Rebellion – Netflix Season 1 Review

 

 

Season 1

Season 2

Episode Guide

Young Guns
To Arms
Under Siege
Surrender
The Reckoning 

 

Rebellion has all the ingredients to be a really exciting depiction of a pivotal moment in Irish history. Between the great set design, strong character work and decent acting, Rebellion is let down by a pedestrian story, one that fails to do justice to the slice of history it’s based on. Rebellion is quite the slow burn too, with the first few episodes getting the show off to a shaky start before eventually opening up and becoming much more engaging. While there is enjoyment to be had here, with the 5 episode length helping with the pacing, Rebellion ultimately feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Set in the heart of Ireland during 1916 on the brink of the Irish revolution, Rebellion follows several characters as they prepare for an uprising against the oppressive British regime. At the center of this conflict are a fair few fictional characters whom we follow including best friends Frances and May, soldier Arthur, Peggy and a slew of supporting characters as well. While the characters themselves are well written, showcasing a range of different issues in their respective stories, the sheer number here overshadow and undermine the urgency of the overarching story.

It’s a shame too as the main plot does have some shining moments and especially during the third and fourth episodes, Rebellion really does do well to show the conflict between the British and Irish. Unfortunately these moments are fleeting at best and the 5-part mini-series is chock full of soap-opera drama which overwhelms the historical significance of the event itself. For those history buffs out there, it’s worth noting that Rebellion does slip up with some pretty obvious anachronisms as well.

Having said that, Rebellion does have some redeeming features. The character drama is relatively strong throughout and the acting really does do well to hold everything together. It certainly helps keep you watching through to the end as well and the series itself improves dramatically after the first few episodes. All of this, combined with the gritty setting and decent set design, should be enough to see you through to the end.

With a second season greenlit and coming soon, it’ll be interesting to see where this historical series goes from here. Despite some historical inaccuracies and a dependence on character drama to keep things moving forward, Rebellion is worth checking out if you like historical dramas. It’s not the best out there but it is engaging enough to watch to see how it ends. If the second season manages to refocus the series in a more meaningful way Rebellion could be a very solid offering but as it stands Rebellion is good enough to watch but not quite good enough to remember for years to come.

 


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2 thoughts on “Rebellion – Netflix Season 1 Review”

  1. Boy, does it feel great to read a great, accurate, well written review. Nice.

    I write historical scripts, and the choice of director alone for this official RTE €6M project was absolutely terrible from the getgo. They had 2 yrs to find a director deeply and personally committed enough to represent fairly, on behalf of millions of irish the world over, this historical moment.
    The responsibility was reimbursed as such… €6M … to the chosen, nationalised broadcaster RTE… for depicting an event important in the story of a nation that suffered continuous occupation going back as far as 1056 AD.

    Our story is a millenium of horrible abuse and then independence. .. for 3/4ths of us at least. The decision of who directs it and writes it is very important. This was a terrible choice. Dude isnt even irish.

    People who have written historical scripts see this as amateur hour.

    How could the original producer, writer, and showrunner fail to hire one of the many Irish historians that can be located wandering in the halls of the several universities in Dublin to review your script and be intimately involved with the writer and director?

    The cheek that is shown in response to charges of historical inaccuracies! Like they couldn’t be arsed.

    I rewound the tape ten times in the first episode to catch the 4 sentences of dialogue responsible for 90% of tge exposition/backstory…how do these three guys know each other? What did he say? Huh? What?
    It’s fruitless. The director didnt give a damn and took the paycheck. (Which, at €6M was the highest amount of money ever awarded to creatives by RTE, btw.)

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