Wednesday, March 31, 2010

V For Vituperation

So, after a deeply inauspicious initial 4 episodes, V has returned to the airwaves once again.

Before it came back the people behind the show did an extensive damage control tour, assuring potential viewers that yes, things would start happening and the show wouldn't be the dull muddled mess that tries and fails to blame every nutty conspiracy on lizard aliens like they're writing David Eick fanfic or something.

And while there were signs that things were finally going in some kind of direction (our Ham Tyler analogue finally showed up, and well, he's no Michael Ironside) there are still fundamental problems with this show. I really don't care for the mother vs. mother dynamic they're trying to set up, mostly because Single Lady Cop is as bland as grits and Tranny Scott Pilgrim (with her 3 foot neck) vacillates between "mustache-twirling eeevil mastermind" and blandness that threatens to combine with Single Lady Cop's and cause the show the devolve into a massive sucking wormhole of boredom. The mothership scenes look so much like greenscreen effects they bounce me out of the show every time, and . . .damn it, we're five hours into this thing and there hasn't been one genuine moment in this show where I had any emotional investment in anything that was going on.

Not even when the pregnant lady almost ate the dead mouse or when Tranny Scott Pilgrim ate that guy.

5 hours into the mini-series, meanwhile, I at least had some kind of emotional stake in what was going on. Oh sure, the Nazis from space stuff and the parallels to their rise were so damn obvious they may as well have been written on the moon in 90-foot letters on fire and the whole thing was soaked in melodrama, but damn it, let me tell you this:

Sometimes, melodrama works. Not always, but those who look for one-size-fits-all storytelling solutions are doomed from the start. Oh sure, we live in a moment now where everything has to be approached with ironic detachment and everyone has to have a clever bon mot ready for every occasion and we're so above melodrama and we want realism, realism, always realism (we don't actually, but that's what we claim we want) but sometimes, to borrow an allusion from V, you have to have the bad guys eat the guinea pig, already. Pay something off, for Christ's sake.

You know, when the later Mini-series and TV series completely collapsed on itself, it was at least entertaining as it degenerated into utter camp (and Zorro as a lizard-alien in a big blousy shirt! Remember in WWII when the Nazis did that?) and killed off nearly all its cast for terrifyingly little reason, it was earnest and entertaining in it's way.

The remake is the talkiest, dullest, alien invasion ever. It's Earth: Final Conflict all over again, and oh dear sweet Jesus did I loathe, despite, and generally shun Earth: goddamn Final Conflict. I didn't ask, nor do I need a new one 15 years after the fact.

So yeah. It's not working out, and I think I'm done with the new and improved V. I need a little bit more to my alien invasion than a bunch of nonsense about evil flu vaccines run by a bunch of middle-managment Obamaliens. On the off chance that they get their shit together, I may follow up with on DVD but that would require a 100% improvement and I don't see that happening.


C. Elam said...

It's been said way too many times, but I find I despair that we live in an age that is so frightened of new ideas that we have to remake The Prisoner and goddamn V now.

I live in dread of the big budget movie version of "It's About Time" that seems inevitable.

Kazekage said...

I myself live in dread of the big budget remake of Small Wonder, and if anyone reading this knows what that is, you're probably scared too.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Oh, eww, they'd probably cast Natasha Henstridge as Vicki or something. THOU SHALT NOT.

Kazekage said...

. . .Diana, they'll hear you. ;)