're getting the last gasp of the Lost
imitators. ..Well, it would be if JJ Abrams weren't bankrolling it. Don't fix what ain't broke, I guess. Anyway, enough psychoanalysis: After watching Revolution
, I came away with a new appreciation for The Postman.
Really. At least that movie had a decent first act. At least the premise didn't switch wildly. At least the acting was passable. At least I had a grasp on the characters and their motivations. At least there weren't any bullshit fake outs, red herrings, dangling plots threads, or soap melodrama. At least the villain didn't look like a Calvin Klein model. At least there was some suspense. At least the heroes weren't as despicable as the forces of evil. You get the idea.