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Series / Revolution Z

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Revolution Z: Sex, Lies and Music (Bulgarian: Революция Z: Секс, Лъжи и Музика, stylized as RЕVОЛЮЦИЯ Z was a Bulgarian Slice of Life high school series about a group of teens forming a rock band. The series lasted for 4 seasons and 50 episodes which aired from 2012 to 2014 on the country's number one private TV network, bTV.

At the 197th School in Sofia, Bulgaria, ninth-graders Konstantin ("Tino") and Boyan ("Bobby") decide to start a band, which has always been Tino's dream. They quickly find a drummer when they discover the talent of the school's nerd, Filip, and a singer in Ani his best friend who has an immediate spark with Tino. The new transfer student, Mira, arrives to cause trouble and take over the school, including the local hip-hop crew headed by Gencho (Ghetto2nite) and "Sony Bonanza", Tino and Bobby's rivals. As is typical for teenagers, almost all of them have issues with their families.

The school's teachers have their own set of problems intertwining with those of the students: Mr. Tsekov, the headmaster, strives to run a tight school while balancing tensions with the math teacher, Ms. Pesheva. The physics teacher, Mr. Savov, is trying to still be young despite being stuck as a teacher instead of a brilliant physicist, as well as to survive the PE teacher, Ms. Marinova, and the lit teacher, Ms. Dimitrova, fighting over him. When he's put in charge of Annie, Filip and Mira's class at the start of the school year, it only adds to the drama.

This show includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Beta Couple: Once the main pairings form, they serve as this for one another at various points:
    • Tino and Ani are happily in love most of the time. When they break up, it's because of mistakes made due to external circumstances, and they spend most of the time apart pining after each other but unable to forgive. During their breakups, Bobby and Mira are either chasing after each other, or are being a happy couple for once.
    • Bobby and Mira struggle for dominance: he thinks he could cheat on her with impunity and she takes him for just another guy to string along. Their Pride gets in the way of admitting they've fallen for each other. When things get dramatic, that's in contrast to Tino and Ani's harmonic relationship.
    • Filip and Krissy are more innocent and dorky, with their problems mostly centered around Their First Time, serving as a backdrop to the two other couples.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Tino and Annie, poetic free spirits who enjoy music and the simple things in life.
    • Bobby and Mira, who have darker impulses and take pleasure in being famous and well-liked.
    • Savov and Marinova, who are both sexually promiscuous and cynical, but otherwise responsible people.
  • Bland-Name Product: The "social network" the kids are using, which is obviously a Facebook knockoff but made into this trope for copyright reasons. Videos are said to be uploaded to "the net" instead of Youtube.
  • The Bro Code: The main source of drama through the first and second seasons. While Tino and Ani have an instant mutual attraction, Bobby is the one to first mention he likes her, and Tino never makes a move because she's now "Bobby's girl". The relationship is short-lived and Tino and Annie soon hook up, which takes Bobby a long time to forgive when he learns of it.
  • Dysfunctional Family:
    • Ani's mother is deceased and her father is an alcoholic who beats her.
    • Tino and Lily's mother has bad luck with men, the last of whom is a domineering, controlling man. She later gets together into a juvenile relationship with Savov who's not ready to commit.
    • Filip is spoiled by his mother, while seen as unmanly by his father.
    • Bobby's parents are too detached from him, either trusting him too much or not at all.
    • Mira's mother is absent and his father wants to control her life and steer her career the way he sees fit.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Bobby, owing to his playboy attitude.
    • Nikola Savov is a handsome, intelligent man in his mid-30s. Needless to say, mothers of students don't skip parent-teacher get-togethers.
  • Dream Sequence: Anxiety Dreams happen a number of times when a character is in some sort of conflict, notably to Filip, Bobby, Ani, Tsekov and even Filip's father.
  • Dude Magnet:
    • Ani attracts two of the three male leads on first sight and later has two other boyfriends over the course of the series.
    • Mira, playing as a teenage Femme Fatale.
    • Marinova, although for the most part the male attention she gets is unwanted.
  • Five-Man Band: The band originally has four members, later including Mira.
    • The Hero: Tino, the most focused on the band and also the most morally upstanding, if in a hotheaded way.
    • The Lancer: Bobby, who is more into it for the fame, but a good friend to Tino nonetheless.
    • The Heart: Ani, who just wants some happiness while she's in the band.
    • The Smart Guy: Filip, who can come up with clever solutions that may or may not have to do with his nerdiness.
  • In-Series Nickname: Every named student has a shortened version of their given name, as addressing acquaintances around one's age by their full given name is considered unfriendly.
  • Last-Name Basis: The teachers mostly address each other this way even when using an informal "you", as is customary. Savov is the only one who dares to address the principal by last name only (no "Mr."), like just another colleague.
  • Local Hangout: Early on it's a ruined house covered in graffiti. Then the band gets a garage which they furnish as a rehearsal room.
  • Music Is Politics: This becomes the main source of frustration for the band members, especially when they get involved with producers.
  • Myspeld Rökband: Notable for using an inverted variant of The Backwards Я: The band name is spelled in Cyrillic ас RЕVОЛЮЦИЯ, with a Latin R and V, instead of РЕВОЛЮЦИЯ ("Revolution").
  • Once a Season: For all their friendship, Tino and Bobby have fights in 3 out of 4 seasons.
  • Parents as People: Mostly Maria, Tino ad Lily's mother, who is portrayed as a character with her own arc.
  • Sucky School: The 197th is portrayed this way, as is Truth in Television for most Bulgarian schools. The characters have a love-hate relationship with it, disliking the lack of discipline, the conflicts between the students and the staff, the headmaster's neglect or other things, but ultimately appreciating it as a community enough to band together to save the school from being closed down.
    • The private school where Savov briefly moves after being forced to quit is hyped as a shiny Cool School, but it's a place where rich kids have top grades handed out on demand and get away with bullying the teachers.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Each band member has at least one moment.
    • Tino in season 1 when he gets too authoritarian and leaves. The other three can't write lyrics without him and accept him back.
    • Bobby in season 2 after he sees Tino and Ani having sex and is furious at Tino for being with his former girlfriend, then getting hispitlized due to a cocaine overdose and blaming them for it. He plans to enter the contest with Mira up until he learns about her machinations and goes back to the band.
    • Filip, also in season 2 briefly, when he can't handle balancing between Tino and Bobbu while the two have a grudge. His grandfather convinces him to return soon after.
    • Ani between seasons 2 and 3 when the producers kick her out and the boys hide it from her. It lasts for months and she only comes back because she needs money for her father. Also for an entire year in season 4, after her father dies and she loaes her voice due to PTSD.
  • Those Two Guys: Tino and Bobby start out this way. They're also Vitriolic Best Buds, mostly when Tino has to snark at Bobby for losing his head and getting cocky.
  • Wrong Guy First: Ani first dates Bobby, with whom she only has a superficial attraction. It's subverted because she is in love with Tino the whole time, but he acted rude on purpose since Bobby had called dibs on Ani first.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The "Z" was originally just how Tino had crossed out a name for the band he rejected.