Guilty Pleasure: something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it.
Revolution has become my guilty pleasure.
Let me back up.
I have a love/hate relationship with J.J. Abrams and when I say “love/hate” I mean I mostly love every project that he is involved in. LOST and Fringe were defining shows in my television history. I remember Regarding Henry and Forever Young as staples in my childhood movie diet (okay, I was a weird kid). The “hate” part happens when he makes something that I find simply unbearable. Like Alcatraz.
For me, though, Abrams has been more hit than miss.
So, when Revolution came along, a creature dwelling in the middle of my gut rolled over and seized control of my brain waves. I knew it was too high concept for lesser mortals, but Abrams has the chops, right?
The pilot was less than impressive. I wasn’t sure why. Perhaps it was because everything was revealed in the trailers. There wasn’t any new ground covered. Maybe it was because of a shallow Katniss-wannabe in the lead (no one would accuse me of being a Katniss fan). Revolution wasn’t breaking any barriers. It wasn’t something I hadn’t seen before. While the main mystery of the show is “what caused the blackout?”, I have a hard time wrapping my head around why I should care. I wanted to see people moving on with life, rather than dwelling on a 15 years gone past.
Is Abrams attempting to reach the young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian audience? If so, he’ll need a few more bread references (Panem? Peeta? Tell me I’m not the only one loafing around…)
But, the worst, most unforgivable maneuver? My favorite actress in the show was killed off in the first episode.
Or was she?
Elizabeth Mitchell is the J.J. Abrams secret weapon. Her appearance in LOST at the beginning of Season 3 reinvigorated my passion for that show. Finally, I was watching the intriguing people. Finally, we were seeing a new side to the mystery that had history and context.
After LOST, Mitchell went on to star in V. Though not an Abrams project, Mitchell again brought something to the series that was undeniably her.
So, when I was told in episode 1 that Mitchell’s character was dead, I signed off. But, she was in the promos for the next episode. Kids, when Elizabeth Mitchell shows up in a scene, there’s only one thing you need to know: Shit’s going down.
Episode 2 of Revolution was again underwhelming. Something about the American flag referred to as a rebel symbol, as though it was something lost in history (while only 15 years has passed, so it’s still within working memory). The episode bounces from the “present day: 15 Years Later” timeline to the days immediately after the blackout. During one scene, when I was practically yelling at the television for someone to grow a pair and DO SOMETHING, Mitchell picked up the gun and did.
Following my emphatic “thank you”, we flashed back to 15 Years Later and, lo and behold ***SPOILER***, she isn’t dead at all.
No, no, my friends. Elizabeth Mitchell lives on in both timelines. The strong, powerful woman is playing a con, or being kept prisoner, or God knows what. So here’s the thing:
Rachel Matheson is the most interesting character on the show. She doesn’t need that complexity nonsense or fabricated teen angst. All she needs to do is take action. I will be watching gleefully as she takes matters into her own hands and kicks ass.
If he pulls a Joss Whedon, so help me…
If you’re looking for something extra exciting, don’t miss J.J. Abrams on Conan coming up this Thursday, 10/4. It will be a-mah-zing!