Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

They’ve Arrived: V Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on November 4, 2009

They're here!  And they want to give us universal healthcare!

They're here! And they want to give us universal healthcare!

Who are they?  What do they really want?  Where did they come from?  These are the questions viewers and fictional New York residents have to confront in the wake of the arrival of the visitors.

I was really excited about this show.  (I have to hand it to ABC’s aggressive marketing tactics.  Or perhaps it was that I missed the excitement of reviewing new shows.)  After watching the premiere, I have no strong feelings either way.  My reaction after the watching was, ‘well, OK then.’

Here’s what happened in the premiere. On a regular afternoon, an earthquake grips the world and a spaceship descends on New York.  The visitors have arrived!  It’s like balloon boy all over again, as the world’s eyes are glued to the sky.  The question then becomes, what do we do about them?  The Vs are very beautiful and instantly they have a following.  Anna, the Vs’ leader, has an Obama-like charisma and takes to the airwaves to get the world to trust them.  (Oh yeah, I went there.)  However, a few people have figured out that the Vs don’t exactly come in peace (despite the establishment of healing centers–universal health care!).  The main characters so far are Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell), who plays an FBI agent struggling with her teenage son.  She’s skeptical of the Vs, and he’s a groupie.  Sadly, Erica discovers her partner Dale (Alan Tudyk) is a V, and she knocks him off at a secret meeting after he brutally attacks her.  One other of our main characters, Ryan (Morris Chestnut) is also a V.   So clearly the show is going to revolve around the people who have figured out they’re not nice and the others who are infatuated with the Vs.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's balloon boy! It's THE VISITORS!

I like that the opening shots of the show moved quickly, but I felt like as it got into the middle part, it dragged.  I kept looking at my watch during the episode.  And after it was over, I felt like it was way longer than 44 minutes.  I like seeing some familiar faces, including Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost, and Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin from Firefly.  The acting is good, the writing is solid, but for some reason or another, it just didn’t grab me.  I feel like the show ‘gave away its hand’ too soon so to speak.  We know the visitors are bad (they want to bring us universal healthcare!  Shun them!  Shun them!), and that they have no bones and are lizardy.  For this show to grab me, I think I would need more mystery from the get go.  (This perhaps is why I liked FlashForward so much better.  In fact, given the genre of the thriller/sci fi shows, I’ll take FF over V any day.)

Perhaps I’m just sapped as my semester heads down the home stretch, but I found it very hard to muster up any strong feelings about this show either way.

Grade: B


3 Responses to “They’ve Arrived: V Premiere Review”

  1. Blu said

    Well as it is a remake any mystery of the V’s intentions are clearly spoiled.
    We are V food, meh, seen it before.

  2. Mr. Feeny said

    Oh, wow, CJ. I have to disagree here. I LOVED this premiere. So much more than FlashForward. And my strong dislike of Elizabeth Mitchell didn’t even get in the way.

    I found it suspenseful, intriguing, well-acted, well-written, well-shot, and a great social commentary (which I suspect I may agree with more). I kinda saw Tudyk’s character being in on it (and am very disappointed this was just a guest starring thing. I love his acting). But I was completely shocked by Ryan’s secret. And I don’t think they played their hand too early at all. They needed to show the conflict. They couldn’t have us just suspecting the Vs for a season. The entertaining television is in the actions to follow. The resistance (or, in a heavy European accent, “V Resistance”), the journalist’s investigation, the kid’s assimilation. I’m really excited about Tuesday’s episode.

    And Blu, the show is not about their intentions. The show is about dealing with them. Give it a chance.

    Also, Moltisanti mentioned to me a great review about this show, talking about its Obama parallels. I mean, how about just the fact that followers are writing “V” everywhere…Remind you of any other letter? I’ll post it as its own article.

    • CJ Cregg said

      OK, so I watched it again tonight. And it’s growing on me. I think it has more potential than I originally thought. I like this new plot line with Elizabeth Mitchell and the priest guy.

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