Yep. I’ll admit it. I love The 100.
I was deeply ashamed of this statement during the first two seasons that I concealed it around the water cooler crowd.
I mean, this is coming from a guy who shamelessly wore flared jeans in high school… think about that faux-pas for a sec. *Nods with raised brows*
As we’ve entered the third season of The 100 this February, I’ve come to realize that not enough people in my social media circle are into it. Yes, that’s a thing.
Ergo, I give you Part 1/2 of “The 100 reasons to watch The 100, ÷ 2”, so that you may be convinced to enjoy the show as much as I do.
Disclaimer: Part 1 is spoiler free… or as spoiler free as it could be. There will be minor information in the following that’s revealed in the Pilot. I can’t exactly convince you to watch it without revealing some pertinent stuff, now can I?
1. Great concept
Based on the same-titled trilogy by Kass Morgan, The 100—developed for TV by Jason Rothenberg—falls under the dystopian future, science fiction genre.
Nearly a century after the Earth is laid waste by a nuclear holocaust, residents of a space colony dubbed, “The Ark,” force 100 delinquent children (age<18) to planetfall to assess Earth’s habitability.
2. Well-developed contextual setting
The Ark operates under very strict rules—any crime, no matter how small, is deemed punishable by death. It’s how its citizens survive given the scarce resources producible in space.
Children under 18 are sent to prison instead. Given a malfunction in the Ark’s oxygen recycling system, the expendables—the 100 delinquents—are deemed best fit to check whether the Earth’s nuclear radiation has subsided.
Where there’s a will to survive, humans—even children— find ways to do so.
4. Children are adults
There is no pretense. The children take center stage and even the youngest make the harshest decisions. After all, a society will not form itself.
5. Potential role models
Government formation is hard work. If these kids can be resourceful at fulfilling feats (even within the premise of a TV show), what’s your excuse?
6. Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor)
The show’s Katniss, Clarke is surprisingly a pretty great protagonist. She takes her empathic ethical values from her late father but acquires a propensity to make the most difficult decisions from her mother, Dr. Abigail Griffin.
This tension between “doing the right thing” and “doing what must be done” is the cornerstone of Clarke’s character. And the show does not shy away from revealing the consequences that result from either path.
Plus there’s another side to her revealed in season 2 that would make anyone go, “Shut the front door, I can only get so erect.”
7.—9. THE TRI-FREUDIAN MALE LEADS
Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley)
This gorgeous son of a gun is Clarke’s antithesis, her primary competition for the 100’s leadership. Bellamy represents the Ego, the aspect of Clarke that “does what must be done”.
Finn Collins (Thomas McDonell)
This bad boy, by contrast, represents Clarke’s people-pleasing good side, her Superego.
John Murphy (Richard Harmon)
And of course, the most meh-looking (Mr. Harmon, please don’t hate me) is relegated to the role of the Id—the one that acts on his appetites violently without fail. Can casting be any more predictable?
10. Killer character names!
Fine, so Finn is an overused name as of late…
But Clarke, Bellamy, Thelonious, Wells, Raven, Indra? These are just some of the awesome names the viewer will come across that help paint this new and dystopian world.
Props to Kass Morgan (mostly).
11. No main character is static
You think you’ve got these characters pegged by the Pilot? Just you wait by season 3.
12. Storytelling is set at a good pace
Not too fast, not too slow.
Sounds suggestive? Eeeehhhhh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
13. Something BIG happens… ALL THE TIME
The big payoff doesn’t necessarily occur in the fourth or fifth acts. Rest assured, there is always something major going on that will keep you interested and wanting more.
And by always, I mean… every episode!
14. A good mix of broadness and intimacy
While there is an encompassing A-story in every episode, the show does a great job of filling in between the act breaks by exploring character relationships. I’m generally not a fan of these “intimate interruptions” but… they contribute well enough to the A-story that the scenes transition quite seamlessly.
15. Coming of age
Anyone can relate to coming of age stories, as most of us go through it like a rite of passage.
One caveat. People in The 100 come of age like they’re on crack!
Minor spoiler alert.
The viewer will learn about Earth natives creatively dubbed, “Grounders” [eyeroll], very quickly into the series. They play such a huge role in the show’s schema that they merit a mention here. How these people survived the nuclear war, however, is yours to discover.
17. Inexhaustible conflict
The delinquents have their hands full with the adults at the Ark, the Grounders, and above all, with each other.
18. An invented language
Following in the same vein as Game of Thrones’ Dothraki and Valyria, The 100 has Trigedasleng, the common language of the natives.
A direct descendant of modern English that’s evolved rapidly in the course of three generations, Trigedasleng (or as I like to call it, Tree Guys Slang. Get it?) adds another layer of depth to the show.
19. David J. Peterson
Shut up and listen, that’s who! The mind behind the creation of Valyria is the same mind behind Trigedasleng.
Fun fact. Peterson also worked on the alien language in Defiance and was a consultant for the Shakira lyrics demonic verses in Penny Dreadful. “Shamina-mina he-hey…”
20. Female empowerment
“Girls. Girls! GIRLS,” as Mrs. Garrett would say.
There may be more men as part of the main cast but on this turf, the women take the wheel. And I’m not just talking about Clarke (more on these women in Part 2).
21. Australian domination
Australian actors play three of the biggest characters. Unsurprisingly, one of them is Taylor (Clarke).
22. It’s on the CW
Which means you shouldn’t expect much, given the CW’s Emmy track record. But that’s okay since that gives you more room for enjoyment.
If you can get past the first few episodes, that is.
23. “It’s so bad, it’s good!”
…Was how a friend described the first season. It’s not the same set of words I’d use to define the show but…
Sometimes, you just gotta set the chronic bitch face aside and laugh at the show’s corny moments.
“We’re back bitches”, really? You weren’t even born on the planet, chrissake, haha! Not to mention, Imagine Dragons, gulp!
24. This guy
Yeah. Cheating a little bit with this filler, but just look at him. So damaged, so vulnerable.
As Tiffany Pollard might say, you just wanna comfort him with open arms, open legs, and an open mou–…
25. “May we meet again.”
This is The 100’s answer to The Hunger Games’ “May the odds be ever in your favour.”
It perfectly encapsulates hope—how characters yearn to see loved ones in the next encounter—and brutality—as it insinuates how often criminals in the Ark were floated in space.
That said, may we meet again in the second part of “The 100 reasons to watch The 100, ÷ 2”.
What, only 25 bullet points you ask?
÷ 2, dude, ÷ 2—no one can say I was misleading! Ain’t nobody got time for a full list of 100!