The story takes place well over a century from now. Earth, presumably due to another World War that went nuclear, has become uninhabitable due to radioactive fallout. Most of the world died and a small percentage of the population survived by retreating into space. Twelve nations had active space stations and they were combined into one giant structure known as the Ark. Three generations in, 97 years to be exact, and the Ark is dying. It can no longer sustain the population living on it despite its strict rules. If you are over 18 and you commit a crime, any crime, you are executed by being “floated” which is just being thrown into space. If you are under 18, you are imprisoned and given a chance to reform and up for review when you hit 18. These are our main characters. In a desperate attempt, all 100 convicts that are minors are sent to Earth in hopes that it is inhabitable a full 100 years before it was thought to be. The Ark is ran by an elected chancellor and a small council. If the 100 aren’t successful, they will be forced to sacrifice over 300 people to buy their engineers enough time to hopefully save the rest of them.
Don’t get me wrong here, the premise for this show is great and the show has potential to be great as well. I’m usually a sucker for plot lines like this. Hell, I even enjoyed the show Terra Nova (don’t judge me). I just thing there are some really big roadblocks they are going to have to get around to make this show into what I hoped it would be. And to their credit, they are already making strides to do that. The second episode, Earth Skills, was miles better than the pilot. The pilot was just straight up very mediocre. It was extremely predictable and the dialogue was atrocious. The dialogue is still pretty atrocious, but at least the story is starting to get interesting.
The focus of the show is split into two parts. The majority of the show follows the kids on Earth, but about 33% of the show follows the adults left on the Ark. One problem for me is that I find the Ark story-line much more interesting than the stuff on Earth so far. There is a big time power struggle going on and everyone is starting to get desperate. Most of the general populous is ignorant to the fact that they are all about to die and even to the fact that the kids were sent back to Earth. The fact that they lost communication with the kids and that they can only monitor the kids wristbands that measure their vitals was a nice touch. Its a lot of fun to watch them try and figure out what is going on.
On Earth, there really is some great stuff going on, but also some very frustrating stuff. The CG is actually pretty decent for the most part. At least by the CW standards, which are low admittedly. The radioactive effects on Earth are really cool to see. The mutated animals and the glowing forests at midnight are a fun touch. The kids, being kids and all, not to mention some are legit criminals, are naturally rebelling now that they are in control of their own lives on Earth. I get that. It had to happen. The whole, Lord of the Flies thing was inevitable. But so far the execution of it has just been annoying. I get they explain why some of the kids start taking their wristbands off, but its just so stupid that it’s very frustrating to watch. It doesn’t help that the leader of the rebellious kids, Bellamy, is just awful to watch. His whole secret agenda is annoying and its hard for me to ever buy that any of the kids would follow him. So far he has been a terrible character. Even worse is his sister Octavia. I hate her. She is the resident “hot rebellious girl”. She is also a complete idiot and just terrible to watch. Making her strip down and jump in water doesn’t make up for her dumb character so far.
The good kids have been a lot more fun to watch. The back-story between our lead heroine Clark and the chancellor’s son Wells is really interesting. I am really annoyed that her name is Clark though. It’s weird to me. Finn, the rebel with the heart of gold character, has been fun to watch so far. Jasper and Monty, the stoner and smart kid of the group, have been one of the best parts so far. I enjoy their friendship and have been humorous in spots. When this group splits off to make for their intended landing zone in search for an old military base that would offer shelter and food, the pilot got much better. I get that the kids would naturally be excited when they get to Earth, but the fact that all of the kids wouldn’t understand that they need to find food and shelter is just stupid.
The biggest roadblock that The 100 faces is the acting. It is really really bad. I get that the CW isn’t know for having awesome acting. Arrow is the only show that I would say actually has generally good acting (no coincidence that it’s also their highest rated show). Most of the other shows have average acting at best. The 100’s acting is nowhere near average. Probably one of the reasons I have enjoyed the Ark story-line more so far is that the adults are much better actors than the teenagers. Henry Ian Cusik, who plays Councillor Kane, and who most of you know as Desmond from Lost is great. I like seeing him in the antagonist role a lot. Paige Turco as Clark’s mom Abigail is really good and Isaiah Washington as Chancellor Jaha is great.
The kids are another story. It’s hard to watch sometimes. Eliza Taylor, who plays Clark, is passable so far but just barely. I like the character of Finn, but Thomas McDonnell tends to overact a little bit. Marie Avgeropulous as Octavia is just awful to watch. She maybe good looking, but she flat out cannot act. It must run in the fictional family as well because Bob Morely, who plays her brother Bellamy is almost as bad. As the central antagonist, he plays far to vital of a role to be as bad as he is. I’m supposed to hate him, I get that. But it’s not because I can’t stand to hear him talk. There are a few bright spots though. Devon Bostik and Christopher Larkin are very likable as Jasper and Monty. I have also really enjoyed Eli Goree as Wells. A large problem has been that there has also been just terrible dialogue so far and when there are several sub-par actors, that is a really bad combination.
Overall, I have liked The 100 pretty well so far. It definitely has some major flaws, but I have hope that it can overcome them. The fact that the second episode was so much better than the first is definitely encouraging. The introduction of the “grounders”, who are people that survived and never left Earth has definitely helped the story. You could call that a spoiler but if you didn’t see that coming, I can’t help you. I get that The 100 stars a bunch of teenagers and like a lot of the CW’s shows, will revolve around a lot of teenage drama. But with the acting level of this show, an outside main antagonist will make the story a whole lot more fun to watch. When it’s just focusing on the good and bad kids of the group against each other, the quality of the show has dipped so far. I am however hooked into finding out what happens on Earth and the back-story of the grounders. And I’m very excited to see how the story plays out on the Ark. And in the end, I guess that means the show has done it’s job. It has presented us with several mysteries and challenges and I will be sticking around to see how they play out. Is The 100 the amazing show I hoped and thought it would be? No, it’s not. But it could be. And it’s just good enough to get me to stick around and see if it gets there.