Wednesday, November 04, 2009

So I watched the premiere of V Tuesday night, and I have mixed feelings. As a huge fan of the original series, I was kinda let down. In the original, we see the Visitors arrive, tell us that they are here to be our friends and to help us, and then see them doing just that. We gradually get hints that things aren't quite as simple as they seem, with reports of people disappearing mysteriously, and word of a conspiracy of scientists being bandied about. Finally, we learn the true nature of the Visitors when reporter Mike Donovan sneaks aboard their ship and sees them eating rodents, and then gets in a fight with one of the aliens and rips their fake human face off, revealing that they are actually big-@$$ lizards.

(I wrote all that without looking anything up. Nerd!)

In this new version, we see the Visitors arrive, and they tell us that they are here to help us. We hear news reports that they are giving us cures to all sorts of diseases and stuff, but we don't really see them working with humans. We see humans who don't trust the Visitors, but aren't given any concrete reasons why.

The first time we spend any real time with the Visitors, it's their leader telling a news reporter to not ask any questions that will paint them in a negative light. We also see a meeting of an underground resistance against the Visitors (all of whom have either witnessed, or know someone who has witnessed, something that makes them aware that there's more to the Visitors that meets the eye, even though we don't see any of that evidence). At the resistance meeting (and it's not clear what they're resisting, since we haven't seen what the Visitors are actually doing) we are told that the Visitors are not as human as they appear, but are actually literally lizards in human clothing.

Then there's a big fight, and we see Visitors with their skin ripped, and it's really shocking. But not as shocking as it might have been if we hadn't just been told five minutes earlier!

That's my big problem with last night's episode: a lot of telling, not showing. It was slick and well-acted, and I like the idea that the Visitors have apparently been around for a lot longer, infiltrating humanity before going public. And a coworker, who had no history with the show, was really surprised at the actually revelation that the visitors really were lizards. So maybe it's just the baggage I brought with me that hurt my enjoyment of the show.

Regardless, now that the big reveals are out of the way, the show needs to forge its own direction. So I'm going to give it a few weeks to see how I feel about it before I decide one way or the other.

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