TV Review: CW’s ‘The 100,’ Season Two

The 100 TV Review CW

For a show that started its life in orbit, “The 100” clearly isn’t content just to go around in circles. In fact, this CW sci-fi drama earns points strictly for forward momentum, launching into its second season featuring a fast-evolving narrative, with the space-faring human population returning to Earth and facing a new set of problems. Not everything works, and the performances remain a trifle uneven. But with so many post-apocalyptic cliches being juggled simultaneously, it’s certainly a watchable and ambitious undertaking, albeit one whose main job will be to defy gravity by not yielding too much of “Arrow’s” lead-in.

Just to recap, nearly 100 years after nuclear near-annihilation, thousands of survivors have stayed alive aboard the Ark, a collection of linked-together space stations. But with the system failing, those in charge first decided to jettison 100 youthful prisoners down to the planet’s surface (hence the name), testing its viability before risking a full-scale re-colonization.

Season two begins with the Ark having sent the rest of its inhabitants back to solid ground, which is now teeming with disparate groups of survivors, most instantly recognizable to anyone who has consumed more than a dollop of science fiction. They range from scarred, primitive brutes nicknamed “Grounders” who occupy the Eden-like setting (OK, Vancouver) to a seemingly idyllic haven of refined survivors beneath the surface, led by a president (Raymond J. Barry) who gives off a creepy vibe despite his reassuring words.

“The 100” (whose numbers have been whittled down a bit, it should be noted) are pretty much scattered in every direction, with the capable Clarke (Eliza Taylor) skeptically joining giddy compatriots in the subterranean refuge, while others face more visceral environs above.

Meanwhile, Clarke’s authority-flouting scientist mom (Paige Turco) and the chancellor (Henry Ian Cusick, closer now to his “Lost” predicament, story-wise) keep butting heads over what’s best for the group, and specifically how to approach the former convicts now that they’re reunited in an ongoing battle for survival.

Adapted from Kass Morgan’s book, this Alloy Entertainment property draws from so many sources it’s scarcely worth citing them, though there’s an obvious desire to appeal to the “Hunger Games” crowd, while asking the question of what a repopulated Earth might look like if the gene pool was drawn almost entirely from models in Calvin Klein ads, albeit accessorized with a bit of mud and blood.

Still, the fast pace, multiple plot lines and life-or-death scenarios — coupled with solid anchoring from Turco, Cusick and Isaiah Washington — generally compensate for the show’s clunkier aspects and occasionally silly-sounding dialogue. And if that’s not worthy of a perfect score, give “The 100” extra credit for elevating its and the CW’s game above the remedial quadrants of the young-adult universe.

TV Review: CW's 'The 100,' Season Two

(Series; CW, Wed. Oct. 22, 9 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Vancouver by Alloy Entertainment in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television.

Crew

Executive producers, Jason Rothenberg, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo, Cheryl Dolins; co-executive producers, Bruce Miller, Charlie Craig, James Thorpe, Michael Angeli; supervising producer, Dean White; producers, Aaron Ginsburg, Wade McIntyre, Tim Scanlan, Jae Marchant; director, White; writer, Rothenberg; based on the book by Kass Morgan; camera, Michael Blundell; production designer, James Philpott; editor, Hunter M. Via; music, Evan Frankfort, Marc “Doc” Dauer, Liz Phair; casting, Barbara Fiorentino, Danielle Auflero, Amber Horn. 60 MIN.

Cast

Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropoulos, Devon Bostick, Christopher Larkin, Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 6

Leave a Reply

6 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

  1. jackelisland says:

    ‘The 100’ caught my attention with its ‘Lord of the Flies’ flavor (with teens instead of kids), but it tries too hard. It is stressful and too intense, showing a gasping thrill every five minutes. First, we fear 100 kids may die as they journey from a space station to earth, then they get speared by cavemen called Grounders (who happen to speak English), then some of them kill off each other, then the most civilized people on the planet suck the kids’ bone marrow for medicinal reasons… ahhhhhhh! I need to take a tranquilizer after watching this show. My blood pressure is high enough, thank you very much. There’s never a down moment. There’s never a calm atmosphere. I can’t breathe. I can’t relax. It’s suspense on steroids. Enough!

  2. No man your wrong. This show will be a like for most people. This show is the best show out there. Now I am a walking dead fan, a breaking bad fan, and a sons of anarchy fan. All of those shows are hits. This show has only one time block you can watch it. Those other shows are more popular because of their respective time block and their ability to host reruns along with on demand capabilities. The CW does not have on demand in my area, and also I try to search for a rerun if i miss an episode but there are never any. I watch them usually from the CW website because it is the only way I can catch it with my busy schedule. If CW can solidify a on demand service with local providers, Advertise more, and show reruns there is no way this show will fail. The dynamic of the charachters coupled with the intense story line makes this a must see.

  3. jess says:

    Compared to other TV shows like supernatural and vampire diaries it brings something new, besides the walking dead this is one of the only post apocalyptic shows I know of and enjoy. Yes the actors in it are young but isn’t that were we start? It’s different, either you like it or don’t type of show, I recommend it!

  4. Wholly Unimpressed says:

    The 100 is by far the worst t.v. sci fi series I have ever had to endure.in the hope something may come of it.
    Calling it sci fi is a stretch.Fantasy? Its every writers fantasy to get paid for this tat.
    It is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.
    Utter ‘Pants’.Cheap dross.
    How far can you go with some kids in a forest?Mind numbingly dull.
    The story is written week by week and it’s a joke. My b/s alarm goes off every 5 minutes.
    If you are waiting for anything to develop dont waste your life on this utterly mediocre Pants viewing.

    • Aleu says:

      so im guessing you never made it pass the second season then. Becayse it was amazing, even though i did not like the first season, the second season blew me away made me forget about it.

  5. Trevor says:

    My show look like it been tape over by criminal minds instead of the 100 the TV guide says the 100 too. The station web address say its on at this time wtf is going on

More TV News from Variety

Loading