Last spring I fell deeply in love with the CW’s new show The 100.
The 100, based off the book by Kass Morgan, tells the story of 100 teenage “criminals” living aboard a space station known as The Ark, who are sent back to Earth, 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse, to see if it has become inhabitable again. They are the test subjects because they are believed to be expendable. Yes, the adults use kids in their experiment to see if Earth is survivable again. I used quotations around criminals because many of these kids are not criminals; on the Ark the rules are so strict that any act deemed criminal can get you killed (they float you from the space station) or sent to prison if you are under 18. This show is not afraid to go dark, which is one of the many reasons that make it so great.
The first season was only 13 episodes but what they did in those 13 episodes was way more than any of the other new show to air last year. They created a show that was complex, fascinating, intense, and then turned it on its head at the end of the season. Season 2 starts Wednesday and I feel it is my duty to convince ever more people that they need to give this show a chance and here is why…
1. It’s one part Lord of the Flies, one part Battlestar Galactica, one part Lost, with a dash of a CW teen soap.
This might sound like a crazy combination, especially for a CW show, but The 100 makes it work because they have taken all the good parts from each show/book and made something great. I break it down like this:
- Lord of the Flies: Aside from the obvious, teens/children ending up in a foreign land after a nuclear apocalypse- it also takes the idea of leadership from the book. You have your classic “morally right” leader, Clarke (Eliza Taylor), vs your classic questionable rebel leader, Bellamy (Bob Morley), the one who is forced to make many of the hard choices. Bellamy in the beginning is pretty much a douche and he will, at times, remind you of Sawyer from Lost and Jack from Lord of the Flies. He was never a part of the 100 either; he got a ticket onto the drop-ship after committing a heinous crime so he could to protect his sister, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) who is a part of the 100. But over the season he bonds with Clarke as they both navigate their way at become co-leaders of their group on the ground. By the end of the season their bond is almost unbreakable.
- Battlestar Galactica: I say this with a lot of love but The 100 would not be possible had it not been for BSG and its success. This is a good thing because The 100 took a lot of the great themes from BSG. For example, in episode 5, the leaders on the Ark are forced to make a terrible decision regarding cutting down the population to preserve oxygen aboard the station. After Clarke’s mother, Abby (Paige Turco), rebelliously shows a video of her husband explaining why the Ark is losing oxygen, 300 people aboard the Ark volunteer to sacrifice themselves for their loved ones survival. There is a scene where these 300 souls are sent to their death and it is so haunting yet incredibly sincere that this was when I knew this show was going to be something special. The last time I had seen something that heroic yet tragic was on BSG; so bravo to The 100 for continuing its legacy.
- Lost: The reason I bring Lost into this is because again, like Lord of the Flies, it involves a group of basic acquaintances, at best, into an unknown world, and they are forced to explore this world and discover the mysteries that surround it. At the end of the very first episode the 100 discover that they are, not the first ones to back on Earth. In fact, a lot of others out there and we are still learning who these people are, who survived the apocalypse.
- CW teen soap: This show is on The CW which means this cast is drop dead gorgeous. They just have to be. Also, there is romance (the square between Raven-Finn-Clarke-Bellamy), drama (the constant struggle for power between Kane, Abby, and Jaha or Clarke and Bellamy), and comedy but it’s administered at such a great level that it doesn’t overpower the plot.
2. The female characters are some of the best female characters on TV
- Clarke– Smart, Fierce, Complex, and Brave. Clarke and her mother Abby (who I will get to in a sec…) are two of the most complex characters on the show. They have both had to make tough decisions that affect their loved ones yet they don’t take these decisions lightly. They live with these decisions and let them make them stronger. Clarke knew what building a bomb would do but she still went through with using one against the grounders anyways. These decisions ware on her but she still stands tall and always looks for a better way. This is a woman to look up to.
