As a big fan of the original miniseries V and V: The Final Battle, I was disappointed in the original weekly V series in the 1980s. So I was excited to hear the series was being revamped for the current television season. The Final Battle was a mistake that crippled the premise of the weekly series, and starting from scratch was the only way to fix that mistake.
But the new series is turning out to be a big disappointment for me. I’m bored. Bored with the pretentiousness of playing the opening credits 15-20 minutes into the program. Bored with the lack of drama. Bored with the monotone of Anna, who seems incapable of vocal inflection. In the original series, the Visitors had personality. In the current series, they have personality, too. Unfortunately, they all have the same personality.
So here, I give you: V reasons I’ve given up on V. (Get it? V is the Roman number for 5. V reasons? Oh never mind).
Reason I: I thought they invaded the planet, not five boring families.
The original miniseries drew you into the lives of regular people from various walks of life and patiently showed you how they first became suspicious of the Visitors and then formed the Resistance. In the current incarnation, we get a little bit of the same with an FBI agent and a priest. The other characters are fully developed, but by the time we meet them they act like mentally unstable conspiracy theorists. The idea that the Visitors’ arrival was NOT the beginning is fascinating as hell, but instead of coming off as a startling development, it comes off like we missed the beginning.
Reason II: The bliss. The Visitors are supposed to be threatening predators, not cult drones.
They speak in monotone. They have no actual charisma. And every now and then they stop whatever they’re doing so that Anna can bliss them. Hey, I’d like that too, but in private. It’s one thing for the Visitors to be trying to deceive us. But in this story, the Visitors themselves are pawns of Anna who would probably turn on her if she cut them off from her bliss. The original visitors were analogous to Nazis. The current crop is analogous to Hare Krishnas, annoying at airports, but hardly a threat.
Reason III: Calling them “The V’s.” The V was a protest against them , not a cutie-pie nickname!
We should have known we were in trouble in the first episode when teens spray painted the letter V on the wall in a show of support for the Visitors. What would Abraham say?!? One of the best moments in the original series was when people were starting to recognize the Visitors as a threat to freedom and teenagers started defacing their propaganda posters. Abraham, a Holocaust survivor, grabbed a spray can from a kid and said, “If you are going to do it, do it right!” Then he sprayed the V over the poster and handed the spray can back to the kid. “You understand? For ‘Victory!’ Go..tell..you..friends.” It was a profound moment that made viewers a part of the resistance. The original V was a subversive symbol. Now it’s blind adulation.
Reason IV: Shhh. Don’t talk too loud. Your audience might hear you.
Watching the new incarnation of V is too often like watching a game of golf. Everyone’s afraid they’ll be overheard. So you turn the volume up and pray that you have enough warning before the break that you can turn it back down before the commercial comes on and wakes your grandmother who’s been dead since 1989.
Reason V: Remember that chilling moment when you realized humans were being harvested for food? Me neither.
The first time around, the Visitors came for our water and for our food. Our oceans supplied the water. Our flesh supplied the food. It was downright scary as all hell. This time? The Visitors are here to hide the fact that they’re reptiles. And to take over our airwaves. And to whisper.
I have to give up. I enjoyed Parenthood but abandoned ship when V came back on. Now I’m thinking that wasn’t such a good idea.