Kenneth Johnson's original 1983 miniseries V (I haven't seen the rest of the original series) is far from perfect, but it tries in its charming way to be a thoughtful anti-fascist allegory. As allegory goes it's single-mindedly straightforward and simplistic, but that still allows Johnson to do neat little things from time to time. Like when the elderly holocaust survivor recognizes what's going on, despite the fact that the first victims here are a more amorphous group (scientists--a very clever decision, I think) than the Jews were. Or at the beginning of the show when he follows a lovely dedication ("To the heroism of the resistance fighters--past, present, and future--this work is respectfully dedicated") with a scene of the cameraman character filming footage of Salvadorian rebels fighting off government helicopters (it is never stated who bought those helicopters, but it doesn't take much thought to realize).
Like I said, it's not perfect--it aired on a major American TV network, after all--but for what it is, it's pretty admirable.
The new V, despite a surprisingly awesome performance from Morena Baccarin as the leader of the aliens, is in comparison an incoherent, turgid mess, or at least has been so far. It is impossible to interpret it in any way but as an allegorized (is that a word?) version of the popular right-wing reaction to the Obama administration. Which, you know, is boring and pointless and just reinforces this bizarre concept that Obama is some kind of a radical departure from his predecessors; whether one takes this as a positive or a negative, it's equally untrue. But there we have it; we even had an episode about the evils of universal health care, as if a) such a thing would be awful, and b) we had any chance of getting it any time soon. Where the original series was a critique of the very real threat of fascism, the new one is a critique of a cartoon version of hysterically imagined socialism--covering for the ever-encroaching fascism Johnson saw almost thirty years ago.
An additionally insulting angle on it is that the new series is intensely anti-science. Johnson deliberately positioned his scientists as oppressed heroes; unrealistic considering the actual position of science in our society, perhaps, but a nice vision nonetheless. The new series replaces the scientists with heroes from law enforcement and religious vocations, discovering in each episode another way that science is evil.
And now the show is coming back from its lengthy hiatus with a new showrunner, and I learn that it's poised to become even worse. The new showrunner has decided that "at its spine, (the show is) really about two mothers and how far they're willing to go to protect their children." I could puke.
To me, Anna is the mother of all Vs. ... One of the things that I wanted to make clear in my version of the show was that Anna is not evil at all: Anna is simply an animal. She's a mother and she just wants to protect her children, her species, and she doesn't have anything against humanity. She's not evil. ... We're just something that stands in the way of her children's future.The "mother of all Vs" thing I was willing to let slide, reluctantly; whatever, they're aliens, fine. I'd rather something else, but fine. She's "simply an animal," though? I mean, yes, we're all animals. We're primates, the Vs are lizards, sure. But can we please have a storyline that involves women without invoking the maternal instinct?
In [that] way, Erica's the same. ... Even though it's just Tyler, her son, I feel, metaphorically, she's the mother of all children.OK, shut up. I feel bad for Elizabeth Mitchell. She just left Lost, a show where her character, and other women, were allowed to have a few motivations unrelated to motherhood and men (though admittedly they often do have those motivations, too), and now she has to be "the mother of all children" just because she's the lead woman in her new show's cast? Sucks.
Convenient, too, that the male lead of the show is a priest, so I can't even object with a "Why doesn't he have to be the father of all children?"
Also in the first four episodes we already have a nonsensical interspecies pregnancy story, because having babies is what women are for, regardless of the biology. Why else would there be women in the cast? And it's a good thing they thought to cast more than one!
I think the pregnancy story is a really fun story and weird and twisted but also very grounded and emotional. ... And there will be multiple pregnancies. ... Val will not be the only one who's pregnant.Kill me. I can't wait for when the dramatic tension really ramps up after the scene where all of humanity walks in on Erica having sex and realizes that she's not a virgin after all but really a whore!