Television Reviews

The 100 Doesn't Score a Perfect 10

<i>The 100</i> Doesn't Score a Perfect 10

The era of “Teen Dystopia” is quickly drawing to a close.

As much as fans have enjoyed films like The Hunger Games and Divergent, most are ready to pack up their post-apocalyptic landscapes and move on to something else. Yet at the last minute, the CW decided to reveal its own futuristic thriller featuring not one but a hundred intrepid teenagers. Aptly named The 100, this show looks to cash in on what’s left of the dystopian demographic while still appealing to the average viewer. So, does The 100 have the skills to survive a dwindling genera, or will it become just another casualty?

Set in the distant future where nuclear war has left Earth in ruins, humanity retreats into space aboard a vessel called “The Ark”. Given the lack of room and limited resources, all crimes aboard The Ark are punishable by death, save for those committed by someone under the age of 18. Despite this, 100 convicted (and utterly gorgeous, this is the CW after all) juveniles are suddenly returned to Earth’s surface on a mission to test if the planet has become habitable again. Among them is Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), daughter of The Ark’s chief surgeon, who reveals that their space station home is slowly dying, and humanity’s only hope for survival rests in their hands. Unfortunately for humanity, the 100 includes Bellamy Blake (Bobby Morley), a ruthless and calculating young man who is determined to turn Earth into his own personal kingdom. 

Throw in a political coup among the adults, mutated animals, and a dangerous, post-war tribe of humans, and you have yourself The 100. The premise is certainly interesting, though at times hard to believe, even for a Sci-fi series. From the get-go, viewers will notice small plot holes that collect as the story progresses, and while The 100 does take steps to tie up loose questions, their presence can get distracting after a while. What the show lacks in linear storytelling however, it makes up for in character development. The CW has something of a reputation for casting attractive actors in bland roles, but it seems this time the writers have gone extra lengths to give its cast more color.

Bellamy, for example, is not your typical villain. True, he’s violent and selfish, but he is also motivated out of desperation and love for his sister. Clarke, meanwhile, could have easily been molded into another Katniss Everdeen clone, but instead was given a self-righteous streak to make her a more complicated protagonist. It’s interesting to watch as characters make and break their tentative alliances for the sake of survival, and the unpredictable nature of their world gives the show an edge of suspense. With multiple story threads and plenty of new characters popping up, the show certainly isn’t lacking for content.

Despite this, Christian audiences will probably want to avoid The 100. The CW has always placed a heavy emphasis on sexuality and this program is no different. Added with some Lord of the Flies styled violence, and there’s really no compelling argument one can give for Christians to watch the show. Curious viewers may want to pick up this freshmen drama, but for others it may be best to leave The 100 where they land.

*Published 4/2/2014

**Watch The 100 Wednesdays on The CW