The 100 is a tv series, now in its second season. The premise is that, some time after a nuclear conflict makes Earth uninhabitable, the orbiting station containing the last of humanity is failing. The adults on the station send one hundred teenage criminals and political prisoners to Earth to see if the planet can now sustain life.
I mostly like this show. It’s a CW show, so everyone is unbelievably pretty and nearly every conversation is held in urgent hushed tones. There are factions and conspiracies and secrets and shifting allegiances, and it’s all INTENSELY melodramatic. (I happen to adore the CW’s commitment to its niche. It knows what it has going for it and it COMMITS. I admire that.) I appreciate the way the characters actually grow and change and adapt to new situations. I appreciate the set and costume design a great deal. I truly admire whoever is responsible for Wound and Gore Continuity, because that person is kept busy.
I have a couple of quibbles.
1. These kids, these teenagers, they are third generation space-bred, at least. Yes, artificial gravity, sure. But these kids are RIPPED. They are thick with muscle. How? Why? What are they eating, up on the Ark? We are told, repeatedly, that the Ark is short of absolutely everything. Everything is rationed. No one can be born without someone else dying, essentially. How do they all get to be so gorgeously fit, with no nutritional deficiencies?
2. These kids, the get to the ground and suddenly they know how to DO all these outdoorsy skills. Now, I spent a certain amount of my childhood wilderness camping. I *know* how hard it is to get firewood all day, to keep anything dry or clean. I know how tricky it is to find food, to prepare edible things from just-barely-not-alive foods. You can read about it all you like, but that still doesn’t mean you can DO the thing. Reading about juggling does not make you a juggler. Practice does. Reading about fire-starting does not give you a fire. Practice does. These kids, they can ride HORSES, dammit.
3. Why are they not all getting pregnant? You cannot expect me to believe that these incredibly healthy kids, upon being freed from parental and societal constraints, are not having a LOT of sex. A. Lot. Of. Sex. And they have no forms of birth control that we are told about. Now, it’s possible that they all have some sort of science-y reversible sterilization, chemical or surgical, that was done as a matter of course up on the Ark. But if so, I would like to hear someone MENTION it. Make it a plot point! Like, later on, the tools for reversing it are no longer available, and the Sky People are all sterile. Or, make it a plot point that the chemical birth control starts failing. Something, people! Give me something!
4. All these people — Sky People, Grounders, Mountain Men — ALL of them are wasteful of irreplaceable resources. They cut ropes instead of untying them. They tear things, throw things away. This makes no kind of sense, especially when we see Grounders homes and villages and clothing — they ostensibly re-use everything. So why are they dramatically cutting ropes? Why are they not reacting in horror when the Sky People throw something away? And why would the Sky People throw ANYTHING away in the first place? We are told that absolutely everything on the Ark was recycled. These people, adults and teens, would all be relentless reclaimers and recyclers. Their very existence has depended on reuse for generations.
Quibbles aside, I do enjoy this show. I very much appreciate that the teens are mostly portrayed as serious adult characters. With different experiences than their parents, sure, but competent and capable.
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