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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Revolution: Preview Review

I caught the complete first episode of Revolution last night - set to premiere later this month on NBC - courtesy of NBC putting this up On-Demand. Herewith a review, with soft (non-specific) spoilers.

Revolution is J. J. Abrams' latest. Now, I know what you're thinking - or, what I was thinking, anyway. With the exception of Fringe and (to a lesser extent) Person of Interest, Abrams has not come anywhere close to his extraordinary triumphs of Lost or even Alias. Half of his efforts have been like last year's Alcatraz, promising at first but pretty soon an irredeemable turkey.

So I approached Revolution with caution, and - I found the debut episode superb! It's chock full of punch-in-the-gut surprises, with characters we think are major dying on and off camera, and big, unexpected revelations right up until the end. The set-up, though it might seem at first glance to have too much in common with the ill-fated FlashForward and the high-flying Walking Dead, turns out to be refreshing and original.

The world has been beset by a power failure from hell - all electricity is gone, including battery power (which, in our real world, the Amish use instead of electricity from power plants). This means that everything digital is gone - useless - too.

We follow a family - no Family Robinson - in the Chicago area. (You notice how often Chicago is popping up in television drama these days? Boss, Revolution, Chicago Fire, last year's Playboy Club - probably another good consequence of Obama, seriously). Charlie, the daughter - a little under 20 - is strong, attractive, and believable. The others are good, too, and I found myself disappointed when the first episode was over - disappointed that I couldn't see more.

There's an endearing hipness about Revolution - the Hurley-like character (we had one, Hurley himself, in Alcatraz last year) - was a big exec at Google, before the permanent blackout. So far, I like this guy better than the Alcatraz guy.

"You say you want a Revolution, well, you know ..." I'm looking forward to this one on NBC.

"As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

"Daddy, this the best book I've ever read!" -- Molly Vozick-Levinson, age 12 at the time

"cerebral but gripping" -- Booklist

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