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*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.
Are you looking for a new TV show to enjoy? Do you enjoy dystopian fiction? Post-apocalyptic craziness with teens and adults? Romance? Double crossing? Swordplay? Then I’ve got the perfect show for you! The 100 is seriously one of the best shows that I finally just caught up with recently. My boyfriend has been telling me to watch it for awhile now and I just didn’t have the time. Fortunately, a cold laid me up for a few days and it was the perfect time to binge watch The 100 on Netflix until I caught up to the current Season 3.
The 100 is based on a trilogy of books by author Kass Morgan released in 2013. According to Wikipedia, TV execs were interested in the stories before the books were officially published and the show premiered in 2014 on the CW. (Authors note: That is one extremely lucky author. I’ve never heard of a book being optioned before it’s even published! I’m super jealous now.) The show itself has a fairly simple, if depressing premise, 97 years after the world is (supposedly) destroyed by nuclear bombs we find that humanity has managed to survive by living on space stations, called The Arc, but their time is running out, their air is running out. To help save air and to also see if the Earth is habitable (though science and logic say it takes about 200 years for the world to clear after nuclear war but hey, it’s TV!), the powers that be on The Arc decide to send the juvenile delinquents/offenders down to Earth, and guess how many of them there are? You guessed it! 100 teenagers go down to Earth and find that Earth is actually livable, sort of.
What the kids quickly come to discover is that Earth is not all it’s cracked up to be, yeah sure there are trees and fresh air and flowers and radioactive butterfly’s, but there are also people throwing spears and running through the woods in pretty fearsome ensembles. Which can mean only one thing, Earth harbors survivors.
These kids seriously never get a break, from the moment they land on Earth things go sideways crazy. Grounders (the habitants of the Earth post-war) run rampant and we soon learn about the Mountain Men as well. There’s lots to fear on this new Earth, not the least of which is a 2-headed deer that roams majestically through the forest and acid fog that kills in bloodthirsty fashion.
Things aren’t looking up for the grownups on the Arc either, they are running out of air faster than expected and everyone is angry and looking for a way out of their space Hell. It’s a compelling story in many ways, not the least of which is that what turns out happening is that women end up being pretty much in charge. The main character, Clarke Griffin (played by Eliza Taylor) is quickly shown to be strong, smart and more than capable of wrangling these kids who have become a hipster-esque post-apocalyptic version of Lord Of The Flies. Her mother (the main doctor on The Arc) is equally in control up in space. Then, when we meet the Grounder’s leader, we see that it is also a woman.
It’s freakin’ fantastic.
I cannot stress enough how surprised and pleased I was to discover that women seem to be the ones running things in this new world. Sure, it’s not perfect, but what is? What I really dig about The 100 is the fact that characters are constantly changing. Someone I think is a really dink turns out to be smart and savvy. A love triangle that could have bogged the show down for season after season instead resolves itself in an episode or two and it’s dang refreshing, it’s adult but yet, it’s about teenagers. It’s a paradox of themes and ideas and yet, they all work astoundingly well.
Take one of my favorite characters, Octavia, not only does she have a fabulous name, but she also becomes this total bad-ass warrior woman by the current season 3. She starts out kind of devil may care, party girl but quickly, once confronted with death of someone she loves and her own injuries and more, she becomes stronger and more capable than you would have expected when you first meet her. It’s smart writing. It’s a smart show. It reminds me that writing smart young women is actually something that can happen (and something that the writers on Supergirl should take note of). I used to think that TV shows on the CW were silly and boring tales of soap opera romance but with such hits like The Arrow and The Flash and now The 100, I have definitely rethought my stance on the CW. It’s a network that isn’t afraid to take chances with it’s shows and it makes them better, smarter and infinitely more enjoyable to watch.
Currently The 100 is in the middle of its 3rd season and has been getting some heat lately due to the death of a prominent character who was also a lesbian. Many are saying that killing off a lesbian character is unfair and “too fast” but the fact is, it made sense for the timeline of the show, it had to happen to keep things moving forward. This season is ripe with political intrigue that mirrors our own current political quagmire as well as raising issues of what’s right and what’s wrong in a world at war and complex themes of love and honor. It’s what makes the show as smart and interesting as it is. Is the 3rd season as good as seasons 1 and 2? The jury is still out on that one, I for one was kind of glad the character died last week because I thought she weakened the story a bit and it was getting a bit tired. It’s a brutal world they live in now and death happens a lot, it makes sense on this Earth.
Regardless of any controversy, The 100 is a show worth checking out. If you are a fan of strong women who know how to fight for what’s right (hopefully) then you’ll enjoy the holy heck out of The 100!
Have you seen The 100? Do you love it/hate it? Tell me why in the comments! Do you have any show recommendations? Tell me!