All right, I confess. I got sucked into The 100 and I am not ashamed of it. I’ve told so many people how well-done and well-written this show is.
Then I immediately sigh and say, “But…. so problematic, ahhhh!” Look. It is completely possible to love a television show so deeply that my fandom heart makes a little room for it and I’m making imaginary wedding plans with Bellamy… but also acknowledge that this show might be the worst. Let’s discuss why. Spoiler warnings.
Although, I can go on and on about how there was no way these kids would have been automatically fine the minute they hit Earth’s gravity… SCIENCE!… let’s talk about the thing that no one talks about in these post-apocalyptic fiction: all the white people. A couple of years ago, National Geographic released these amazing photos and made a prediction that by 2050, the “average American” will be mixed races. It’s all based on data. Google it.
Bellamy is played by an actor who is half-Australian and half-Filipino, he is probably the most realistic person to be on that show, along with the other PoC characters… which surprise, surprise there is not a lot of them.
Clarke’s childhood best friend, Wells Jaha (played by Eli Goree), gets stabbed in the neck by a little white girl a couple of episodes in season one. What. WHAT. Like, oh, we can’t have a love triangle with a black man versus a white man. We all know the white man will win! Sorry not sorry, but I was really happy when Finn died. He sucked. Anyways.
Some days, I can’t believe I still live in a world where during every episode, I have to pray that they don’t kill off the one prominent Asian character.
I love you Monty. I’m one season behind and I hope you don’t die in Season 3… but seriously, how is your hair so perfect all the time?
Lexa, the supreme leader of warriors and people who survived a planet coated in radiation, is—you guessed it— a white girl. She looks like she should be working at the Express store at the mall. I mean, girl. Really. Anya would have been a much more believable queen of the amazons… but of course, she super dead. Too racially ambiguous, let’s not keep her around.
Don’t even get me started on the Mountain Men and how they managed to embody privilege and still enslave the “savages” when they literally will die exposed to the planet’s air. Again, not sad they died.
Let’s stay calm and I will tell you why this show is also the best. I like Clarke as a character and I love that this show is very much female driven. So far, season one and season two’s stories are very much driven by the motivation of these women. Clarke, a pretty, blonde girl who people underestimated, rose up to the occasion as a leader and squashed any idea that she is just a “princess.” She is rarely (if ever) a damsel in distress. In the beginning, Bellamy gave her the Princess title to patronize her. Later on, he calls her a princess out of awe and deep respect. That is amazing to watch in a show aimed at teenagers (what does this say about me? I FREAKING LOVE THE CW!)
I appreciated Clarke’s friendship with Raven. They could have easily been a stereotype of “two girls who liked the same boy so now they hate each other forever,” but instead they both saw each other’s strength. They respect each other and they chose to raise each other up. Not fight over the basic white boy. I love that.
Abby is shown as not just “the mother” but a woman who has had to make hard decisions for her daughter and the safety of her own people. She remains standing even amidst the overbearing power struggle between the men around her. She is not afraid to be protective and emotional and it doesn’t take away from her bravery.
Even Octavia grows up to be her own person, not just defined by her big brother’s decisions. So glad she didn’t stay in the annoying-little-sister role for too long.
Then of course, I am excited to see this whole situation between Lexa and Clarke develop.
Yes, I know the spoiler already, people, even though I have not seen any episode from season 3 yet. We’ll talk about that though when I get there. You better believe it.
The 100 has many, many, many issues, but damn if I can’t admit that it’s a brilliant show.
One more thing though. How did Bellamy know to reference “it looks kind of like a submarine” so instinctively… like submarines was a thing in space that he grew up with?