Let me just say, there are a lot of TV shows out there. As a result, there are so many shows that it’s impossible to watch all of them, especially since so many of them are bad. But every once in awhile there’s a show that appears one day out of the blue that instantly grabs you and won’t let go. For me, that was The 100.
The 100 is not the most well known show and it was even less well known when it began a few years ago. It tells the story of a group of people who live on a giant space station named “The Ark” who escaped from Earth a hundred years ago when the planet was practically destroyed by a nuclear war. But the Ark’s oxygen systems are failing so the council sent all the juvenile prisoners, one hundred of them, down to Earth to see if it was survivable. Naturally a Lord of the Flies kind of situation occurs, because they’re teenagers who aren’t dealing with people not telling them what to do for the first time.
As you would expect from that premise, the beginning of the show was just as shallow as just about every other teen show out there today. Luckily, it got better. By the end of the first season, the show’s quality improved steadily and by the end of the second it was simply amazing. Instead of a show about teenagers killing each other and having sex, it became a show about survival and the sacrifices you make to do so.
If The 100 had been on any other network, it would have been canceled after the pilot. But the CW is small enough to want to build up shows it’s interested in. Actually, the CW’s commitment to its shows is why the last two Golden Globe winners for “Best Actress in a Comedy – Television Series Musical or Comedy” were from their shows (Gina Rodriguez and Rachel Bloom for Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, respectively). Not to mention they have the most ethnically diverse shows compared to just about every other network. The 100’s protagonist, Clarke, may be blonde and blue eyed but almost every other character, from the other main characters to extras, is not.
Anyway, the CW was smart enough to not only give the writers creative control over improving the show, but also giving them time to promote themselves. The 100’s seasons are half of a regular show’s, meaning their seasons are 13-16 episodes long compared to the usual 20-15, so for the first two seasons the show aired the first half of the broadcast television season. But for the third season the network changed it up. Instead, The 100 did not air until January of this year. They did this to give the show a year to gain more viewers. The show’s second season was added to Netflix Instant, the first season had already been on there for some time, and the writers and producers turned to Twitter to get as many people as possible watching. And it actually worked.
Yes, the show still has the viewership that would cause it to be canceled everywhere else, but it’s still improving. With every episode the show gets better and I believe it’s only a matter of time before people start noticing it. And when that happens, I’ll be glad that I started watching the show a long time ago, even to just say “I told you so” because The 100 is going to be big.