A show set in near-future, post-apocalyptic, mid-western America about survival, family and fighting for what’s right? No, not Jericho. NBC‘s new show: Revolution.
I keep seeing comparisons, complaints, and accusations about how Revolution is a rip off or retry of Jericho. However, if you dig a little deeper, look just a bit closer, you’ll see these are very different stories.
In Jericho we saw an immediate reaction to not only a loss of electrical power, but also social power. Jericho was the parable of being doomed to relive the history we refused to learn from. At the genesis of society’s reboot there was constant competition between the old way and some possible new way that might work better. Fear, confusion, and order were everyday challenges for those living in Jericho’s post-apocalyptic world.
Every time normalcy was established in Jericho it was under threat, be it from their neighbors in New Bern or from the sketchy new corporate government in Cheyenne. They couldn’t really settle into a lifestyle because the world hadn’t settled yet.We see fear, confusion, and order conquered in Revolution. The story is set about 15 years after the blackout and anyone who was going to survive has survived. Community and sustainable lifestyles have been established. There’s a massive difference between surviving for a few months, or even a couple of years, and doing it for a decade or more. There’s a comfort in normalcy, even if it’s the new normal created out of necessity.
Revolution removes the option characters had in Jericho to run away or pity themselves. Unless their people are somehow worse off than the people elsewhere, their situation is what it is. The citizens of Jericho not only trying to stave off conflict, they were also constantly trying to plan for the next situation be acid rain, winter, or food shortages.In Revolution we’re introduced to a world that’s accepted its fate, survived it, and lived in it. Unlike in Jericho, no one was excluded. We, the audience, get to see from the introduction that this is not an isolated issue. No care packages are coming and there’s no safe zone to be thankful for.
In post-apocalyptic Revolution, people might want to migrate away from winter and they might need to deal with the local power-mad warlord. Personally, I think a power-mad warlord, unlike a starved and desperate neighbor, is somewhat their own damn fault. It’s their community and their responsibility to stomp that noise out at its inception or suffer when it comes to fruition.
In Jericho we say a civil war where the winner got to survive. In Revolution we see a bully with an agenda and an army. While the solution to both problems is to band together, it’s a different and scarier kind of stand that needs to be taken when it’s a moral imperative rather than a life or death one.
I encourage you to watch both– at least a little. Jericho because it’s awesome and I can’t say enough good things about it. Revolution because it might be awesome if you give it a chance on its own merits.
Official site: nbc.com/revolution
Official twitter: @NBCRevolution