“V” The Series 2009 – US TV Review

Review of the new V TV series first shown in the USA last week and to be shown in the new year by the Scifi Channel UK. This review is by Dave follow him on twitter

SPOILER ALERT

The following review contains elements of the plot you may want to not know untill you watch the series.

The highly anticipated ?V? can best be explained in two words- wasted potential. What the show contains in production value and special effects, it lacks in story development, characterization, and pacing. Perhaps the showrunners felt that there was enough prior knowledge from the original series to spare them the need to establish this new incarnation. In my opinion, they were mistaken. Still, the show looks great, and the acting is serviceable?though a strong, veteran character actor would help anchor the show, like Edward James Olmos did for Battlestar Galactica. However, any positive points are overshadowed by its flawed writing and directing.

From the very opening, the plot moves swiftly and passionlessly through several stock characters and storylines. These boilerplate components could easily work if they were allowed to develop. Instead, the premise is robbed of its potential drama and tension by a rushed, slapdash script. In the first episode alone, humans encounter alien intelligent life for the first time with the same emotion as a crowd watching the Macy?s day parade; the V are revealed as reptilian infiltrators; an FBI agent finds out a terrorist cell is actually a Visitor resistance group, that her agent is an alien, and that her son is obsessed with the Visitors. All of this in 44 minutes! And that?s just one story line. Other side stories follow a doubtful priest, a Visitor-turned-resistance fighter who just wants a normal life, a conflicted news anchor, and the aforementioned FBI agent?s son falling for a V girl. I repeat: all this was established in one episode. All of these storyline are rich with dramatic potential which is stripped in favor of a glossy, face-paced, by-the-numbers approach. Only Scott Wolf?s reporter storyline maintains its potential mainly because the storyline is put on the far backburner, allowing the internal tension of Wolf?s character to percolate in the viewer?s mind.

More disappointing than all this is the fact that this premise could have easily been constructed as a multi-layered metaphor for American interventionism, the War on Terror, or our apathetic, media-saturated culture.

And maybe it will over the course of the show. Maybe there are bigger story lines down the road. Maybe these early plot points that I wish were fleshed out are merely starting points for well-developed, textured narratives. Maybe. I?m not giving up on the show, of course. Not yet. Many shows have a slow start, especially when facing high expectations. If it doesn?t, I can always pin my hopes to the new Prisoner series starting next week.

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