V

by Matt Ruff on November 4, 2009

Good popcorn TV. Some random thoughts:

* It’s nice to see Elizabeth Mitchell, Alan Tudyk, and Morena Baccarin all getting work. I’m less crazy about the other characters so far.

* I’m not sure if it’s the haircut or what, but they did something to give Morena Baccarin just a hint of uncanny valley, and it’s very effective. She’s still gorgeous but I can totally buy that she’s an evil reptilian who wants to eat my family and my pets.

* The Syphillis Channel has been replaying episodes from the original series. Having seen it the first time around as a kid, I knew it would be cheesy, but damn… It’s striking how much the state-of-the-art of TV storytelling has changed, particularly the pacing. The new V squeezes in three major plot points in the same time it took the old series to open the door on one of the alien shuttlecraft.

* The alien spacecraft appear over 23 major cities around the world, but of course the action is set in America. I know it’s a different show, but I really would love to see an alien invasion story centered around, say, Tehran. (No, I still haven’t seen District 9, but it’s in the Netflix queue for December.)

* Since I bring it up, what are Khamenei and Ahmadinejad’s responses to the giant face of Morena Baccarin floating over the Iranian capital? And how are the North Koreans taking it?

* The show’s biggest misstep is the failure, once again, to acknowledge the reality of the Internet. There’s a major subplot about the aliens’ subversion of the mainstream media, but the MSM just isn’t the informational gatekeeper it used to be. Lisa and I both wanted to know why the resistance wasn’t posting video of a captured alien, minus its human skin, on YouTube. Where’s the #zomgsheisareptile Twitter feed? Of course it’s possible that the aliens are using their super-advanced technology to somehow filter out all negative webposts, emails, and tweets, but if they’ve got that level of control, taking over the MSM ought to be trivial.

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