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Tonight's Liveblogging Dose of Rat-Eating Awesomeness is Brought To You By The Letter V

V_ABCI wasn't too much older than my kids are now when I had one of the great formative experiences of my youth: the original broadcast of the miniseries V in 1983. To call it awesome was to understate the nature of awesomeness — giant spaceships, alien subterfuge, the Beastmaster hisself fighting for the forces of good, and HOT ALIEN BABES WHO EAT RATS. For those of us who sat rapt with attention for night after night after night of this true miniseries event (remember when they had those? and it actually meant something?) watching this stuff unfold, it was life-changing stuff.

While the years since have brought multiple attempts - some more successful than others - to recapture that sense of magic and paranoia, I'll admit that a special little thrill raced through me when I heard that V was going to be relaunched as a weekly series. And so, it is with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I bring you the following blow-by-blow of re-Vboot '09. Here's hoping it doesn't suck.

LET THE LIVEBLOGGING COMMENCE...

And here we go... the show opens... something's coming... LA starts shaking, rattling and rolling (at least, I think it's LA. I guess it doesn't really matter.)... we're supposed to think it's an earthquake, but fuck it: we know there's gonna be aliens. Suddenly: a big Jesus statue almost falls on a homeless guy in a wheelchair! It's sociopolitical agitprop entertainment for the masses and an implicit "fall of Judeo-Christian America' subtext all at once! And a seriously big-ass spaceship! 

America loves spaceships, yo. Especially ones that can turn into HDTVs even bigger than the one Jerry Jones put in his new football temple in Dallas. Especially when what shows up on said bigass HDTVs is a hot brunette telling us "we want to be friends." Sounds good to me. I can always use some hot alien friends.

SEGUE: Suddenly, we're back to the humans. Two priests debate the nature of the visitors: one preaching blind faith, the other pointing out "Rattlesnakes are God's creatures, too." Or something like that. Don't quote me on the quote. I'm having trouble watching and typing at the same time.

SEGUE: Then, there's the blonde lady from LOST and it turns out she's not just a single mom with a troublesome kid, she's... sweet mercy, she's Jack Bauer with better (read: more) hair: some kind of single-parent antiterrorism expert.

SEGUE: And then, we're back to the visitors. The leader - the aforementioned hot brunette - is giving a press conference when the assorted ink-stained wretches and their on-screen offspring start barking mean questions at her. Wait! Here's Scott Wolf, who used to be on one of those sensitive shows about a family on some station I never watched! And he's a TV news dude! And he says to his colleagues: "Show some respect!" And then he turns to the V leader (let's just simplify and call her the Vleader from now on) and says, "Are all aliens hot?" Damn fine journalism, Scott Wolf. Well done.

SEGUE: We're back to anti-terrorism stuff, and now the blonde from LOST is working side-by-side with thatdude from Firefly (cue MamaPop writers: OMGJOSSWHEDONOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!) and they're tracking down something somehow terrorist related and, well, frankly I'm just waiting for someone to get eaten at this point. Tragically, all they find is a dead guy and a buttload of C-4.

SEGUE: Then there's this tall, really handsome black dude with some mysterious past trying to buy an engagement ring. We don't know what's going on with him, but I'm just hoping his scenes will be brief enough that my wife doesn't clue in to how much hotter than me his is. Honestly, I don't need the competition.

SEGUE: LOST blonde's fuckup son jumps into a little spaceship and flies up to the big spaceship. Apparently, this is happening concurrently with her crawling through catacombs trying not to get eaten by things unseen. Anyhow, up on the big spaceship another Visitor comes up to talk to the fuckup son and SWEET MERCY even my wife has to pipe up: "Wow, she's hot." Right you are, good wife. Right you are. Aliens = hotness. Even if/when it turns out to be rat-eating hotness, I'm still cool with it.

