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'Revolution' review: not so revolutionary

JD Pardo as Nate and Billy Burke as

JD Pardo as Nate and Billy Burke as Miles in "Revolution." Credit: NBC

THE SHOW "Revolution"

WHEN | WHERE Monday at 10 on NBC/4

WHAT IT'S ABOUT In the mother of all blackouts, the world is plunged into darkness, though not before Ben (Tim Guinee) has a chance to plug a very special flashdrive into an amulet and warn his wife, Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell), and brother, Miles (Billy Burke), that the end is near.

What's in the amulet? Ah, therein hangs a new NBC post-apocalyptic series from J.J. Abrams ("Lost") and Eric Kripke ("Supernatural"). Flash-forward 15 years to a planet quite literally overgrown, but with isolated pockets of communities where everyone has gone native -- or Amish.

In one such community, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and her bro, Danny (Graham Rogers), live with their dad, Ben. (Rachel is apparently dead.) But the Militia, headed by the evil Capt. Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito), turns up one day looking for Dad -- and that amulet. Then trouble begins . . . Dad is apparently killed, Danny is kidnapped by Neville and Charlie sets out with some pals, like computer nerd Aaron (Zak Orth), to find him. But first, she must locate her long-lost Uncle Miles.

MY SAY Giancarlo Esposito ... Billy Burke ... Elizabeth Mitchell ... J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke ... What's not to love about "Revolution"? At least so far, the show. There's an almost overwhelming been-there-seen-that feel to the pilot, which doesn't really offer any suggestion of "well, you haven't seen this." Our world, after all, has been destroyed many times before -- by plagues, nuclear holocausts, aliens, global warming, comets, cyborgs, apes and zombies. Fortunately -- in each case -- a plucky band of survivors picked their way through the blighted landscape in search of some holy grail that will save them and all mankind. The human spirit always prevails. This is wonderful, and we expect our post-apocalyptic yarns to proceed in no other fashion.

But we do demand cool special effects (there are a few here, but not enough) and a reasonably plausible scientific underpinning. The lights have been out for 15 years, and no one has the slightest clue why? Oh puhlease.

BOTTOM LINE Start this "Revolution" without me.


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