Veekly V-ing! Episode 1
So I didn’t want to write-up anything about the new V until I got a chance to actually watch it. Of course I, like a schmuck, forgot to set my DVR to record the first episode. This why the Internet is a good thing since it gives me things like HULU to watch shows that I miss. I watched the fist episode on Saturday morning and I have to say that the new V is an improvement over the old V, though there are some minor cracks in it as far as acting is concerned. The story and tone however are pretty damn good so far. It feels at times like one of those old Cold War era Anti-Communist movies, like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers with its sense of paranoia. This is not a bad thing though the writers need to tread carefully because if we get some clichéd stories I will drop the show at the drop of a hat.
Let’s recap the first episode here and then recap episode 2 tomorrow. Alien Visitors from another world arrive on Earth with a message of peace. They wisely use Morena Baccarin‘s face to talk to the people of Earth because 50% of the entire population is male and at least 40-45% them are heterosexual. If my numbers on the overall male homosexual population of the planet is off I’m sure someone will correct me. Of course I haven’t really calculated the female lesbian population into this either and you got to figure more than a few lesbians wouldn’t mind Morena Baccarin giving them a “come hither dear Earthwoman” gaze. Anyway, the Visitors have interrupted the daily routines of… well… just everybody on the planet but the show focuses on FBI Agent Erica Evans (Really? Alliteration for the main protagonist? Is Stan Lee a script consultant or something?) along with her annoying rebellious teenager Tyler. We a;also get Catholic Priest Jack Landry who is, of course, going through a crisis of faith as the series opens. Add to this Businessman, or possibly a lawyer (they never really say) Ryan Nichols and his soon to be fiancée Valerie Stevens. So we’ve already got a solid cast of characters and we round it out with television news reporter Chad Decker who is looking for a big story that will make his career. Good thing for our man Chad that giant freakin’ spaceships are hovering over every major city in the world huh?
The Visitors are led by the sultry Anna, played by the previously mentioned Morena Baccarin. Let me be absolutely clear on this point… Morena Baccarin could ask me, in any tone of voice, to read the collected works of Proust and I would then and say very stupidly “Yes Morena Baccarin“. Erica Edwards and her partner Dale are investigating a terrorist cell because they are good stalwart Americans that work for the FBI. Erica’s son Tyler is a fucking idiot and is totally all about the Visitors and he and his equally stupid (and portly) friend Brandon score tickets to get a peek inside the Visitor mothership over good old NYC. The clues keep leading them to locations where sleeper cells have cleared out right before the FBI raids them. Father Jack is torn because no one seems to have Faith anymore and his tiny lil’church is on the verge of being closed. As for Chad Decker, he asks Anna why is it that all the Visitors seem to be.. well hot women or handsome men. Anna takes note of this and determines that Chad Decker is the guy she will use to get her message across to us silly lil’earth-people. As for Ryan Nichols, he keeps getting these annoying phonce calls from some guy named George that he used to work with. Ryan wants to know how ‘Georgie’ got his cell phone number. George is completely freaked that the Visitors are here adn wants our man Ryan to be ready in case someone discovers a copy of “To Serve Man” on one of the motherships.
Things start falling into place as to how this show is going to play out, at least for the first season. A man dies in Father Jack’s Church telling him not to trust the Visitors even though the Pope has pretty much told everyone that the Visitors are “A-OK!” with him. This is why you don’t make a former Brownshirt Hitler Youth member Pope people. Meanwhile Erica Edwards and her stout sidekick Dale finally got a good lead and are on stakeout duty at a local warehouse. Hey guess who walks right into the warehouse? Good old Father Jack. He is there because the guy that died in his church gave him the address and some pictures. Erica Edwards sees her chance and follows Father Jack inside. Meanwhile her Erica Edwards dipshit son Tyler is like totally in love with Visitor tour guide Lisa. He is so smitten he decides to sign up for the Visitor Hitler Youth… er.. that is Ambassador Program. He is so retarded in love with this chick he even forges his mother’s name on the parental consent form in hopes of scoring some sweet Visitor Poon (which no doubt, Vivid Video will get Tera Patrick to star in). As for “Action News At 6” Anchorman Chad Decker, he scores a one on one interview with Anna. He is all set to ask the tough questions to her like “Any chance there will be another Firefly movie?”. Anna asks just one thing of him, ask no questions that will portray the Visitors in a negative light. Chad is like “Whoa there! I’m journalist and I will not compromise my journalistic principals! Now tell me what is Joss Whedon really like?”. Anna is all set to cancel the interview when Chad relents and opts to lob softball questions at her like “What would you rather be… a pony or Alien Idi Amin?”.
