‘The 100′ Series Premiere Review

Published 1 year ago by

100 premiere group The 100 Series Premiere Review

The CW’s consistent pursuit of teen and millennial viewers can lead to preconceived notions about the shows that the network brings to air, but judging the network’s new sci-fi drama The 100 by its home network and the “Teen Vogue” look of its cast might be a misstep for those seeking a new science fiction fix in prime time. The key word is “might”.

Adapted from Kass Morgan’s YA novel of the same name, The 100 doesn’t waste time jumping right into the action, as we see Clarke Griffin (Australian actress Eliza Taylor) taken into custody, strapped in, and shipped off of the humongous and human race-sustaining space station known as “The Ark” within the first five minutes of the show.

Griffin is joined by 99 other sub-18-year-old “juvenile delinquents” who are being used as guinea pigs to determine if the Earth, which mankind abandoned after a nuclear war 97 years ago, is now a habitable alternative to the failing Ark. It also doesn’t hurt that the absence of those 100 teens will buy the Ark another month’s worth of resources, though that isn’t nearly enough to fix what ails the ship.

100 premiere washington The 100 Series Premiere Review

Chancellor Jaha (Isiah Washinton), Councilor Abigail Griffin (Paige Truco) and Councilor Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) stand out as the principle characters aboard the Ark and those most responsible for the continuation of the species (according to them). Naturally, these characters clash, primarily Kane and Griffin (Clarke’s mother), though the disagreement is philosophical (but also dire) and each has a point. For a “Big Bad,” Cusick’s character isn’t at all one-dimensional. We may not agree with his methods, but we probably don’t discount them as cartoonishly evil, either.

Bob Morley’s character, Bellamy Blake, is another story. A stowaway on the Earthbound shuttle with a massive chip on his shoulder and a trail of blood in his past, Bellamy clashes with Wells Jaha (the Chancellor’s son, as played by Eli Goree) after the shuttle crashes, leading the settlers  toward rebellion and a separation from the waiting elders up in the Ark, a move that is likely as motivated by hubris as it is by his desire to save his own skin.

Bellamy is aboard to look after his sister Aurora, a brat with a wannabe soap opera vixen’s demeanor. Aurora is the weakest main character in the pilot, inspiring some of the biggest eye rolls when she steps foot on Earth for the first time and yells “We’re back b******!” prior to the grating use of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” in the soundtrack.

100 premiere saving wounded The 100 Series Premiere Review

Off on a hike to discover an in-ground military base with an abundant food supply with Clarke and three others, Aurora’s cliched decision to strip down to her underwear to go for a swim – which ends in near calamity and some Syfy original movie-level special effects – isn’t far behind in the eye roll department, and honestly, it was hard to not root for the snake/eel/radioactive serpent.

Along with Aurora, there are a few other thinly-drawn characters and moments that betray the central story-line, it’s harder science fiction elements, and the larger social issues that divide the Earth-stuck kids and the adults in the Ark – such as the dreamy glowing forest that made it feel as if they were lost in a fairy tale.

This isn’t The Hunger Games or Divergent, and it isn’t the next Lost, it just isn’t going to be as dark (despite the shocking final moments), but it has the potential and the seeming ambition to transcend its labels if the producers move away from the canned dialogue and let us see, not just that these characters are in peril, but that they believe they are in peril; acting as if they are scared and overwhelmed by this hostile place and the challenges that come with trying to survive. 


The 100 airs on The CW on Wednesday nights @9PM ET

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: The 100
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. This was a so-so pilot, though I think it may be good overall. Haven’t read the book though.

  2. I agree the pilot was mediocre but I see potential in the series its a pretty neat concept and having the cast all look attractive and all really doesn’t bother me all that much because if you think about it they come from a limited gene pool and they the grandchildren some great grandchildren of astronauts so most of them may be pretty fit and including the food rationing (that I would imagine there would be most of them wouldn’t be to overweight)

  3. I found it fairly interesting, overall, but, yes, there is a great deal of room for improvement. I think it was smart to use “Arrow” as its lead-in (BTW…no “Arrow” review yet???)

  4. Lord of the Flies + SciFi… = PASS

    • Personally, I think those two elements, if combined well (we’ll have to wait and see as the season progresses) can make for a fascinating story. :)

  5. This show made absolutely ZERO sense. You’re not sure about the radiation or the atmosphere and you send 100 of your future YOUNG adults to see if things are “ok”? I get that these kids were “criminals” and such but still, doesn’t seem very wise or logical. It would have made more sense if they would have rounded up all the ADULTS they were so easy to “float” out an airlock to case the EARTH for safety first? maybe its just me. These teens seemed more interested in exploring their new found freedom then going all survival and finding out how they are going to survive essentially alone. I dunno, am I overthinking this?

    • Totally agree with you on the whole plot/story…. A little weak…

  6. This show has potential… Hope it’s good, but it probably won’t be…

  7. Not a millenial and I enjoyed the pilot enough to dvr the season. Here is hoping for more ark than Earth but I think it will be good overall. Still, second episodes on CW are normally sexier or more humor filled. I want a break in that pattern for this show.
    Btw the season preview did show a decent mix of both.

  8. I’d give the pilot a B-/C+ the premise has a lot of promise, although truthfully i think the lord of the flies wannabees will get tiresome quickly. the adult acting was very good, the youths were not so much. Eliza Taylor wasn’t horrible just not that believable, the dark haired girl is already frustratingly bad IMO. I do respect them for at least attempting to kill off a main character so soon, although from the preview at the end it seems he isn’t dead. I’ll continue to watch for a while to see how the story unfolds.

