Third-episode verdict: V

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 3

In the US: Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC
In the UK: SyFy, 2010

Time for one of these third-episode verdict things on V, ABC’s remake of the 1980s mini-series/series.

I’ve not really much further to report since the first episode, other than the fact I’m getting déjà vu – although not for the reason you might think.

Now you might be thinking I’m getting déjà vu because of the original series, and certainly episode two was a total retread of the original show. But, really, I’m oddly put in mind of ABC’s other new ensemble sci-fi drama, FlashForward – some not very interesting people have not desperately interesting but quite silly sci-fi adventures. Rings a bell, doesn’t it?

The other way in which déjà vu is rearing its ugly head with regards to FlashFoward and V is the promise of a season arc and a mystery, which over time, will turn out not to be as exciting as promised. It happened with FlashForward, it’s happening with V and I’m not being lured in with this one either.

Probably the biggest problem with the show* is that the show’s creators are far more interested in the aliens than the humans, whether they’re Vs or fifth columnists.

I don’t know about you, but frankly, I want the aliens to win. I want them to take over. They’re obviously a whole lot more interesting, vibrant, dynamic, and clever than us, and one of them’s Laura Vandervoort. We’ve only got Elizabeth Mitchell going for us – a big asset admittedly – and her character sucks.

So on the whole, I’d say don’t bother watching this. It’s a little subtler than the original, but lacks that show’s charisma (wot no hamster-eating?) and doesn’t add anything to the mix, beyond pointing out that the arrival of aliens might test the world’s religions. Like, duh!

Carusometer rating: 3
Rob’s prediction: Doing well right now, but the ratings are being leeched away and there’s an odd gap after the fourth episode until March 2010, when the remaining episodes will be shown. Probably it’ll last until the end of the season at least, maybe go to a second season, but it doesn’t really deserve to.

* other than the fact it’s a remake so holds no real mystery and it frequently has quite stupid things happen when it’s trying to be smart**
** witness the predictable undercover assassin, predictable undercover fifth columnist and predictable turning of the resistance leaderette in episode three

Author

  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.