Review: Revolution Pilot (NBC)

While at San Diego Comic Con, Fernando and I got sneak peeks at the pilots for three upcoming new fall television shows: Elementary, Revolution and Beauty & the Beast. A few weeks ago, Fernando talked about yet another Sherlock Holmes incarnation, Elementary. Two weeks ago I hit up the remake of the 1980s show Beauty & the Beast. Now here is Fernando's take on the upcoming NBC show, Revolution.

Debuts Monday, September 17 @ 10pm / 9 pm Central

JJ Abrams + Eric Kripke = Revolution

No government, no modern technology, no internet and no electricity - that is the underlining premise of JJ Abram's Revolution. One of the highlights of this year's Comic Con for us was the chance to preview the pilot of this new NBC fall show.

Think of a life where all the luxury of electricity is taken away. Revolution illustrates just such a world.  All of the current world order has collapsed. Communication systems have broken down, cars can’t work, and artificial light is gone. Militia style governments emerge, where those with well-organized militant weapons hold the power. This new world is the backdrop of the show, not its focal point.

The pilot opens in present day with Ben Matheson, a father, scientist, and possible participant in why electricity stopped function. Ben races home with a small USB device that holds part of a mysterious reason why the electricity is going to go out. He tries to tell his wife and young children, but there isn’t enough time. During the frantic race home, he’s also on the phone with his brother Miles, a Special Forces military officer on his way back to base, but their conversation is cut short. Then the power goes out and, as mentioned before, it goes out everywhere. Stop and think for a moment of all the parts of your day-to-day activities that center on the simple phenomenon of electricity; now imagine all of them stopping at once. The show does not say they drain or there is lag. No, it all just stops.

The story then does something fantastic. Revolution picks up 15 years later. It does not try to show the gimmicky side of power going out, like people stuck in elevators. Revolution shows us the world that emerges from a prolonged lack of electricity. This new world that emerges has hints of past empires: a feudal system, militias, and small self-sustainable farming communities.  The world that is Revolution is very much in tune with a JJ Abrams produced show.

The Eric Kripke portion is the familial adventure that lies at the center of Revolution. I won't spoil the how or the why of the pilot, but Ben's daughter Charlie must team up with Miles to rescue Ben's son Danny.  This pairing is what I think will be the best part of the show. Charlie and Miles are family in only the faintest of terms and the forging of their bond on this new journey in this world will I hope make Revolution a fun action packed addition to the NBC lineup. 


Note from Leslie: My review of Revolution would consist of three words – AWESOME. SWORD. FIGHTS. Watch it. It’s going to hopefully be awesome, twisty turny family drama with MORE SWORD FIGHTING!

Comic Con 2012: Preview Night - So It Begins

Wednesday night at San Diego Comic Con is considered "preview night". At 6pm the exhibit hall opens up to a certain number of four-day badge holders to get a sneak peek of what the vendors have brought to show. It's the first chance for people to access the Con's exclusives and the vendors giveaways. My targets were DC and Marvel and then the lovely book publishers.

Surprisingly, even though I was at DC moments after the doors opened, the comic pub wasn't really pushing free things this year. Marvel wasn't much better, having mostly just issues of their comics previously available on Free Comic Book Day in May. Fernando found out that Warner Brothers - who normally has the best, most varied swag of the entire convention floor - wasn't giving out anything either. It's seeming a little odd, so we'll see if any of that changes as the Con opens for real tomorrow morning.

That led me to the major book publishers. For two hours, this isn't so bad, right? (Please forgive me for the fuzzy iPhone pics)

I checked in with one of my publisher contacts and made another friend at Simon & Schuster who made some great suggestions both of things I should be reading and books that might appeal to my book club. After that we headed to Katie Cook's artist booth. As usual, she was surrounded by a sizeable crowd, so we'll try again on a different day.

Instead we headed to Ballroom 20 to hopefully catch the pilot of Revolution. First we had to sit through The Following, a Kevin Bacon-starring cop drama that involved a lot of people having their eyes gouged out. I wouldn't recommend it.

Revolution on the other hand? It's pretty awesome. It feels like it has Erik Kripke's fingerprints all over it, putting a huge emphasis in the important of familiar relationships and how you create your own family under extreme circumstances. Of course it has the makings of a conspiracy theory show and I had a few concerns with some of the actors, but the plot and some of the action scenes were pretty awesome. There's a long sword fighting scene in the pilot that proves that one character is not only a badass, but he's probably a ninja or something. A full review to come later.

So I would deem this a successful preview night indeed! More pictures of the exhibit hall and updates on what we come across tomorrow.


Random Tuesday: More Superhero Art, Revolution Preview, and Other Randomosity

Fernando and I saw The Avengers for a second time last Friday night. Not even three days later, I want to see it again. It's been an extremely long time since a movie has made me want to see it multiple times in the theatre, much less actually spend the money to do it. So if you've been in a coma or under a rock for the last week and a half, you should really go see it.

I started reading Daniel H. Wilson's upcoming novel, Amped (Wilson being that guy behind a little book called Robopocalypse). That guy knows how to write books that give me waking nightmares. Jeez... I couldn't put it down last night while at the same time I was on a verge of a panic attack.

 The Avengers in the style of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are by AgartgabGuide.

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Adaptation of Sandman by the Creator of Supernatural? Someone Lives in My Head

The Sandmand with his sister DeathNews came out earlier today via The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog that Warner Bros. television was attempting to buy off the rights to Neil Gaiman's epic comic series "Sandman" to turn into a televison series.  The man on the top of their list to run this adaptation?  None other than Supernatural creator and former show runner Eric Kripke.  So my favorite comic book adapted by the creator of my favorite show?  There could be nothing wrong with that, right?

Wrong.  Various entities have been trying to turn the Sandman series of comics into movies and telelvision shows since about the time Neil Gaiman finished his classic series in the mid-90s.  The closest an adaptation has ever come was a proposed HBO series that Gaiman was involved in behind the scenes (though only unofficially).  But still it fell through.

The more self contained comics involving Death – the Sandman/Morpheous/Dream’s sister – has been trying to get off the ground as a movie for years, and it has also been stalled.  Gaiman has a unique voice and the ability to twist together complex stories into flowing works of art, creating a pastiche with references to classic works, mythology and pop culture.

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