Before we get into the real meat and potatoes of this episode (the gang make their way through the Philadelphia underground, experiencing hallucinations along the way. There, we're done! And in time for some ZEP), I wanted to float an idea by everyone. Not so much a theory, which requires evidence and engagement, but a way of looking at Revolution that I think, for me anyway, helps explain so much of its aversion to being a good show.
Revolution is structured like a video game. Think about it: Each episode since the first has been centered on a particular mission or world, much like you see in… well, any game ever. A train heist. Last night, a subterranean reconnaissance mission. And these plots so dominate the episode of which they're a part as to convey a sort of "You are here!" mentality that's only broken by 1-2 errant B-Story scenes (last night, Rachel's Walter White bomb-building). The show's made no bones about Miles' Han Solo role. But he could just as easily be Master Chief or Tommy Vercetti, guiding you at the same time you're controlling him to explosive victory.
The weird thing is when I view an episode like last night's through this video game lens… it actually makes the whole experience go down much smoother. You can forgive more. Where on another show, 42 minutes spent just traipsing beneath the city occasionally but not fatally hallucinating might suggest a show that just fundamentally doesn't have many stories to tell, here we need it. How else are we going to defeat the Monroe Mecha-Bot that emerges next week if not for a major HP augmentation in the wilds outside his castle?
(I'll be returning to the "Revolution is a weird video game" well throughout the rest of the season, I'm sure. We've got to write about something, right?)
Nearly 90 percent — felt that way, anyway — of the run time of last night's episode was devoted to the gang making their way through the abandoned Philly speed line. Enlisting the help of a local chapter of Rebels Against Monroe, Miles led the way to a potential showdown with his old buddy. Which would have been great if they'd gotten there! This idea that in order for a show to be "important," it must move glacially slow through plotlines is so absurd. Even the greats have fallen prey to it, sure. But that doesn't mean something can't be done in the future.
And as to the idea of "hallucinations," here triggered by a lack of oxygen in the tunnels… I'm not sure what new information we gleaned. Miles had a dreamscape reunion with Monroe; Charlie found herself on her dad's couch, talking to him like it was no biggie. Aaron was reminded once more he's a COWARD! SUCH A COWARD. But it's all old hat, outdated and misplaced as a "look how these characters have grown!" mechanism. Plus Nora gets fake-dragged into the water in one room like she's Luke Skywalker battling the dianoga in the original Star Wars, which is both a nice homage and wickedly, wickedly offensive to me on every level.
ZEPPELIN. TWO SONGS. The episode was called "Kashmir," so of course they played that. Anyone remember what the second (or first) song was? Kashmir had minimal impact considering it scored a known dream scene, which was a bummer. How do you blow your shot at "Kashmir"?
Under Monroe's careful eye in Philadelphia, Rachel continued to build what she was telling people was a pendant amplifier — something that, in military hands, could effectively control an entire army. Turns out she was actually building a TIME BOMB like a loco person, hoping to snare Monroe in the blast in the process. You'll have to try harder, Rachel! But then, in a move fit only for Walter White, she guns down the doctor who'd offered a dissenting opinion and possible replacement status. In all seriousness — one of the first interesting things to happen on this show!
Little surprise to the fact that one member of the Rebellion camp turns traitor (or had turned traitor) and guns down several rebels before they can finally get aboveground. But Charlie, aka Katniss Everdeen — she's got that spark that won't go out and before long, she's tracked and killed the guy with her bow and arrow. Great work.
Some other stuff happened. It didn't matter so much. I'm fully confident that next week's Fall Finale will at least offer excitement, which we're always begging of this show. Until then…
[Image Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC]
Revolution Recap: Sister, Sister
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Well it looks like things are finally happening with the billion and a half fairy tale movies heading towards production. Filming officially begun for Tarsem Singh's untitled Snow White comedy-action adventure. It follows Julia Roberts as the evil queen (duh) and up-and-comer Lily Collins.
This is of course, big news for Universal's adaptation of the same story, Snow White and the Huntsman, which stars Kristin Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. I guess the race is on to see who can make the best Snow White-themed project.
Check out the press release below if that's your sort of thing:
(Beverly Hills, CA) June 15, 2011 – Filming on Relativity Media’s comedy action-adventure Untitled Snow White will begin on Monday, June 20, 2011, under the stylish direction of Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Cell).
In Relativity's Untitled Snow White starring Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts and breakout star Lily Collins (The Blind Side), an evil Queen (Roberts) steals control of a kingdom, and an exiled princess (Collins) enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright in a spirited adventure comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal that will capture the imagination of audiences the world over. The film also stars Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the object of their affection, Prince Andrew Alcott, and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen.
Rounding out the cast are: Mare Winningham (Brothers) as Baker Margaret, Michael Lerner (Elf) as Baron and Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants), Jordan Prentice (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), Danny Woodburn (Watchmen), Sebastian Saraceno (Bedtime Stories), Ronald Lee Clark (Epic Movie), Martin Klebba (Pirates of The Caribbean) and Joey Gnoffo (The Benchwarmers) as the Seven Dwarfs.
Singh’s behind the scenes creative team includes: Director of Photography Brendan Galvin (Behind Enemy Lines), Production Designer Tom Foden (The Cell) and the Oscar®-winning Costume Designer Eiko Ishioka (Dracula). Untitled Snow White will film entirely on location in Montreal, Canada.
The film's producers are Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter), Bernie Goldmann (300) and Brett Ratner (Rush Hour franchise). The script was written by Melisa Wallack (Meet Bill) and Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher).
This adventure drama out of the "Deliverance" school puts white water kayaker James Brolin, and freelance photojournalist Catherine Bach, on a collision course with unscrupulous developer Richard Lynch, who will stop at nothing to build his dam.