Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Revolution... or "Final Fantasy: The TV Show"

I used to play a lot of video games when I was younger, up to a few years ago. My favorites were always role-playing games; you know, games like Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star and stuff like that. The thing about rpgs as they're called is that, while a lot of the game-play mechanics and stuff differ greatly, a lot of the story were all pretty similar and pretty basic. It would go something like, "in a less technologically advanced world than our own, the hero suffers a personal loss at the hands of a villainous figure and goes on a quest to avenge that loss, usually with the help of a childhood friend or father-figure, and in the course of that quest would make new helpful friends as well as some shady ones while finding a great warrior to help them and realizing they have a personal connection to that villainous figure and eventually a personal connection to saving their entire world." I mention this because as I finally got around to watching the pilot for NBC's new show Revolution, I realized it fell into that cookie cutter plot perfectly.

Which, considering the success of rpgs over the years (seriously, there are, like 83 Final Fantasy games now), isn't a bad thing.


I'm sure you've seen enough from the promos to know that the show takes place a bit in the future, where electricity and technology have mysteriously vanished from the world. People fight with swords and crossbows and the rare firearm... just like in rpgs. Our hero, Charlie, lost her mother years ago. As the story opens, a soldier from a local militia shows up and eventually kills her father and kidnaps her brother. Charlie sets out to get her brother back, joined on this quest by her dad's friend and her dad's girlfriend. So so far we have the personal loss, the quest, and the family friends. She first has to find her uncle, a great warrior... he seriously wins a sword fight against like twenty people at once. She meets a guy on the road who helps her but who is really working for the evil militia, but who still saves her life. The shady new friend archetype I mentioned above.  We find out in flashbacks that the leader of the militia, the mysterious villain, is actually a friend of her uncle. We also find out that he was after her father and likewise her uncle because they might know what happened to electricity.

Seriously. It fits the cookie cutter rpg plot perfectly, and that was all in one episode. But it's also good. Or at least good enough to make me want to see what happens next. I love a good mystery, and there are only three new shows this year that interest me and I don't have all that much hope for the other two, so I'm willing to give this one a large margin of error before I write it off. I honestly liked just about everything about it: the acting was pretty good, the idea is interesting, and it had surprisingly good action for a TV show. My only problem with it is that I have a hard time buying the clueless dad from Twilight as this lethal killing machine. That's going to take some getting used to.

Well, that's not my only problem; the other one is hoping NBC doesn't cancel it in two months before it gets anywhere...

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