Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

V (2009)

V (2009 ABC-TV series -- ongoing). Created by Kenneth Johnson.

V was originally a mini-series and then an ongoing series in the 80's. This is a remake/updating of that original show.

V stands for "visitor," a technologically-advanced alien race that has come to Earth ostensibly to share its knowledge with us and to help humanity. Actually, the visitors, who resemble lizards beneath their human outer shell, are here to take over the planet, but first lull everyone into a false sense of security by doing good works for humans. Not everyone is fooled, however. Working together as a fifth column to overthrow the visitors are a group of humans and aliens who have come to cherish human emotions and despise their own race and their plans for the earth. These include a police officer, Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell), who, ironically, has been assigned to hunt down the fifth columnists; Ryan (Morris Chestnut), the Visitor in drop-dead handsome African-American form who has fallen in love with and impregnated a human; Father Travis (Scott Hylands); and Hobbes (Kyle Mesure), a bearded double-agent who seems to have no true allegiance to anyone. A reporter named Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) sits somewhere on the fence. Ryan's girlfriend Valerie (Lourdes Benedicto) has just given birth to a hybrid baby carried off by the visitors, and Erica's son Tyler (Logan Huffman) has fallen for an alien beauty named Lisa (Laura Vandevoort).

Lisa has developed human emotions, in sharp contrast to her mother, Anna (Morena Baccarin), who is the ruthless leader of the Visitors. Anna mates with a hunky visitor to create soldier aliens, and then devours the guy with her big, needle-like teeth [only seen when she transforms to her true self]. To further her own ends, she has some of her followers break her daughter's legs. What makes it all the more chilling is that Morena Baccarin, who is perfectly cast, is such a pretty, sweet-looking woman -- with a Cheshire cat grin. The actors are all quite good, but Baccarin's portrayal is the glue that holds it all together.

V hasn't quite become "must-see" television -- it certainly isn't as good as the 60's show The Invaders -- but it is an entertaining, suspenseful program with a lot of potential. It has been renewed for a second season and will be back in the fall of 2010. It should be relatively easy for new viewers to get in step with what's going on.

Verdict: Never trust a lizard. ***.

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