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Why You Should Be Watching THE 100

Why You Should Be Watching THE 100

Shows on The CW get snubbed sight unseen too often. People have been more accepting in the past few years with the addition of series like Arrow and The Flash, but I’m surprised at the brush-off some still give the network by dismissing it as the channel with all the young and attractive people and their angst. While that’s not an entirely inaccurate characterization, it’s not all The CW is about. It’s the home to several quality series–like The 100. The science fiction drama premiered in 2014, and if you’re not watching it, I recommend putting it on your list. Like, yesterday.


After seeing high praise from trusted friends, I binged all existing episodes of The 100 just last month. While I watched and gasped and cried, I couldn’t help but wonder why I hadn’t been watching this show from day one. Loosely based on the book of the same name by Kass Morgan and developed by Jason Rothenberg, The 100 is set 97 years in the future in a world where most of the human race was wiped out by a nuclear explosion. Survivors live on a space station called the Ark, but resources are limited. As a last-ditch effort to see if there is any hope for continuing existence, leaders of the Ark decide to send 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to see if it’s become inhabitable. Best case scenario: The 100 finds out the surface is livable and everyone can return to the ground. Worst case scenario: There are 100 less people using up precious oxygen on the Ark.

The story opens by throwing you right into main event. The 100 are gathered and are on Earth in no time. You’re introduced to series regulars Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley), Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), Abigail (Paige Turco), Kane (Henry Ian Cusick), and more within minutes, and for the most part, the show never stops rolling from the time the youths land on Earth. Just hang in until you get to the fourth episode. You won’t look back. This series has made my heart literally race more times than I can remember. Yes, a fair portion of the cast is young and attractive. Yes, you’ll see some angst and some romance subplots. But! The story splits its focus between the kids on the ground and the adults on the Ark. And everyone is rather focused on staying alive so the teen angst isn’t overwhelming.


The 100 is a delicious, intense sci-fi drama. It’s obvious that planning and care have gone into developing the world and its culture. I don’t want to give away any of the surprises I enjoyed, but trust me, they are around every corner. Things on Earth are not what they appear to be, and the people have more gumption in them than you might think. They have to because hey, continuing to breathe is a plus. The stakes are high, the threats are real, and oh my goodness, are there consequences. It’s an environment where no one is safe. This is not a show that cares about which characters you like best.

And the characters you root for will probably change over time. Remember how Battlestar Galactica handled the evolution of Saul Tigh? He went from being someone completely unlikable to someone most people respected if not cared for. None of it was forced, either. He progressed naturally and as time went on, we got to know him and his struggles better. That sort of evolution has happened across the board on The 100. Characters on the Ark and characters on the ground are so much more nuanced than you can imagine when you first encounter them. Brutal decisions and actions affect the people who make them and those around them (as they should), and it leads to some truly fascinating and deft development.

Because of the circumstances being what they are, some of that development is superficial. A fan of The 100 named Kate, a.k.a. @weyheybellarke, made a series of images showing physical changes for various characters. Here’s Clarke:

Clarke is a prime example who shifts as layers upon layers are peeled back. She’s also one of many rich and complicated female characters on this series. You won’t find the “strong female character” trope here. You’ll find characters. Diverse ones. This is a society that has been focused on merely getting to the next day for so long that gender and ethnic stereotypes aren’t really issues. People fall into the roles they fall into based on ability and willingness to learn or try new skills, and that’s that. It’s a natural, no big deal thing in-universe but so very impactful on network television.

The 100 currently airs on Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. Two episodes are remaining in the second season. You can catch up on previously aired episodes on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. See, you have options. Remember how spoiled you are when you watch Clarke, Bellamy, and the rest of the 100 scrounge for shelter and food.

Do you already watch The 100? Head to the comments and share some spoiler-free reasons why others should give it a chance. For those of you who end up watching it for the first time, feel free to come talk to me on Twitter when you need a shoulder.

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  1. Wilneydi says:

    I loved the article 100% and that the picture was given due credit. It might not seem like much but other articles forget to give credit to other creators. 

  2. Karen says:

    I have loved this show since Episode 1, even though I was skeptical, but it has proved to be way better than it should be.  It’s intelligent, brutal and thrilling. If you enjoy good sci-fi with a great story and acting, watch it!