(which reminds me: a brief refresher on what passed for mind-blowing in 1983)

SEGUE: Now we're back to the wary priest, who's telling his flock not to jump on the bandwagon. What happens? He gets pushback from the older priest, who basically tells him that warning people about the Visitors is bad for business. "This church stood empty for years. Now look! It's full! Every day!" Or something. I dunno. Then the wheelchair dude who almost got crushed beneath the fake Jesus says, "Hey, priest dudes! They healed me!" And he stands up and does a little happy dance to show how happy he is that his new alien saviors changed his life. Take that, Judeo-Christian America!

SEGUE: LOST blonde has a heart-to-heart with her son. There are lots of closeups and people with hurt feelings. Fuck this: I want to watch hot aliens eating rats, not family drama.

SEGUE: boring subplots boring subplots boring subplots fake pseudo-24 crap boring subplots

SEGUE: Okay! We're back to action! A dying bloody guy shows up at the church and gives a VERY IMPORTANT SOMETHING to our young, handsome, doubting priest!

SEGUE: Suddenly, we've got paralleling scenes as we hurtle towards the finale. On the one hand, we've got the Vleader giving some bullshit smooth politician interview to Scott Wolf; on the other, we've got LOST blonde attending some sleeper cell thing that, it turns out, is a bunch of people banding together to fight the Vs — who, the cell leader proclaims, have stretched cloned human skin over their reptilian badass selves.

SEGUE: The Vleader offers universal health care to the entire planet. I'm sure no subtext was intended here.

SEGUE: Oh, shit! It turns out that the sleeper cell isn't the paranoid dudes whose meeting the LOST blonde is visiting... they're meeting about sleeper cells comprised of... Visitors! Who are here to destroy our way of life! They're... (cue rising, LOST-style music.).

SEGUE: Oh, shit! One of the other attendees is the handsome young priest! And then suddenly the Vs show up and kill almost everyone! And it turns out the super-handsome black dude is a V, too — only he's a good guy! And that guy from Firefly (cue MamaPop writers: OMG JOSS JOSS JOSS JOSS JOSS... dissolve into puddles of goo) is a V, only LOST blonde kills the fuck out of him.

SEGUE: Scott Wolf is tempted by the Vs to betray his humanity for good ratings. Insert your own conclusions about how easily mainstream media is manipulated by politicians.

SEGUE: LOST blonde's son puts on a nifty little blue V jacket, and becomes a V Ambassador.

Oh my god. Scientology. This whole thing is about Scientology.

AAAAAAAAAAAAND it's a wrap.

(So. That didn't suck at all. Agree? Disagree? By all means: discuss...)







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Comments

ndc

Watched it... not sure yet. I'll give it another week. Teenage Ambassador V dude was annoying the crap out of me; could have cast that better.

Gray Matter

Just like I always went on a second date when I was desperatelysearchingforahusband, I mean, dating I will give this another shot, but I had such high hopes for this to be great and I fear that I am going to end up hugely disappointed.
Much like most of those second dates.

Time will tell. On another note, glad to see that the botox has worn off from LOST woman's face. She CAN move her eyebrows. Yay!

Lori

Maybe my standards are low but I really liked it. Just the right mix of intrigue and aliens for me. Some of the casting I'm not 100% thrilled with (FBI lady's son I'm looking at you) but I'm in to watch and see where this goes.

Jett

We ate dinner in front of the television last night (this never happens), that's how excited I was. Maxim was all, 'What? WHAT??! A remake of 'V'?' then was excited as well.

I dug it. I've seen better things ravaged in worse fashion. The boys have now declared Tuesdays 'eat-in-front-of-the-teevee' night. We are nerdy with anticipation.

Also? "It's sociopolitical agitprop entertainment for the masses and an implicit 'fall of Judeo-Christian America' subtext all at once!" has to be one of the best sentences I've ever seen in a blog-while-watching post.

pee ess....we hooted over at least two separate healthcare reform jabs, I can't believe you didn't highlight them!

Snarky Amber

Definitely not the 11 out of 10 I was told to expect, but then again, I thought the pilot of Flash Forward was totally awesomepants and then the show just ended up sucking so much I nearly wept. I think this show has a lot more potential.

