The 100, oh, The 100. The show that on one hand, does not make much sense, but on the other is too real and emotional. The show that broke my heart a few times, but I still watch. And re-watch. And re-watch. Despite its implausibility and improbability, despite the somehow bad writing, I have binge-watched the first 4 seasons at least 3 times already.
So, while we are all waiting for the 6th season – 30th of April, everyone! – let’s look at some reasons why I love it so much in the first place.
Some spoilers ahead!
- Moral decisions
The prevailing theme of the 100 I would say is the moral complexity of a human being. The show is very morally grey, with no real “good guys” – which is said a few times throughout the show. The survival theme is strong, but so is the question of whether they – or we as humans – are even worthy of survival. Do they deserve to live on after what they have done and how far are they going to go to achieve survival? Is there no line they won’t cross? And what does it make of them, do the things they’ve done for survival define them now? How strong is their civilization in a world of basic instincts? And, are they/we really that different than the cruel rules the grounders have?
The show constantly puts characters in situations where there are no good choices, and I love it.
- It’s real and relevant
Ever since Jasper got speared at the end of the very first episode, I knew this wasn’t just another cringe-worthy teenage drama I fall for too many times (I mean, come on, it’s not like I’m 17 anymore!). There’s nothing pretty about the end of the world, and neither it is about re-building the post-apocalyptic society, and this show knows it. It forces the viewers to explore and rethink social order, war and reasons for it.
Another thing I love are the parallels to the politics in real life, starting from first colonizers coming to America, to more recent events. Yes, I know the initial 100 delinquents had no intention to start a war and were striving for peace throughout most of the series, but still a technologically advanced civilization invaded the land and intended to stay. In season three Pike even says, “This is OUR land now.” I’m not surprised the grounders were not very eager to listen for the reasons behind it.
Season three is when Pike and Bellamy, along with most of Arcadia, declare a war on all the grounders because of what Azgeda clan did. Suddenly, every grounder is an enemy, and Pike rose to power by strengthening the fear of the unknown. After 9/11 (and not only) many of us think every Muslim is evil, and the enemy, based on actions of a small group of extremists.
I could go on and on.
If you think you got them covered in the Pilot episode, think again. Yes, the characters start of as your usual teenagers – we have the geek, the nerd, the wild child, the ladies’ guy. But the show has some of the best character development, and by each season, they are all so different because of what they’ve been through, it makes them almost unrecognizable in some cases.
The 100 has many strong, multi-faced characters of both sexes. They’re different and they all react to the events in their own unique way – from Jasper’s depression leading to suicide, through Finn’s going wild from untreated PTSD. It’s brutal, but very real. After all not everybody is strong enough to keep on surviving and fighting in the harsh conditions.
- It’s unpredictable
The first twist came to us at the end of the very first episode. The pilot is not that great, in my opinion, and while watching it I had a few thoughts like What exactly am I watching? But there it was, a strike out of nowhere, that made me realize that there really WAS more to The 100 than just a futuristic drama. And then they did it again, in episode three, when a 13-year-old kills one of the seemingly major characters. And then again, and again.
The 100 is not afraid to kill its characters, no matter how beloved they are by the viewers. It’s not afraid to turn the stakes over and over. What seemed like a crucial issue in one episode, can turn into something completely irrelevant in the next two episodes. It keeps the viewers on edge, and it kept me binge-watching till the end.
By setting, I don’t only mean what meets the eye. The 100 has some wonderful music, too; from Thousand Eyes by Of Monsters and Men, through Cloud by Elias, to Add it Up by Violent Femmes, to name a few. Then, there is the breathtaking scenery, and the costumes. The characterization is always great, despite the low budget, and is kept real. When they fight, they are covered in blood, and mud, and they don’t clean up till they have a source of water. I am so used to seeing their dirty faces with smudges of blood then and there, that while watching the trailer for season 6 I was thinking They are all so clean!
So, here are my top 5 reasons. Of course, it’s just a fraction of what I could say about any of these topics. But now you have the idea of what makes me come back, and have my heart broken again and again.
That being said, let’s hope season 6 doesn’t kill Raven or John!
PS If you are into these things, try out my semi fan-fiction/story inspired by The 100 – link below: