When I was a little kid I watched the V mini-series and really liked it. So when the relaunch started a while ago I was pretty excited to see how they would handle it. I made a few notes right after the premiere aired and I think I should share those. These thoughts are a bit dated but I just now got around to writing about.
I liked the first episode and found it engaging but I didn’t love it, like when I first watched BSG. I think the pacing of story and character introduction was rushed a little too much. They could have spent a little more time playing out the drama, political and emotional, of an alien visit. Having most of the main characters figure out this is a sinister alien invasion and discovering the secret identities of the visitors-in-our-midst in the first episode was a really profligate waste of dramatic material. The discovery of the truth is worth a lot for these characters. Instead it will focus on the fight.
If I were 17 and the super-hot alien blond girl wanted me to put on a German gay disco doorman’s jacket, I would have done so unflinchingly.
Scott Wolf is just hard to take seriously when he’s not crying over Jennifer Love Hewitt in Party of Five. Maybe he’ll improve, but I fear he may have a Mickey Rooney problem in that he won’t be able to play a non-teenager until he’s 60. Alan Tudyk is awesome because he’s awesome. But he’ll be under-used and killed in no time. Because that’s just how he rolls. We now know that he really isn’t dead. They better use him way more. Big hair is out, short hair is in. Morena Baccarin of Firefly fame rocks the Anna character and I think not only does she know it, but she knows that we know it.
The overt politics of the episode: I simultaneously loved the “universal healthcare” line and thought it was a bit clumsy. I like that it bothers all the socialist liberals out there worshiping the new Messiah, but I think they could have been a bit more subtle. However it’s worth recalling that the visitors in the original series promised to cure diseases as well. So get over it. I think as appealing to middle America as this notion is, it will be done away with and the systematical dialectic contradiction of their beliefs might be too much for the network to handle.
Someone who might find association with the Tea Party movement might love this episode but again those ideas will quickly be destroyed by the next three episodes and the replacement of the show runner. If liberals were less insecure about the political climate, they might even argue that much of the stuff about the dangers of “devotion” and promises of miraculous cures amounted to an indirect shot at faith-healing evangelicals.
It’s also worth noting that the show is still an allegory for fascism, albeit a slack one which rungs true for most sci-fi today. The obsession with youth, the promise of a new age, the seduction of power, the aesthetics of physical beauty and uniformed order, and yes, the promise of universal health care etc etc: This all fits perfectly well into fascist wheelhouse.
The special effects are vastly improved over the original, up the modern TV standards but still not reaching into BSG territory. After the final parting shot of the fourth show could epic space battles be in store for us? I really doubt it, the story lines will probably take place on Earth and if the ratings get worse than they are now then the writers will pull the ace out of their collective hat and take the fight the resistance is waging into space perhaps even to the home world of the visitors.
V got off to a great start earning the biggest drama series premiere of the season, seen by 14.3 million viewers and netting a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49. However, ABC has already cut this year’s number of show orders and replace the original show runner Scott Peters has been dumped and replaced by Scott Rosenbaum. These are all bad signs the the network is making overriding decisions by committee instead of letting the talented sci-fi writers, write. The four month intermission is death to a serialized show like this. I don’t understand why the amateur knob twiddler’s of the network make these huge mistakes. Yes it is obvious they are trying to avoid competing with the Olympics. Why not just wait to start the show and keep the air time all contiguous. Ultimately the drop off number have been catastrophic for V and I will be surprised if it makes it into a second season.
Too much of a cliche. The big alien ship hovering over the sky is so over done these days it has become too familiar and doesn’t evoke something new from us. It fails to draw the viewer in.
The scope of V is big enough with the aliens — oops, visitors — and the whole world in rapt attention. The show didn’t need a dozen characters right from the start. I felt like I was in a pinball machine going from one character to the other, never staying long enough to get involved.
I think my expectations were too high for this series. I remember the original and I was bedazzled by the mini-series. For its time, it had great specials effects and it looked amazing on my 4:3 TV. But more than that, I was captivated by the story. I still remember the feelings the show evoked when watching, which were a mix of wonderment intertwined with fear and jolting collision of ideas. Sadly enough all of those emotions are missing from the new V. I was unmoved.