Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

V: This Show Needs Work.

“Pilot” “There Is No Normal Anymore” “A Bright New Day” “It’s Only The Beginning”

Before I say anything remotely rational about this show, I have to get something out:

I want to punch Tyler Evans/Logan Huffman in the face! I’m not sure who annoys me more, the character or the actor, but either way, 4 episodes in is not too late for a recast and maybe then I would despise the character slightly less. I wouldn’t say that any of the performances on this show so far have been stellar, but this kid is overdone, awkward and shrill. TSCC got canceled, so go get Thomas Dekker (who might not be the greatest thing out there, but at least would be a vast improvement) and after a week or so no one will even remember.

Okay, I feel better now.

V seems to be one of those shows that has a great deal of potential, and whether it will live up to it is kind of in question after the first 4 episodes. On the plus side: the female leads, Elizabeth Mitchell and Morena Baccarin, are wonderful actresses; Morris Chestnut is rather attractive; the theme of national sovereignty vs. international cooperation is a rich field for investigation and discussion; the concept of “universal health care” is highly topical; and most importantly aliens are ridiculously cool. On the minus side: Alan Tudyk was too quickly revealed to be an alien and then too quickly killed; everyone seems to know too much and too little at the same time; any exploration of existential/spiritual complexities looks as if it will be quickly white-washed over into simplistic didactic preaching; and worst of all no one seems to be having any fun.

There are two things (aside from recasting) that I think V could do in order to become the awesome alien show it looks like it should be. The first is that there needs to be some sense of levity; self-deprecating banter, whimsical reaction to alien contact, I would even take a Star Trek reference, anything, just some sort of alternative to the “serious” tone. Without any balancing effects, serious becomes self-important, and sincere become self-righteous, all too quickly, which makes for an amazingly boring hour of TV. The lack of humor on this show is made even more apparent by journalist Chad Decker (the mystically un-aging Scott Wolf) commenting that the alien Visitors have an unexpected sense of humor. I don’t hold out much hope for this, but maybe I can hope that as the series continues that the actors will relax a bit. Everyone seems strained. The second improvement I would suggest would be to focus on the pace of the show. As I said above, everyone seems to know too much and too little. If one FBI agent and a priest can find out so much information about the Vs in one night, with the help of a defector V, then it makes it rather implausible that this “resistance” has been thwarted for so many years. Compressing the action of the episode into a single or a few days and then skipping weeks of time between episodes can jars the audience and make for uneven storytelling if not handled with care and attention, which this show is not at this point. Most importantly, we need to know something about the characters. Everyone is a bit flat, so a great deal of information has been thrown at the audience without any great incentive to care. Have the Vs kill Tyler and then Agent Evan will have the whole vendetta-of-a-mother motivation. Maybe not the most original, but it would be something.

There won’t be new episodes of V until the end of March, and I am willing to stick with it, give the show a chance to find its feet. Not every show has an ugly-duckling ending, but this one could.

The TV Girl


KayPea said...

You know...its funny but when I first watched it, I was like, this isn't bad but now that I read your review, I agree wholeheartedly. It seems all very rushed...and I TOTALLY agree with your assessment of tyler/logan. what a terrible terrible actor and honestly, an annoyance. i hope the alien mother and her daugher possess him a weird, but not entirely creepy, way.

The TV Girl said...

I want this show to be good. It seems like it should be good, right? And aside for terrible casting/one annoying character, there are no problems that can't be solved. (It makes me really happy that you agree with me on his awfulness, because after I post this I though maybe I was blowing things out of proportion, which I do sometimes.)

I am interested to see what a half human half V baby will look like.