Image: The CW
I will admit, the first time I clicked on the CW’s The 100 on Netflix, I wasn’t expecting much — a band of too-pretty-to-be-believed teenage models marooned in the jungle without a parental figure in sight. In fact, the main reason I chose it was because as a prolific watcher of genre-themed television, I had already seen most of the science fiction series on offer.
That, and I had heard that the leader of the show’s ragtag group of juvenile delinquents was female, as were many of the best characters, which even in the twenty-first century is still rare for genre shows not created by the likes of JJ Abrams or Joss Whedon. (Although to be fair, The 100 is based on Kass Morgan’s young adult book series of the same name, a genre in which plucky teen heroines like The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen are very much in vogue.)
Season one — which sees the aforementioned group of space-born teens sentenced to return to Earth to find out if it’s fit for human habitation — starts out as a mishmash of ideas familiar to anyone who’s ever watched survival-themed genre shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, or The Walking Dead, or read books like Lord of the Flies or The Hunger Games.
While there is undeniable potential in many of its ideas, The 100′s promise isn’t fully realised until events in the season finale kick off an exciting new arc that is unlike anything else I’ve seen on television. What follows is a thought-provoking journey into the heart of darkness as the characters experience the harsh realities and moral ambiguities of war and colonial violence.
If you’ve just started watching, I recommend sticking out the early monster-of-the-week episodes, because once the characters begin to look past their own immediate needs and interpersonal conflicts, and move on to exploring their environment and the accompanying mythology, the show really comes into its own. I for one can’t wait to see what the writers have planned for season three.