  3. Karen says:


  4. daisybabi says:

    I had this show looping in my netflix queue for a while now; until this article.  I am on episode 3 now, and am enjoying it very much so far.  I am anticipating what unfolds as the story proceeds.  Thank you for nudging me into movement.

  5. nikki says:

    I binged watched the first season awhile ago, then I got all caught up to where I could start watching when it came on. Then when I was watching them I ended up losing interest. Think maybe I’m getting tired of all of the post apocalyptic stuff. Maybe I’ll give it another try though 

  6. Jasper says:

    Yes i love this show, and like you said i cry, and laugh at all that happens. The book will give you a little, but not much more, history and back story on each character. And all leads up to the amazingness of the show.

  7. Liam says:

    Someone told me the characters make bad decisions so i was wondering What bad decisions have the characters made?

  8. Ty85 says:

    I’m so glad to have caught this article, I’ve been looking for yet another series to get into 😀

  9. Ian B says:

    The 100 is the bee’s knees and although it can be a little corny, even the best of shows can get a little hokey. It has some of the best female characters I’ve seen on television in the last several years, great male characters too. I’m glad someone is talking about this, more people need to know about this gem!

  10. rob ubline says:

    Worst. Show. Ever. The shallow story, characters and premise… the incredibly terrible acting… there is a lot of bad T.V. out there but this show is one of the worst.

    I can’t believe how dumb humans have become.

  11. Tansy says:

    This article is amazing! I’m someone who keeps up to date with the show and I absolutely LOVE it!! I really enjoy the balance of post-apocalyptic survival with attractive teen angst stories and the character developments are amazing. I’m genuinely pleased every time there’s a surprise twist in the plot, a character’s development or even the starting of another storyline. The 100 is amazing and everyone needs to watch it right now!!

  12. Jadeleath says:

    When the show started I mostly was watching because my friend was sitting there and wanted to watch.  The idea looked interesting, but it all depended on how it was addressed.  The first few episodes gave you background on the characters, got you into where they were in the moment, then after the fourth episode you really got into things.  The characters have consistently met each challenge thrown at them, both the kids and the adults.  Not everything goes perfect, but things do progress.  I love the different angles the show comes at, what different people are willing to do to survive, to live.  The show is well worth your time, but don’t judge it on just the first few episodes.

  13. Aamanda says:

    I thought this show was just going to be ridiculous when I first saw it’s trailer.  But one bored day on Netflix I decided eh why not check it out… 20 minutes later I was done for! I fell in ♡, and a little mad because now I have yet another show to obsess about!  I currently have a puppy named Octavia of the Sky People and a mini goat named Bellamy! So thanks CW

  14. Steven says:

    Best show on TV right now. And also, not produced by the CW. It is a CBS show, which is why I think it is so good.

  15. This is the best show on TV no one’s watching. Everyone I tell to watch it is hooked. It’s intense, powerful, shocking and brilliantly written.

  16. Chelsea says:

    This! I originally dismissed The 100 due to a rocky pilot episode, but once I rediscovered the first season on Netflix, I regretted that decision. The show has strong character development across the board with leaders—both in the young group and the older one—making bold decisions.

    It’s like a YA Battlestar Galactica-meets-Lost, and that’s a very good thing.

  17. Symonne says:

    Because of the surprising twists I found myself gaping at. The unlikely alliances that form, creating rules only to have them broken down, the tough decisions we see Clarke make, and just the way that the characters are transformed. Probably one of the biggest transformations I saw aside from Clarke was Bellamy; it’s fascinating to watch his character grow from episode one to where we are now. It’s definitely worth a watch, but if you’re not into Game of Thrones level gore, you may want to close your eyes through some of the more disturbing scenes (which I totally didn’t expect from a CW show!)

  18. Jaynee says:

    I’m a big fan of the show but the second season has faltered a bit (most sophomore season do).  But it’s still better than most shows on TV, so I continue to watch.

  19. dawg says:

    I couldn’t get through the first episode of this show. The characters were so shallow and predictable. Sounds like it must have gotten better. 

  20. mwruger says:

    Skipped it because I already watch too much TV and have to cut some things and this show as an unknown on the CW seemed, and still does to me, a safe bet.

    I resisted Orphan Black for the same reason and when I finally watched it I said “Damn it! Now I have to watch that!”

    Maybe if something else I watch gets cancelled, I’ll give it a try. Too much stuff, not enough time.

