Poor J.J. Abrams .
Attach his name to any new TV series, and it becomes impossible to shake the inevitable question, “Is this the next ‘Lost?’ ”
There’s no denying Abrams is a modern-day, science-fiction messiah, but it’s unfair to expect him to recreate the success of a show so groundbreaking it would prompt such a query in the first place — even if there are a few similarities.
And in the case of NBC’s newest drama, “Revolution,” executive produced by Abrams and created by Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”) , there are myriad comparisons to go around. It begins with the pilot’s memorable opening in which a frantic Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee) rushes into his house and delivers a line with the level of ambiguity only Abrams can offer.
“It’s gonna turn off, and it will never ever turn back on.”
Shortly after downloading unknown contents onto a flash drive, Ben steps outside and watches the Chicago cityscape go dark.
Fast-forward 15 years after what is being referred to as “the blackout,” and without electricity, the world has become a mossy shadow of its former self. Organized government is a thing of the past, and violent militias have risen in its place.
One of those militias, led by Captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad”), has been tasked with bringing Ben to its leader, the mysterious Sebastian Monroe , for answers about why the lights went out. When his son Danny (Graham Rogers) is taken, he instructs his daughter Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) to find his brother Miles.
Seeing Charlie trek through the grassy Illinois wastelands, dressed in leather and armed with a crossbow, is like watching Lara Croft in action. She’s accompanied by Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips), her town’s doctor, and Aaron (Zak Orth), her father’s friend and former employee of “this thing called Google.”
But, the episode is not without it’s flaws. Some of the characters, especially the morally vague Nate (J.D. Pardo) , will need to be fleshed out more if the series survives.
“Revolution” is the type of show that demands a rabid fanbase to stay afloat, and perhaps this is why NBC made the pilot available online a full two weeks before the premiere.
The network hasn’t had a lot of success with the sci-fi genre in recent years (see: “The Event,” “Awake”), and though not quite perfect, “Revolution” certainly has the potential to turn their luck around.