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V: A Holy Moly review

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James View Drop Down
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  Quote James Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: V: A Holy Moly review
    Posted: 16 Feb 2011 at 13:13
The sci-fi reimagining that's not as good as Battlestar Galactica but still alright.



Does it make sense to review a TV show when it's already several episodes into the second season? Probably not. But we're going to because it's taken us this long to formulate an opinion about V.

It doesn't take an overpaid broadsheet TV pundit to see that V was clearly influenced by the re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica. The problem is that while the original Battlestar was a kitsch, camply acted Star Wars rip-off that happened to have a great story on which to base a vastly superior politicised remake, the original 1983 V was a much-loved, cult phenomenon, that freaked out a generation by showing a woman eating a guinea pig. Viewers would need to see her shove it up her arse, to equal the shock value. Sadly that hasn't happened. Yet.

V is not Battlestar Galactica. Or The Wire with aliens. Much as it might like to position itself in the wave of HBO-driven, smart epic dramas. The new V is far more of an old fashioned, pretty-people-in-peril style romp - albeit taken deadly seriously.

For those unfamiliar with the premise, aliens turn up and hover over the earth in big ships. People shit themselves but the aliens turn out to be nice and set about healing people of tumours, ridding birth pains and promoting a message of peace, via their intense looking glamourpuss of a leader. But some people don't buy it. And some people turn out to have been aliens planted on earth a long time ago who have rebelled. And the aliens turn out to be reptiles underneath their supermodel skins. And it all starts going tits up.

Now we know what you're thinking: a new and charismatic leader offering free healthcare which will ultimately bring about the downfall of humanity? Why, that's Barack Oba... except you're not thinking that, despite the show's initial intentions. It's just too forced, gauche and, quite frankly, a bit offensive (especially considering the original was a Nazi allegory). Thankfully this thread has been abandoned in favour of terrorists and assassinations and stuff. Sometimes it's ok for a series about aliens to be just about aliens.

So why are we still watching it, after one and a bit series? Because the lesson US TV has learnt from the aforementioned genre-smashing classics is how to make even the dumbest television far more engaging, involving and intelligently plotted. So while it lacks the style and shock of its 80s incarantion, V's story ark is long and twisting, rather than a collection of self contained episodes. We can't predict how it's all going to pan out, who will die, who will turn out to have been a lizard or a fifth columnist... and we're trusted to keep watching based on our interest in the story alone. We've come a long way since the original Battlestar ended limply on Earth with a cub scout pack and a Cylon having to hide at fancy dress parties*.

And so V has adopted just enough elements of the new television to keep us watching and to help us ignore the fact that everyone involved comes straight out of Central Casting's 'most beautiful' book and seem only capable of two facial expressions: concerned and suspicious.

BTW, Apparently Lucy Lawless was in the running to play FBI agent Erica Evans, but she was too busy filming Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Which is a shame, but then we'd never have got to see her knockers.





*We're not sure if that is any dafter than the plot to Caprica, actually.

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James View Drop Down
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  Quote James Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2011 at 13:15
Nail on head. Whatever its shortcomings might be, I am totally hooked on this show. I have the original series on DVD and thought it was amazing (if slightly dated) but I'm enjoying this series every bit as much.
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  Quote Jonnyboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2011 at 14:42
It has flaws for sure, but I am totaly enjoying it
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  Quote James Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2011 at 20:02
I watched the latest episode last night -- things are really starting to ramp up now. I won't post any spoilers for those watching at the UK pace but I really like how they've slowly built up the tension to the point now where things are about to explode in spectacular fashion. The real war is just starting so I hope to God the execs commission another series.
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