If, like me, you're still looking for a character-driven sci-fi drama (with trace amounts of nostalgia) to fill the void left by Battlestar Galactica, then you're probably already curious about ABC's remake of the 80's TV phenomenon V. ABC released the first eight minutes of the new alien invasion show online (watch it here) to attract a new audience to this updated version of an old fan favorite, before it makes its broadcast debut on November 3rd.
It's obviously impossible to judge an entire series from this short clip, but the "Where were you on 9/11?" opening text rubs me the wrong way. I'm not offended that the scenes of New Yorkers frightened by a massive threat in the sky conjure up subtext about 9/11. I'm offended that the subtext is made, well, actual text. That pretty much makes it NOT subtext, by definition. That type of narrative hand-holding (as if they are shouting, "HEY DOESN'T THIS KINDA REMIND YOU OF 9/11?") is offensive to me, because it's a moronic way of reminding viewers of something that they'll be able to pick up on their own.
That mis-step is literally the second thing you see in the opening, and there's not enough going on in the clip for me to know whether or not V is going to continue to treat its viewers like children Basically we're introduced to the main characters with some pretty broad strokes, then their lives are interrupted by a saucer so big it blots out the sky. The spacecraft transforms into a JumboTron, where it broadcasts Morena Baccarin's smiling face to the people below, before the clip fades to black. Cue 70's porno music. (Seriously, what the hell is up with that music?) Some reliable acting from Elizabeth Mitchell is not enough to make me forget about the part where some kid on the news exclaims, "Dude! This IS Independence Day!" Groan.
I was hoping the extended clip would sell me on the show. I watched "classic" V when it originally aired, so my recollection of it is hazy--mostly just memories of red pleather-clad reptiles wearing human skin masks. I'm no V purist who demands that the new show be exactly like the original, but I do want entertainment that doesn't speak down to me. I'm not yet sure I'll get that with V.