Being a huge fan of the original Red Dawn, released in 1984, I was excited to watch the latest incarnation of this fictional World War 3 invasion of America. Let’s just take it as a given that the logistics of such an invasion make it practically impossible. With that said, the idea of a small group of regular people engaging in guerrilla warfare tactics on familiar turf has a certain appeal to the John Rambo kid within all of us! Obviously, with the Cold War era behind us, the threat of such an invasion is even more unlikely. Not to mention, why would anyone bother to invade a country physically when they already own it economically? Though the invaders are North Korean, the implication is that they have the full support of China. With practical matters out-of-the-way, the recycled story of resistance against a superior enemy is enjoyable. Though it has its share of superficial relationships and some teenage “corny” moments, Red Dawn is packed solid with action and the scenery is much more enjoyable in high-definition compared to watching it on the giant old 200 lb 24 inch tv on the videocassette recorder! Part of the enjoyment in this remake is nostalgia, I suppose, but as long as your expectations aren’t too high and you are able to accept an unrealistic plot, Red Dawn is a fun diversion.
I give up. The premise of the show was unbeatable. The power grid goes down all over the world and in the blink of an eye civilization plunges into a new dark age. With a mainstream budget and resources how could it go wrong? Being such a fan of apocalyptic fiction, I really tried to like this show, but alas, I must admit defeat. Now that the villain is on a quest to obtain the twelve magical amulets or talismans that inhibit the energy dampening field that is responsible for the blackout I think I am officially out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fantasy fiction and am perfectly willing to accept some magical or religious-like powers so long as it is relevant and adds to a good plot. It is beyond me though why the writers would veer off into this direction when there are so many plausible, scientific reasons for a worldwide black out, like an EMP or CME. To top it off, the actual storyline is weak. I don’t care for any of the characters and basically don’t care what happens to them or their messed up world. After the first couple of episodes, they haven’t even been showing any good post apocalyptic scenery. I think the final nail in the coffin was when my wife, who gets scared when a horror movie commercial comes on tv said “this is kind of a lightweight show”. I offer my apologies to those of you that think the show is great…I tried, I really did try to like this show but we all have our limits. I might not go so far as to cancel the scheduled recording of future episodes on the DVR but I won’t be at all upset when my wife “accidentally” deletes them.
If you want to watch the show, NBC has full episodes of Revolution available for free through their website: http://www.nbc.com/revolution/
I just had the chance to watch the last few episodes of the Revolution tv series that have been sitting on the DVR for a while. A number of people have left comments on how they have been disappointed in the show for a variety of reasons. Some complain that the characters are too well-groomed and that the acting is sub par. While I agree with some of the criticism, I still enjoyed the episodes. Maybe my expectations for realism in fiction are low. In terms of tone, Revolution is much less ominous than The Walking Dead. In fact, many of the settings are bright and sunlit, as if speculating on how nature might take things back, though there is no mention of melted down nuclear reactors or other industrial processes left unattended. The Walking Dead has a gloomy end of the world feeling that is completely lacking in Revolution. Clearly Revolution is written more for a mainstream audience and may not appeal to the more traditional post apocalyptic and horror fiction fans. If nothing else, maybe it will make some people out there question their total dependence on electricity. I’ll continue to watch the series for its moderate entertainment value, not for its acting or realism.
Watch episodes through NBC’s website: Revolution
NBC’s new post apocalyptic tv show Revolution kicked off last night to good ratings with an estimated 11.7 million people watching according to Huffington Post. I watched this episode on a laptop during the pre-release online but it was much more enjoyable to watch on the larger screen in high-definition. In this episode we are introduced to a small group of survivors 15 years after an unknown event disables everything that is run by electricity. Unfortunately, we get to see only bits and pieces of the story during and immediately after the event through character “flashbacks”. The details are vague but it appears as though the cause of the 15 year blackout involves some type of conspiracy. Most of the people we encounter have resorted to a more agrarian lifestyle and are ruled by a “militia” in a feudal type of system. Revolution features some great scenes of a post apocalyptic Chicago from an abandoned O’Hare airport to an overgrown Wrigley field. I’m really looking forward to watching more episodes. There’s something about the anticipation of a weekly show that keeps me interested in tv. If only Revolution and The Walking Dead could push out some of “The Real Housewives of…” shows, the world would be a much better place. Watch this episode through NBC’s website . Leave a comment to let me know what you thought of this show so far.
Image: NBC Revolution tv Show
Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, written by James Wesley Rawles tells a story about a group of people struggling to survive a drastic collapse in the financial system which leads to the worst depression in history. JWR is certainly one of the pioneers in economic collapse fiction and is perhaps one of the best known “preppers” in America. In some ways, Patriots is used by James Wesley Rawles as a pulpit where he is able to express his views on issues such as gun control and organized militias. However, if you can get past the long legal/political rants throughout the book, there is a good deal of useful information. In fact one of the criticisms about the book is that the characters are constantly going into great detail about the weapons and equipment that they use. If you approach this book with the intent to learn something about how to prepare for a disaster, you will get more out of it than if you are looking for a work of fine fiction. The characters in Patriots are developed on a very shallow level and lack any depth whatsoever. I would recommend this book only to those that are looking for information on ways that they could prepare for a disaster. The lack of character depth and the extensive politcal ranting left me less than satisfied in terms of entertainment value and fictional merit.
One Second After was written by William Forstchen and released in 2009. The book tells the story of a small town and their struggle to survive after an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) destroys the power grid in the United States along with all of the electronically based equipment. The story begins shortly before the power goes out and follows the characters for about a year into the post-electricity world. Through the book, Forstchen describes a number of “die-offs” and shows how and why these “die-offs” would take place. For example, the main character’s daughter is diabetic and requires insulin to stay alive – with no refrigeration and a limited supply it is inevitable that they will run out. Nursing homes are also abandoned by the caregivers, leaving the helpless to fend for themselves. Those with chronic medical problems that require medications to live are among the first to die. One Second After provides a wealth of ideas for preparing for a disaster and is an excellent thought experiment into the examination of life without electricity. Above all, it is very entertaining!
Lights out, written by David Crawford, follows a group of survivors in Texas after the electric grid goes down. This book was originally released one chapter at a time via the internet, through message boards. Now that the book is available all in one place, you can follow Mark Turner, otherwise known as “Karate Man”, as he struggles to protect and provide for his family in a post-electric world.
The story describes the decline of civilization following an unknown event that disables almost every modern device and shuts down the electric grid. Presumably some type of electromagnetic pulse (emp) event is to blame.
Throughout his book, Crawford illustrates our dependence on electricity and shares a wealth of practical information for those that want to prepare for a disaster event. Lights Out is a highly entertaining story and is must read apocalyptic fiction!