Revolution Showrunner Wears His Whedon Influence On His Sleeve

By Brent McKnight | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

RevCastLast season NBC scored their biggest new ratings hit in quite some time with the post-apocalyptic drama Revolution. Right now the show is in a bit of a sophomore slump, with viewership at an all-time low. Season two is a drastic shift in tone, focus, and style. The first go round was all about turning the power back on after the worldwide blackout. Everyone had one goal, and though there were different groups competing, this was the common end. In the aftermath of the events at the end of season one, the characters have scattered, everyone is doing their own thing, and the show frankly feels a little aimless. But don’t worry, showrunner, and series creator, Eric Kripke as a definite plan, borrowing from a guy named Joss Whedon, you may have heard of him. Let’s just hope that what Kripke aims to copy off of the Avengers director isn’t his penchant for shows getting the axe in short order.

Be warned, there be spoilers afoot. You’ve been warned.

If you’ve watched the show this season, you probably noticed that the real “Americans,” referred to as the Patriots, have shown up for season two of Revolution. Where were they when the rebels, fighting in their name, were being slaughtered by the likes of Monroe and his militia? Kind of a dick move. That said, you still don’t have a complete read on them, but something’s fishy. Regardless, they’re going up against Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito). You wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and their presence is, according to Kripke, most of the reason this season has been so scattered thus far. Talking to The Wrap, he said, “You have to give the Patriots time to take their masks off.” They’re certainly not above using bribery, extortion, and violence to get their way, though it remains to be seen if they were indeed responsible for dropping nukes on American soil or not.

Kripke says he follows the “Joss Whedon school of showrunning,” both on Revolution and his previous endeavor, Supernatural. He defines this approach like this:

You organize a season around a ‘big bad’ and then you unveil more and more about the ‘big bad’ as the season moves on. You live in the first half of the mystery of who are these people and what do they want and then you live in the second half of the season [saying], ‘OK, now we have to stop these sons of bitches.’

Much of the first season of Revolution revolved around sword fighting, murder, and general warfare, but this young season has really upped the ante, violence wise. Thus far there’s been betrayal, kidnapping, murderous war clans, torture, suicide, and forced blood transfusions, among other bits of nastiness. There was a brief window of hope for a second—the power flipped on for a few minutes—but then things got even worse. As Kripke says, “We got back to a more realistic, grittier version of what the world would be.”

Kripke goes on to discuss his vision for the future of Revolution, assuming, of course, that the series fares better than some of his mentor’s short-lived TV shows, like Firefly and Doll House.

Ultimately, the goal of the show is that you can’t go back to the way things were. And ultimately, you have to look forward…There needs to be something new that has to grow from the ashes of something old. And when you return back to the old, it’s stasis and stagnant…So, ultimately that will be the grand sweep of the show.

Getting the power back on may have taken a temporary back seat while the characters hash out some personal problems, but don’t go thinking that’s not an issue anymore. It may be on hold, but before awful long, someone is going to get that itch to turn the lights back on.

For now, we’re enjoying taking a break from the drive to turn the power back on. It’s nice to take a break. But, that will come up again inevitably, but ultimately they have to let that go and build something new, which is what Charlie [Tracy Spiridakos] and Jason [JD Pardo] represent.

Have you been watching Revolution this season? What do you think of the changes on the show, temporary or otherwise? Let us know in the comments section.