Feb 28, 2013

[TV] V (2009): Season 1

While in the process of writing my review for V: The Original Miniseries, I realized that for one reason or another I had missed out on publishing reviews for the more recent reimagined series that broadcast starting 2009. And while it wasn't the most amazing series ever, it is one that Tobie and I watched until the end since it's not like it was that bad.

Or was it?

Admittedly the core concept behind V - the notion of an alien invasion that relies on kindness as much as a different level of cunning. And while the original series did carry with it a certain degree of impressive thinking behind, this revamp of the original concept wasn't quite as polished. Or maybe that was the problem - the excessive use of TV-budget CGI left us with a show that was most definitely shiny and pretty when what we really could have used was a greater investment in the core plot and related character writing.


Synopsis: V is the 2009 reimagined science fiction drama series based on the 1983 Kenneth Johnson miniseries. Executive producers for this ABC show included Scott Rosenbaum, Yves Simoneau, Scott Peters, and Jace Hall.

Similar to the original show, the series begins with alien motherships appearing over major cities around the world. Once all the ships are in position, each saucer displays the message of Anna (Morena Baccarin), the leader of the aliens. She claims that they, the Visitors, have come in peace. They are in need of some of Earth's resources and are willing to trade technology - including their advanced medical techniques. The prospects of this exchange of information excites many people around the world as the Visitors start to dispatch ambassadors of sorts to the various world leaders.

But not everyone is happy about the Visitors arrival. FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) is one of the people who are most suspicious about them and their motives, although her son Tyler (Logan Huffman) is excited about the Visitors. Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch) is also suspicious of the visitors and what implications their arrival have on the religions of the world. And soon their suspicions will prove true once the true nature of the Visitors is revealed.

After finally having watched the original miniseries, I realize that a lot of the roles went through some liberal gender-swapping in terms of casting, although why exactly this was done isn't entirely clear. Having Morena Baccarin (of Firefly fame) was certainly an interesting choice for the Visitors' supreme commander of sorts and thus the natural plot notion of having her as the alien queen. Plus her with that really short haircut did make for a rather disturbing alien look to her - the magical power of hair indeed!

I was really hopeful about having Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet from LOST) as part of the cast since she has proven herself to be a rather phenomenal actress. However things didn't work out quite as well here and it seems that they either did not fully flesh out her character to have some truth depth or Mitchell was somehow at a loss of how to bring her to life. Thus she often ended up being rather too cold in order to remain logical and somehow in control all the time. I wanted her to show a bit more passion or something - especially given her son was so involved with the Visitors.

The whole storyline involving her son Tyler and Anna's daughter Lisa (Laura Vandervoort) was definitely one of the more annoying aspects of the show. Huffman wasn't at all a good actor plus he was written to make some pretty stupid decisions all throughout the show. One can't help but feel that they hoped he would somehow become a teen heartthrob of sorts if you could somehow look past his character's stupidity.

On the whole, the show lacked depth as evidenced by the lack of a true strategy on the part of the eventual anti-Visitor resistance and their weird decision to have a priest as one of their key members. Then you have Mitchell not channeling Juliet and you end up with a pretty disappointing show indeed. It doesn't make the show horrible - but it does leave me feeling rather disappointed at the show's waster potential.

And we need more rat eating!

V, the reimagined series, was a decent attempt to revive a classic franchise but was done without the kind of complex thinking and writing and that had made the original show so compelling. Thus I can only give this first season 2.5 CGI reptilian aliens out of a possible 5.


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