I couldn't make it past the pilot episode of this sad excuse for a post-apocalyptic 'drama'. There were just too many things wrong with the setting for me to be able to suspend disbelief. And then there were too many events that just couldn't or wouldn't happen. All this in 45 minutes of terrible television.
Fifteen years ago electrically powered machines stopped working across the world, apparently within minutes, including planes in the sky. Now a series of events begin to unfold in this post-apocalypse society where everyone has reverted to a pre-industrial civilisation. So what could be wrong with that? 1) Where does everybody get their nearly new clothes from? And how do they keep them clean? And everyone's shoes are nearly new and well fitted.
2) How do people keep their hair cut? And how do men keep themselves clean shaven? And how does everybody keep themselves clean and fresh? And where does all the make-up come from? And how do women style their hair when travelling across country? 3) In a pre-industrial world, refining metal and making glass are almost impossible, as is making most 21st century materials. So why is nobody collecting and hoarding all these precious materials? Instead, metal is left to rust and disintegrate, glass is left where it lies, modern furniture rots in abandoned houses, as does all the other fixtures and fittings.
4) Why are people using muskets? And where did they find so many? Why aren't people making new bullets using old casings? And how come people can make gun powder but can't make better explosives using, presumably, the same text books they learned about gunpowder from.
5) Where did Monroe's new tents come from? Without modern machinery, such tents are impossible to manufacture and the tents were new, without blemishes.
6) There are amulets that allow electricity to work, and a woman starts a computer and connects to somewhere else, miles away. If an amulet can extend the working of electricity over such a range, why doesn't EVERY electrical device also start up within range of the amulet? The amulets also use power, so how come they are immune to the electricity-stopping effect? 7) Although electrical machines don't work, people, who use electricity in nerves and the brain, still function normally. And batteries don't work. What kind of effect stops simple chemistry like batteries but keeps humans alive? 8) At the start of the blackout, in the house of man who knows that the blackout is permanent, why do they light over a dozen candles in the same room when candles have suddenly become almost irreplaceable? Fifteen years later and the 'doctor' is also using over a dozen candles to light her room, in addition to a kerosene(?) lamp. How can they afford this profligacy? Then the girl appears to walk out and it's daylight outside. If so, then why the candles? 9) A captured teenager apparently unscrews several bolts using only his fingers. This is almost impossible, and would leave the fingers wrecked for over a week. Doesn't happen.
10) People are hit by bullets, arrows and crossbow bolts and fly backwards. If a bullet had enough momentum to make a man fly backwards when hit, then the firer of the bullet would also be flung backwards in a similar manner, and yet they stand still after firing.
11) How come, if Chicago is only 2 days journey away, that nobody from the village goes to Chicago to trade? 12) Why would there be a boat in the middle of a Chicago street when there is only manual labour available to move it and the boat is surrounded by stone buildings that are much better dwellings? 13) The first person the travellers talk to when they reach Chicago happens to be the uncle they are looking for. How likely is that? 14) A woman lives in her house for at least 15 years and can't find some paint to keep the house maintained. Paint is so low down on a list of survival goods that she could have any colour of paint she wanted, in whatever quantity needed. Instead, the outside of the house looks like it hasn't been painted in 15 years.
15) Muzzle loading muskets take time to reload, so why aren't they fitted with bayonets, as most rifles were? 16) In the hotel in Chicago candles are lit during the daytime, even when the room is clearly lit by sunshine. Nobody would waste candles in such a way.
17) Without electricity, where do ice cubes come from in the middle of a field? You would need an ice storage room nearby, filled during the Winter. Transporting ice over any distance is difficult without refrigeration. Instead, you'd use a bucket of cold water to cool bottles of liquid.
If you're going to posit a world without electrical machines, then a major part of each episode should cover how a previously 21st century society functions when technology has failed. When there are so many glaring absurdities in only 45 minutes then it's clear that no effort has been made to properly imagine such a society. Since the series starts with such a fantasy world, there's little hope that there will be any realism injected in future episodes.
This is not a TV series for science fiction fans, or people who understand reality. If you like your fantasy closely based on reality - so there's no vampires, dragons or fairies - then this might be for you. The rest of us, who are in touch with reality, have better things to do with our time.
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