If you’re following me on twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve been talking about little else but The 100 the last couple of days. I started watching the show last week, and I’m all caught up in time to watch the finale with everyone else next week. You know the people who watch an episode a time and then get back to their life? Yeah, that’s not me. When I like something, I’ll binge watch until I’ve seen everything there is to see, and that’s what happened with this show. I kept hearing about it the last few weeks, so I thought I’d give it a try. Then it took over my life.
The basic premise is simple: Earth was destroyed by a nuclear war, and the survivors fled to already existing space stations to wait out the radiation contamination. They band together and form a society with the ultimate goal of returning to earth a couple of generations later. The society’s rules are strict, and offenders are punished with death even for the most trivial crimes, because resources are scarce. The present generation was meant to be a transitional one, but due to mechanical problems, they realize their oxygen won’t last them much longer. Since they’ll be executed upon turning 18 anyway, one hundred youth offenders are sent down to earth to investigate whether it is survivable yet. The plan is to remain in contact and decide whether it’s safe to take the human race back to the ground. Plans rarely work out in this show.
The show is based on a book of the same name by Kass Morgan. I’m not currently planning to read it, because I’ve read some reviews, and it looks like it has a couple of my pet peeves. It sounds like it’s vastly different from the show, so I’m going to pass, because I already have a certain image of the characters and the world in my mind. Do let me know if you’ve read it and if so what you thought of it in the comments though!
I almost gave up on the show in the beginning. It reminded me a lot of Lost; I thought that the pacing was too slow, I didn’t really care about any of the characters, and I just wasn’t very intrigued overall. To be entirely honest, part of why I kept watching was because I read a minor spoiler for something that doesn’t happen until the end of Season 2 that I wanted to see, but boy am I glad I did. After the end of episode 3 I thought “hey, that was actually quite good; I didn’t expect that to happen at all!” and that would quickly become a theme for the show. There are so many unexpected twists and turns, but it never feels cheap or like it doesn’t make sense within the story. It’s just genuinely great writing. The kids learn to respect each other and grow together, but they also have to make up their own rules as they go along. As we get to know them, their actions become more understandable, and I for one started to really care about the characters and what happens to them. It took me almost half of season 1 to REALLY get into it, but once the show finds its rhythm and the actors settle into their roles it was impossible to stop watching.
A huge part of why I love this show is because it has such intriguing characters. The main themes are survival, sacrifice and redemption. You think you know who’s good and who’s bad at the beginning of the show, but then everything is turned on its head, and you realize things are much more complicated. All of the characters are constantly forced to make impossible decisions in order to survive and as a viewer you’re always pushed to ask yourself: Would I have done the same thing? Could this character ever redeem themselves? Are their actions still justified? Something that I really liked about Orange is the New Black is apparent in this show as well: you may hate one character in one episode and think you could never, ever like them again, and then three episodes later you just want to hug them and say it’s okay; I forgive you. Even when I don’t agree with someone’s decision, I can usually see where they’re coming from. The 100 is a prime example of what it means to tell great stories with complex characters.
The worldbuilding is fantastic, and it really makes the show come alive for me. I feel like I could easily slip into this world anytime – not that I’d necessarily want to because I’m pretty sure I’d be dead within the first two seconds. It’s so frustrating to see the war and destruction because humanity keeps making the same stupid mistakes over and over again, but it’s only frustrating in the sense that it feels so realistic. Apart maybe from the fact that everyone from mechanic superbrain Raven to wannabe leader Bellamy is stupidly good-looking, but hey, I’d be lying if I said it sucks to watch.
In the end, I’m so, so glad I kept watching in the beginning, because The 100 has quickly become one of my new favorite shows. I love the characters and the storytelling in equal amounts, and I hope more people give it a chance because it’s the bomb dot com. None of my friends watch it, but my plan is to get on their nerves until they do. I’ll definitely be tuning in to see the finale next week, so check back for a recap! I won’t even know what to do with myself once it’s over; it’s like book hangover, but at least I already know there will be another season.
What about you? Have you watched it and what do you think? (And do you have as many feelings as I do about that thing that happened in Bodyguard of Lies because I’m SO shipping it.) If you haven’t, when are you going to (because clearly you will)? What’s your favorite TV Show at the moment?