You Say You Want A Revolution? J.J. Abrams’ New Show Debuts

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WHAT: Last night, NBC debuted Revolution, the endlessly hyped new show from Alias, Lost, and Fringe wunderkind J.J. Abrams. The concept: 15 10 years after all the lights go out, everyone’s hair still looks fantastic but some people are very angry.

VERDICT: It’s a mixed bag. We understand the crossbows, but where are the characters getting these stylish, slim-fitting corduroys and leave-in hair conditioners? Putting aside the ridiculous beautification that routinely occurs in representations of the post-apocalypse, the premise — a world without power — is a fascinating one. Too bad the first episode of the drama was simultaneously dull and way too rushed. It feels like a show that should be on cable, where Abrams would have the breathing room to develop the characters and stretch out the plots. (Remember how slow the first few episodes of Breaking Bad were?) Like the major networks’ PG-13 odes to Mad Men (Pan Am, The Playboy Club), we suspect Revolution is headed for the dustbin of TV history. Still, we have some hope. Abrams is a smart guy with interesting ideas. If anyone can mine the dramatic potential of the darkpocalypse within the myopic parameters of network TV, it’s him.