“Tribes of Europa” is a German dystopian, apocalyptic sci-fi TV series set in 2074. A mysterious blackout causes governments to collapse and societies reorganize themselves into micro-states. Things are somewhat peaceful in these fiefdoms — that is, until the Fire Nation attacks.
Oh wait, that’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” But “Europa” starts off with basically the same plot structure: life is good until the enemy attacks the Origine tribe, a bunch of hippie neo-Luddite forest dwellers that our protagonists belong to. Then the real fun (and the reason for watching the show) begins as the main characters, the three siblings Liv, Elja and Kiano, played by Henriette Confurius , Emilio Sakraya and David Ali Rashed, respectively,
are separated and must go on their own quests to advance the plot of the series as a whole.
The pilot sets the series off to a promising start. The cinematography is captivating and filled with more than a few breathtaking shots which do an excellent job of showing off the beautiful Prague landscape, where the show was shot. The set also has a visually appealing camping aesthetic, like many apocalyptic shows, that complements the action and complements the characters’ design. The soundtrack is a bit eclectic as well, but does contribute nicely to the overall atmosphere of the show.
However, the plot of the first season did not strike me as particularly riveting. Only one of the three storylines of the siblings is more than mildly interesting, and it takes a great deal of sex and intrigue on Kia’s part to accomplish this. The other two are fairly predictable; one involves a lot of backstabbing and betrayal as Liv must gain the trust of a former enemy and the other has Elja wander off with a mysterious, tech-y cube thing from the lost city of Atlantis, of all places, that promises to solve everything—like every other sci-fi show. Nothing immediately stands out to me as drastically wrong with these plotlines, but neither did I find any particularly compelling reason to want to continue watching them other than the need to write this review.
The show does suffer from a few tired clichés and overused tropes that make watching some parts of it a little bit painful, too. I consider myself a logical person, and I get irritated when shows blatantly ignore logic solely for the sake of action. For example, when the bad guy tribe, the Crows, show up to try to steal the cube from the good guys, instead of making a deal with them, which the villagers were very much in favor of, the Crows decide to instead kill everyone and sustain some fairly heavy losses to their ranks. One can only assume they do this because, as the bad guys, they must be totally and irrevocably evil and enjoy killing innocent people as one of their favorite pastimes. Another dumb scene took place when an old family friend of the protagonists tries to save Kia’s life by saying he knows where the cube is, then makes a very dumb, but funny, joke that does nothing to help their situation and secures him a painful death.
Ultimately, the show does keep up with the most action-packed of today’s television but does not really offer the viewer any must-watch attributes. It offers some compelling storylines that have some promise and tackles a few interesting themes that can definitely stand to be fleshed out in the future. “Tribes of Europa” is entertaining and can be made into something good with better writing, but it is not yet readily distinguishable from any other TV show out there.