(The CW always has the most awful posters oh my GOD)
So this past weekend has been an adventure for some of us in the blogosphere, one in which Gillian, Meg, Amber and I fell into a magical pit and have yet to find a way out. If any of you have been following us, you’ll know that the pit is the CW (I HATE you) show The 100, and by extension the realest otp, known in fandom as ‘Bellarke’. It’s been kind of hilarious actually to watch the snowball effect this show has had because our constant enthusiasm has pulled in more people, who have then gone and encouraged even more people to join in. I’m still not entirely sure how this happened…wait, that’s a lie, I totally do. It started with a still:
and it basically was all Gillian and Meg needed to embark on a night-long binge that ended in them screeching excitedly, which then gave Amber the motivation she needed to watch (she watched an entire season plus the four episodes of S2 that are out already in a DAY, and is already rewatching. DEDICATION) and then I joined in to catch up and now there are so many people watching The 100 that I can’t keep up. Snowball effects, man. They’re wild.
Dee actually made me watch this months ago, and I read the books that the series is based on because of our weekend watches. Judith will tell you that there is actually no comparison between the show and the books: the show is not only almost completely different but it is also much, much better than the book series. The basic premise is the same: 100 teenagers, convicted of various crimes, are sent down to an inhospitable Earth as part of a colonization attempt. Humankind only exists on a spaceship known as The Ark, which is where the 100 originate from. Earth is supposedly uninhabitable due to the radiation that lingers in the atmosphere from nuclear warfare that occurred years ago and wiped out nearly all of the planet’s species, including humans (not that unlikely, let’s be real here). But that’s pretty much where the similarities end, and I absolutely love the way the show has evolved as a result of it.
Clarke Griffin & Bellamy Blake
Arguably our main character is Clarke Griffin:
She’s the daughter of The Ark’s Doctor and herself has a lot of medical experience, which is an important part of her character. She’s a healer and a leader, someone who inspires her fellow 100 to survive through anything. Clarke starts out as a rule follower, and is probably the moral centre of the show at the beginning. But hey, you tell me, that sounds kind of boring? WELL, I say, this here girl adapts to her environment, getting low down and dirty with the best of them, lying, fighting and threatening her way around this dangerous world she finds herself in. Clarke cares most of all for the friends she has made; in fact the core group can easily be considered a family unit (more on Bellamy ‘I have a family’ Blake in a minute) and as the series progresses, isn’t afraid to cross lines to protect them. She is a leader, and in keeping with one of the central themes of the show, has made the difficult decisions that come with that position.
BUT wait up, you cry! Why have you got TWO characters in your title there, buddy! WELL, friend, I say, take a seat and let me introduce you to Bellamy Blake:
Bellamy is like 60% of the reason for the snowball effect of this weekend because look, we are most of us heterosexual girls and the dude is like ridiculous, through the roof levels of hot. Just wait ’til he takes his top off, kids, you are not prepared. BUT more than that, Bellamy is easily one of the most fascinating characters on this show, not least because he’s introduced as the one guy who wasn’t even meant to be on the ship with the others. He has his reasons for being there, which I’m not gonna tell you but trust me they are good ones, but what I can tell you is that his reasons for basically sentencing himself to a near definite death sentence via radiation poisoning only add to the complexity of his character. If Clarke can be considered as the ‘good’ leader, full of compassion and caring, Bellamy exists to counterpoint that. He has a bad temper, complete disdain for authority figures
unless they happen to be blonde and passionate, and pretty much starts out as an antagonist. Bellamy’s character development throughout the series is absolutely amazing; this is a guy who starts out on the outside, only caring for his own and by the end of S1 has grown into his role as a leader, taking his place right alongside Clarke. And that thing about family? Bellamy, more so than Clarke in some situations, views the group as his own family unit and isn’t afraid to fight to protect what they’ve carved out for themselves.
‘Bellamy inspires the masses, and Clarke inspires Bellamy.’ – Jason Rothenburg, Creator/Executive Producer of The 100
So…this ship. Have you ever read a better description for any relationship than the above quote? How about a relationship that can be literally charted in the way a nickname’s meaning changes? FRIEND, you are not prepared, Bellamy and Clarke pretty much start out hating each other – the two are so different, and while both almost immediately become defacto leaders of the group, each has a very different idea of how to live and survive in this new world. Their viewpoints cause them to clash violently but what starts out as mutual dislike slowly morphs into a relationship that is very much about mutual respect. Bellamy starts out calling Clarke ‘Princess’ as a means of tearing her down, pointing out her relative privilege in comparison to many of the others but slowly, as the two grow closer ‘Princess’ becomes a name of respect, of power, and in a lot of ways, pride. He’s her lieutenant, she his rock to lean on – Clarke believes in him and pushes him to be better, and this is a huge thing for a guy who’s had precious little encouragement in his life. Also: UST. They have it in spades.
The 100 is one of those rare shows with an incredibly diverse ensemble cast, more than half of which are women in prominent roles. And they’re all amazing. There’s Raven, who not only has a traditionally masculine position that is then compromised in S2 because of ~important reasons~ but becomes involved in a love triangle that resolves itself with the two women involved becoming friends (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the guy being pretty much shut out, as it should be. Then there’s Octavia, who owns her sexuality and enjoys it, letting no-one tell her what to do or how to behave. How about the women who lead tribes and kick ass? Or the older members of The Ark? What I’m saying here is that there is basically someone for everyone in this show, and the characters all have their own arcs that are all interesting.
lmao that gif sums up Finn’s character entirely tbh
Okay, so the plot, unlike a lot of CW shows (looking at you, TVD), is actually really interesting. You’ve got this basic set-up of a group of teens trying to survive in a dangerous world but you’ve also got the underlying themes of racism, privilege, who gets to determine what a leader is and what it means to lead. You’ve got stories which involve old and new characters interacting in fascinating ways (Octavia and Calvin from Hollyoaks), love stories, friendships which evolve in incredibly unlikely circumstances…again, there is something for everyone. This show is really underrated but let me finish this very long post by stating emphatically that The 100 is more than worth everyone’s time. Watch it, you will not regret.