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STUDIO Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME 572 minutes
• 2013 Comic Con Panel
• Deleted Scenes
• Audio Commentary on We Are Grounders: Part 2
• ‘Creating The World of The 100‘ featurettes
What if the cast of Battlestar Galactica Skyped with the cast of Lost: The Next Generation?
Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Paige Turco, Lindsey Morgan, Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick.
100 years after eighties nostalgia goes too far and brings about a worldwide nuclear holocaust, the last survivors of mankind survive on the Ark, a kitbash of space stations that’s slowly breaking down. With their air running out, the mildly despotic government of the Ark decides to sentence one hundred prison inmates to exile on Earth, where they’ll see if the planet can be recolonized. Also, because it’s based on a YA novel, all the inmates are sexy teenagers.
One of the strengths of the superhero genre is is that it’s less a genre than a pulpy sensibility than can be added to any kind of story you can think of. Superhero political thriller? Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Superhero cops and robbers movie? The Dark Knight. Superhero space opera? Guardians of the Galaxy. The CW is pretty similar.
It seems like they’ll put anything on the air, so long as it features sexy twentysomethings playing teenagers. There’s a certain house style that you have to have a tolerance for if you’re interested in a Muppet Babies version of all the popular sci-fi of the past ten years; you might be familiar with it if you’ve been following Arrow or Supernatural. If two characters have sex, it’s practically a summoning ritual for an estranged lover of one of them to be coming by right that minute to express their feelings. For all of that, if The 100 doesn’t have much in the way of original thoughts in its pretty little head (on the commentary, a producer talks about wanting to have a shot of a character through the window of a space station and then pulling way out to see the whole of the vessel; innovation!), it’s not just The Hunger Games: The Series. It cribs Star Trek‘s lens flare chic, The Matrix‘s knitwear of post-apocalyptic fashion, The Hunger Games‘ shiny jackets and anti-government subversiveness, Lost‘s Others, Firefly‘s Reapers, and a whole mountain from Stargate SG-1. But it also has some balls. Major characters die and stay dead; extras are wiped off the slate faster than Laura Roslin could write on her chalkboard, and pretty much an entire issue of Tiger Beat (are they still publishing that?) torture a sexy political prisoner. It’s still scoring a box of rocks on the IQ test–we know said political prisoner is a survivor that’s regressed into tribalism because he literally has tribal tattoos–but as dumb, sexy versions of sci-fi shows you’ve already watched go, at least it’s not Star Trek Into Darkness.
I should note that the show tries to take after its big brothers and deliver some social commentary besides “zombies be depressing, man” (Rick Grimes). It’s not the first show to grapple with “how do you stay human in times of war?”, but it avoids some of the bad cliches that even the almighty BSG fell into, and keeps up the dialogue even when the consensus is a foregone conclusion. Even when everyone has agreed that a roaring rampage of revenge is the way to go, there’s some idealistic teenager there to say that violence is bad, which is annoying, but realistically annoying. And the show also tries for some diversity. You probably won’t care unless you’re on Tumblr, but if you’ve said the phrase “blinding whiteness,” you’ll be pleased to know that Dichen Lachman is getting work. Less so about Isaiah Washington. And sorry gay people, you’re just going to have to hope those two women Bellamy slept with were in an open relationship with each other (and very much not picky).
A nice case showing off all the cute young people you’ll be watching for the next thirteen hours. Pretty bare-bones special features. Two minutes of useless deleted scenes that are mostly male lead Bellamy Blake doing his ‘teenager calling tech support for the first time and overcompensating with petulant agitation’ leadership voice. Some all right featurettes, footage from Comic Con in case you have less of a life than I do, and a gladhanding Wikipedia page of a commentary on the final episode. Also a little booklet that tells you what’s on what disc and who the cast members are.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars