Reviews: V

morenaThe US reviews are in for the remake of V, the classic 1980s science fiction with rodent-eating aliens.

And they like what they see. One went as far as to call it ‘irresistable’ and another described it as ‘a first-rate thriller filled with twists, shocks and heroic figures.’ And apparently it’s all about Morena Baccarin (pictured) as the alien leader.

Despite those promos Nine ran, programmer Michael Healy told TV Tonight last week he had decided to hold it until next year, working around ABC’s episode split of 4 now, 4 next year (please don’t use the D word, guys…).

Variety said:
While “V” might at first appear like a strange Reagan-era artifact, ABC and the producers have concocted an updated reboot that’s unexpectedly timely — a strange amalgam of post-Sept. 11 paranoia and science-fiction soap opera. The pilot busily races through too much business, but it dangles a tantalizing array of plots, and features a knockout performance (in more ways than one) by Morena Baccarin as the cool, beguiling alien leader. The network’s scheduling gambit — four weeks on in November, then a hiatus — is either genius or folly, but “V’s” maiden voyage rates near the top of the alphabet. The best science fiction always has something to say about the present, and the show does that without skimping on the soapy or dramatic elements. Whether the serialized storytelling can be sustained is potentially another matter (witness the growing pains experienced by ABC’s “FlashForward”), but at least in terms of the acrobatics that go into a polished launch, “V” sticks the landing.

The Hollywood Reporter said:
After about 25 years, those sneaky, lizardlike aliens are back. Once again, they want to take over Earth and, maybe, destroy or consume the populace. But so what? In exchange for their malevolence, they promise to provide a world of fast-paced, eye-catching action and provocative drama. Bold and still surprising, ABC’s new “V” is clever enough for a cult following and accessible enough to reach a broad demo.

Miami Herald said:
With or without the political sheen, V is sweeping television storytelling at its best. Whether you choose to view it as a blood-and-guts war story, a spy thriller (unlike the original show, these Vs are perfect replicas of humans, so you never really know who might be sitting beside you at the bar), a high-stakes family drama (as households divide over the intentions of the Vs), a religious allegory (the Vs make a crippled man walk, filling up churches again) or just a sci-fi throwback to the days of Earth vs. The Flying Saucers and The Thing, V is irresistible. This bandwagon is definitely worth jumping on.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said:
Following a production shutdown for creative retooling, ABC has decided to air just four “V” episodes this month with the promise of more to come in March, which is not the most positive sign that the success of the pilot will carry forward. But the ingredients are certainly right. After her role as Juliet on “Lost,” it’s tough to imagine another actress who balances empathy and brains as well as Mitchell, a smart choice for the lead hero of “V.” Gretsch offers solid support as a rock of a priest; actor Morris Chestnut intrigues as an engaged businessman with a secret past unbeknownst to his fiance and Baccarin displays a scarily serene coolness that positions Anna as a formidable adversary to humankind. Once again we have Visitors — time will tell if viewers and ABC executives welcome them with open arms.

Orlando Sentinel said:
The surprisingly timely “V” plays off concerns about universal health care, terrorism, sleeper cells and journalists’ access to leaders. But the series is, above all, a first-rate thriller filled with twists, shocks and heroic figures. Director Yves Simoneau and writer Scott Peters get the show off to a thrilling start as the Visitors shake, rattle and roll into view. The most exciting sequence contrasts the Visitor leader’s smarmy interview on national television with a secret meeting among humans intent on fighting alien power. “V” is simpler and more old-fashioned than ABC’s “Lost” and “FlashForward.” That approach may help “V” in the long run click with a mass audience. “V” is, along with CBS’ “Good Wife” and The CW’s “Vampire Diaries,” one of the fall’s most promising efforts. The sci-fi thriller should mean good things for ABC, which could use a ratings miracle from the Visitors.

18 Comments:

  1. From the discussions I’ve been hearing hearing on streaming radio from the US, (from average viewers, not people paid to write positive reviews), this “reboot” is little more than a thinly disguised allegory about current american politicos. In other words it’s a huge load of Republician party properganda, and if you know who owns the ABC network in the US, you’ll understand. So if you were expecting a fasinating piece of science fiction, forget it. It’s rubbish.

    The original mini-series was always about the right-wing takeover over the planet by “rat eating lizards”. It was a cautionary tale about how easy it is to seduce a population and was designed to parallel the rise of the Nazi’s in 1930s germany. Give the average Joe who doesn’t think to much someone to hate, (in the original it was scientists), and it’s easy. It seems the american network has decide to flip the concept on it’s head, and now the “rat eating lizards” have a left-wing “liberal” agenda.

    I think the show will rate well the first episode or two, because it’ll get a big advertising campain, lots of hype, and people will tune in for the big cgi effects, but fall away after that once local viewers realise how bad it actually is.

  2. @jay jay – the ratings period (or times the US takes a break) pretty much matches us over the xMas period, they break around late Nov and came back around 8 weeks later, give or take a week but this year things are messed up because of the Winter Games in the 2nd two weeks of Feb.

    It will be 5 months before V airs on Nine, mark my words. Some won’t wait 5 days before finding other ways to watch some TV shows.

  3. I think 9 is doing the right thing. Not everyone downloads – which mind you is illegal. Unless Australian networks completely change their ratings year to match the US, what else can they do? You couch potatoes forget it is a business and money needs to be made. You will be the death of free television!

  4. When I lived in Boston it was very hard to watch Babylon5 and other shows.

    They would have ratings period for one or 2 months, then 1 or 2 months off, then back on…. so you would watch the first 4 episodes, then they jumped back 8 episodes and showed those 8 leading straight into another 8, then jumped back 4 and repeated those running straight through into another 4…..

    Rather hard to follow.
    Add that to what our channels do, and the result is a nightmare. Fortunately, to some degree, the delay on Aussie TV meant that the US weirdness didn’t affect us, we just got our own version.

  5. Yeah I remember more recently with Enterprise it started in the 8:30 or 9:30 time but each season kept getting moved back until the final season was on at like 1am and over a year after it first aired in the US.

    I hope this works but I can see a move to GO! with-in a month of launching in March, yes I still predict this not to start until March and after the winter games.

  6. I can’t understand why the USA just doesn’t wait till next year. People will forget what is going on after only just 4 eps and such a long break. If it is as good as they say I’m glad 9 are waiting. I loved this show back in the 8’0s.

  7. Any serious fans would not be waiting for this show on Nine.

    Back in the mid-1990s, Nine couldn’t even keep STTNG on at a regular time or screen episodes without breaking a season.

  8. @bugger – yes they always have the winter off but usually they have aired 10 or so eps before the winter break over xMas, plus this year they have to consider the Winter Games in the 2nd 2 weeks of Feb, even if V is not on the same network. Just like here they won’t be running there new shows up against NBC and nightly Olymipcs highlights.

  9. I can understand 9’s decision in holding out to build an audience. But then again knowing 9 they wouldn’t have got past 4 episodes before bumping it around the timeslot.

    Does this type of break happen a lot on US tv? It sounds counterproductive. What’s the reasoning behind it?

  10. I understand why 9 decided to hold it, if only 4 episodes go to air here viewers will think it is axed and will not realise that america is also doing this. By the time it comes back they will have lost interest or forgotten what happened before. From these reviews it sounds like there is even a risk of this happening in america, and they are used to hiatuses, in this country we aren’t. Every time a show takes a break that is forced by america there is always someone who goes on a rant blaming the australian channel when it is not their fault.

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