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The 100 – TV Series Review

I feel that I should start this review by stating that I have never been a super huge fan of sci-fi, in either print or visual media forms. It wasn’t until I watched the entirety of Firefly a few years ago that it finally clicked for me. Sci-fi didn’t have to be super weird; it could also be funny and pull on your heartstrings, too. The TV adaptation of Kass Morgan’s book, The 100, also has these qualities.

The 100 (poster)The 100 ticks all the little boxes for what’s currently hot right now in media: Strong female lead? Check. Dystopian future? Check. Post-apocalyptic Earth scenario? Check.

The show begins in space, set on a giant station known as The Arc. Initially, The Arc was thirteen separate stations, floating in space, each from a different Earth nation. They left Earth nearly 100 years ago, prior to nuclear bombs dropping and, presumably, destroying the livability of the planet. When one of the stations is destroyed, the others rally together by joining their ships and creating The Arc, electing a Chancellor and council to make laws and help keep order.

Fast forward 97 years, and we find that The Arc is decrepit and dying. Three generations after the initial launch from Earth, and the station is in poor shape and people are beginning to die from systems failures and lack of oxygen. Then, an idea comes from one of the counsellors: Why not send 100 criminals from the prison block down to Earth? This serves two purposes – Population reduction, leaving more air and resources for those left behind; and it allows those left on The Arc to find out if the Earth is habitable.

And so it is done. The 100 teenaged criminals are sent in what they call a drop ship to Earth, to fend for themselves, in secret. They are given instructions from the Chancellor to reach a location called Mount Weather (which is a real place in Virginia, United States) as it will have the supplies they need in order to survive. The landing itself is rough, killing some and destroying the communications systems on the drop ship. 100 teenagers reach Earth for the first time in nearly 100 years, and they are somehow expected to survive the wilderness and whatever it holds for them.

Welcome to the first episode of The 100.

The Arc

The show moves back and forth between issues happening on the ground and those happening aboard The Arc. Neither situation is a good one. Those on Earth find that they are not alone, that Mouth Weather is a little farther away than originally anticipated, and that the irradiated planet they now live on is out to get them. The remaining people on The Arc realize that their supplies and life support are dwindling faster than they projected, and they are stuck making some difficult decisions regarding those who are left. The overarching plot remains throughout each episode: Is the Earth survivable? Will those onboard The Arc live long enough to reach Earth? Each episode, however, has its own story that weaves together with the next to create a vibrant tapestry.

The 100 (screen shot)It should be mentioned, however, that this show is fairly violent. I wouldn’t put it on par with a show like Game of Thrones for its level of violence, but characters do die. Some characters are shot, some are stabbed, one character is tortured and, in one episode, a large number of people sacrifice themselves so that others may live. The world of The 100 is not a pretty place. While some aspects of the show are beautiful (the location where the initial drop ship lands is gorgeous), it is also dangerous and deadly.

I found the relationships between the characters to be fairly believable, especially those of the 100 teenagers sent to Earth. The relationship between our main character, Clarke, and many of the other people on the ground is strained as they knew her as one of the privileged on board The Arc. Things on the ground become very intense, very quickly, as Clarke tries to take control and the group shuts her out as they see their landing on Earth as a freedom from imprisonment and the rules that they left behind. Chaos rules the day.

All in all, I find The 100 to be an enjoyable show. While not one of my usual choices for mindless watching, I enjoyed the character interaction and the graphical elements quite a bit. I would recommend this for folks who enjoy dystopian future settings, shows like Firefly, or the Fallout video game series. If you’ve enjoyed other shows produced by The CW network (such as The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, or Smallville), this show may be for you.

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4 Comments

  1. Avatar Mark says:

    I second that this show is worth watching. I was just browsing Netflix and came across it. Never seen any advertising for the show and I don’t think its very popular. But fully enjoyed the first season. Reminded me of Battlestar a little bit, but with younger leading characters.

  2. Avatar Nicole says:

    I caught this show by happenstance that first week, and it totally sucked me in. You’re right! It has the exact mix of dynamics for what’s hot these days. I was impressed with the depth of story and characters. Love it!

  3. Avatar ocimum says:

    I love fantasy series or crime based never looked for sifi but this one – It felt great. Amazing one. Hope I can find more like this 🙂

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