Wednesday, November 4, 2009

V Pilot S01E01 | A V-licious Start To The Series



V, a revamp of a mid 80’s mini-series of the same title, has returned to the small screen. In the pilot we are introduced to an eclectic group of characters, human or otherwise. In the episode the aliens have landed or so to speak, they are actually hovering over a large number of cities. The only landing the ‘visitors’ seem to be doing is when they are providing free healthcare to cities below them or just to show up and look pretty. After the Firefly hotty Morena Baccarin’s giant head appears on the underbelly of the visitors ships speaks a few calming words of peace and friendship, the separate stories begin to take shape. There are five different storylines being explored in the V pilot: one of an FBI agent tracking terrorists, one of her son being lured into the V organization, one of a Catholic priest who has been running out of communion wafers ever since the V arrived, a news reporter (more like a teleprompter reader) who has fallen into the good graces of the leader of the V Anna, on account of his lack of journalistic ethics, the last in this web of stories is that of the visitor/in-love-with-a-human Morris Chestnut who can only be described as an alien with some loyalty issues. That is a lot of story. That being said, the story itself is not that hard to follow. It is straight forward enough; aliens have come to earth under the guise of friendship and E.T. like cuteness in order to execute some sort of diabolical plan. It turns out that the visitors have been on earth longer than a few months and have been working subversively to undermine the stability of Earth e.g. terrorism, religious extremism, the economic downturn, unnecessary wars, the death of the electric car, global warming, the disappearance of wild salmon, Californian wildfires, the balloon boy, Glen Beck etc. All of these things are a part of the master plan design by the visitors in an attempt to destabilize the earth and its governments.
Although the show is a rehash of the original from the 80s, it is actually very original and entertaining. The theme is paranoia and devotion, as people build a resistance while conscious that aliens are disguised as humans among them and the godlike devotion the world has for the Visitors. Morena Baccarin is great as the villain, portraying a very menacing, emotionless, and attractive representative of the Visitors. There is an integration of the original concepts of the series while incorporating the socioeconomic issues of the present. Nothing is so over the top like Fringe and Battlestar Galactica, with esoteric science and alien detecting methods. The aliens are still reptiles wearing human suits, and the only way to tell if someone is human or a visitor is to cut through the skin behind the ear until you see skull or reptile skin. How simple and awesome.

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