It's easy to find out what TV shows a person likes -- and, even more telling, what they hate. All you have to do is look at their PVR and see what's there multiple times, being saved for a rainy, really snoozy day. Take what I have banked, for example: "Once Upon a Time" (any episode with Rumpelstiltskin, good; any other one, meh), "CSI" (good, but not absolutely urgent), "Fringe" (not what you think -- my PVR missed the second episode of the season and we haven't had a chance to catch up online), and "Last Resort" (actually, I have no idea why that's there; pressing "play" now).
Oh, wait. How could I forget the show clogging up most of my PVR's space? "Revolution." Oh, "Revolution."
Sigh. I had such high hopes for the show. It started off so well. Remember that moment, in the pilot, when we first saw the lights go out? Cell phones dying, TVs getting fuzzy, radios becoming staticky, car headlights fluttered, then came to a halt, airplanes falling from the sky ... it was eerie and suspenseful and awesome. Then -- bam! Or, should I say -- yawn. The end of the world as we know it, thanks to a complete crash of technology, is a premise with loads of possibilities, but, so far, J.J. Abrams' and Eric Kripke's end of the world tale has been pretty dull. (Perhaps "revolution" in the title is a bad omen. There's "The Revolution." Crap. "Step Up Revolution." Yeesh. "Dance Dance Revolution." No comment. "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Wait, I actually like that one.)
Don't get me wrong; "Revolution" does have some strong-ish points. Take Miles (Billy Burke), Tom (Giancarlo Esposito) and Aaron (Zak Orth), for instance. They're decent enough and are probably the only characters that keep the story consistently interesting (though, I admit, Daniella Alonso's Nora earned some cool, albeit predictable, points in last week's episode). And while Elizabeth Mitchell (Rachel) never hurts any show, and normally can do no wrong, she has yet to make any sort of impact on "Revolution." Not yet, at least.
For the longest time, the destitute man's Katniss Everdeen, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), has been the weak link in all this, as they search for her boring brother, Danny (Graham Rogers). You know, he of the floppy Bieber 'do and the one-note ... everything. But as the episodes pass, there's one woefully miscast character who is driving me up the wall even more than the surviving hair models: General Sebastian Monroe (David Lyons).
Honestly, did all the other actors who command any sort of presence miss the auditions? Or did Lyons have the role of Bass locked up because of his past history with NBC ("The Cape," "ER")? Because those are the only reasons I can think of to explain why he could be cast as any sort of formidable villain. A random henchman or a douchey rich psychopath, maybe. But as the evil dude in charge? No way. Especially when Lyons shares screen time with Esposito, who is much more suited for the role of feared general. Perhaps the ultimate goal is for Tom to get "promoted," but for now, it's easily the show's worst puzzle piece.
Perhaps my problem is impatience and the fact that they're still looking for Danny. Zzzzzz. (I know they can only get from place to place by foot, but all the walking is so tedious.) Last week's episode was probably the best hour since the premiere, but it's still not great. I guess I just didn't think it would take this long to get to the good stuff.
Yes, "Revolution" is picking up (the best parts are the back stories, and what has led each character to where they are now. With Led Zeppelin's music playing throughout tonight's episode, it's almost certain that we'll learn more about Miles' past). But these last two episodes of the year will be the test. If there's not enough juice to keep viewers interested, my PVR can breathe a sigh of relief because it'll have one less show to record.
You can watch "Revolution" on Citytv in Canada and on NBC in the US, on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET.