NBC’s Revolution: Welcome to Salon Punk

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It’s a warm lazy Saturday afternoon near Seattle.  I should be mowing the weeds, or cleaning the office, or… just about anything but mindlessly surfing Hulu Plus on my Roku player. But that is what I am doing, looking for something comfortable to watch while I consider cleaning the office.

[There will be spoilers]

Salon-punk is a fusion of what has sold in Sci-Fi and what they are selling in the commercials.

Normally I would be looking for Firefly, Stargate or Dr Who, all comfortable with a hint of humor.  Today, I come across the pilot of NBC’s hyped “Revolution.”  A series set in a near future where the world has lost all electrical power, and evidently almost all the intelligence to build batteries and generators.

I know before the show starts that the premise is weak.  I suspect early testing tells NBC the same, as they recently added LOST favorite Elizabeth Mitchell to the trailers and to 2-3 minutes of flash-backs in the pilot. It is one of the reasons I even considered trying out the new NBC series. Her before-the-first-commercial demise was a solid disappointment.  Face it, NBC understands good Sci-Fi like President Obama & Newt Gingrich know humility. Its a wonder that their SyFy channel turned out quality like Star Gate, Battlestar Galactica and Eureka.

Within five minutes of watching the show, I realized this was a new genre. Where steam-punk fuses Victorian design sensibilities with anachronistic technology and creates a fun past in which to play with the future.  This show fuses the post apocalypse with excellent grooming. I call it Salon Punk!

It’s a world where there is no technology, but new designer clothing and unseen hair salons are clearly easily found.  We get to explore a stark future with mostly good looking people dressed from the 90s.   Well-styled hair and clean clothing improves the post apocalypse like two tablespoons of sugar improve 2 oz of espresso.

NBC wanted something grand with impressive visuals for the previews like jets falling from the sky missing both power… and inertia!   NBC wanted a show their executive team would watch, so physics and high-school-science-class engineering are forgotten, but designer clothing and precisely groomed hair are the rule.

Its obvious NBC is hoping for the next “Lost.” The characters in “Lost” were shifted to the attractive end of the bell curve, but not all perfect.  They were sweaty, dirty, tattered and clearly 2000 miles away from SuperCuts and TJ Maxx. 

Salon-punk is a fusion of what has sold in Sci-Fi and what they are selling in the commercials.  It doesn’t work. This well- styled post apocalyptic world is doomed to a slow death on Monday night because it doesn’t have any attention to detail about how a culture would really decay if the power went off for everyone.  Well almost everyone.

Save your time, the creators assume the viewer is too stupid to know that a scary future is also dirty, sweaty and tattered.

I will be waiting for Castle to return to Mondays at 10 pm.

[Update:  I have since seen trailers for SyFy’s “Defiance” coming April 2013.  Clearly a better understanding of the gritty nature of the end of the world. ]


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