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Count Me Out of This “Revolution” And Fox’s “Mob”


You say you want to see NBC’s “Revolution”?

Well, you know we all want to change the TV world.

But when you talk about all the cartoon violence in the pilot, you can count me out.

Billy Burke: Reluctant Hero

With apologies to the Beatles, that’s how I feel about NBC’s overhyped new series that imagines what life would be like 15 years after the world loses all of its electricity and modern conveniences. The big mysterious question is why did it happen?

Since J. J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Alias,” the “Mission Impossible” movies), is one of the executive producers of the series, a lot is expected of “Revolution.” However, this really isn’t his creation. It comes from Eric Kripke of “Supernatural” fame.

I haven’t been more disappointed by a pilot since last season’s Fox series “Terra Nova” about a family fighting terrible odds and forces that had Steven Spielberg as an executive producer.

“Revolution” features a bunch of good-looking, shirtless young males and strong females (two of the actors ready for their People magazine moment are Tracy Spiridakos and Graham Rogers, who play sister and brother) who are out to save the world and have to battle a well-armed militia with bows and arrows. It has been the Year of Archery with “The Hunger Games” movies and the Summer Olympics so at least its timing is good.

Although almost all modern conveniences are gone, the youngsters look amazingly manicured, coiffed and dressed as they run around with their bows and arrows.

However, their amazing hygiene isn’t the silliest thing about the pilot premiering at 10 tonight on Channel 2. That is easily the ability of one man to fight off a gang of 20 or more in a battle for survival.

I couldn’t get an exact count of the guy’s opponents because I was laughing too much. I am all for suspension of disbelief, but that climactic scene was about as believable as all the political ads in this year’s presidential campaign. 

The young cuties and hunks in the cast don’t provide much electricity. They probably will get the most attention, but the most memorable actors are Billy Burke as a reluctant hero , Miles, with a charmed life and Giancarlo Esposito as a bad guy with the militia looking for Miles.

This is the kind of plot-driven family series that will require a viewer to watch every week and forget how implausible it is. For that alone, it deserves some slings and arrows. It looks great but I’d rather watch an archery competition than another episode. Count me out.

Rating: 2 stars out of 4

Speaking of mini-revolutions, I was struck on Friday by some comments made by reporters on CNN and NBC about all the protests in the Middle East countries that may have been ignited by a stupid anti-Islam film condemned by the U.S. government.

NBC’s Richard Engel and a female reporter on CNN (I was on a treadmill watching and couldn’t catch her name) noted that the TV cameras probably inflate the size of the protesting crowds and give a distorted picture of what is happening there.

The CNN reporter said the protests involved a 1,000 or so people in one country, not 100,000. She added that America also has many supporters in the nations where protests are being held, and that shouldn’t be lost.

She and Engel were trying to give the ongoing story balance, but they just reaffirmed that the danger of TV news is that its pictures are worth a thousand words from reporters trying to give much-needed perspective.

Speaking of implausible, there’s the new Fox series “The Mob Doctor” premiering at 9 tonight on WUTV an hour before “Revolution.” One thing the two series have  have in common is the use of arrows.

This is TV’s year of the mob, with CBS’ “Las Vegas” next up next week.

Jordana Spiro (left): From “Boys” to “Mob”

I’ve long been a fan of series lead Jordana Spiro of the TBS comedy “My Boys” and the cast also includes some of TV’s best character actors in Zeljko Ivanek, William Forsythe, Michael Rappaport  and Zach Gilford. But this foolish “Doctor” would seem to have played much better as a movie than a continuing series in which Spiro’s character, Dr. Grace Devlin, needs to satisfy the medical needs of the mob to keep members of her family alive.

“I’m not a typical doctor,” says Grace. I’ll say. She practices medicine and situational ethics and quotes moralist and philosopher Lord Acton.

I hope you didn’t read too much of the story in TV Topics Sunday about the pilot since it revealed far too many details that viewers probably would prefer to discover themselves. In the News wire story, the co-creator of the series noted that it was “loosely inspired” by a book by a real mob doctor.

It had to be very loosely inspired by the real doctor because the gruesome pilot set in Chicago has more unrealistic aspects than “Revolution” and that is saying something..

The foolishness undoubtedly will have to be repeated in subsequent episodes, which is only one reason why “The Mob Doctor” would have worked better as a movie.

Rating: 2 stars 


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