Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Revolution, season 2 (2013-2014) ***½

TV-14, 22 43-min. episodes
Creator: Eric Kripke

Directors: Steve Boyum, Phil Sgriccia, Helen Shaver, Charles Beeson, Frederick E.O. Toye, Omar Madha, Michael Offer, Ernest Dickerson, Liz Friedlander, Roxann Dawson, Nick Copus, John Showalter, David Boyd

Writers: Eric Kripke, Matt Pitts, Paul Grellong, David Rambo, Anne Cofell Saunders, Ben Edlund, Trey Callaway, Rockne S. O’Bannon, Jim Barnes, David Reed, Ryan Parrott

Starring: Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Zak Orth, David Lyons, JD Pardo, Stephen Collins, Elizabeth Mitchell, Steven Culp, Jessica Collins, Mat Vairo, Maureen Sebastian, Christopher Cousins

Guest starring: Adam Beach, Patrick Heusinger, Blake Hood, Nicole Ari Parker, Matt Ross, Richard T. Jones, Will Beinbrink, Damon Carney, Barry Tubb, Jim Beaver, Zeljko Ivanek, Anthony Ruivivar, David Aaron Baker, Waleed Zuaiter, Maria Howell, Kim Raver, Joaquim de Almeida, Katie Aselton, Daniel Henney, Bret Michaels, Timm Sharp, Cotter Smith, Tyrees Allen, Reiko Aylesworth, Billy Lush, M.C. Gainey, Gonzalo Menendez, Tim Guinee, Colby French

For their first two seasons, for me anyway, the two unrelated shows, “Arrow” and “Revolution” seemed intrinsically connected. Not in any sort of content way. They were both fantasy adventure shows, but that’s where the content connection ended. They both struggled to find their identities throughout the first half of their freshman seasons. They both ended their freshman runs with big developments and very satisfying and devastating cliffhangers. In their sophomore year, they both shared the same timeslot.

“Revolution”, however, was the polished china to the “Arrow” Styrofoam plates and plastic ware. Well, that might be going a little far. The writing and acting on “Revolution” was good not amazing, whereas “Arrow” plays like a bad soap opera at times. And yet, I liked them both about the same. I was on the fence about each throughout most of their first seasons, their finales each blew me away, and I felt both shows pushed the envelopes they’d opened throughout their second seasons. From the look of what was on screen, the budget of “Revolution” must’ve been far larger than the “Arrow” budget. And that right there might explain why “Arrow” will still be around next year and “Revolution” will not.

I will miss “Revolution”. The writers always did a good job raising the stakes, which always ran pretty high to begin with. They did a good job allowing the audience to care about the characters. While it was a vehicle for action sequences, it’s foundation was squarely in its characters. The second season held its fair share of surprises. Betrayals and uneasy alliances were the rule for this series, which always kept me guessing. Two of the main characters were always bad guys and seemed they always would be, and yet somehow I couldn’t help but like both of them in spite of their evil natures. The writers always backed their choices with reason. Nothing was ever done out of pure spite by these two men.

Yeah, I’m gonna miss that one. Unlike “Almost Human”, which was criminally dumped after a mere 13 episodes (and for which I’m even more angry about its cancellation), “Revolution” was around long enough for me to be more thoroughly invested in than some freshman program. Having received two full seasons, the loss of this one leaves a different kind of hole, a bigger one if not more painful. Ah well. What can you do?

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