November 1, 2009

Click here to see the new V.

This is the first eight minutes of ABC’s new take on the classic V. It was put online, officially and above-board, as part of the network’s blitz of marketing for this new series, which premieres Tuesday night (Nov. 3).

I like what I see. There’s enough of the 80s original to please me and other decades-long fans of the concept, but it has been tweaked and sparked for a 21st-century post-9/11 audience. I particularly like the little nod-wink to Independence Day that’s tucked away in there. Cast-wise, I can say so far, so good; Elizabeth Mitchell was aces on Lost over the past three years, and that guy from The 4400 looks good in a priest’s collar. I have never been sure what to make of Scott Wolf, though; he’s always looked and acted a little too much like the love child of Michael J. Fox and Tom Cruise for my tastes.

I devoured the original V miniseries, and its followup a year later. I wasn’t as crazy about the ensuing series, because a premise like this can run out of steam pretty quickly. The 80s ongoing series, which had a weird kind of Dallas opening credits sequence, was just another action show, really. I have the comics, too, and they’re actually better than the TV series. Think about that for a second: I have the V comic books. Feel free to steal my lunch money.

There’s an opportunity here to take the lessons learned in long-form serial TV — Lost, 24, Heroes — and apply them to the V concept. I hope that’s what happens. So far, I can say this new version of V seems taut and thrilling, but that’s just based on eight minutes. If the producers can’t find a way to sustain that power without it turning into fight-the-Visitor-of-the-week, I can’t see this lasting.

But like I said: take a lesson from Lost. Originally described as a show about people stranded on a desert island, Lost became much, much more than that. V is described as “aliens land on Earth.” Been there, done that. Let’s hope the new V offers us more.


One comment

  1. I watched it live last night. I really enjoyed it. Lots of possibilities, if, like you said, they keep the storytelling elevated and not a “monster/fight of the week”. I likely will do this…keep an eye on the comments over the next months and see if season one stands up…if so, I’ll buy the dvd of S1 and watch it all in a few days. I know from “24” that I’ll miss an episode somewhere along the way and just give up on watching live for the season! In fact, I still need to watch S7 of 24….

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