Wednesday, November 4, 2009

V

There's a danger in being one of fall TV's most anticipated new TV shows. There's a danger of putting out ads for the show on practically every website in existance promoting the show. There's a danger in remaking a show wherein a lot of the audience already knows the story. There's the very real chance that the show may end up being a flop.

Fortunately that wasn't the case with ABC's remake of the classic miniseries "V" which aired last night.

After waiting for months for this show to come out, I was worried that it would be given the treatment of the ill-fated one season of "V", or that the show would fail to live up to its expectations. The arrival of the Visitors was much better presented this time around, I feel, than they were in the early 80s, with much of what was going on in the real world being a part of what was happening in the show--the weak economy and terrorism, referencing Independence Day when the ships do show up. The feel of the show, however, remained the same, when it came to the anticipation of the aliens. Of course we knew they would, and the ships don't disappoint. And the presentation of the various team members--some of whom are very familiar characters--a minister who doesn't quite buy in to the "Visitors as friends" hype despite being told by the Vatican that they are to be accepted as God's creatures and the miraculous sudden filling up of his church's congregation as a result, and the newsman who is chosen to be the Visitor's spokesperson who also decides that he doesn't trust the Visitors but yet feels trapped because he wants to further his career--was well handled. I particularly liked how the investigation of a terrorist sleeper cell leads Elizabeth Mitchell's character to discover the real identity of the aliens, and how these characters come together to form the core of the resistance.

There were some elements I didn't care for in the show, one of which I won't mention as it could be a potential spoiler for those who have yet to see the show (hint: it was also an element of the original miniseries as well, but I don't want to say more as it may give things away too quickly and spoil the pilot episode). The other is how quickly the aliens are referred to as "Visitors." If aliens were to show up above our cities today and prove (or at least pretend) to be friendly, I doubt I'd accept the name "Visitors" for them. I'd refer to them as "the aliens" and/or want to know what planet they came from and call them, for example, the Gliesians (if they came from Gliese 581, a red dwarf star in the constellation Libra, which lies around 20.5 light-years from Earth).

Even Tammy, who is not into sci-fi shows other than Lost and Twilight Zone, claimed to have liked the show. She, however, had the added benefit of not knowing the original concept of the show (other than she knows an element of the show seems to have been lifted from The Twilight Zone's Canamites), with the Visitors in fact being lizards.

Hopefully the rest of the series will be as good as the first episode proved to be.

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