Saturday, November 7, 2009

V - "Pilot"

Hello all.  I finally had the opportunity to watch the V pilot.  ABC, for some odd reason, decided it would be better to prevent people from watching the premiere of its much-hyped, very expensive new series for four days if they missed it on Tuesday night.  Anyway, it finally showed up on Hulu this morning.  I have to say, really dug the pilot episode.  I haven't decided if I will give it full Entertaining Thoughts treatment yet, but I wanted to get down some first impressions of the series.

*Wow, this show is expensive.  The CGI budget must be absolutely through the roof.  Plus, it appears that they are actually shooting in NYC.  While there were some nice tax benefits for shooting in New York, there had been reports that the tax credit had expired.  Anyway, the look of the show is very high-end and sleek, which looks amazing (and is almost necessary for us to believe in inter-galaxy space travel), but is never cheap.

*Elizabeth Mitchell, awesome.  She gave such a wonderful turn as Juliet on Lost, so I am very sad to see her leave our island friends (although she will be returning in some fashion.  WARNING, slight Lost spoilers in link!).  However, Lost's loss(!) is V's gain.  If this show survives, it will be on the strength of two female main characters, which is awesome, because when was the last time that happened?  Mitchell is certainly up to the task, so how about...

*...Morena Baccarin?  She plays Anna, the leader of the Visitors.  I had never heard of her before, but she's evidently been popping up on TV here and there over the past few years.  I expect to see a lot more of her in the near future.  Besides the fact that her face has been plastered all over numerous bus stops, taxis, and billboards, I thought she really delivered in the pilot. She has this great, well, slightly reptilian look that is obviously perfect for the V's.  The shape of her face is kind of colubrine, yet she is very attractive and quite alluring.  Hell, I'd be willing to listen to an alien that looked like her.

*I think the rest of the cast seems pretty strong, with one exception.  Sorry, Scott Wolf, the jig is up.  I know he's supposed to be playing a plastic, egotistical news magazine anchor, but I thought he was just awful.  No sincerity in his performance.  I know his character shouldn't be sincere, but I didn't even get from Wolf that his character was aware of his insincerity.  I don't know, maybe he'll grow on me.  He just seemed so wooden, especially compared to his castmates.

*Loved the twist that Ryan, played by Morris Chestnut, is a traitor to the V's.  One of the storylines going forward, I expect, will be how the Vs come to grips with emotions (if they even have them at all).  This will be most easily given to Ryan and other traitor V's to play.  He certainly seemed emotional, so I'm hoping that this issue is explored.  Like, will Lisa, one of the ambassador V's played by Laura Vandervoot, actually develop feelings for Erica's son?  I think this could be very interesting.

*Actually, I really hope they explore the above because I am concerned with where the story goes.  The reason the original V worked was because it was a miniseries.  Visitors came to Earth, tried to slaughter humanity, and a resistance pushed them back.  How does that story sustain itself, in an interesting and compelling fashion, after a season?  I know we'll get allegories on media obsession, acceptance of outsiders, the human condition, etc., and of course the human-V war, but can that all be sustained over three or four or five seasons?  I'm not so sure.  Then again, I thought the pilot was pretty awesome, so perhaps I should have a little faith.

All in all, I reacted very positively to V.  ABC has decided that it will air four episodes in November, then put the show on hiatus until next year, perhaps to pair it with FlashForward or Lost.  I think I'll watch next Tuesday and decide then if I want to really dig into the series like I have with FF and Lost.  The ratings for the first episode were through the roof, garnering ABC its highest series premiere ratings since a sorta successful island adventure about survivors of a plane crash.  So, if V can keep those numbers up, I expect we will be seeing it around for quite some time, and I'll know my dedication to the show won't be for naught.  If you have any thoughts or theories on the show, please drop them in the Comments below.  Stay tuned to Entertaining Thoughts for more on V.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the first incarnation of V on NBC back in the eighties. It was a good concept back then, but the lizards looked way too cartoonish. The woman who plays Anna was on the Fox series Firefly, which got cancelled the went to DVD and the sci-fi channel. She played an inter-galactic hooker, excuse me, escort. ABC seems to have co-opted a few other actors from that show, which is nice to see because it was a really entertaining Joss Whedon creation. Hopefully they will keep up the momentum with V. And I agree that Scott WOlf is a miscast.


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