The 100: 1×01 “Pilot” (EPISODE REVIEW)

The 100, the story of how the CW found 100 beautiful teenagers and threw them in the forest. Well. At least that’s what I got out of the first episode anyway. Not that that’s a bad thing either – there’s nothing wrong with watching beautiful people cavorting in the woods, but that’s not what I watched this pilot episode for. I watched it because the premise held some promise of intrigue and entertainment. And for the most part that’s what I received.

The setting and structure for the series is well laid out within the confines of the first episode. Due to nuclear apocalypse, the remnant of humanity flees into space. This happens in at least the year 2051 (due to the t-shirt of one character which reads “Earth Day 2051”). A century passes, and a malfunction in the ship/station they’re located on will effectively kill all passengers in 4 months because of oxygen depletion. So naturally they send 100 delinquent teens down to the surface of the planets earth to see if they survive the radiation levels – test subjects if you will. Once on earth we find that the environment has changed drastically in the past century. Well that’s all great huh?

Wrong. Apparently they don’t read Lord of the Flies in the future. The kids they threw down were criminals. 100 criminals! Of course there’s going to be drama and anarchy. But I guess it makes sense to send them down and see if they live instead of all the good kids. At least the good kids can live another 4 months happily! But the issue is that they’re stupid friggin kids who start taking off their bracelets that show their vital signs, so upstairs in the ship they can only assume the kids are dying. Meanwhile, out of the 100 children set free onto an uncharted new earth, only 1, a young girl named Clarke, knows what she’s doing, and actually wants to help the rest.

The dialogue has thus far been atrocious at best. There’s even a point where most of the teens begin chanting “whatever the hell we want,” which appears to be the slogan for the new age. Unfortunately there are so many players involved in the story that are all as equally beautiful, that they all blend together after a while. Nobody stands out in particular. The one guy that does gets a spear through his chest. But by far the worst part of the series’ opener HAD to be when they first walked onto earth after 100 years. The show’s resident floozy, Octavia (terrible name for a floozy) yells out “we’re back, bitches,” and then a procession of teens run out and jump around while Imagine Dragons ‘Radioactive’ blasts in the background. When shows use pop music to accentuate scenes that need them, instead of say… oh, I don’t know, composing a strong theme tune it dates the whole thing immensely.

Despite the nonstop obsession for YA dystopian futures we are buried to our eyes in these days, the CW has given us another directly in the vein of the Hunger Games and Divergent series. Based on the novel by Kass Morgan, does The 100 deserve our attention? Not yet. But it does have some really strong SciFi story aspects that many diehard SciFi fans may like. Albeit the fact I was disheartened to find the writing didn’t match the excellent setting and storyline, I half expected this going into the series. It’s the CW. It’s primetime television. I just wish primetime television would catch up to the rest, quality-wise. I’m sure there are some young adults out there that appreciate quality television – why not have quality young adult television as well?

I will continue to watch for another two or three episodes. If the writing remains stagnant, or if the story doesn’t get interesting enough, I’ll probably drop the show from my queue. Did you see the pilot for The 100? What did you think?

10 thoughts on “The 100: 1×01 “Pilot” (EPISODE REVIEW)

  1. I thought the scene with Radioactive playing was the best part of the first episode. It just conveyed perfectly that sense of openness, liberation, wildness one may get when freed from a claustrophobic space, such as on the space station. I don’t know if original music would have worked there. It is hard to establish a pop song in the span of a scene so you are left with programmatic music, which would have ruined the scene, no doubt. When I think of songs used to perfect effect in film and television, I think of Trainspotting, Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction. Every one of these would have been far worse if they used original music instead of Sunshine of Your Love, Perfect Day and Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon. Not saying that The 100 matches those films, but that scene just captured something and made me and my GF big fans ever since. PeaceLove


    1. Hmm. Interesting take. I felt an entirely different opinion. It may have simply been the choice of song also. But anywho. After the Pilot episode I really started to like the show. Guess I can’t fault a series based on one song.


  2. The book market is saturated now with THG-esque dystopia. Not that THG was the first YA, but amongst the best for sure. I have not watched this yet, interesting premise, not excited that it is a CW vehicle. Thanks for the review, it tipped the odds over into the “at least watch one episode or you’ll never know” category.


  3. I guess I can say The Hunger Games bred its imitators because I am seeing a lot of films/shows based on the same premise as THG. Not a bad thing, but it’s taking artificial saturation to a whole new level.


    1. Well I get a lot of LOST. Aside from the obvious ties with the CW though I don’t get the Smallville comparison. It’s very much Hunger Games, Divergent, After Earth, Lord of the Flies for me.


      1. Smallville because it was the ultimate platonic form of tween wangst sci-fi drama- soap opera, strong violence, spooky ookiness and a plethora of forgettable supporting roles for young actors. Almost a try-out for them before they were given their own shows.

        The basic show formula is invariant, only the flavor changes with whatever fad is draped over it. Supernatural, Smallville, Roswell, it’s the basic offbeat idea plus 90210.

        What will be funny should it last is watching the intended stars flail and the show stealers gradually get more airtime.

        To avoid the Friends effect ie having players get too big for the production, watch for shock deaths to kill anyone off who wants to renegotiate their contract.

        Is this Battle Royale American Style maybe?

        Don’t care enough to check. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s