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V – A lot of potential, but it could go either way

- Season 1, Episode 1 - "Pilot"


After weeks of heavy advertising and two months in to the new television season, the re-imagining of V is finally here. Tonight was the first episode of the series, and boy there was a lot going on. To say that it felt rushed would be an understatement. The original series started with a long, suspense-building miniseries. This pilot episode was almost completely devoid of the slow, intriguing build up that the original featured. Instead, it was all action and introduction.

That may not necessarily be a bad thing. This show clearly has a lot of potential. I’m just not sure if that’s potential to be great, or potential to be a huge disappointment.

Any questions about the visitors or suspense about their nature were pretty much answered in this episode. I think that was a mistake. The show really could have built up a great “are they evil, are they not evil” guessing game for at least three or four weeks. There are only four episodes being aired this month, with the remainder of the season returning in March. I think it would have been great if these first episodes were more like the miniseries, a slow, mysterious build up to the big reveal that the Vs are really human-hating lizard-people. Perhaps the showrunners thought that the original miniseries would be too fresh in the minds of the viewers, and that any potential surprises would be spoiled.

Enough with what could have been, though. The series is what it is at this point. Is it going to be a success? I’m not so sure. It could be great. If things hold steady (and if the previews are any indication) there is going to be a lot of action and a little bit of suspense moving forward. Morena Baccarin did a great job as the creepy Anna, and I think it will be fun to watch her continue to manipulate the hapless Chad. I think that her character was probably the highlight of the evening for me.

I love Elizabeth Mitchell from her time on Lost, and I’m glad that she is being put out in the front of this show. I think it’s too early for me to form a real opinion on her character, and Tyler, her character’s son. Their relationship and storylines could go either way, I think. Tyler could end up being an annoying, frustrating impetuous teen, or there could be some really interesting dynamics between he and the young Vs. At the same time, I’m hoping that the conspiracy and Erica’s story manages to have a little bit of intrigue, and doesn’t simply consist of running away from little flying killing machines.

I’ll leave you with what I thought was the best moment of the show. I loved the dig at Independence Day. It was a subtle nod to the original V miniseries, and nice way to call out Independence Day for being a cheap (or rather, very expensive) rip off of the original.

What did you think of the pilot of V?

Photo Credit: ABC

Categories: | Episode Reviews | General | TV Shows | V |

21 Responses to “V – A lot of potential, but it could go either way”

November 4, 2009 at 12:55 AM

I was surprised that they revealed the V’s reptilian nature so soon, especially since we never knew how these groups learned of that little secret already. A little more backstory and build up to that revelation would have been nice. I don’t know how “fresh” the 20 year old original will be to younger viewers unless they happened to watch it on Syfy recently, so maybe they figured they had to get the lizard stuff out of the way quickly to keep the kids tuned in. We’ll see how it goes. Love Elizabeth Mitchell, so I’ll keep tuning in!

November 4, 2009 at 3:03 AM

I’m glad they revealed that the Visitors are evil up front.

I mean is there any viewer anywhere who didn’t already know that they were evil?

I say reveal it and get it over with.

November 4, 2009 at 3:26 AM

I really was expecting this show to see light.

I was really really young when the original V was on the air so I don’t remember much of it, excpect the visitors were all bad reptile dudes tryng to kill us all, or something like that.
So I’m happy they revealed the real nature of the visitors right from the start.
too bad they will only air 4 episodes this yerar !!
i dont like winter games that much… =(

November 4, 2009 at 9:55 AM

It was alright. I’m just sorry that the majority of the human race was so ready to accept these aliens and hop on the band wagon. I did love the “I [heart] V” tshirts though, fun!

I wasn’t expecting the lizard reveal so soon, but I think that’s ok for this version. If they’re only going to show 4 episodes now and then come back in March, people will forget what happened. It’s best to get the action in now to hook them. And speaking of action. Holy crap did those lizard baddies kill the heck out of the people at that secret meeting!

And why, oh why, does Alan Tudyk have to be a lizard?!?! I was hoping to have him as a good guy again.

November 4, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Does anyone really think this show will be coming back in March? The show is DOA unless the numbers are huge, and I doubt they are.

November 4, 2009 at 12:13 PM

The numbers were huge! 13.9m viewer and a 5.0 in demo.

I was optimistic thinking over 10m, but…

It will be interesting to see if the numbers change ABC’s scheduling at all.

And, I liked it a lot. Need to watch again to see what I may have missed.

November 4, 2009 at 6:17 PM

The final ratings were even higher- 14.3 million viewers 5.2 in the demo. Wow. It was also the highest rated show of the season in Canada with 2.16 viewers.

Wonder how many drop off during the second week or switch to time-shifted viewing.

