The 100 is not sophisticated television. A post-apocalyptic sci-fi series in its third season on The CW, it rarely misses a chance to make a mountain out of minor plot twists. But it's a lot of fun, especially for fans of dystopian futures.
Humanity's "last" post-nuclear-war outpost has returned from space to discover Earth not only habitable but inhabited, by a motley crew of warriorlike Grounders, cannibalistic Reapers, and mysterious Mountain Men. With a group of young petty criminals sent to revisit the planet, season one has a Lord of the Flies feel, with interesting forays into how self-governing structures emerge. Season two culminates with a young leader causing the painful death of hundreds to save a few dozen of her people.
The series is at its best when forcing its characters into such ethical gray spots, showing leaders in positions of moral compromise while still managing to be a binge-watchable guilty pleasure.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Post-Apocalyptic Politics".