Season 1 of The 100 on CW via Netflix. This was a second viewing (in a month) in anticipation of the 4th season being released (and to get my wife to watch it so I would shut up with my raving about this show…)
After the remnants of mankind escape nuclear destruction by forming a giant ark in space (truly, this spaceship is called the Ark), new rules must be enforced to ensure the survival of the species. So whenever a crime is committed, the person is floated – unless they are under 18 years old. The story picks up as the Ark is running out of air. So 100 18yr-old criminals are sent to Earth to determine if the ground is survivable. There are two plot arcs in this season – one on Earth and one on the Ark. And these are two completely different story-types – Earth = YA, Ark = A. But the lines get blurry. Lots of trials and tribulations happen to both parties and the season ends with the 100 realizing they are not alone on Earth.
Episode 3 onward. Let me explain. The first two episodes start out super Young Adult style. Bunch of teenagers loose on Earth with no parents, straight Lord of the Flies. There is the obligatory Imagine Dragons song, the young vixen who rebels strips to her boy-briefs while two sex-crazed boys goggle, the older rebel boy wants to be in charge, the main character starts to develop the feels for the cool kid. All of that happens and though the first episode ends on a WTF moment that you don’t see coming, the show doesn’t shed that YA stuff until episode three when a semi-main character gets his throat cut by an unsuspecting character. From then on, this show goes dark with its themes and that works so well.
The dichotomy of the 100 and the people on the Ark (the parents and adults) are great. The Ark scenes are straight Sci-Fi and are very heavy. With the Ark dying, people need to be culled from it for the sake of the species. Those are questions that you normally don’t see on YA shows and I love it. The 100 on the ground are completely different. They all go back to our baser instincts as humans – survival. But varying degrees of it. Some characters want to do “whatever the hell they want” while others want to ensure they survive. It is a style of story that truly brings the viewer in deep.
Without going into spoilers, the introduction of other humans on the ground (called Grounders…come on its YA!) is excellent story-building and tension. The vixen character from above, sheds that stereotype when this happens and she becomes one of my favorite characters, as well as it creates the sibling tension of the older rebel brother.
Raven & Kane are such great layered characters. Though she gets so much better in later seasons, I loved Raven from the get. She was the kickass female without having to play to the stereotypes you would expect from YA. And Kane, holy crap what a character. He starts out the villain, turns good, then villain again, then again. He goes from hated to loved to hated. I love it!
The level of blood is great here. Even though they don’t go crazy this season with the gore, the show doesn’t shy away from it (mentioned above). This is important because a show like this needs violence.
What Doesn’t Work:
Clarke and Finn. I know I know. Clarke is the main character – smart, leader, asskicker – but I find myself leaning toward other characters much more than her. The first season she is a strong character, but as the show moves on, I find myself caring less about her and more about the story. This is just my thoughts though. And Finn, ughhhh. He is annoying, but I can see why the intended audience would like him.
Abby Griffin. Clarke’s mother is a frustrating character (and trust me, she doesn’t get better). I mean she was April frickin O’neil from Ninja Turles II Secret of the Ooze, but in this show she flip flops her beliefs way too much for me.
5 out 5.
I absolutely love this show! I was hooked from the end of episode 1, but it took until episode 3 to truly make me a fanboy. And upon second viewing, I love it even more.