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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘V: The Series’

Take a break from work: watch a TV trailer…


Heh: Alien babes are hot.

Oh, man, remember when Diana ate that hamster? Remember when the aliens took off their faces and they were lizards? That was awesome. Can a remake possibly have anything as shocking up its sleeve? They’re already telling us here that we’re gonna get lizards again, so are we all going to watch merely out of a sense of nostalgia to see the same story told in the same way again?

I suspect that if this new series were going to be break new ground in the way that, say, the reimagining of Battlestar Galactica did, it would be airing on Showtime or HBO — or maybe even Sci Fi, but probably not now that it’s SyFy — and not on ABC, which has managed to make Lost boring. Nothing in this trailer suggests to me that there’s any “reimagining” going on here.

And that could be a problem. Why do a straight-up remake of the 80s show? What’s the point? Why not pick up where the series left off, two decades on — are the Vistors still here? how has the resistance been going? what about the hybrid human-alien kid? How about following up on a promise that the second miniseries made that was never fulfilled in the single season of regular episodes? We learned that the Visitors had an enemy somewhere out there in space, and we sent a message to them, asking them to come help us. What if that enemy finally showed up, 20 years later, and that old maxim about the enemy of my enemy turned out to be a lot more complicated than we could have imagined?

Still: alien babes are hot. I can only figure that some geek at ABC fell in love with Morena Baccarin in Firefly (and why not? she’s gorgeous) and then had the brainstorm to create a new V series around her as the new Diana. (He’s not in the trailer, but the IMDB says Firefly’s Alan Tudyk is also appearing in the pilot, at least.)

Oh, and speaking of Lost: I guess Elizabeth Mitchell’s Juliette won’t be back — which we probably could have guessed after that, er, explosive season finale anyway — since she’s all over this.

I’m guessing it’s her teenage son who impregnates the blond alien chick for this series’ hybrid baby. Or maybe she impregnates him. Now, that could be awesome.

V: The Series will debut in the U.S. on ABC in the fall; there’s no word on when it will air in the U.K.

(via Modern Fabulosity)



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trailers | tv buzz
  • Sarah

    She’ll be back on LOST!

    “We’re thrilled to be able to have her do both [shows],” McPherson (ABC man)

    Read on tvguide and EW.

  • Ryan

    I really still don’t get your “Lost is boring” assertions. Every episode it seems I have all of these conversations with friends and family and even more so this season with a lot of the island’s history and mythologies are in the forefront. Can’t wait for the last season, but I’ll be so sad when it ends.

    As for Elizabeth Mitchell, I think the fact that both shows aren’t the typical 22-episode series and are in the same network does not necessarily mean Juliet is a goner. In fact ABC entertainment president has said as much saying Julet will be part of the last season, if only for a handful of episodes.

    Finally, I’m looking forward to V. Never saw the original so I have nothing to compare it to and I’m a huge fan of Morena Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell so I’ll give it more than a chance to hook me.

  • Ryan

    The only thing as annoying as having two Ryans on this site is when I agree with everything the other one has to say… =P

    Also, Tudyk is in the trailer VERY briefly. He is busting down a door, gun in hand, appears to be Elizabeth Mitchell’s FBI partner?

  • Jim

    First of all, V is not coming in the fall, its a midseason replacement of 13 episodes. Check your facts.

    Secondly, several ABC sources, including the president of ABC Entertainment, say Juliet (not Juliette) will be back next season on Lost. She just won’t be a regular.

  • MaryAnn

    I really still don’t get your “Lost is boring” assertions.

    I’m finding it boring lately — it just keeps spiraling in on itself. By the time it’s over, it will have compressed into a singularity and will suck all matter into itself.

    I’m not really sure what’s the “get,” though. I find it boring. That doesn’t mean you have find it boring. Mostly, I’m bored with the characters and their nonstop whining and moping. The mythologies and histories don’t matter one bit if I don’t care about the characters anymore. And I don’t.

    First of all, V is not coming in the fall, its a midseason replacement of 13 episodes. Check your facts.

    ABC’s official site for its fall preview is confusing enough to suggest, at quick glance, that the show is coming this fall. I stand corrected.

    So now my facts are checked. What about my opinions, Jim? Do you have any response to the meat of my post? Or are you just having fun nitpicking? If you are, that’s fine. Fun away. But that doesn’t really jumpstart a conversation.

