One of the more highly anticipated spring show rollouts, "The 100", doesn't disappoint. Set 97 years in the future, after the human race has destroyed the earth and were forced to abandon it to live on a space station known as, "The Ark". The hope was that when the earth became habitable again, humans would once again return. Unfortunately, the Ark's rapid oxygen decline has forced that day to come faster than they expected.
With no idea whether humans can even survive on Earth, the Ark's counsel has elected to send 100 juvenile offenders to the surface to find out. I should also say that because space on the Ark is limited, life is very regimented and laws are strickly enforced.
If you violate them, chances are, you will be "floated". Take a wild guess at what that means, but here's an obvious clue: They're in space. If you're not floated, you're imprisoned for an indeterminate amount of time and age is no barrier to such a sentence. So when the counsel decided to secretly send the offenders down, they weren't sending down their "A" team as much as they were guinea pigs. All 100 of them.
The plan for the 100, was to get to the ground and make their way to a satellite station where there are provisions, shelter and communications system; all left 97 years ago in anticipation of their return. Miraculously, the 100 do make it to earth (minus one casualty) and discover that it's not the death sentence they expected. For the first time, they can breathe fresh air and touch solid ground. They are surrounded by life and it's a dream come true! Then...reality sets in. They have no shelter, very little food or water, add that with the fact that this group of kids are also convicted criminals and you have a cocktail for trouble. There are a few, however, that stand up to the chaos and are the voices of reason.
Clarke Griffin, played by Eliza Taylor, is the loudest and strongest of those. As the daughter of a counsel member she is respected and hated. She represents all that is unfair about life on the Ark, though since she was imprisoned for her crimes too, she can't be totally discounted. She's also smart and a natural leader which many respect and respond to. Her complete opposite in every way is, Bellamy Blake, played by Robert "Bobby" Morely. Where Clarke would like to assign jobs to enhance their chances of survival and provide order to the situation, Bellamy seizes power by feeding into the anger felt by so many in their group. Bellamy encourages them to embrace that anger and their new lives away from the Ark. A life of free will, a do what you want kind of life. Amazingly, he does this while firmly cementing his place as their leader and therefore, boss. It doesn't hurt that he's a badass either and while he offers freedom with one hand, he also rules it with an iron fist. Clarke and her small band of thinkers don't fall in line and work to find a way to survive in this wholly unfamiliar situation. But nothing can prepare any of them for the discovery that puts everything they thought they knew about the earth and their history on its head.
I certainly wasn't looking to be as invested in this show as I ended up becoming. They've put together a very talented group of young actors that carry their roles in a fashion that serves to elevate the show far beyond what it rightfully should be. In particular, I'm impressed by the acting presence of, Bobby Morley. While there is the obvious "cutie" factor, one cannot overlook or downplay the depth he's brought to his character. Bellamy is very complicated and constantly finds himself doing despicable things for what he thinks are the right reasons or for suvival. By the middle of this season, if you tally up the score of good vs. bad, Bellamy is tipping the scales at unforgivable. It's hard to imagine that his motives for most of them could be out of love and not just survival or just plain meanness. Octavia Blake, played by the lovely, Maria Averopoulos, is Bellamy's younger sister. She comes with a whole other bag of messed up and the two are constantly at odds over...well, everything. She's another hidden layer of what makes Bellamy tick and as the season unfolds, it's been intriguing to see what each new layer reveals.
Not to go without mention, Eliza Taylor presents a strong female lead that is equal parts unpredictable and unstoppable. Clarke, un-affectionately called "Princess", comes off in the beginning as all business. She's smart, decisive and not afraid to say the unpopular thing if she thinks it's the right thing. However, that being said, her character isn't as Type A as she would have you believe. The truth is, she and Bellamy have a lot more in common than she would ever admit to and after what I've seen her do this season, I'd wager she's quite possibly even more dangerous than him. This really gives Clarke some seriously edgy curves instead of the straight lines the audience is initially introduced to.
I'm happy to say the show was given the green on a second season and with the finale airing tonight, I'm certain to be eagerly anticipating it's return in the fall.