The V Remake
I know remakes involving better budgets and better special effects are all the rage in Hollywood, especially when it comes to things that came out a generation ago (i.e., early 80s). But you’d think they’d try a little harder on some of the remakes.
Take this remake of the miniseries V, ABC’s alien-visitor thriller. The hype about this show came particularly through the accusation that its allegory fits in a little too nicely with the teabaggers’ conspiracy theories about the Obama Administration.
But here’s the thing – that pilot episode last week was far too rushed. We barely got any sense of any of the characters involved. The FBI agent, for example, spent too much time playing the nice girl and concerned mother to seem at all strong enough to become a resistance fighter by the end of the episode. And aside from off-handed comments about technology and cures, the only thing we really saw of the aliens was their human-like appearance and their leader’s charisma. There was no reason for us to believe anyone felt any kind of hope or anything about them. Instead, we are rushed into hearing conspiracy theories which are quickly confirmed, and confirmation of their sinister intentions.
And the next episode? So minor struggle with ethics for the agent and the priest, and some smart counter-manipulation by the tv anchor. But otherwise, nothing really worth getting excited over. As I described it to my sister, the second episode of the series felt like the kind of mediocre episode done in mid-season to help tide us over until the next sweeps month.
V would have been far better served if they took the time to reveal every morsel of information, and made the effort to have us really and honestly believe in the danger. Instead, less than an episode into the show, we’re expected to hate the visitors and their plans, but supposed to take it for granted they have done something to deserve the admiration of humanity.
Another ABC show, FlashForward, has done a great job of teasing out information to us throughout the episode and at the end, giving us just enough to warrant more. V’s already made me largely bored with the storyline and wondering why it’s even a miniseries. They would have done a better job of it by either making a movie or committing to a full series of it.
Half-assing or rushing through an alien conspiracy show just doesn’t cut it anymore. Television audiences should and do expect more than better special effects – they expect better stories, too.