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Revolution: Season 2

Warner Bros. // Unrated // August 19, 2014
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 7, 2014 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

"Revolution" was promoted in the same manner that a Summer movie would be: it was another compelling-looking offering from producers JJ Abrams ("Lost"), Brian Burk ("Lost") and Eric Kripke ("Supernatural") - a series following a group of people who are forced to figure out how to live once the power goes out - everywhere. Jets, electronics, cars, everything suddenly comes to a halt around the world.

Visually, the series is highly compelling: it really does a very nice job creating the look of an overgrown major city and the rural chaos of roving gangs and other threats that have popped up as society has devolved with the loss of power. There's a haunted feel to even some of the brighter, daylight scenes throughout the series.

The first season saw Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos)'s life in a small community outside of Chicago shattered when Militia captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) invades and kidnaps her brother. On a mission, she heads to Chicago to recruit her uncle Miles (Billy Burke), who reluctantly joins the group, which also includes former tech exec Aaron Pittman (Zak Orth). The group certainly faces a serious threat in Monroe's army, lead by Sebastian "Bass" Monroe (David Lyons) - who Miles is very familiar with.

The series surprised viewers by revealing the reason for the blackout before the first season ended, but threw a new twist into the mix when the power returns long enough for a new group to mount a devastating attack on former major cities in an attempt to gain power.

The series has consistently been a remarkable one in terms of crafting the look of a country who has become primitive after the blackout happened, complete with overgrowth and just the right amount of rubble. The mystery of the blackout was also engaging and resulted in a reasonably enjoyable explanation that started the path into the second season.

However, the series was a letdown in some regards. One of the reasons why "Lost" was as successful as it was is that the series managed to not only gather a terrific group of actors, but one that had exceptional chemistry with one another. The acting in "Revolution" is all over the map, from the good (Esposito) to the not-so-good (Spiridakos, who clearly is the result of an exec going, "The kids like that 'Hunger Games'".) Spiridakos is bland and one-dimensional, but to her credit, the character is not given a whole lot of depth and is rather irritating, to the point where it lead to lengthy discussions on some websites, including: 23 Stupid Things Charlie Has Done on "Revolution". If anything, the performance certainly got people talking, including about how without power, the actress still manages to have her hair look awfully well-coiffed.

If they're talking about how this chick can have her hair look that good in a post-apocalyptic scenario, maybe - just maybe - they're not that invested in the character's drama. Charlie is supposed to develop into a hardened warrior as the series goes on and sorry, I just didn't really find it believable. Still, it's not a total loss, certainly: Esposito's very good, Burke is above-average in the role and Elizabeth Mitchell - as Charlie's long-lost mother - also turns in a fine performance. However, the cast doesn't always really gel - the chemistry isn't quite what one would hope for.

The second season of the series was ultimately the last. While I thought the show wasn't as revolutionary as I'd hoped, the second season does start to click a little more often with a somewhat less dark and enjoyably twisty ride as the characters join forces in unexpected ways in order to fight the new threat of the Patriots. The end of the season doesn't appear as if the series knew it was the final episode, but it does certainly look as if the show was going in yet another fun direction if a third season had happened.

21 2-01 2J7701 25/Sep/13 Born In The U.S.A.
22 2-02 2J7702 02/Oct/13 There Will Be Blood
23 2-03 2J7703 09/Oct/13 Love Story
24 2-04 2J7704 16/Oct/13 Patriot Games
25 2-05 2J7705 23/Oct/13 One Riot, One Ranger
26 2-06 2J7706 30/Oct/13 Dead Man Walking
27 2-07 2J7707 06/Nov/13 The Patriot Act
28 2-08 2J7708 13/Nov/13 Come Blow Your Horn
29 2-09 2J7709 20/Nov/13 Everyone Says I Love You
30 2-10 2J7710 08/Jan/14 Three Amigos
31 2-11 2J7711 15/Jan/14 Mis Dos Padres
32 2-12 2J7712 22/Jan/14 Captain Trips
33 2-13 2J7713 29/Jan/14 Happy Endings
34 2-14 2J7714 26/Feb/14 Fear and Loathing
35 2-15 2J7715 05/Mar/14 Dreamcatcher
36 2-16 2J7716 12/Mar/14 Exposition Boulevard
37 2-17 2J7717 19/Mar/14 Why We Fight
38 2-18 2J7718 02/Apr/14 Austin City Limits
39 2-19 2J7719 30/Apr/14 $#!& Happens
40 2-20 2J7720 07/May/14 Tomorrowland
41 2-21 2J7721 14/May/14 Memorial Day
42 2-22 2J7722 21/May/14 Declaration of Independence

Video: "Revolution" is presented by Warner Brothers in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation's really quite nice, with excellent clarity and detail. The series does manage some strong visuals for a network TV program and they are reproduced beautifully here, from small detail on faces to background nature. No pixelation or edge enhancement were seen during the presentation and colors looked accurate and natural.

Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation entertains quite a bit, thanks to the show's fairly frequent action scenes, which make good use of the rear speakers to deliver effects and ambience. Audio quality was fine, with crisp dialogue and well-recorded effects.

Extras: A very nice helping of deleted footage is offered for a number of episodes (nothing that should have come off the editing room floor, but interesting for fans, nonetheless), an amusing gag reel, "Conversations with the United Nations" featurette (a surprising amount of research and participation), "Revolution: Heading West" discussion (an interesting discussion from Kripke on how he wanted the series to try and evolve) and last, but not least, a fun Comic Con Panel from 2013 where cast and crew chat for nearly h30 min.

Final Thoughts: "Revolution" still has problems in the second season, but the series changes paths and tone and is consistently a bit more entertaining. The ending is interesting enough one wishes the third season had happened. The DVD offers solid audio/video quality, as well as a handful of supplements. A light recommendation.

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