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Five reasons V didn't work for me

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 8th 2009 2:02PM
You probably heard that ABC's V premiere got off to a big start in the ratings. In fact, it was the biggest drama series premiere of the season, seen by 14.3 million viewers and netting a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49. What does all that mean? To me, it says that even without the skywriting promotion that was canned, ABC marketing had raised awareness and drew the curious, the sci-fi fans, the nostalgic and a few more watchers for the launch.

Despite the big number, there's a good chance that V will sink in future outings because viewers like me were not hooked. I wanted to fall in like/love, but it didn't happen. Here's five reasons why:

1. Expectations
Did I expect too much from a remake of V? I did. I remember the original and it was a dazzling mini-series. For its time, it had great effects and it looked amazing. But more than that, I was captivated by the story. I still remember the feelings I got watching it, which were a mix of wonder and fear and shock. Sadly, I didn't feel any of that with the new V. I was unmoved.

2. Too many characters
The scope of V is big enough with the aliens -- oops, visitors -- and the whole world in rapt attention. The show didn't need a dozen characters right from the start. I felt like I was in a pinball machine going from one character to the other, never staying long enough to get involved. Why was Elizabeth Mitchell's son a problem case? What made Morris Chestnut's character feels so apprehensive about proposing? Was the priest really supposed to be the main man in this? We got some answers after an hour, but I thought less would have been more for the pilot.

3. Familiarity
Oh, yes, I know all about V. That's not what I mean by familiarity. I'm talking about the big, special effects, shock opening. We've seen it too often. V jokingly had a character say that the ships arriving was like Independence Day. It was. Other images were like FlashForward and Lost. It's becoming a cliche to have a big splashy first act like this.

4. The unknown
V suffers in that it's a remake and the mystery is gone. I know that the visitors are aliens, and they weren't so different in the ABC remake that I'm sucked in by the peaceful front. In the original, you didn't know that they were lizards. In the original, that girl giving birth to the alien's baby and it sticking out its lizard tongue was a shocker. It creeped me out for years! If the new V does that with Morris Chestnut's girlfriend, only newbies will get the creeps.

5. The future

Ultimately, did I like V enough to stick with it? I don't know. Maybe I'll DVR the next episode and see if I was too hard on the pilot. Maybe it's going to progressively get better and better. That would be nice. But right now, I don't care about any of the characters. Not even Scott Wolf, whom I loved since Party of Five. I want to care about sleeper cells of infiltrating alien terrorists, but even that was too real for me. Jason liked it, but I preferred the World War II allusions from the original more.

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There were a lot of things wrong with the pilot episode. The son story line absolutely sucks. How can a mother be so smart and a son so stupid. It's like one of those horror movies, where they know not to go in the house/woods etc. and they go in anyway. Dumb. Second they telegraphed that her partner was an alien, I could see that coming a mile away. Third, Scott Wolf(the newsman) sucks as an actor. He was bad in "The Nine" and he's worse here. They need to do a lot better, or they are gone.

November 15 2009 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has no one, at least that have been posted to date, find anything Nancy Pelosi-ish about the whole story.

We're from the government, we're here to help"

YIKES! not WWII is- NOW ish!

November 14 2009 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

I definitely agree with you about the cast Tom. And Anna....she can so masterfully combine that sensual, yet sinister aura.

November 12 2009 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Someone else hit on this, but I want to make sure the author is clear on this: the Independence Day joke was because ID4 ripped off the original V. V'09 shouldn't be criticized for copying what V'83 did. They have every right to do it, and in fact they SHOULD do it.

November 10 2009 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparently there is more than meets the eye with V. This blog draws parallels with our current political administrations. Interesting. http://thelittlebrother.wordpress.com/

November 09 2009 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Urgh... Thanks the Gods Allison was not involved in BSG !I can see the result from here...

Come on now Al ! The reason why V was so good in the 80s is because it had a Nazi / Cold war undertone that fitted the period.
This isn't going to be something people particularly care nowaday (beside you it seems).This time around it's a Terrorist / 9-11 era with Vs being the terrorist and recruiting...
Then you are talking about how predicable V was... OK well either we get blown up by aliens or they are our friends.... This isn't going to be more original than that. V is playing today on infiltration of the Human population and creating fear. How is that NOT original for you ?
Too many characters ? Are you kidding ? You dont think the original one had that same exact 'problem' ?

Was the pilot rushed ? Maybe ... but we are all blase nowaday and not many things shock us anymore. Building on the moment when the Vs show up in the sky for 2 hours wouldn't have worked. On top of that you seem to have forgotten that ABC basically tried to lkill the show anyway. What did you expect? a LOST-like promotion ?

Funny to see that you are complaining about everything that you found is a problem but never talk about acting.
That is the only sticking point i have with the show. The guy acting as newscaster should be banned from TV...
And what about those people applauding in the street ? that was absolutely ridiculous.

On a side note, i am officially in love with E. Mitchell. She was hot in LOST, she s still rock in V.

November 09 2009 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just to confirm my reasons for not liking this new show, spent some time watching the original mini-series from way back in the day. It really stands up after all these years, and the rushed pace of the new version really is a big part of what ruined it. The original V was like a good novel, the new one is like a thin glossy magazine, with poorly written articles and lots of pretty pictures. The characters do seem wooden, and the unveiling of the Visitors as reptilian was poorly handled.

And I just have to say it: If 'Universal Healthcare' actually sounds menacing to anyone, they are likely brainwashed and certainly poorly educated. Universal Healthcare is about as evil as universal food, shelter, and air to breathe. I felt like the writers were trying to make it sound evil in that tiresome interview scene, and it was honestly pathetic.

November 09 2009 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Han Solo


Why in the world would ABC keep THIS SHOW, and cancel Defying Gravity...which got VERY VERY good in the last episodes only shown in Canada?

November 09 2009 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Han Solo's comment

Han Solo - Defying Gravity? Are you kidding? That show was terrible!

November 09 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am thinking of a new TV SciFi plot about lizards encountering another lizard inhabited world. In the last epsiode we wil see that the visiting lizards are in fact HUMANS wearing lizard costumes......but all their children are real lizards....Oooops did I give too much away?

November 09 2009 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More like 5 reasons I tried really hard to think of so I wouldn't like V.

You sound like my friend trying to come up with reasons why he shouldn't give Caprica a shot.

November 09 2009 at 3:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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