HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The 100 - Season 1
HTS Overall Score:78
I had to raise my eyebrow in surprise when I heard that The CW was putting out a full Sci-fi show on their channel; “Supernatural” and “Smallville” are about as close to Science Fiction as they have ever gotten, especially with what seems to a mix of hard Sci-fi and Dystopian Sci-fi. "The 100" takes a few pages out of “Battlestar Galactica,” as well as “Earth 2” and “Terra Nova” to weave a tale meant for the young adult audience, but ultimately one that gets too wrapped up in itself to really be enjoyable. Certain pieces of the show have potential, and I’m tempted to see how season 2 starts out in a few months, but overall it left a rather sour taste in the mouth.
It’s been a hundred years or so since the last world war where mankind nuked themselves into the Stone Age, leaving the survivors to live in an orbiting space station over the Earth, just waiting for the earth to hopefully detoxify enough to allow humans to return back to the surface. To set the backstory, with only a few thousand humans aboard the ark for over a 4 generations, there’s not a lot of room for growth, so any infraction of any kind is met with immediate death. Also, there are periodic cullings where people have to be spaced in order to keep the population level down enough for everyone to survive. Underage prisoners are left in cells until their 18th birthday when they are old enough to be tried and shot out into space for whatever crime they committed. This is where we meet our main female lead, Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor). Daughter of the ship’s doctor and member of the ruling class, she was jailed for the crime of helping her father go against the wishes of Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington). However, rather than just getting spaced, she and 100 underage prisoners are now being sent down to the planet’s surface as expendable guinea pigs to see if there is any chance that the rest of the people can follow shortly. Basically, canaries in a coal mine.
Once on the surface, all hell breaks loose; there is no law, no order, just chaos. Bellamy Blacke (Bob Morley) has his own designs for the motley crew and starts taking command of everything, strangely enough wanting nothing to do with Ark anymore. Leading his converts with an iron will, he and his right hand men (or boys really) create a dictatorship that will either band them all together or turn everyone against each other. Clarke despises Bellamy for his monstrous ways and allies with Finn (Thomas McDonnell) and Bellamy’s sister Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) as they try and eke out a way to contact the Ark again (after Bellamy destroyed their communications equipment) and try and survive the dangers of the wilderness as well as the native inhabitants who survived the nuclear devastation.
“The 100” is an interesting mix of “Lord of the Flies”, “Battlestar Galactica” and some other post-apocalyptic shows, all thrown in a blender and turned on frappe mode. As much as I’d like it to work out, the mishmash of shoes and ideas just doesn’t turn out well AT ALL. The CW is known for its love triangles and insipid teen angst, but here it’s taken to a whole different level in ways I haven’t seen since the worst seasons of “Smallville” and “Vampire Diaries”. The obvious triangle with Raven, Flinn and Clarke is about as subtle as a ton of bricks falling on your head, while the constant arguing and childishness gets old fast. I do understand that they aren’t even 18 yet, and teenagers do stupid things, but when you focus on stupidity for an ENTIRE season, it starts to grate the nerves, especially when there is next to no maturity. Clarke starts out okay, but ends up being just as bad as Bellamy by the end of the season, and besides Flinn, Councilor Marcus Cane (veteran actor Henry Ian Cusick) and Jasper, you end up hating or even downright LOATHING every single character on screen. There isn’t a likeable character in the bunch, and we’re not talking “Game of Thrones” unlikeable, where they aren’t good people, but you end up kind of begrudgingly liking the character. We’re talking that no one is even remotely worth anything as a human being, except maybe Lincoln, the lone good guy grounder.
Ironically, the story is mainly about the 100 teenagers on the ground and their struggles, but the only interesting story that actually goes on is told aboard the Ark, where the crew and ruling class struggle to deal with coups, a rising death toll, and espionage. The veteran actors are littered with ex “BSG” members, including Gaeta, Ellen Tigh, and several others, so you can see that their influence on the plotline heavily molded the “Battlestar Galactica light” plot in space. It doesn’t always work out, but I had to say that I would rather have watched BSG light than listen to those teenagers bellyaching and backstabbing each other mercilessly for another episode. As I said, there was potential, and I liked the idea of the grounders and the mountain men survivors. It gave an edge to the series that should have been fleshed out more. The problem was, the characters are SOOOOOOOO stupid that any effort to create a logical and intriguing experience was washed out by you yelling at the screen “What are you doing!!!??” the entire time. Hopefully with the adult cast joining the 100 for next season on the ground, we can expect a little more maturing of the storyline, and hopefully at least one or two more characters that you don’t want to space yourself.
The Episode Rundown is as Follows
Twilight's Last Gleaming
His Sister's Keeper
Contents Under Pressure
I Am Become Death
We Are Grounders : Part 1
We Are Grounders : Part 2
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=27601[/img]Warner has been on a roll lately with their TV shows. “Arrow”, “The Originals”, etc. have all had fantastic images, and “The 100” is no different. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the encode looks phenomenal with rich colors, deep blacks and some great looking detail to boot. The color palette is very balanced and natural with excellent saturation levels. The Ark looks appropriately grey and teal toned, with lots of silver and gunmetal tones, while the Earth forest is alive with different shades of blue, green and reds, and every color in between. Those self-same forest shots are filled with tons and tons of minute visual detail, from the coloring and texture of different leaves, to the dirt and grime embedded in the 100 survivor’s clothes and faces as they try to survive out in the wild. Black levels are very deep and only show a few instances of banding, with great shadow detail. Besides the color banding in some dark shots, I couldn’t see any issues with digital artifacts and the show appears to have been given a healthy enough bitrate, allowing the show to breathe.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=27609[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is amazing for a TV show, up there on par with “Arrow Season 2’s” track. Aggressive and full of impressive LFE, the show pounds away at the low end and has very immersive experience that sucks you into the tense situations the characters are in. The hum and roar of the Ark is well balanced among the 5 speakers and the score pulses with power to accompany the crash of gunfire, the screaming of the victims and the swish of forest vines. I still am amazed at the amount of powerful LFE that was put into the track, as most tv shows really don’t have a wild amount of bass in them, but this one was just teeming with it at every turn. Still, it didn’t overpower the dialogue and the dynamic range was wide, but still within reason. A very fun track to show off how a TV show can sound really good. Excellent work Warner brothers; definitely top notch audio.
• 2013 Comic Con Panel
• Creating the World of The 100
• We Are Grounders Part 2 Audio Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
I’m a big Sci-fi nut and I really wanted to like “The 100” Season 1”, but the lack of any likeable, or at least non-loathsome, characters really put a damper on the enjoyability. The potential was there, and we had some very decent TV actors present, but the insipid high school romances and the poorly written characters just sucked all the joy out of the series. The ending of this one certainly leaves it heading in a completely different direction, and season 2 could turn itself around, but if season 1 is anything to go by, I’m not really looking forward to it. The audio and the video are excellent, with some decent extras, so fans of the show are going to be pleased. Newbies probably should wait to Netflix it, as I wouldn’t exactly recommend a blind buy on this one.
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Eli Goree, Thomas McDonell, Isaiah Washington
Created by: Jason Rothenberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 572 Minutes
Own it on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD September 23
Buy The 100 - Season 1 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Tentative Rental
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