- Octavia– Stunning, Rebel, Bold, Brave, Loyal, Caring. She was sheltered her whole life, she lived under the floor and then was sent to prison for being an “extra” child. She isn’t afraid to be the first to go out and try something. Coming to earth has given her a second chance at freedom, life, and love. She is the sister to Bellamy and she is the only one, besides Clarke, who brings out his softer side. Her relationship with Lincoln showed just how caring she can be and is all sorts of adorable and I cannot wait to see where it heads in season 2.
- Raven (Lindsey Morgan): Badass, Intelligent, Loyal, and Confident. Raven is my favorite female on this show. She came to us a couple of episodes into the first season as the girlfriend of Finn and as a kickass engineer who went to Earth to help the teens. That’s right, not only is she hot and female, she is also incredibly smart. She pretty much saves the 100 from destroying themselves by helping them get the comms back up, building bombs, and all while finding out Finn cheated on her with Clarke, and at the end of the season when she’s fatally injured. I am hoping and praying they do not kill her off. She needs to stay or I will be very upset.
- Abby-Healer, Bold, Brave, Courageous, will do ANYTHING to protect her child. She’s not perfect but that’s what makes her such a compelling character. She tried to save her husband and daughter after going Jaha but she’s betrayed and she lost both her loved ones. She constantly challenges everyone to think about their actions. Clarke may still be angry at her mother but if it wasn’t for Abby’s awesomeness, Clarke wouldn’t have become the, amazing and courageous, leader she has been on earth.
- Anya (Dichen Lachman): Warrior, Intelligent, Cunning, and Mysterious. Anya is one of the leaders of the Grounders. She has an army under her and she is as intelligent as she is fierce. There still isn’t much known about her but she’s captured with Clarke at the end of last season so I look forward to seeing her in Mount Weather!
3. The cast has incredible chemistry:
Yes, as I said earlier, this cast is incredibly sexy but thankfully this cast is sooooo much more than their looks. Clark and Bellamy sizzle when they are on-screen together and same goes with Octavia and Lincoln (Ricky Whittle), the grounder who she falls in love with. Raven has chemistry with just about everyone on the show. And I even found myself shipping Abby and Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), the Ark’s second in command, by the end of the season, which I totally didn’t see coming. Best friends Monty and Jasper (Christopher Larkin and Devon Bostick) give the perfect source of comic relief for an otherwise dark show. This is a cast that you can tell has fun working together. I’ve watched the comic-con panels and interviews and they just seem like a really happy bunch and that translates to the screen so well. It makes watching this show that much better!
4. The story is compelling:
Ever since The 100 landed on earth and discovered they weren’t alone, the mysteries of all who stayed on earth after the Nuclear Apocalypse have surrounded the series with great intrigue. Throughout the season we learned bits about the Ark station, the Grounders, the Reapers, and finally the Mountain Men who captured Clarke and others at the end of the season. But throughout the season there were subtle hints, especially from grounder Lincoln, that these were not the only groups who survived the apocalypse. The great thing about The 100 is the writers never made this seem cheesy or like they were over-stretching their limit. Instead they created a world like Battlestar did and made us want to know more. The world is no longer what we know and they’ve the chance to create a new world. I’m excited to see where they go with it, this season, with the introduction of the Mountain Men at Mount Weather.
5. The Visual Effects:
Speaking of creating an intriguing new world; a lot of this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the incredible visual effects team who created this world. The season finale alone is a feast of spectacular visual effects that leaving you wanting more.
6. This Tumblr
Ok so you have to also watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine to understand most of it but still who ever came up with this was a GENIUS. After you watch BOTH shows, head over to this tumblr and take a look. It’s fantastic.http://theark99.tumblr.com
I could probably go into a bazillon other reasons why you should watch this show but seeing as I’ve written almost 2000 words about this I figured I should wrap this up. Anyways, WATCH THIS SHOW!! Season 2 premieres tomorrow, Wednesday, October 22 at 9pm on the CW and Season 1 will be available as well, tomorrow, on Netflix Instant. GET WATCHING!