I just finished the CW’s popular sci-fi show The 100, centering on 100 juveniles sent down from space to see if the Earth is habitable again after a nuclear war 97 years earlier. The show’s premise is good, though nothing we haven’t seen before- think Lost mixed with Lord of the Flies– and their execution starts off shaky, but gets stronger as the show progresses.
The 100 is told from the perspective of Clarke Griffin, one of the 100 prisoners sent down from the Ark, which is the giant space station keeping the human race alive. Clarke is a typical hero, trying to keep the peace between the 100 people that came to Earth and eventually becoming a sort of leader to them. The show then starts flipping back and forth between the kids on the ground, and the adults still up inside the Ark, shown through the perspective of Clarke’s mother, Abby. This shows us the different problems that each group is dealing with- the kids realizing that they aren’t alone on the ground, and the adults trying to figure out what they’re going to do once their oxygen runs out.
The first season of the 100 is fairly predictable, but still very entertaining to watch. The script is poor, but the story itself shows promise. The second season is much stronger, and much more unpredictable. Surprisingly, the character development on this show is excellent. These people grow and change in front of your eyes as you get lost in their world. They go through massive amounts of trauma, all of which you can see take its toll on them. Their judgement starts to become impaired, they begin making decisions and choices based on their prior experiences, and they begin to realize that there isn’t a distinct line between good and evil. It’s all very interesting to watch, as these people that value fairness and justice begin to realize that there are a completely different set of rules on Earth than there were in the sky.
One unrelated thing that I really like about this show is that they keep their characters looking rough & bloody after battles. They don’t just all of a sudden heal up and look beautiful again, but the blood and scratches and bruises from their encounters with each other stay on their faces for a normal progression of time. In any case, by the time those cuts start to heal, they’re already fighting someone else.
I would recommend this show to people, but tell them not to take it too seriously. It isn’t a work of art, or a beautifully scripted show that will change your life, but it’s extremely entertaining and fun to watch. The characters are fascinating, though the story itself has been told before.