  21. Alison says:

    I started watching day one after a few episode it really catches you!  Season 2 is SOOO good also, better then the first!

  22. Paige says:

    The 100 has quickly become a favorite. I found it on Netflix and quickly got caught up. I got so into it, that other shows just aren’t living up to it, not even Supernatural (sorry, Crowley.)

  23. George says:

    Big fan. I love a good survival story. Lots of good tension, problem solving, dilemmas. GREAT ACTING. There are elements of Lost (Grounders) and Game Of Thrones (warring factions at end of season 1 and through season 2). Also The City Of Light journey reminds me of The Walking Dead a bit. 

  24. ericmci says:

    “some still give the network by dismissing it as the channel with all the young and attractive people and their angst. While that’s not an entirely inaccurate characterization”
    Ok- sure.
    Did you mean to say Entirely Accurate?Did you phone auto correct that by mistake.
    The 100 is for the small minded who are easily entertained and have never seen anything else.That’s the only way any of these tropes could possibly seem fresh and interesting.It should be on repeat at Hot Topic and Claires

    • asineth says:

      I haven’t seen any of the eps yet, but I’m curious – did you watch the whole first season and come to this conclusion, or just the first ep or so?  Seriously, I’m really curious. I’ve heard a lot of people mention the first few episodes aren’t that gripping/good so I’d really  like to know if your opinion is based on those episodes, or on the whole show/first season. 

      • boB says:

        I’m not him, but I could understand how someone could come to that conclusion from the first couple episodes.  The thing is, most good shows take several episodes to develop, and a lot of people miss out on them because they need instant gratification.  The first season goes from being a Hunger Games/Divergent ripoff, with pretty people fighting and angsting, to more of a Lord of the Flies type story, where tragic things happen suddenly, and harsh decisions need to be made by characters for the good of the group.  Luckily, I enjoy The Hunger Games and Divergent and I was able to stick with the show until it became truly unique.

      • ericmci says:

        I suffered through the first two episodes actually going into the first with managed expectations wanting something ‘lite’ and just entertaining.  But it was like craving junk food and getting a lard and sugar lump.  Bad ingredients and poorly put together.Just to try and be fair a friend talking me into the 5th episode. The results were no different.Sure shows can take time to get to their sweet spots- but I can’t imagine this show could be worth it even if it somehow fired everyone involved and managed to get 50% better.It’s frankly- shi*t.

      • Aamanda says:

        I fell after the first Episode,  granted it is slow because you have to learn all the details,  players, and background.  But it really does hook you byour the second episode if not third! 

    • Justin says:

      How many episodes did you watch? This show gets a lot better after the first few. I almost stopped after the first couple but I stuck with it because the concept intrigued me, and because there are a few actors I respect in it. I’m glad I did because this show gets better over time. The second half of season 1 is way better than the first few episodes. And season 2 is that much better than the best parts of season 1. It’s really become one of the better shows on TV and is easily the best show on CW. For what it’s worth, I call the network the “pretty people network, because that’s mostly what it is. So for me to watch something on it, you know it’s good. 

    • Rob J. says:

      “The 100 is for the small minded who are easily entertained and have never seen anything else.”

      Spoken like someone who’s never seen an episode of the show, much less season 2’s midseason finale, “Spacewalker.”

      The 100 = Lord of the Flies (aka The Hunger Games minus the Games) + The Walking Dead minus the Zombies. It’s already a far more ruthless series than anything else on any of the five broadcast networks. Sure, Hannibal and The Following are much gorier (and they can be because they’re aimed at older audiences), but The 100, like The Walking Dead, isn’t afraid of killing off characters for the sake of the story.

    • cheis says:

      While often filled with too much drama, there is a solid back story and very well done character development. Its a large story as well. If you want something ‘lite’ as you said don’t get a ‘main corse’ style show. I wouldn’t like steak either if I really just wanted some chips.

  25. Christina says:

    It’s funny that this article came out today because I literally just binged the whole first season on Netflix this weekend. It really is a great show. Like you said, the character developments are great and you really get to know them and root for them. First impressions are definitely not to be trusted for everyone.
    I had previously only watched the pilot and wasn’t impressed but for some reason I decided to try again and I’m glad I did. So for anyone skeptical just get past the initial corny(ish) pilot and you’ll be hooked.