Midseason report card: Did NBC’s ‘Revolution’ season 2 improve, or regress?

The latest -You can either look at the first season of NBC’s “Revolution” as a massive achievement or a massive letdown depending on your perspective. From one standpoint, the marketing department did a brilliant job of getting people to watch the premiere, and it drew even better numbers than “The Blacklist” did this year on the network. Unfortunately, the show really failed to give you a consistently high-quality show, and the ratings reflected that.

The situation for season 2 is much different than what we saw for the show at this time last year. This is no longer the darling child of NBC. The ratings are down, and the show needs to find a way to avoid being on the bubble of cancellation. But with their backs against the wall, we do feel like the “Revolution” team is making some of the right moves. But is it enough? That’s what we are hoping to analyze in our Midseason Report Card series today.

The shining stars – Mostly here, it’s the crew first and foremost. The frustrations with the story at times still come back at times to the fact that the groups in set design, visual effects, and locations give you some of best stuff out there that you want to see everything on that same level. This is a beautiful show to watch, and the cornfields and grittiness of Willoughby has added a different flavor.

Also, some of the characters are improving. Charlie and Miles in particular are more compelling, and we feel like Monroe has evolved somewhat beyond just being the sort of token villain. Aaron remains the best part of the show, and in giving him the story with the nanites this year, it feels like the writers are aware of that.

What needs work – Let’s not sit here and pretend that the characters are where they need to be. Save for maybe Aaron and Tom, most of the other folks just aren’t that compelling to watch just yet. It also hurts that we really don’t get a sense of what anyone is like in happier times. There’s just not enough personality there beyond family and trying to survive. That is really what separates this show from “Lost,” which does have many similar elements to it.

Also, let’s find some more ways to bring the characters together in the second half of the season. You want some individual stories to be told, but there also has to be the option for them to come together again quickly.

Overall – Season 2 of “Revolution” is an improvement on the original, but it’s not at the level right now that it needs to be to earn a renewal thanks to passionate / protesting fans. If it loosens up and tries to show off a little more personality beyond the intensity, it could get there by around May if the ratings don’t drop any further. Grade: B-.

If you want to read some other Midseason Report Card entries, just be sure to visit the link here.

Photo: NBC

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