Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome Back V, The Remake

They're b-a-c-k!
The pesky reptilian aliens from V, I mean.
Way, way back in 1984 there was a super sci fi miniseries on NBC called V. Its popularity faded with a sequel and a brief running series because the more the aliens were explained away the less mysterious and interesting they became to viewers.
After a quarter of a century there's an expensive looking remake which may suffer that same fate of familiarity breeding contempt.
The first hour is pretty terrific thanks to the brilliant new special effects which are the equal of any current movie blockbuster.
But at the end of the hour there's the inevitable explanations and poof the tension starts evaporating.
Perhaps the first 10 minutes or so stand alone as a supteme act of TV story telling.
The events will surely remind you of all the scare tactics of 9/11 as inhabitants of New York city feel the rolling effects of a strange earthquake and looking up see a gigantioc spaceship parked overhead their skyscrapers.
All sorts of weird rumors are spread in the ensuing panic.
In 1984 the plot served as a none too subtle metaphor for battling Communism.
Today the FBI agents headed by Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) are battling domestic terrorists and wondering how many terrorist cells have already been planted through American society.
Meanwhile the aliens who prefer to be called "Visitors" present a perfect representative of their order in the pert figure of one called Anna (Morena Baccarin of Heartland). She is an Audrey Tantou look alike.
Let's see, there's a dissafected American teen (Logan Huffman) who is smitten with the teen Visitor called Lisa (Laura Vandervoot).
And there's a patient Anglican priest (Joel Getsch) who is momentarily delightred when his congregation swells with so many new parishioners.
And there's a newleywed (Morris Chestnut) who may already have crossed over. And a TV anchor (Scott Wolf from Party Of Five) lets himself be used by the aliens with disastrous results.
The updated V plays off contemporary issues and initially it scores some hits. One thing the aliens are promising is universal health care which should please Democratic U.S. viewers.
But the aliens may be more than they seem. And if their creepiness is too soon unmasked the new series may quickly falter just as the original V did.
ABC (and CTV in Canada) are running only four episodes before a break for the Winter Olympics. There are industry reports about production delays and reshoots and the return of V with nine more episodes is still to be decided.
Of course if you're like me and remember the original V you'll have trouble working up a sweat.
But V is cleverly targeted for the younger generation and could score hugely if it stays on track.
MY RATING: ***.
V PREMIERES ON CTV TUESDAY NOV. 3 AT 8 PM ET. GOT THAT?

1 comment:

blue said...

This show eerily resembles what is happening in government.