The cast of The 100 posing dramatically and looking grimy.
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/The CW.

Our columnist can't get enough of The CW's addictive apocalyptic series The 100.

By Emily Hirshey

I've been receiving fervent recommendations to watch The 100 for ages, so when I got the opportunity to binge it, I was stoked. Until I realized the reality of my mission: 58 episodes (approximately 2,320 minutes sans commercials) in one week.

I suddenly felt daunted and overwhelmed by the commitment I was making to this post-apocalyptic series on The CW, and felt that the only way to attack it head-on would be to complain to as many people as possible about the extremely arduous task at hand.
Vibrant pink smoke clouds surround a soldier in a gas mask with an automatic rifle.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW.

After a 97-year exile in space, the human race returns to a wildly transformed Earth in Season 1 of The 100.

"What are you doing this weekend?" a friend asked.

"I have to watch TV the whole time and I'm dreading it," I moaned, practically fainting mid-sentence.

"That actually sounds relaxing," the friend responded.

"You don't understand. There's a complicated plot and a bunch of characters. I have to pay attention. I might even have to take notes. There's a real possibility this will kill me," I explained, before my friend deleted me from her phone.

Kane, Abby, and Jaha pose dramatically on board the space station.

Pictured (L-R): Henry Ian Cusick as Kane, Paige Turco as Abby, and Isaiah Washington as Chancellor Jaha on The 100.

Photo Credit: Joe Magnani /The CW.

Of course, what doesn't kill you (duh, it's television) makes you stronger (at complaining). So here I am to tell you all about the time I ran (sat) a marathon and lived to tell the tale.


As I begin this journey, I realize I know literally nothing about this show other than that my friends like it and it has something to do with the apocalypse. I quickly learn that about 100 (!) years ago, the earth was destroyed in a nuclear war, and the survivors live on a giant space station called The Ark.

Because supplies are dwindling, the leaders of The Ark send 100 (!) juvenile (hot) prisoners down to earth to determine whether it's survivable.

A grimy man looks dour while wearing a sword strapped to his back.

Ricky Whittle as Lincoln on The 100.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW.

Spoiler alert: It is... if you can survive two-headed deer, eel monsters, acid fog, warring earth factions (Grounders and Tree People and Reapers, oh my!), biological warfare, being locked in a cage so your blood can be harvested, and, oh yeah, another impending nuclear catastrophe.

A somber faced man glares from within a thick beard and facial tattoos.

Ty Olsson plays Nyko, one of the "Tree People" post-apocalypse survivors on The 100.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW.

I watch the first season in awe of the physical and mental strength of the main character, Clarke (Eliza Taylor), who manages to survive everything thrown at her. I am 100 percent certain I would've died, like, 1,000 times per episode. I can't fight or throw spears or fix spaceships or make fire. I couldn't decide where I wanted to order lunch from today so I just didn't eat.
Eliza Taylor leans against a moss covered tree.

Eliza Taylor as Clarke on The 100.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW.


I took a binge break to attend the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Women's March, and it's really given me a new perspective. Not that I now think I would survive the apocalypse by any means—I needed to buy myself Advil and a Gatorade after marching 0.9 miles—but I'm newly aware of how insanely badass the chicks on this show are.

Lindsey Morgan looks out from behind a space station airlock window.

Lindsey Morgan as Raven on The 100.

Photo Credit: Robert Falconer/The CW.

There's Clarke, our hero, who regularly fends off danger and who killed her own boyfriend to save her people; Raven (Lindsey Morgan), the expert mechanic who overcomes torture, loss of limbs, and a seizure disorder to save the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE; and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos), the fearless warrior who voluntarily enters a gladiator-like fight to become the supreme commander of EVERYONE ON EARTH.

Marie Avgeropoulos looks to side with extreme facial dirt.

Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia on The 100.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW.

And that's only three of the many rock star, take-no-prisoners (though sometimes they take actual prisoners) lady fighters on The 100. It's truly inspiring.

"Women can do anything," I text my husband, as I polish off my second bottle of wine before passing out at 9:28 p.m.

Adina Porter looks off into the distance while showcasing her facial tattos and extensive scars.

Adina Porter as Indra on The 100.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW.


By the time I'm finally done with my binge, I have six tabs open on my computer: a New York Times article titled "How to Survive The Apocalypse," a wikiHow article titled "How to Survive an Apocalypse" with pictures so I can read it, a French braiding YouTube tutorial (a large part of Octavia's badassness is the increasing complexity of the braids on her head), a sign-up window for an overpriced boxing class so I can fight enemy combatants, a Nike shopping cart filled with spandex to wear to aforementioned boxing class (because my main enemy is exercise itself), and the "Find a Doctor" tool on the Kaiser Permanente website. Because I think I have the flu. From sitting in a room by myself. Women can do anything, you guys.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, May-June 2018.

The 100 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Stream free on Thursdays only on The CW.