In Revolution, there’s a massive technological blackout that leads to society’s breakdown and an uptick in crossbow sales. It’s a clear attempt at tapping into the mystery-craving populace that followed Lost like a religion, but it seems like the series from Eric Kripke is too enigmatically empty and unintentionally hilarious to live up to the gritty hype.

For those disappointed by Revolution, the new web series Flare might offer some hope.

The similarities are obvious. They share the same high concept where a worldwide blackout leads to a brutish existence for clan-based characters, and bow-based weaponry is admittedly popular, but the quality difference is striking.  The above trailer plays a bit broad as a piece of advertising, but the show itself – which stars Mark Moses from Mad Men and Jamie McShane from Sons of Anarchy – is notable for eschewing dull exposition without resorting to vagueness devoid of meaning. Characters act and speak like human beings stuck in a terrible new paradigm instead of commiserating like dinner theater actors who’ve been told they’ll be shot if they ever reveal what’s going on.

The budget limitations are clear from time to time, but the show earns respect for looking great and getting the core elements of the genre recipe right. If you’re searching for a new post-Apocalyptic show to dive into after being scorned by Revolution, you can watch the first 18-minute episode of Flare online for free. And then, apparently, you can help them decide where the show goes next.


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