Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
When the CW first started airing The 100, I had high hopes for the series, especially since it felt like something new to the post-apocalyptic science-fiction genre, which I haven't enjoyed very much. There may have been a few hiccups along the way, mainly in the middle of the season, but, once you get past them, this is still one series you will be thankful you stuck with.
If you read my reviews for the first eight episodes, you probably noticed my growing discontent mid-season, but things turned around quickly after that point. Why did I stop those weekly reviews? Mainly lack of time, and I found this was a series that was difficult to properly review in a weekly format. There wasn't any real theme that each episode followed, and the endings could easily have been moved around and it wouldn't have made a difference. I was going to try every second episode, but I found that it would have made even less sense as there were too many evolving stories to work around. In the end, I found that The 100 was better to be enjoyed as a whole, then reviewed later.
And I would highly recommend enjoying it as a whole. After re-watching the entire season from beginning to end, commercial free (I bought the season digitally online), it felt like I was watching and epic survival story with a level of quality very few TV series ever attempt. Sure, this format can make it difficult to follow along during the weekly airings, but the richness of the story and characters still make it worth the annoyances.
The most difficult hurdle to get past is the youth of most of the characters. The majority of the cast was made up of teenagers, and, like most teenagers, they make lots of really stupid choices, which mostly involve following the few bad influences into dangerous situations that they are in no way prepared for.
The frequent off-screen sex was also very annoying. This is a problem I have with most CW series, but I hoped that these youths would have been too busy surviving and not thinking about "hooking up". Sadly, that wasn't the case and we soon had annoying character interactions involving person A is angry at Person B and C for sleeping together, so A goes off to sleep with Person D, who is also messing around with five others. Hmm, maybe this is why there are still many families still refuse to watch anything on the CW.
And yet, these children made some incredibly mature and intelligent choices along the way that almost vindicated them of their other actions. Sadly, most of these good decisions were made my a handful of characters; I guess humanity can't breed out the fools and cruel even in a confined environment like a space station.
There were adults in the series, too, but they were all contained in their own storyline that only interacted with the youths a few times. Being adults, and descendants of brave men and women who were chosen to spend time on orbiting space stations, I had hoped that they would have strong and noble individuals, but that wasn't the case. The corruption and extremely cruel behaviour of some citizens confounds me, especially with every crime holding the death penalty. With such a small community, how did these evil few get by undetected and spread their negative influence to so many others? It was even worse that it was easy to tell who was a bad apple the moment they were first introduced.
At least most of the inhumane people were either vindicated by the end, began to show they still had a good side, or died a horrible, horrible death. Sure, more villains will certainly be introduced next season, but at least things feel like the good people triumphed this season.
Well, it wasn't a fantastic ending for everyone who was good, though. The whole sacrifice scene near the end, followed by the real sacrifice, will be one of those moments I will remember for a long time, especially when we see what happened to those who were were "saved". I also loved how both of the people who offered to sacrifice themselves for the greater good were once some of my most disliked characters, until they began to realize the errors they have made.
But, by far, what I loved the most about this first season of The 100 was how good always triumphed over evil. Well, when I say triumphed, I'm mean slaughtered them all in horrendously violent battles. Wow, were there ever lots of violent battles. The fights mainly involved primitive weapons, in the beginning, but when the modern weapons came out the rivers and streams soon ran red with blood. And while the normal fights were fantastic on their own, the massive battle that graced the finale was one of the best moments I've seen since the epic battle at the end of 300. And that was before the giant ring of fire!
Many people will expect the new faction, the Mountain Men, to be the next enemy for the second season, but I think that they will probably become allies in the next battle instead. Sure, they attacked them, but after watching them fight off the primitives with guns, explosives and a fireball, I think out would have chosen to talk with them in a secure location, too.
It sucks that we don't know who all survived, though. Instead of teasing the Mountain Men, I think it should have ended with an emotional scene revealing who survived and who didn't. Sure, we needed to know what happened to Monty, but I'm more curious about two brave men who were left outside at this point.
If you haven't watched The 100 yet, I would highly recommend you to check it out. It may be a CW production with some sappy teenage romance at times, but it is one of the best science-fiction stories I have experienced lately, possibly even surpassing Defiance in quality. Everyone involved in this series should be very proud of themselves.