After its explosive finale last year, “The 100,” a post-apocalyptic series on The CW, premiered its third season on Jan. 21.
Based on the science fiction book series by Kass Morgan, “The 100” follows a group of teens who are sent back to Earth 100 years after a nuclear war killed nearly all life and destroyed civilization. As the teens struggle to survive, they soon find themselves fighting each other and the war-like indigenous tribes who have adapted to the altered Earth.
While the premise may sound like a standard CW teen drama with a slight twist, “The 100” has risen above its thin foundation to become one of the most thrilling additions to the apocalyptic genre. The show’s first few episodes are shaky, but it quickly finds its footing and becomes an exciting blend of action, adventure and science fiction.
“The 100” shines largely because it does not shy away from its dark subject matter. Despite featuring mostly young actors, the show delves into violence frequently and brutally.
The show is also not afraid to kill off members of its main cast, which helps present the apocalyptic setting as being unpredictable. Beyond physical violence, “The 100” also touches on a variety of moral and ethical issues using its post-apocalyptic basis.
Much of the show’s cast is comprised of relatively unknown performers, including the show’s lead actress Eliza Taylor, who gained some prominence after starring in the Australian soap opera “Neighbors.” This choice, intentional or not, works in the show’s favor, as it adds a sense of credibility to the show’s chaotic and sometimes outlandish scenarios. Most of the young actors embrace their roles and create compelling characters to root for and against.
The first two seasons, currently available on Netflix, provide excellent binge-watching material while the third season marches ahead.