Revolution Doesn’t Make Sense. These are Songs of Note, 10/12/12
This week, we’re Scared But Not That Scared, refuse to be moved, and give serious thought to the plausibility of one aspect of NBC’s new, apparent mega-hit, Revolution.
So why doesn’t anybody on Revolution have a bike?
In my perpetual attempt to watch ALL the television shows, I’ve taken on a couple new series’ this fall season. First, there’s Last Resort, the thrilling ABC show about a group of Naval officers who’ve seemingly been betrayed by a blood thirsty government who commanded them to nuke Pakistan back to the stone age. The group on board the awkwardly computer animated submarine, in which most of the pilot takes place, hesitate to follow the command due to the fact that it came via a secondary, “doomsday-ish” channel. Once they hesitate and demand that they get the orders from someone as high up on the totem pole as the president, missiles are launched at them to ruin all their shit. They barely manage to escape death, Pakistan’s bombed anyway, and they’ve now taken refuge on an island that’s not Hawaii but is totally Hawaii (as some scenes are filmed where we’ve seen big LOST scenes take place), where they are now in a virtual holding pattern with the United States that have abandoned them. “We’re armed with nukes, so don’t fuck with us while we figure out what the hell happened” is pretty much the general plot of the show moving forward. The pilot was great, and the second episode was only slightly less great, so I think this one has potential. HOWEVER, as my girlfriend points out, it’ll be hard to keep this show going with any kind of believable plausibility and stakes, as I’m sure the US would’ve found a way to send in a Seal Team X group to wipe them out and blank all of our memories of their existence within the first half hour of the pilot. Still, good show! I’ll be sad when they cancel it.
Then, there’s Revolution. According to NBC, roughly 600 trillion people have tuned in to catch the adventures of an unlikely group come together to fulfill a unified goal: to find that blond kid nobody in the audience really cares about. All we care about is how the lights went out, whether it’s possible to get the lights back on, and how long it’ll take to get the lights back on. Sure, there are scenes concerned with turning the power back on, and the show likes to remind us seemingly every week that it is possible - OHHH, that iPhone turned on! HEY LOOK, THERE’S A SINGULAR LIGHTBULB OH SHIT. That blonde kid nobody cares about is the main protagonist’s younger brother, who was kidnapped back in the beginning of the pilot, and who seems to have caught Stockholm Syndrome, like an idiot.
NBC brass, so excited about Monday’s ratings that they’ll all need new pants soon, decided that with hits like The Voice and Revolution, who needs Community? This is why we can’t have nice things, people. But I digress.
Revolution’s fine, if not a little hokey at points. Some of the set pieces are fantastic, reminding me of I Am Legend, or The World Without Us. Action scenes are plentiful and, for now, don’t just feel like filler, desperate attempts at ratcheting up the drama without any repercussions (VERY VAGUE SPOILER: it doesn’t seem the show is afraid of killing presumed important characters so far). It’s got potential to fall off the rails very soon, or to become a fun, swift weekly hour of action/adventure. Eric Kripke’s done some good work in the very recent past, so we’ll see.
But seriously, NOBODY has a bike in that world?
Nobody has a scooter? A skateboard? Shopping carts to wheel your disabled friends around in? None of these? Have pirates and bandits gone around, robbing everybody of their bikes, only to sell them for other sparse commodities like toothbrushes, pot, and condoms (can’t treat your chlamydia in THIS world, you dirty folks!) These people are traveling on horse and buggy, foot, hope, and strange political metaphors involving tattoo’ed American flags, and that’s IT. There are more GUNS on that show than bicycles. Infinitely more, because there are no bicycles. Mark Pellegrino, who we all love from LOST and/or Supernatural and/or other stuff, tells his men to draw fire from rebels as bullets are as rare and valuable as diamonds in this dystopian universe and they wouldn’t want to waste them all. This is a lie, as I’ve seen more bullets fly on that show than I have angry looks on the face of the female protagonist with an androgynous name so she sounds a little tougher (Charlie [I really thought her name was Sam until I just looked it up to be sure, but the effect is the same]). I’m not saying horse-drawn wagons in that world, 15 years after a massive world blackout, isn’t feasible in any way, but seriously, SOMEONE has to know how to fix a broken down bicycle, right? I mean, people have figured out surgery and home remedies without issue. People can fix guns, and even fashion tiny ones you wear on your wrist. For that, I give this show 6 thumbs up (out of a possible 14), 4 thumbs down (out of a possible 11), and an amused shake of my head while I say, quietly, “What a silly show. So silly.”
But yeah, I’ll keep watching it.
Something like a phenomena, Show Your Bones is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album I for some reason continually forget exists despite probably being their best one. Before Phenomena though, we’ve got The Antlers with a slow (though lovely) song called Crest off their latest EP and very solid, faster moving tracks by The Mountain Goats and The Alberta Rural Advantage.
Lupe Fiasco’s latest, ridiculously titled record, Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1 might’ve been a disappointment, something that makes being a fan of his pretty frustrating for being so inconsistent, but a handful of good tracks still pepper the record. One such track is Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free). Lupe goes back to the political material that gave him his fame in the first place, with mixed results, but the good news if any is that he was given the autonomy he purportedly didn’t have on Lasers.
Enjoy the music.