  • PaulW

    That “V” is already planned as a mid-season replacement suggests that ABC is hedging bets by re-creating a known commodity – a cult miniseries whose regular series followup died due to poor budgets and lousy plotting – in the hopes that Gen-X geeks will watch anything from their collective childhood.

    But I am completely with you. I don’t think V needed a re-boot: it needed a follow-up. Why couldn’t they have placed the new series as “20 Years Later”? Why not have Marc Singer’s character still missing all that time, and be an underlying mystery tying Season 1 together? Have it so that the Visitors had pulled back for some unexplained reason, and to have their enemy race show up and prove to be not as reliable an ally as we’d hoped for? Why not bring back Robert Englund as the sweet Willie (“My mother always wanted me to be a chameleon”), probably off teaching at a college about the history of the 80s invasion and of the Visitors, only to be dragged back into a war he doesn’t want to fight? They could have killed off Diana off-screen as part of a diabolical civil war within the ranks of the Visitors, only to have a ‘sister’ from her hatchery (a role Morena could have taken then) come back as nasty as she was? And why not keep the Visitors’ unis as that orange-red color? Grey is so… bland! Bleh.

    As for the two Ryans arguing who is who: there’s another Paul who posts here, so to avoid confusion I add my last initial – ergo ipso I R PaulW. I could go by Witty but then anyone who plays City of Heroes will know who I am and mercilessly snark on it… um, wait a sec…

  • Is it gay if I have a crush on Scott Wolf? Ever since White Squall. He is so dreamy.

  • D

    You didn’t like character centric episodes like “He’s our you” ot “Life and death of Jeremy Bentham”?
    And I know that you weren’t very attached to Faraday(neither was I), but didn’t you find “the variant” even a bit touching?

  • y

    Well, if this re-hash does well maybe the way more interesting follow up that has been outlined here will happen. Of course a follow up on a show from the 80’s ain’t gonna happen first. No way kids these days (or most adults now even) are going to watch an 80’s show with crappy 80’s graphics and be so transfixed that they’ll want a continuation. IF they do go further (i.e. a follow up idea, I have no delusions that this will be anything but a pretty looking re-hash) they will need the first part to be re-done all pretty like first then continue on from there. In that sense they are pretty smart to redo it from the beginning. Maybe a regular series will work this time… here’s to hoping. Here’s to hoping that there will be some new stuff also. Cause it hasn’t been long enough for me to have forgotten the original yet.

  • Jonas Bengtsson

    You all know there is a novel out there from the novel writer of the first V story? The new novel picks up today, 20 years later. I guess, or at least hope, that this V: The Series is based on the new novel.

  • t6

    So full disclosure.

    People talk about hardcore fans. And how those hardcore fans of Star Trek are mad that Shatner wasn’t in the new Trek movie. And how hardcore fans of BSG were mad they made Starbuck a gal. And how hardcore Who fans were mad there was overt romance between Who and Rose.

    Now I consider myself a big fan of all three of those older shows…and I wasn’t bothered by the changes. But people might say I wasn’t a hardcore fan.

    There is no disputing that I am a hardcore V fan. I bought the comic books, the books, the technical manuals, a kept a scrap book, I had bits of dialogue memorized. I loved the TV show. I hated NBC for disrespecting my show. I could go on…but I won’t. So, this you must know before I go on.

    The 20 years later scenario you describe is the one that Kenneth Johnson wanted to do…and indeed the scenario he wrote for his new novel V: The second generation. I’m sad that Kenneth Johnson is not doing this new V. But…

    I’m still excited by it. It looks like it is going to be a BSG-style reimagining rather than a 20years later sort of thing. I’m excited to see what they’ll do with the show. How they’ll address the politics of V in a post-9/11 world…because in the 1980s we certainly loved our terrorists…I mean, freedom fighters/resistance. But it is no longer the 1980s and partisans fighting the evil overlords very easily can be branded terrorists and that branding has a very different resonance now than it did when people used to speak openly of their support of the IRA.

    There is a whole generation of people who have never been able to know the glory and majesty of V. And sadly when I try to show them the original they just can’t get over the hair and tight pants…I try to remind them that the hair wasn’t that big back in the day and that everyone wore tight pants. But they often can’t appreciate it. So if this new updating will bring more people into the fold of one of the best sci-fi shows ever…I’m happy.