November 4, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I was embarrassed to be a human. To think that we are all just awaiting a savior to come and cure all our ails, to the point that we will CLAP OUT LOUD when they land in our skies? I’ll watch and hope for the best, but I much prefer the reaction of the people on, say, War of the Worlds. Skeptical, interested, frightened, wary….not sitting all agog with we love V without even knowing why they are there.

And don’t get me started with how eerily similar “just don’t ask anything that will paint us in a negative light” is to our current political atmosphere. Makes me frightened as hell.

November 5, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Well, posters I’ve read on other boards think it’s a conservative diatribe against the Obama movement in the last election: in a time of chaos and uncertainty, pretty newcomer promises to change our plight for the better, and the masses fall right into line, topped off with the slam against universal health care. I think it’s a bit of a stretch myself.

Count me as another vote for being glad they didn’t stretch out all these reveals. I knew most of it already, and I’ve never watched the originals.

November 5, 2009 at 9:55 AM

It’s an interesting theory, but isn’t it a well known fact that everyone in Hollywood is an Obama-loving liberal?


November 5, 2009 at 10:59 AM

If the political allegory you find is challenging or distasteful, and there’s was no way to blame FOX News, I suppose you can always imagine that the writers are closeted Republicans, rather than thoughtful people.

I just find it a case of tunnel vision when dealing with a fairly good sci-fi concept. Like when people were saying George Lucas made Chancellor Palpatine directly in the image of President Bush, when themes of tyranny, the sacrifice of democracy and civil liberties, and republics falling into empires are timeless to anyone with a basic knowledge of history.

I hadn’t realized the original V used the themes of National Socialist fascism and the Holocaust, but I can appreciate how they’ve adapted them to post-9/11 America, even if we don’t get the cantankerous Auschwitz survivor.

November 5, 2009 at 11:04 AM

I wasn’t trying to start a political war of words… just making a lame joke… Hence the winky-face.

November 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Sorry, poor choice of words on my part. That was a rhetorical “you” addressed to the proponents of that tinfoil-hat theory, not to you, Bob. I knew you were joking.

And I don’t believe personally that Hollywood is ruled by liberals any more than it is ruled by Scientologists. ;)

November 8, 2009 at 1:04 AM

The fascism theme is certainly not new. The V’s even have their own Hitler Youth. And if memory serves the 3rd Reich came into power with promises of Universal Healthcare. Then of course the undesirables (mentally ill, chronically ill) were euthanised, and the rest is history.

I really think the V’s healthcare centers will be more about extracting something from human bodies. I guess we’ll see.

I hope people can lighten up.

November 4, 2009 at 4:41 PM

A couple of notes (includes spoiler):

First, I agree that they went super-fast. I’m not saying that they should have pulled a Lost but come on, everything happened in 40 minutes. They came in the 9th minute, and in the remaining 30 minutes they introduced themselves, cured people, gained followers, we learned about the conspiracy, we learned that they are evil but there are some “good” traitors within, we learned about all the characters, even one died. It’s very unlike today tv standards. They should’ve at least made it a two-parter.

I didn’t like the whole “preparing the people of the world for invasion” bit. I really don’t like conspiracy theories.

The kid is downright stupid, I wish they’d put more background to his inclination towards the V.

Alan Tudyk’s character was a joke, one second he was an agent, next second he’s a V and he’s dead. This is Alan Tudyk for God’s sake, not an extra.

I don’t care much for Elizabeth Mitchell but Moreena Baccarin was scarily hot. I applaud the casting people for that.

I think they should limit this as a mini series. The story is old and somewhat boring. They can stretch the resistance for years but I don’t think there will be enough watchers.

November 4, 2009 at 6:44 PM

14 million people… oh gosh.

Still I say that viewers will be 7ish million tops by the end of the 13th episode.

November 7, 2009 at 11:42 PM

Finally was able to watch this. Agree with those who are glad that the reveal was early. The letter V is written in blood, of course they are bad. If they were going to be good what would be the point of the show.

Watching Anna communicate made me extremely uneasy. The young V recruiter (Lisa?) really should zip her jacket up. She is bound to have an accident.

Very, very good start in my opinion. All the visuals of the ship were excellent.

November 8, 2009 at 2:03 PM

BSG: Speaking for the single males in the world, I would have no problem with that type of wardrobe malfunction :)

November 8, 2009 at 2:27 PM

O.K then let me make the case for that poor actress – It takes sooooo much energy to maintain low zipper posture. I have mostly always been a good girl, but this even I know. Either give her a proper shirt or give her an Emmy, I say.

November 8, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Thank you for that, BSG, I just laughed out loud.

November 9, 2009 at 12:43 PM

If this show came out a couple of years ago, a school of thought would have been looking at it as GWB-era propaganda. The “watch what you say” media posture is right up there with the Bush years, as is the focus on “sleeper cells” and the merits of the national-security state. But, really, V is not about Obama or Bush — it’s about surrendering to an authority with vague promises of “protecting” us in one way or another.

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