The CW’s sci-fi drama about a group of juvenile delinquents trying to survive on Earth post-nuclear apocalypse is an emotional thrill-ride that stuns with effects, plot twists and impressive character development.
The 100 (2014): Created by Jason Rothenberg; 3 Seasons à 16 episodes à 45mins.; starring Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropolous, Lindsey Morgan, Alycia Debnam-Carey (Fear the Walking Dead), Ricky Whittle (American Gods), Richard Harmon, Isaiah Washington (Dr. Burke from Grey’s Anatomy), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond from LOST), Zach McGowan (Black Sails).
For fans of: LOST, The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, visions of life after Earth, fresh faces, The Tribe, Avatar, post-apocalyptic wardrobe, radioactive fauna, fluorescent flora, strong female characters.
If The 100 were a contestant on The Voice, it would be deserving of a four chair turn. Here’s why you should catch up now…
1. It operates on a familiar premise
If you just had a déjà-vu feeling watching the trailer, it’s probably because The 100 reminds you of another show about a diverse group of plane-wrecked outcasts, Abc’s iconic hit show LOST. Only The 100 is set in the distant future, after humanity has been wiped from the Earth by a nuclear catastrophe (or has it?)The show follows a group of juvenile delinquents as they try to stay alive in an inhospitable, radioactive jungle that is populated by mutated animals among other things.
Interestingly, The 100’s protagonists bear a striking resemblence to the characters on LOST: Clarke, for example serves as a stand-in Jack as she has both the medical experience and leadership skills; Bellamy is basically Kate, having committed a crime and trying to keep it a secret from everyone on the ground; Murphy is probably most akin to Sawyer – I wouldn’t trust that guy further than I could throw him! – and Raven is a female Sayid with an equally disturbing yet significantly different backstory. You could even argue that early season 1 Octavia has a little bit of Shannon in her – minus the asthma.
2. It’s unpredictable
The 100 kills off its characters with the same brutality and frequency that reality shows send home contestants – incidentally, this establishes a similarity to that other dystopian YA phenomenon, The Hunger Games. You thought that your favourite character is save because they are one of the lead characters and romantically involved with another lead character? Wrong! For The 100 is a high-stakes, thrilling bloodfest that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
3. It offers great character development
Take a good long look at those kids gleefully jumping off the drop-ship in the first episode as if they had just reconquered paradise. Not everyone is lucky enough to survive and those who do will be changed by the horrors they have to endure in the process. Watch the bully evolve into a hero, the yolo girl blossom into a warrior, and the goody-two-shoes become compromised over the safety of her people.
4. It waves goodbye to patriarchy
Part of the reason the 100 has been so well-received by audiences in the US and outside is that it treats some of our currently most pressing social issues as if they’re no big deal. It’s got bisexual characters, interracial relationships, and proposes an alternative form of government that puts women in positions of power – and it all works out brilliantly!
5. It’s got some amazing tunes
From Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” playing as an element of foreshadowing in Episode 1, to Raign’s haunting rendition of “Knocking on heaven’s door” in the intense season 2 finale, the employment of music on The 100, though sporadic, is flawlessly poignant and significant.
To binge or not to binge? I recommend stocking up on snacks and drinks before you hit play on the first episode because you’re not going to want to be able to stop watching. In fact, my good friend Judith finished both seasons in one weekend sitting she got so addicted to it. Way to go Judith!
Where can I watch? All 29 episodes à 45mins are available on Netflix US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark as well as Amazon, Maxdome, iTunes, and Videoload.