So in the eighties there was “V,” which was a two part mini-series. Then there was “V: The Final Battle,” which was a three part mini-series. Finally, just to make sure that there wasn’t any residual revenue to be squeezed out of the franchise, there was a single-season series entitled “V: The Series.” After twenty-five years, the franchise has showed up in the queue of corpses to be reanimated, which works for ABC since they don’t have any chins big enough to eat up a third of their prime time slate.
The first eight minutes of ABC’s remake of “V” went up online this weekend to start really pushing the November 3rd premiere of the new series, which will broadcast for four weeks during November sweeps and then go on hiatus until sometime in 2010.
Tremors ominously shaking coffee cups! Shadows groaning across the city as something huge passes overhead! Confused city dwellers flooding out of office buildings to look at the sky! Every channel the same chaotic news broadcast! The bottoms of the alien ships turning into the best HD big screens ever!
Well at least the last part is original.
I know it’s just the first eight minutes, so we don’t get any back story or real chance for characterization, so this is a really unfair judgment … but the characters seem designed for a bar joke instead of for characterization. So an FBI agent, a guy with an engagement ring, a reporter and a priest walk into an alien invasion: the Aristocrats!
I like the idea of a grandiose alien invasion story told from the points of view of so-called normal people, cutting out the spunky president, grumpy generals, and scientists with PhDs in technobabble from MIT (it’s always MIT, just like doctors always went to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, or both), but the proposition that three upper-middle-class Manhattanites and the guy that they confess to are a representative slice of “normal” Americans is vaguely hilarious and speaks unflatteringly of the perspective of those involved in the show’s production. Again, it’s just eight minutes, so I know I’m probably being unfairly critical, but that’s exactly what Al Gore invented the internet for.