'Revolution' Review: J.J. Abrams' Latest Conservative Catnip ... So Far

What would it be like to live in a world devoid of every technological advance we've enjoyed since the discovery of electricity?

That is what creator Eric Kripke ("Supernatural") and executive producer J.J. Abrams ("Lost") hope to show us with their new NBC series “Revolution,” premiering at 10 p.m. EST tonight.

Granted, those who actually lived before electricity did just that and didn’t complain a bit. The question “Revolution” asks is what would happen if all of the conveniences that make our lives easier and more enjoyable today, which are mostly taken for granted, one day just stopped working?

“It’s a great ’What if?’ story. What if everything just went out? How would we survive?” said producer Abrams on NBC’s “Today.”


No electricity means no lights, no smart phones, and no cars. It also means no security, no peace of mind, and no freedom.

The story of “Revolution” begins just as the blackout is about to happen. A man named Ben (Tim Guinee) is frantically trying to prepare his family for what he and his wife apparently know is coming. Included in the preparation is Ben placing a phone call to his brother, Miles (Billy Burke), who is driving to a military base.

As Ben is trying to explain to Miles that everything is about to turn off and it will never turn back on, the phone call is disconnected and the blackout begins. Lights go out, transformers explode and planes fall from the sky.

The story then jumps to 15 years after the event. Society resembles life in the early 1800s, but this is no longer the United States of America. The government has fallen. Militias rule what is now known as the Monroe Republic. Owning a gun is a hanging offense. Taxes are paid in crops. Ben’s children are now grown and the family is living a simple life in a peaceful village.

The peace doesn’t last long as the militia, led by Captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito), comes in search of Ben and his brother. The militia believes the two have information as to what may have caused the blackout and possibly how to turn everything back on.

When Ben’s son Danny (Graham Rogers) is kidnapped by the militia, he sends his daughter Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) to Chicago to find his brother, Miles. With the help of Miles and a small group of others, the search for Danny and the fight against the militia begins.

The theme of the show appears to fit what many conservatives are looking for these days, something out of Hollywood that doesn’t mock them, but resembles them.

Co-executive producer and director of the pilot episode, Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”) recently told TV Guide “We call the show ‘Revolution’ because it harkens back to a time when we were colonists under an oppressive monarchy. It’s about a new kind of revolutionary war, where people must rise up and build a nation all over again.”

Conservatives are probably wary of a show like this and are waiting for an inevitable sucker-punch. Is the quest to find out what caused the blackout going to lead to a big, evil corporation? Will we be led to believe that sharing the wealth and living collectively really is the way to go?

It’s impossible to answer questions like these after only one episode. Hopefully Hollywood has taken notice that conservatives feel left out, are tired of being ridiculed for their beliefs and are frequently cutting the cord as a result.

The pilot episode lays a good groundwork for an interesting story with compelling characters on an action-filled journey to answer the question of what caused the blackout. At the end of the episode, viewers are left with a question: “What now?”

We’ll just have to keep watching to get the answer.


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