Right off the bat, as far as ideas go, the driving force behind “Evans America” is pretty thought provoking, how far would a group of twentysomethings go in order to try and change the American government knowing that the odds against them are overwhelming? Would their initial focus on peaceful activism change over time to more violent methods, in a post 9/11 environment who would their efforts be dealt with by the authorities, what effect would this type of lifestyle have upon their personal lives and families? Sadly while these are the questions that come to mind upon considering the premise of “Evans America” the results are much less intriguing.
Following Deana (Givani Favara), the headstrong team leader, infiltrating an NRA rally, the team behind “Evans America”, sarcastic Paul (Branden Maslonka), idealistic Haley (Ann VanDeWalle) and rich girl Nikki (Chelsie Hartness), deal with a computer hacker and brainstorm what anti-government prank to try next. Complicating matters are the addition of new team members the computer whiz kid DeeDee (Lara Atkins) and Deana’s irresponsible activist brother Tate (Martin Kenna) who arrive just in time for our heroes plot to pull one over on a large oil company executive.
Now granted, since this is first episode not everything introduced is going to be resolved but Iske and company struggle to make the part one of this story all that involving. The opening stunt with the NRA is about a 3 out of 10 on the rebel meter and even Deana’s points
1. Trite issues such as sex scandals and taxes are ridiculous reasons for government change
2. Bullets don’t win revolutions, voices do
Don’t hold that much water considering how the basis for the very nation she is fighting to protect is built upon a war over taxes won using guns.
Essentially this opening act of subversion points out several of the larger problems with “Evan’s America” we never really get a full understanding of what Deana and her friends want to accomplish. They’re (supposed to be) edgy and they’re liberal but the viewer is never really given an insight into what the group’s agenda is. The other big problem is how little of the group’s personal lives we are given. All we really know about the rag tag bunch is that they seem to love jumping into political discussions at the drop of a hat which takes up most of the show’s running time but larger questions remain, how do they make their money, are they still in school, where do they live? I was hoping to see one of these socially active rebels finish all of their political debating just to jump into their fathers car and drive to their minimum wage job at Starbucks because it would make the story more three dimensional but alas not to be. Lastly the pacing of the show seems odd considering the amount of political discussion scattered throughout the show contrasted with the stunt on the oil exec which is planned and successfully executed within five minutes at the very end of the show generating little to no suspense regarding the groups actions.
Iske and company want to reach viewers with a hip, politically aware show which acts as a call to arms and should be congratulated on their drive. However hopefully future episodes of “Evans America” are able to bring the story into more realistic, everyday terms (infiltrating an oil company in more than one day) to give the plot lines more gravity.