You’ve probably seen advertising for the ABC show “V” this month. You might have even watched it. I noticed that a number of my friends are becoming “fans” of it on Facebook, tweeting about how much they’re enjoying it, or talking about it. It’s right in line with my interests as a retired X-Phile – aliens, mass conspiracy, science fiction, and tons of actors from other beloved sci fi shows.
But I just don’t like the show at all. And this is why.
1. The characters are one dimensional. I know it’s only 2 episodes in, but SOME characters should have a little more dimension besides shallow, top layer descriptions (she’s divorced, she’s sad, he’s a lizardman, etc). All I really know is that the main character is a hardened female cop (who isn’t nowadays?), her son is horribly impressionable, secret lizard guy is tortured by his secret lizardness, and the aliens are *gasp* not coming in peace. The aliens are not menacing at all. With their attractive, peaecful exteriors, they should be now be showing a deeper, scary, psychological terror to present the viewer with the fact that this is indeed a BAD THING. But they come off as somewhat of a caricature of shapeshifters. All artificial, predictable, and somewhat cliche characters. And also kind of dumb. Like when lizard man’s notfiance finds a picture disturbed with a note, she seems not at all worried about someone being in her house? Did I miss something or did she really just not care that much?
2. The story is clunky, predictable, and forced. The storytelling lacks elegance. The pacing is all wrong. In the first 10 minutes of the show, you have tons of story dumped on you and then scraped off. There was far too much packed into the first episode. The “big reveal” or plot twist happens at the end of the pilot episode, but by then the viewer hasn’t met the characters long enough or been in their world long enough to care what happens to any of them. The bit with the main character’s partner should have taken longer to occur. The businesslizardman’s secret should have been a 3rd, 4th, or even 5th episode revelation, so you get the FULL impact of what this means for all the characters involved.
3. The B stories are unrealistic and contrived, even for scifi. The reporter selling out to get the scoop and be globally hailed, then quickly backpeddling? That’ll be that character’s journey for the next 10 episodes – trying to decide between one boring moral issue or the other. The son going off and joining an alien cult and getting home without his mom ever knowing, when she’s digging up all kinds of hidden junk here and there? Right. Oh, but there’s a pretty alien he wants to hook up with! Of course there is.
4. The main characters have no chemistry. I was so glad when the main character’s partner took a turn. Their sexual chemistry was awkward and ridiculous. And I love both of those actors dearly. It was just BAD. The mother and son don’t seem related. It’s like watching a high school play where the son is played by one kid and the mother is played by another kid.
5. The editing kind of sucks. I cringed at several cuts seeming “off” to me (BEFORE I had passed judgment that I thought the show was bad). In the shows I love, I never see bad cuts. OK, maybe like once a season.
In the words of Peter Griffin, it “insists upon itself”.