Last fall, as the few shows that the Mysterious Mr. C and I watch on a regular basis were airing their winter finales, I was struck by the fact – once again – that there isn’t too much that qualifies as “Must See TV” for us anymore. It’s a bit ironic, since so many people talk about the past few years as the second golden age of television, but things just weren’t catching our interest. Even shows like The CW’s The Flash, which we still watch fairly regularly, are viewed more out of habit than anything else. So when I fell in love with Syfy’s Incorporated, I was super excited to tell you guys about it! Then, I learned it had been cancelled and felt like I was starting from scratch all over again.
I was thinking about all of this on Saturday, when C’s head cold made it obvious that we weren’t going to make it to the theater to see Power Rangers. As I thought about what sort of mischief I could get into while he rested, I remembered my brother-in-law recommending The 100, also a CW show, several years ago. It was something he and my nephew were watching on Netflix and, knowing my penchant for sci-fi stories and dystopias, he thought I would enjoy it too. After binge-watching the first 13 episodes in a matter of hours, I can definitely say he was right!!
The 100 first came out in March 2014, so I am admittedly very late to the party, but better late than never, right?! If you are new to show as well, it is set 97 years after a massive nuclear war wiped out almost all life on Earth. The only known survivors are those who lived on 12 space stations in Earth’s orbit prior to the bombs going off. Realizing that they couldn’t survive on their own, the stations banded together and created one massive structure called “The Ark,” where about 2,400 people currently live under the leadership of Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington). Because resources are scarce, all crimes are punishable by death, unless the perpetrator is younger than 18.
With the Ark’s life-support systems failing, Jaha decides to send 100 juvenile prisoners back to Earth to determine whether or not the planet is habitable again. Known as “the 100” (naturally), the teens land outside Washington, DC and are instructed to locate an old military installation – the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center – located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their ship lands a bit off target though, and as they attempt to survive in the wilderness, they discover that they are not alone. Dun, dun, dun!!
Okay, I don’t want to go into too much more detail than that because it really is a lot of fun watching the 100 create a society for themselves on Earth, as well as the political machinations occurring back on the Ark. (The episodes shift between the two locations, and flashbacks are used to help fill in some of the backstory.) In fact, there is a lot more going on in the show than I originally gave it credit for. What I was expecting to be a fairly straightforward post-apocalyptic teen drama is actually a sort of family, horror, political, and romantic drama mashup. And it is awesome!!
While I enjoyed all of the different main and sub-plot lines, as well as the ways in which they tied together, I had the most fun with the actual goal placed before the 100: getting to Mount Weather. That’s because I’ve been to the base. And believe me, it’s impressive – definitely a place you’d want to be to wait out the fallout from a nuclear blast. On top of that, there was the dawning realization at the end of the season that the “Mountain Men” the Grounders refer to is not a rival tribe, but those who made it to “the Mountain,” which what those in the know call Mount Weather. It was just one of those insider moments that tickled my DMV-based heart!
Needless to say, I am hooked on the series! I can’t wait to go through Seasons 2 and 3 on Netflix, catch Season 4 on demand, and even dive into the original book series by Kass Morgan. Then, I will be ready and waiting when Season 5 comes back next spring!