Every year around this time, change is in the air. The leaves turn. Students start new classes. Summer blockbusters become autumn dramas. And, perhaps most noticeably, a new crop of TV shows hit the air. And every year, a few of them are singled out for complete media saturation. Banner ads, TV ads, movie ads, subway ads, bus ads, human ads. They scream – if you’re just going to watch one new show this year make it this one! Last year it was Terra Nova. In 2010, it was The Event.
This year, I can’t think of a single show that’s been overhyped. And maybe that’s for the best. Considering the fact that both of the shows mentioned above barely made it through a season, it’s kind of sad to think of all the money that was wasted promoting them. (Just for the record, I fully acknowledge that I could be totally wrong about this. Maybe there is a show that’s being overhyped and I’m just not being exposed to it. If so, please let me know.)
Of all of the shows that are starting up right now, there is one in particular that I think fits the mold of those overhyped shows: Revolution. It’s similar in that it has an all-star creative team (J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau and Eric Kripke) and series defining mystery. But, it was allowed to premiere without tons of ads and magazine cover stories. Very little was revealed about it, and even less was spoiled.
By the time The Event and Terra Nova finally hit the air, most people had seen or heard enough to decide if they liked it or not. It also rendered the first episode unnecessary as you already knew exactly what was going to happen. Revolution, on the other hand, has managed to fly relatively under the radar. I watched the first episode last night and there were quite a few surprises for me.
I’m far more interested than I thought I would be in the how and why of the power going out. The western in modern times feel of it stirs up my old Firefly yearnings. And I also like the use of Star Wars character archetypes. This was mentioned by Eric Kripke in an interview in Entertainment Weekly. He made it clear that Charlie, the naive but brave protagonist, is modeled on Luke Skywalker, and Miles, her jaded uncle, is based on Han Solo. Knowing this, I spent a good chunk of the episode trying to guess who the other characters reference.
So far, I know I’ve nailed two more. Aaron is a chubby, bearded gentleman who tags along with the group. Based on that description alone you might think he’s an obvious Chewbacca. But, you’d be wrong. He’s a dead-on C-3PO! He worries and whines, but he’s loyal and follows orders. The other one is Nate. He helps them, and then turns on them, and then may end up helping them again. Sounds familiar? He’s a definite Lando.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for now. I hope the less bombastic approach to the promotion of this show means that it will stand a decent chance of staying on the air. Like almost all shows in their first season, it’s got some rough patches. I want to see what it’s like once those get worn down and it starts running like a well-oiled machine.
Are there any other new shows that you think I should check out?
Graham Becksted is a revolution himself. At least, that’s what he thinks people mean when they say he’s revolting. BADUM CHING! He is the author of Graham’s Grumbles the second blog by that name that is listed in Google results when you search for Graham’s Grumbles. If you would like to be his 70th follower (thank you, bots), he can be followed on Twitter @GrahamBecksted.