  9. I watched it last night, and found it was so-so. It has potential, and there are some bigger plot holes, but I think with time it could be good.

    • Also, anyone else found that Henry Ian Cusick’s accent kept cutting in and out?

  10. Wasn’t sure if I was gonna check this out or not, It’s the CW WITH TEENS. but I decided to check it out and thought it was pretty good. I would give it a B or B+ if we are grading it. Will check out the next few episodes and hope it gets better and I don’t have to drop it like Revolution.

  11. This show looks a lot better than Starcrossed. I’ll probably check it out online tonight since I missed it last night. I’ll check it out right after I watch Arrow.

  12. I checked this show out last night after Arrow and this show like Revolution S1 has potential. I will continue to watch to see if it improves the plotholes and writing but overall it wasn’t bad.

  13. Correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that the decay rate of radioactive materials is a lot more than 97 years?

  14. What were you all watching? I love many of the shows on the CW, love scifi, and love post apocalypse stories, but this was the worst hour of television I’ve seen in a very long time. Aside from the nonsensical story elements (sophisticated wristbands but no radiation detectors? really?), it was hands down the worst dialog and acting I have ever seen on YA drama… And that’s saying something, lol.

    I’m soooooo disappointed…..

  15. You are right there are plenty of eye roll moments especially the final scene and whenever the Billboard Hot 100 music dropped. However you lose all credibility because it’s also eye rolling when you cant even get a name right. Aurora?… her name is Octavia, its not even close. If you cant even get one of like 6 names right why should we take any heed of the rest of the review?

    • Lol Embarrassing

  16. Interesting premise, but why simple things ruin it for me.

    1. Why do the girls have make-up, earrings, and everyone looks like fashion models?
    2. Why do the ‘teens’ look 20+? Where are the 12, 13, and 14 year olds?
    3. Why are kids born in space so ‘comfortable’ on earth? Take your average city kid and put him in a jungle and he’d be a bit more cautious.
    4. Why is are kids worried about what the Ark is going, crimes, freedom, etc. when they would be hungry in eight hours and starving in twenty-four?
    5. Why aren’t they following they guy who can hunt, find water, lead them to food, knows what plants to eat, etc.? Why isn’t someone asking the leader, “Where’s the food?”

    It could be an interesting drama as how *real* people would try to survive. I see no reason to pad it with teen drama, love nonsense, goofy stuff happening on the Ark, or
    “teen survivor” in-fighting.

  17. In a nutshell it is “Lord of the Flies” amplified by teenage hormones. Not as original as it thinks it is, but vaguely entertaining nonetheless. How only 2 people get the seriousness of being stranded in the wilderness without supplies is astounding to me though.

  18. I don’t recommend this. The third episode was just pure ridiculous. The only competent, notable, and likeable character was killed off in favor of a ‘made for tv’ love interest character, Finn. Even with Clarke taking up the reigns to get people in gear, she quickly turned into someone you can’t really root for. Especially after episode 4… just no.

  19. The premise sounded awesome. The actual plot was a whole different story – or rather, lack of. The first episode was painful to sit through, with the cringefest beginning from the scene with the teens in the pod. There were just a lot of ridiculous dialogue and holes in the plot – a by-product of the fast pace maybe?

    Sloppy scriptwriting also ruined what could have been a promising series. For example, nobody actually orders the anesthesiologist to “increase the analgesia” during an operation… inserting a drug name like propofol would have been simple enough to establish some credibility.

    There wasn’t even enough information provided to make the teens’ actions/reactions believable. Why is Clarke the only one worried about finding food and surviving in this foreign environment that could be toxic? Where did that map of hers suddenly appear from? Better still, how did Clarke figure out where their landing spot was on the map? How did Finn survive the landing unhurt when he wasn’t strapped in while the other kids died? Why on earth would you jump into a river given the circumstances?

    This one’s definitely for a very young crowd whose world consists of hormone-fuelled actions and sheer idiocy.

    • Late to this party, was just looking at reviews with a view to trying The 100, and I have to say… you’re right on the money with this comment.

      The show is so vapid. Everything, right down to the potentially interesting setup seems to be entirely lacking in any actual thought. None of the plot-holes were hard to fix with a little more effort at the writing stage, which made me feel that the producers couldn’t have thought very highly of their target audience.

      It was a shame to see a decently made and clearly fairly budgeted (for TV) series be wasted by people who have no vision or aspiration beyond the standard set by Hollyoaks.

  20. I think this show nailed it. One to watch. And, the scene with Radioactive was the best scene in the pilot. Good stuff.

  21. Best series EVER. If your into arrow, or lost this is the perfect storie. Don’t bash it. It’s awesome.

    BTW. I totally ship Octavia and Lincoln

  22. There are so many unrealistic details about this series that it takes away from the storyline. Has anyone noticed that the arc always seems to be right overhead the 100′s camp? Did the screenwriters at least study up on how satellites orbit when writing the scripts? In one scene the kids are cracking nuts they found in the forest. I saw what looked like walnuts and pecans as if they were poured out of 5-lb bag from Safeway. Getting nuts in the wild is hard work. They don’t look all shiny and clean like that. What are the odds that both Raven and the last Exodus ship would both come to Earth within a mile of the 100′s camp instead of somewhere else on the 200 million square miles of Earth? Several weeks after landing the campers are still milling about energetically with enough energy to fight, have sex, and carry on dramatic conversations. In reality, within 48 hours without food people would become lethargic and not want to do anything.

  23. Belllamy’s sisters name is Octavia… Not Aurora. I mean did you even watch the show?