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    NBC show to depict EMP-aftermath society

    NBC show to depict EMP-aftermath society

    “Revolution,” a new drama from NBC‘s fall lineup, depicts what life would look like in the aftermath of an EMP attack. Producer JJ. Abrams (Iron Man) sets the action in Chicago, 15 years after all electricity on the planet is wiped out. In the teaser, the narrator sets the scene:

    “We used electricity for everything, even to grow food and pump water. But after the blackout nothing worked. Not even car engines or jet turbines. Hell, even batteries. All of it, gone forever. Governments fell; militias and generals and warlords rose up. So, what the hell happened?”

    NBC is tapping into increased interest in post-apocalyptic scenarios, particularly around EMP, or electromagnetic pulse. If this will this play beyond the “prepper” circles remains to be seen. But it does reflect a reality that perhaps some politicians have been ignoring; Americans may see the possibility of their world deteriorating as more plausible. Even the title–“Revolution”–reflects the unease and cultural divide present in America today.

    Of special interest to Chicagoans, it looks like the product placement gurus have been hard at work. (Will the Ricketts family receive flack for placing the Cubs logo prominently?)

    The teaser displays such local brands as Lou Malnatis (pizza) signs, Cubs paraphernalia (will the fans still be hoping?) and a deteriorating Chicago skyline.

    That last part is sure to warm the hearts of the Occupiers running wild through our city this weekend.

    Will you watch?

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    Dear Hollywood,

    Before you (censor) this up, I would like to give you some advice.

    1) Hire an actual physicist, who has not signed onto Global Warming, or any other “Humans are going to destroy the environment” idiocy. Give him/her total veto power over the writers stupid plot ideas. (Yes that sounds neat. No physics doesn’t work that way. Try again)

    2) Decide on the “Rules” of the series before-hand and STICK TO THEM. If it is a one-time event (like solar storm or nuclear EMP) that flattens existing electronics, then the possibility of humanity putting together more low-tech electric gizmos is OK. If it is an ongoing event such as the flipping of the magnetic poles that causes a constant multi-year EMP event, no. See 1)

    3) Decide on personalities of your characters in advance and stick with it. Negative characteristics should have balancing positive characteristics, or the poor schlub would have been kicked into a hole years before the series starts. (In GURPS-speak, 30 pts Advantages, 30 pts Disadvantages or so) Character advancement/regression should be plotted out in advance, not just flung into episodes at random.

    4) People lie. People have secrets. The audience will empathize with People. Even after 15 years, people will still have areas of their past too painful to visit. People have a whole conflict spectrum to explore. People tend to fall in love and out of love. People are *interesting*. People are the foreground of your series, the physics and the hardware is the background. Don’t get so caught up in making huge elaborate sets that you forget the main reason for the series. People.


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