Thursday, September 20, 2012

Revolution (TV series) 2012

It's been said that the real innovative and interesting shows are on cable and or TV.  Revolution debuted this week and from what I can make of it it has an interesting premise.  My only pet peeve is why do the networks have to rely on the cliffhanger model of storytelling?  I know that it is to engage an audience and make sure that they come bask each week, but this model of storytelling is a bit frustrating.  Since the early 80's the networks have begun to rely on this type of storytelling more and more.  But the cliff-hanger isn't that all interesting either so the writers need to punch it up a bit and stop being formulaic.

The cliff hanger synopsis is not a new type of way of telling a story.  The serials of the 40's and 50's were just the same.  The studios back then wanted their audience to return week after week to see how the hero escapes or prevails.  So you see it's not new.  It's just gotten a bit more sophisticated.  The multiple story-lines in a series seems to be keep it's audience glued to the screen., but it does seem that it is more prevalent now then at any time in TV.

TV has gotten more competitive because it has many competitors and a shrinking audience, and where success is measured in the size of ones audience anything goes.  But has this hurt story telling?  Has TV become so dependent that stories just unveil quicker and faster then any stories in the past.

I guess some psychologists would say that with the advent of computers and multi-tasking the human brain can retain more and is trained now to keep track of many different  scenarios.  I don't know about that.  I'll leave that to the experts to quarrel about.  All I do know is that sometimes it makes for interesting drama, and character development. 

Revolution is such a series.  It has many different plot-lines, and the pilot which aired Monday seemed to have a layered construction.  I'm sure the filmmakers have it all layed out for them for the season, and it's this careful construction of a story arc that fascinates me.  How long can they carry the arc, and how long till the writers change it up, and try to get "fresher" without loosing their audience.

TV network is littered with shows that have had story arcs that have been less successful.  The series "Lost" comes to mind.  But I digress.

Is Revolution any good?  It's interesting, and presents a frightening post-apocalyptic world where there is no electricity, and man is thrust back to an earlier time, yet man's desire for conquest of each other still remains.

I have to say I'm intrigued by the series so far.  In an hour the filmmakers presented an interesting scenario, and maybe all will be explained in later episodes.  I don't know if they can keep the story arc going without giving the audience what it needs and that's a pay-off for viewing.

I hope they can.  But by showing us that some people have the power to turn on the electricity I don't know if the series creators have doomed themselves to a series that has an end or if they can keep being innovative and keep us interested.  I enjoyed each of the actors performances and really thought that I could watch these characters week after week and not get tired of who they are.  Maybe try and see it through the villians eyes, and make them more three dimensional.  That's the hope at least.  The characters are there, but they need to be more real, and maybe in time this will happen. but we'll see how that all pans out.

Here's hoping that Revolution is an evolution of a new type of series. Of course TV is not known for being innovative.  If TV executives can rely on the same old formula week after week they'll do that.  I'm just hoping NBC does something different.  Only time will tell.

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