Also, "OMG OMG ALAN TUDYK OMG OMG WASH IS AN EVIL ALIEN *goo puddle*"

jen

There were AWESOME bits for sure, but is it just me or did it seem... rushed? Incomplete? Why cram THREE WEEKS into ONE HOUR? It seems to me that they really could have played it out a LOT more.

TwoBusy

@NDC: I think it's too early to rush to judgment. At this point, I feel that I was entertained, and that's good enough. If it builds some real depth and awesomeness beyond that, then we all win... if it gets boring or stupid, we let it die. Easy enough.

@Gray Matter: She appears to be a graduate of the Zooey Deschanel School of Limited Facial Expressions.

@Lori: Here's to low standards! *clinking glass*

@Jett: Exactly. It was fun, there were some undercurrents of sociopolitical whatthefuck going on, and hopefully we'll see some rat-eating sooner rather than later. If that doesn't constitute wholesome family fun, I don't know what does.

@Snarky Amber: Or, as my wife and I know him, "that naked dude from Death at a Funeral."

@Jen: Yeah, I'd agree with that. Honestly, I'm stunned they didn't launch with a full-on, 2hr movie event -- which I think would've fit the amount of material much more appropriately and given it (and the characters) a little more room to breathe.

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog)

So I'm watching it this afternoon, and I turn to my husband and am all, "Hold up. The chick from LOST is and FBI agent on some kind of apparently big case involving sleeper cells and terrorists and explosives, but she has time to come home and bust on her son? Because Jack Bauer doesn't even go to the bathroom when he's doing the same thing. Oh, and wait, in the end, she doesn't call it in? She sits on a cliff with a priest and talks about devotion? No."

This show needs to get better and fast. Of course, I am but one of 14 million people who watched, and so I probably have a very quiet voice.

(also, this is why my husband doesn't always like watching television with me...)

BaltimoreGal

I liked it fine. I still wish it was a miniseries instead of a TV show and I'm a little sad they aren't bringing the red & black MJ-themed pleather back but you can't have it all.
Two questions:
Is it my failed memory (I was only 10 when this came out) but I could have sworn they ate hamsters. Did I just invent that to cover my trauma?
Second, where is my lizard baby? I want my lizard baby birth.

TasterSpoon

I was disappointed as soon as my Tivo revealed that it was only to last one hour. Commence sad faces.

Then I got excited anyway, explaining the premise to my husband (who was not familiar) as the dishes and chandeliers rattled, and as the ships made an appearance, we both said "it's 'Independence Day.'" And then a kid on the show said, "It's 'Independence Day'!" And I was happy.

And then no one ate any guinea pigs and I was disappointed again.

But agree - too short, too much exposition in the first hour. They could have built up way more tension and suspense. I would've liked to not know the FBI partner and the black guy were aliens just yet. Also: can't stand it when next week's preview gives away all the surprises.

Not having seen Lost, I thought the female protagonist looked an awful lot like a blonde Trinity. Apparently they share a face for Sci Fi.

jodifur

I liked it, but I'm renaming it 24 w/ Aliens, b/c it was exactly the same show.

TwoBusy

@FADKOG: Yeah, I forgot to mention the "devotion" thing. Mostly because it was lame, and I felt embarrassed for them. Hopefully they'll try to go lame-free next week and beyond.

@BaltimoreGal: There's so much I love about that comment I don't even know where to begin.

@TasterSpoon: Yes! Independence Day... totally, although I guess that just goes to show how derivative (in some ways, at least) ID4 was from the original V. Whatever: let's hope for some hamster/rat/rodent-of-your-choice munching next week.

@jodifur: Bingo. Of course, 24 w/Aliens is a pretty badass premise in and of itself, so that's not a bad place to start.

funda62

Totally weird but in my memory they ate white rats. In the video linked above however it is a stinking big hamster. Hmm, is there more footage of the original out there. I remember laying in bed at night trying to figure out how they wouldn't have been eating real squiggly animals. Then during the day I played my Commodore 64 game and pretended to fight the V.

I had to use IMDB about a million times during this new pilot because SO many faces looked familiar. 2!! people from Firefly and hurray one actually lived through the entire pilot. LOL Teen angst boy didn't bother me too badly.




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