Sci-fi, YA?

Have you watched The 100? I hadn’t either. I hadn’t even heard about it until

Excerpt from @WilliamShatner twitter feed. He's a big fan.

Excerpt from @WilliamShatner twitter feed. He’s a big fan.

Captain Kirk told me of its existence via the twitters.

It’s actually not bad.  Based on the first episode, it’s a respectible sci-fi adventure.  Parts of it I do find to be really obnoxious, but I chalk that up to the fact that I’m not the target audience. It airs on the CW, so of course the target audience is about half my age, and for that, the show is fantastic.

The premise is this: We nuked the world 97 years ago. Bravo, good job, yay humans. Ostensibly, the only survivors were those living on the 12 space stations (BSG nod?) in Earth’s orbit at the time, which eventually banded together to form The Ark. Things get harsh and a fairly totalitarian society arises with all crime being punishable by death, unless you’re under-age, in which case you go to juvie. Pinch a candy bar? Floated. Cheat at cards? Floated. Jaywalk? Oooh, that’s a Floating. Out the airlock that is.The100_theArk

Space junk only lasts so long though, and the Ark is falling apart – but that’s our little secret ;) – so the upity ups decide the kids in Juvie are expendable and send them to Earth as test subjects to see if the surface is safe.

The kids are jettisoned and eventually land on Earth, and teenage drama ensues.  Two groups on the ground.


Wild Child, Naruto, Link, Brains, and Stoner

Left to right: Wild Child, Naruto, Link, Princess, and Stoner

Splinter group one – the group trying to actually do something. You’ve got the brains (who’s a blonde), the bad boy (who’s not really bad), the wild child (she has valid reasons), the stoner kid (is it wrong to call him the tokin’ Asian?) and the incredibly resilient goggles kid (who I will mentally think of as Naruto) who takes a spear to the chest episode one yet is listed in the cast for 11 episodes. I guess they’re not so alone as originally thought?

"Hehe, they said hell...and damn...and bitches..."

“Whatever the Hell we want!”

Main mob – a bunch of delinquents fomented into youthful rebellion by a The100_ohDearjanitor. While the other group is off being productive, these guys build a bonfire and do ‘whatever the hell we want’ (that’s their rallying cry *facepalm*).  Basically they go Lord of the Flies, Camp Nowhere, <insert rowdy group of kids without adult supervision movie of your choice here>.  I hope they all starve or get eaten by the two-faced deer.

Did I mention the colorful, entertaining, and odd wildlife they encounter? Yeah. years of radiation will do that.

Meanwhile, back in space, adults are having drama and the delightful Kelly Hu tries to keep an unruly mob of parents at the space PTA calm after jettisoning the kids and some familiar faces make a power grab.

Okay…I spent much longer explaining the pilot than I wanted, but though I make light of it, the sci-fi aspects of the story are pretty solid. The situation is scientifically plausible with the main tension coming from a solid ‘what if’ thought experiment. The individual dramas involving people are reasonable, even relatable to teens, and aren’t overly complicated by science but also not dumbed down. That’s more than I can say for most of the inanity on television these days.

I’m frankly glad to see what appears to be a genuine science fiction tale gaining traction on television.  Even if it is YA. Even if it is so self-aware that it makes references to the 1980s Legend of Zelda cartoon – Escuuuuse me, Princess. I might not keep up with it for very long, but I’ll watch a few episodes to see if it maintains course or devolves into drivel.

I caught the series on Hulu, but it airs on the CW after Arrow, and appears available on Amazon and probably iTunes as well.

Based on the novel of the same name by Kass Morgan.


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