Meanwhile at the warehouse… Hey look! Its Ryan’s buddy George! He is letting people know about the dangers of trusting those no good aliens the Visitors. Father Jack shows the pictures of “Alien Abductions: Fact Or Fiction Hosted By Johnathan Frakes” that dying gave him. Then the floating sphere from Phantasm shows up and kills half the people at the meeting. The Phantasm Sphere brings a Death Squad with them who start butchering everyone who isn’t important to the story. Georgie is about to get the knife when Ryan appears to save his scraggly ass. Erica Edwards is stunned as she is attacked by her own partner Dale. Dale tries to choke the life out of her and retaliates by bashing him in the head with a pipe, revealing that there is a vaguely lizard like alien beneath the human flesh. Dale is all set to get up until Erica Edwards totally drives pipe through his chest killing him.She and Father Jack then beat a hasty retreat. As for Ryan and George, they make their exit and George takes a moment to gloat between gasps for air. George is totally like “Dude I knew you couldn’t stay away” and Ryan is like “Bogus dude! I’m like totally a Visitor that is fighting other Visitors!”.
All this in one episode. All this in 5 or so minutes of air time. All this and the show didn’t totally suck! I am totally amazed!
First the positives about this new version of V and the one I’m going to start with is… NO RED JUMP SUITS! The original V aliens all wore these really hideous red jump suits. Of course the original V was hammering the point home that the Visitors were Nazis in human skin, just with worse fashion sense. The Visitors in the new V wear a wide variety of clothing and even come across as rather businesslike. I mean they seem much more Machiavellian in this interpretation than the previous one so why not wear your best Power Lunch Suit?
I like the idea that the visitors have been on Earth in secret for several decades scouting us out. The whole “Alien Sleeper Cell” idea is completely plausible, hell it makes perfect sense. If you are going to use Earth as a breeding ground for your food, you want to scope them out to figure the best way to approach them. Now if this plays out like the original V does (i.e. the Visitors are harvesting humans as a food supply) then cool. I am hoping that their is more of a twist to it though. I mean they can’t really do the whole “Humans are actually our drug of choice” because then all the Torchwood nerds will throw a fit. I mean you really don’t want to pissoff the Torchwood nerds because then you also pissoff The Doctor Who fans and then we have NERD WARS III – The Nerdening. See Nerd Wars I was “Star Trek v. Star Wars” while Nerd Wars 2 was “DS9 v. Babylon 5”. Really, none of these Nerd Wars get resolved and the people who suffer are the non-nerd fans. Besides, Torchwood/Doctor Who fans probably have a few soccer hooligans i in their ranks and would totally kick the V fans ass.
Now for the one negative of the new V…. there is not nearly enough Morena Baccarin in this show. In fact, the writers should just scrap whatever they have planned for the rest of this show’s run and just have Morena Baccarin in a slinky outfits and bathing suits smiling at the camera. The Christmas Special alone would draw huge numbers. This Christmas Special would celebrate Jesus birthday the way it was meant to be celebrated… by watching Morena Baccarin in a red bikini and Santa hat smiling at the camera for an hour with no commercial breaks. God help you if there are commercial breaks ABC!
All kidding aside, the first episode got me intrigued enough to watch the second episode. More importantly it proves that, for now V is totally worth the space on my DVR, something that other shows that I had high hopes (like FRINGE for example) have lost. If the new V can continue to build as well as the first episode did then it will keep its vaulted place on the DVR, but the second I see an evil twin or “Oh my God Father Jack is a Visitor with… AMNESIA!” then it will be good-bye V and hello whatever is on PBS!