Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Okay, it's been 3 weeks since the new version of the classic sci-fi series "V" arrived on ABC, and I have to say, I like it.
It's difficult to gauge a show by it's pilot episode. By it's very nature, a program's pilot ep is far & beyond what a normal ep would be in order to capture the imagination of some tv exec looking for the next big hit. However, the new "V" has started in excellent form. Casting was full of excellent choices, the writing is exceptionally well-balanced allowing the story to flow smoothly from one facet to another. The directing follows the writing with an even handed style that allows the viewer to pull their own reactions about the events rather than forcing an emotional response. In watching the pilot episode with a friend that's NOT a sci-fi geek, I was amused by her reaction," It felt like a movie."
I couldn't agree more. The first ep of V felt like the first hour of Jurassic Park. Interesting, informative, laying the ground work for larger things to come.
Now, I watched the original mini-series, and I've heard that some viewers were complaining about certain story lines being accelerated (mostly about the resistance to the V arrival), but I think it's a better way to tell the story. If paying attention, one can see the similarities in the tactics of the humans and the V, which lends more weight to the motivations behind those tactics. V is making the "Why" of an action just as important as the "How" of that action. It's a fascinating process to watch unfold.
The other benefit to accelerating some of the original story points is to capture viewers. A great many shows (like Joss Whedon's DollHouse) try to pull you in with a unique back-story and make you wait for interesting episodes. Back in the 90s, that would work, the X-Files is the perfect example of that. But given today's climate, it's more profitable to start a series with the interesting events (the public arrival of the V, the coalescence of the main resistance into a more effective form, etc) and then fill in the back-story as the series continues.
After watching the third episode, I find myself able to predict events and story point revelations which is a drawback, but not enough to warrant the show's dismissal.
Overall, I like the show. It's a good remake of a classic sci-fi program. I plan to keep watching, dear reader. Will you?