Oct 302011
 

With Kenneth Johnson’s classic 1983 miniseries of the same name being so well remembered and revered, the bar was set pretty high for ABC’s re-imagining of V, yet unfortunately the new series (which is about to see its second and final season released on Blu-ray and DVD) didn’t live up to its predecessor, and has now been cancelled.

Picking up right where the first season left off, the world is left wondering why the sky has suddenly been turned red by Anna (Morena Baccarin, Stargate SG-1); the leader of the aliens who’ve parked spaceships above a number of major cities, and offered to share a wealth of advanced technology with the people of Earth for seemingly no return; and continue to either blindly believe everything the aliens tell them; like Visitor enthusiast Tyler Evans (Logan Huffman, America); or realize they’re up to something, and actively pursue their downfall; like FBI Agent (and Tyler’s mother) Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost).

The whole show really centers around the two strong and powerful women that are Anna, and Erica; with Anna spending the series attempting to subtly convince the world’s population that the V’s are perfect (and should therefore be allowed to do just about whatever they want) so that she can exact her mysterious invasion plans with little-to-no chance of resistance, and Erica not only hiding her true feelings from her son (who just so happens to be having-it-off with the beautiful V future queen Lisa; portrayed by Into the Blue 2’s Laura Vandervoort), but leading a double life as an FBI agent tasked with protecting the V’s, and running The Fifth Column (a global network of anti-visitor ‘terrorists’ who know Anna has ulterior motives for all of her actions, and are trying to do anything they can to both educate the world, and eliminate the V’s).

Along the way Erica (who’s portrayed to an average standard by Elizabeth Mitchell, and doesn’t really stand out from the multitude of ‘strong’ leading women we now see headlining so many TV shows) is joined by a conscientious priest named Jack Landry (an interesting though slightly whiny and moralistic character who’s well portrayed by Taken‘s Joel Gretsch), a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mercenary named Kyle (Charles Mesure, This Is Not My Life), the world’s foremost V news reporter Chad Decker (a smarmy and self-centered man who’s given a strangely believable screen presence by Everwood‘s Scott Wolf), and the group’s is-he-or-isn’t he a traitor; a V named Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut, Boyz n the Hood); making a collective anti-alien club of wetbacks that you could never really imagine getting the job done in any way shape or form (especially seen as how they constantly bicker over moral choices; some of which are utterly ridiculous; and don’t appear to have the heart to go through with a single plan if it would cause harm to even a single bail of hay, or possibly put one of their own in a miniscule amount of danger).

In fact the main problem with V is that the entire show is utterly cliched; every single twist, turn, and supposed shock can be seen a mile off, and every character can basically be broken down into a 2-dimensional, single-minded, under-developed shell; the likes of which we have seen a dozen times before. However that’s not to say V Season 2 is without its merits; as the effects work in the show’s final season is much better than the first, the story still provides an interesting concept (would we trust an alien species so blindly if they seemed to be offering us benefits such as those provided by the V’s?), and eah episode (while predictable, and far from original) is engaging enough in it’s own right; it just never seems to lift itself above the multitude of average sci-fi shows that can be seen nowadays, and therefore remains wholly average.

So while Morena Baccarin may be great in her role, the effects may be better than ever, the stakes may have been raised, and it’s a pretty interesting concept, V: The Complete Second Season; the final season of the show (which finishes with a rather unsatisfactory conclusion; making it clear they hoped for a third); is an easy watch, but one which is also easily forgettable, not excellently written, and nothing if not entirely average.

Matt Wheeldon.