Coming Soon: the 100

By Hilde van den Berg

School and university have started again, eliciting groans from everyone who isn’t in their first year. But fear not, for autumn always brings something sweet to go along with the bitter taste of living up to expectations. No, not Winter; TV season is coming up again.


Of course, there are a few summer shows, but most of what can be seen on TV during that period are re-runs. Autumn brings us the oldies, the shows that have been in there for the long haul, such as the Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, the Walking Dead. I’m sorry to say that there’s no official release date yet for Sherlock season three, but I think everyone’s used to waiting for that by now.

Alas, I’m not here to talk about the shows currently running. Every year, I can’t help but take a look at what has yet to premiere, and a new CW title caught my eye. The 100. You’ve got to admit; it sounds mysterious. Which “100”? What are these 100 going to do? Thankfully CW was so helpful as to create a trailer, in which a few nice questions get their answers.

The trailer instantly labels the show as Sci-Fi, talking about a nuclear apocalypse basically rendering Earth impossible to live on. It gives a glimpse of a whole new civilization on a spaceship not too far away from Earth. And, by the dystopia handbook, the lives of teenagers are about to be put at risk. If you hadn’t guessed it yet, the mysterious “100” are just 100 teenagers. Imprisoned teenagers. The trailer doesn’t say what they have done except from the fact they committed “petty” crimes, but as a dystopia requires a valid reason to hate the government, they can’t be too criminally insane.

They do send one hundred teenagers to a highly radioactive Earth, but they cleverly disguise it as “a second chance for mankind”. Obviously they have never done their reading on the amount of time radiation lasts. If the kids manage to survive, their crimes will be forgiven. Although they will probably grow an extra arm somewhere in their lives, or at least one of their future children might, everyone’s going to forget about that loaf of bread they stole. Jean Valjean could have easily been one of the main characters.

What’s more interesting perhaps, is the reactions these teenagers show as they land on Earth. To them it is all a mystery. They were not born on Earth, but as soon as the door of their spaceship opens and they see only a green forest-like landscape, they cheer and bolt outside.

The rest of the trailer is eerily reminiscent of the Lord of the Flies. For those who are not familiar with the book, it’s about schoolboys who end up on a deserted island without any adult supervision. With the book being as morbid as it is, a couple of kids die as well. About a little more than halfway into the trailer, the cheery air turns tense. There’s already a clear division between who the “good” criminals are, and those who aren’t. In the spirit of the Lord of the Flies, the group of rebels break out into a chant, and I really can’t imagine that things go well from that point onwards.

Believe it or not, the 100 actually wasn’t based on William Golding’s classic. It was based on a book of the same title, by Kass Morgan. I’m pretty inclined to read it, and I might just look out for it when it gets its midseason premiere. During the stressful periods right before breaks, it might be comforting to realize that, although you’re not getting any sleep, you’re not being sent to a highly radioactive planet.

Hilde van den Berg, class of 2016, is from Doetinchem, the Netherlands.

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