The 100 is a CW post-apocalyptic drama loosely based on the book series by Kass Morgan. Developed by Jason Rothenberg, the show premiered in March of 2014 and is currently in its third season.
A nuclear war has wiped out Earth’s population. The only known survivors are passengers among 12 individual spaceships that eventually join together to become a massive structure known as “The Ark.”
Fast-forward 97 years. Humankind is about 2,400 strong and still living on The Ark under the rule of Chancellor Jaha and the Council. Due to limited space and oxygen The Ark has strict laws in regards to population control: each family is allowed only one child and criminals over the age of 18 are “floated.” Essentially, they are sent out of an airlock and into space. Criminals under 18, juvenile delinquents, are held until their birthday when their crimes will be reviewed and a punishment will be given.
These delinquents are known as “the 100” and it is decided that they will be sent to earth to test if it’s survivable.
They land nearby what was once Washington D.C. and immediately chaos ensues. I mean what can you expect from a group of teenagers?
Clarke Griffin is one of the show’s main characters. Her mother is head doctor on The Ark and is part of the Council. Clarke had been locked in solitary confinement on The Ark and is sent down with the 100. Upon landing she immediately clashes with Bellamy Blake.
Bellamy is not part of the 100, but stowed away on the drop ship in order to protect his younger sister Octavia who was locked up for simply being a prohibited second child. He portrays Clarke as a privileged princess to the rest of the 100 in order to gain control of the crowd. Both are strong-willed and clash throughout the show, butting heads on what’s right and best for the 100. This being said the pair has great chemistry and their scenes have always been my favorite.
The other main delinquents include Jasper and Monty. The duo were best friends on The Ark and provide some comic relief to the show. Finn Collins is one of Clarke’s closest allies on Earth. He becomes the camp’s resident tracker and works to diffuse the tension between Bellamy and Clarke during their first few weeks on Earth. There’s also some serious sexual tension between him and Clarke.
And if we’re addressing love interests Wells Jaha can’t be overlooked. Son of the Chancellor Wells purposefully got himself sent to Earth in order to follow Clarke. They used to be best friends on The Ark, but Clarke currently hates him, as she believes he is the reason her father was floated.
Back on The Ark there’s a lot of power plays between Chancellor Jaha, Clarke’s mother Abby Griffin, and leader of the guard Marcus Kane.
Soon the 100 realize they aren’t the only ones on Earth, and surviving becomes even more difficult as they face off against natives known as Grounders.
The first few episodes of the show are rough, mostly because actors don’t seem completely comfortable with their lines or their characters. They seem like simple shallow teenagers. This being said it does get better, like way better.
The characters become complex people that are relatable and likable enough to route for—even Bellamy who is a complete ass at times. The writers create this complexity by forcing the 100 into making the choices necessary to survive: choices that aren’t easy and fall into a moral grey zone.
“Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things.” – Bellamy Blake, The 100
A big part of the show is crisis. The delinquents are constantly put in life-or-death situations, especially as conflict with the Grounders comes to a head. Plus, things on The Ark are more complicated then they appear, and their whole way of living is threatened. The show’s producers do a good job of putting the characters in immediate trouble, while also creating a larger and very intricate crisis that spans the whole season.
To me there’s nothing else like The 100 on television right now and it’s definitely worth watching—you just have to suspend judgment until at least four episodes in. The first two seasons are currently on Netflix, making it the perfect show to binge watch, and the third season is now airing on the CW.
Check out the season one trailer below and let me know what you think of The 100 in the comments!