Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The 100: first season review

The 100 is a new TV series that just finished airing (in the UK). It’s a sci-fi set a century or so after a nuclear war devastated the world, and charts the efforts of the few people left trying to return because their space station is beyond saving.

The first people sent (one hundred) are criminals. Because of the lack of resources all crimes are capital, but juvenile offenders are incarcerated until they reach the age of majority, when they get the special birthday present of a spacewalk without a spacesuit. The 100 are sent to see whether radiation has died down enough for the Earth to be survived.

I’ve got to admit, whilst liking the premise, I was going to give up on this roughly a third of the way in. A fellow from the internet, who had seen the whole series, suggested I reconsider, so I gave it another shot.

I enjoyed the latter half more than the first (bit like Supermodels of SHIELD. The 100 have also outlawed ugly women). There’s a nice diarchy situation going on, with two characters (Clarke and Bellamy) effectively leading the juvenile criminals. Clarke being more conciliatory and Bellamy more authoritarian/militaristic, though both have a certain pragmatism.

Early on, I felt that the episodes were sometimes not very engaging, and that the main storyline was taking a while to unfold. Later episodes did a better job of mingling the central storyline with each individual episode’s plot [I won’t go into detail for fear of spoilers]. Still room to improve, but it was entertaining.

The action on the Ark (the space station, where the parents and other adults still dwell) was usually interesting as a power struggle took hold as resources dwindled to almost nothing, and efforts to reach the ground hit a snag or two.

The finale of the season worked very well, I thought. Can’t go into detail, obviously, but it had been built up nicely and left some questions hanging for the second season.

I still don’t see why enforced American accents were the order of the day, though. The protagonist, Eliza Taylor (as Clarke), has a perfect American accent but what’s wrong with her native Aussie? Did those space fascists ban non-US accents as well as ugly women?

Pace, in the first half, could’ve and should’ve been faster.

On the plus side, there are some genuinely surprising plot twists, perhaps the most notable coming fairly early on.

I hope the second season builds on the first and the show continues to improve. I’ll be watching it.


No comments:

Post a Comment