17 October 2012

Revolution... a step back in TV evolution?

I don't normally write about TV shows, but this one got me baffled. Moderate spoiler alert!

Revolution started airing on New Zealand air last night, with the second episode happening later. The main premise of the story is about the world suddenly losing electricity. In one fell swoop, cars stopped in the middle of the roads, neighbourhoods turned black as night, planes fell from the sky, hospitals and emergency services collapsed. It was no longer possible to generate and harness electricity. The ensuing months become expectedly chaotic as governments crumbled. People fled the cities and formed small communities in small pockets.

Intriguing, isn't it? 

The scene changes to 15 years hence, and we see unkempt houses and buildings. Manicured lawns and open spaces have become fields for corn and crops. Greenery and wildlife is successfully creeping its way into human habitation.

Except that, there seems to be something wrong with the scene. The people still wore nice clothing. And I mean too nice if factories have shut down more than a decade ago, which meant there was no easy way to manufacture cloth, let alone clothing. Not a wrinkle, unless they were able to find a lot of antique flat irons which used charcoal for heating.

And while electricity is absent, there are other man-made inventions that do not require it at all. Such as bikes! Why hike all the way to Chicago when you can have bikes? The ending also left me a bit confused. The computer was able to connect via a dial-up line to another computer for old-school terminal window chat. The IT person in me got to thinking that, assuming the person at the end of the other line is somewhere very far, then there should be 'signal amplifiers' along the way, and these need electricity to work. And if there are more than 2 computers involved, that will mean additional hardware is needed in the internetwork, such as routers. So how are those working, if electricity is nil?

I love JJ Abram's work, and as the season for Fringe has wrapped up I thought this would be a good filler. But it has somehow left me baffled. Nonetheless I will watch the second installment tonight and see if some mind-boggling questions get answered!

If you are in New Zealand, you can watch the first episode in TVNZ on Demand

(photo credit: wired)

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