    I’m also happy that Morena Baccarin is playing Anna and not Diana. I like that they are allowing the original to stand and they are tweaking for the new time. I’ll miss Faye Grant’s Juliet Parrish, I’ll miss Michael Ironside’s Ham Tyler, I’ll miss my favorite June Chadwicke’s Lydia…but I’m excited to see what new things they’ll hand us.

    Ohhhh! I’m sooooo excited!

    You know, I never got around to making an old style Visitors uniform…I’ll have to go and do that…hm…V!

  • I’m looking forward to it, if only to see Inara and Wash again. B)

  • RogerBW

    Why not a sequel? Because the marketable demographic (i.e. “the kids today”) haven’t seen the original, and aren’t going to go and watch it. I suppose you could try to sort that with a ten-minute intro, or a miniseries-equivalent synopsis, or even making the whole thing available for free download – but that would be a brave and innovative move, and, as the new schedule shows, now is not a time for bravery or innovation at TV networks. (And, as t6 points out, all this is just a matter of the logistics of getting people to watch the thing in the first place – never mind what their reactions might be to the show itself.)

    I’ve never actually seen the original V. Perhaps I should borrow some DVDs before the end of the year.

  • Victor Plenty

    Or maybe she impregnates him. Now, that could be awesome.

    No major network is going to do anything near so original. The trailer makes it clear the network is going to use tried and true methods in their attempt to hook several overlapping demographics with this show. I detected at least three:

    1. Males 15-45 who will watch anything with spaceships and hot alien babes in it
    2. Fans of the 1980s series who will watch anything with a V logo slapped onto it
    3. Paranoid conspiracy theorists who think Obama’s talk of “hope” and “change” is all a vast lie, meant to lull us into a false sense of security and conceal his true goals as a secretly communist gay Muslim alien overlord lizard man.

  • Chris

    Mary Ann how can you not care about the characters of Lost? Episode 8 did one the best jobs of selling a new relationship that had been in place for three years. Daniel Faraday’s arch combined in with Ms. Hawkings now is completely twisted. Taking Jack from a man of science to a full man of faith. Turning Ben from the puppet master into the puppet. Sawyer from the con man to the resolved leader. And if you didnt feel for Juliet when she was hanging for life basically screaming and crying as Sawyer tried to hold on, well I dont know what more you want. Best of all non of us knows what happens next or how the hell this series gets wrapped up in just 17 hours. I cant think of another show that came close to doing that this year by the end of season.

  • Victor Plenty

    Chris, of course I can’t speak for MaryAnn, but perhaps the only universal truth about art is that tastes differ. This is especially true of drastic plot twists and surprising character developments.

    What strikes you as an exciting, compelling set of reasons to care about the characters can easily strike another viewer as tiresome examples of getting jerked around by writers who seem to lack any coherent vision of what they really want to accomplish (other than drag out the series, and the resulting paychecks, for as long as possible).

    I experienced this feeling toward the end of The X Files, and detected the same vibe from every description of Lost since people started raving about the first episode, including yours just now. I’ve been tempted to start watching it every time I see any of JJ Abrams’ other work. Thanks for helping me resist that temptation just a little bit longer.

  • the rook

    as i recall, the original ‘v’ miniseries and series were rather weak and i find it a bit baffling that abc chose this series for any kind of revival.

    the science ficition of the show wasn’t really bad, aliens form space, including those that pretend to be friends while pursuing some dastardly plot is a staple of science fiction. the science is pretty bad, though, even by the standards of star trek and star wars. (why would alines want to steal water from earth (and be secretive about it) when there is plenty available in saturn’s atmosphere).

    the thrust of the original series was about totalitarianism and resistance. an update (or reboot) might work that angle a bit more intelligently. however, judging from the trailer, the producers are building the series more around religion and religious conflict (a la battlestar galactica). i’m not sure that change is what a revived ‘v’ ersies will call for.

  • CBN4ct

    Man…..I remember watching the original “V” but I’ll have to get the DVDs on Netflix or something…..to refresh my memory. I do recall when she (Diana?) ate that hamster, and Marc Singer in the lead role. I also recall Faye Grant.

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