Wednesday, November 4, 2009

With alien friends like these...

Okay, a pretty good start with the new "V" series. (Spoilers ahead!) The show takes some interesting twists on the original story. Yes, like before, a bunch of aliens show up in motherships and promise peace and friendship. And yes, they have a secret mission to steal our resources and enslave/eat us. But in the new series, it turns out that they didn't just show up overnight. They've had undercover "sleeper cells" on Earth for years. What's more, there are secret resistance movements already in place who are somehow aware of the sleeper cells. And the FBI has been tracking both these cells without understanding their agendas. Pretty cool.

My buddy Hans Noel predicted (based on early advertising) that this series would have kind of a rightwing framework. That is, while the original series was a Holocaust analogy, this one seemed to refer to the Visitors as beings who would lead us away from our faith and seduce us all with a false message of hope. In other words, the Visitors were the Obama campaign. And Hans was at least partly right. One of the things the Visitors promise, in an effort to win the humans over, is universal health care!

But it looks like the analogy is bipartisan. One of the things the Visitor sleeper cells have been doing all these years is making our society look bad so that they can ultimately save us. This has included "starting unnecessary wars." So apparently Cheney is a V. Good to know.

I do have some criticisms of the show. I rather enjoyed the more deliberate approach of the original miniseries. It took a few minutes to introduce us to the main characters before throwing aliens at them, so that we understood the relationship dynamics between them and how the arrival of the Visitors would change them. In the new show, the aliens show up in the first minute or two. Perhaps they'll give us some backstory later, but so far the plot and character development feel a bit rushed.

Also, I'll agree with Ana Marie Cox that the old uniforms were better. The new Visitors all look like the wait staff at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.

Update: Jonathan Chait joins in the V-as-Obama-metaphor chorus. But he ignores that the Vs have been starting unnecessary wars. It's bipartisan, I tell you!


Eric Rubin said...

harris made me watch the first episode. the first 40 minutes were blah and the final 20 minutes were kind of good. so i'm stuck. i got made fun of for watching the new Bev Niner redux and yet here i was bashing harris for thinking this show was cool. its not cool. its for dorks.

and i've decided to watch it.

Seth Masket said...

I don't know if you were a fan of the original, but it was much cooler, at least so far.

This one seems to have some innovative ideas in it, but the execution has been kind of weak. Bad acting, bad character development, bad dialogue, etc.

But I'm along for the ride, so we'll see where it goes.

Eric Rubin said...

bad bad dialogue. i mean, who speaks in cliches? it was ridiculously lame.

i never watched the original

Seth Masket said...

I'll bring it to Thanksgiving.

Kyle Baker said...

Sounds like one heck of a fun Thanksgiving *eye roll*