V is for Visitor

As I’ve been forced to endure disappointing seasons of Lost, NCIS, and Heroes, I’ve welcomed the addition of the new original show, Glee. Let me now begin to squee on a new TV show that premiered last week.  It’s a new take on an old series, called simply V.  If anyone remembers the original (and this TV junkie barely did), it’s a story of aliens coming to Earth and offering peace immediately.  They want to be our friends and they look just like us.  Of course, they really weren’t.  They were a lizard people who were intent on eating us and draining our resources.  It had Beastmaster‘s Marc Singer as the main rebel to fight against them.  And the mini-series went into a TV series and then died. I’ve been catching up on reruns on SciFy, and sadly it’s a show that has not held well over time.  It’s dated and cheesy and melodramatic.  But it’s good fun to watch on a rainy day.  But I want more from my primetime lineup.

And so I got it.  The premier started off with a bang, giving us the smallest hint of an average day in the lives of the main characters only to segway into the arrival of the mother ships which turned their worlds upside down.  I think it was a very effective introduction and ABC was very smart to release the first 8 minutes online for the world to see.  I was hooked even before the show started and now I’m quite excited for the next episode.  So far, I like it enough to even go beyond the call of duty and make a character synopsis.  Yes, I’m that much of a fangirl on this.  Hopefully it’s a welcome change from my normal bitching of the letdowns that Survivor and Heroes have brought.

"Visitors are friends who drop by for a drink"

Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell)-I don’t know if Erica is meant to be the lead character but given how much screentime she got in the pilot, I’m guessing she is.  I was upset to find out EM was leaving Lost and hated the way she was “killed off” last May.  I know Juliet wasn’t everyone’s favorite or even somebody they necessarily liked.  But I liked Juliet.  Seeing her with Sawyer, I actually began to love her more and more (as I grew to hate Kate more and more, but that’s another topic).  Knowing she would be on this show, I had reservations but ultimately I could support her because Lost would only be on for one more season.  So far, in her role as Erica, she’s not that much different from Juliet.  She is a mother of a teenaged son whose husband walked out on her, but she’s married to her job (in this case, a FBI agent) just as Juliet is.  I think the reason I like her so much, is because for her, the arrival of the aliens didn’t alter life that much.  She only seemed to care about the Vs, because her son is obsessed with them, making her nervous and worried as any mother would be.  Since her son seems to put most of the blame of the divorce on her, it estranges them more.  She’s still trying to juggle being a single parent while overseeing an intense investigation into a local terrorist cell so the last thing she needs is to get sucked into the world of international mayhem by finding out the visitors have arrived with murderous and seedy intentions.

Tyler Evans (Logan Huffman)-I tend to get annoyed with teenaged characters lately.  But Tyler passes the grade with me, though it might just be because he’s so pretty.  That said, he is still obviously a pain.  Sneaking out in the middle of the night and reminding his mom that Dad left her.  Of course, it’s tough for any kid who’s mom puts her job first, and having a FBI mom, I imagine it makes that ten times more intense.  Before the visitors, his best friend is someone who I can’t stand and refuse to name him here.  I really hope he gets eaten, killed, or vanished  fairly soon as he annoys me to a great degree.  Maybe that’s the point, for us to root for Tyler to really fall in with the alien crowd, since he’s got such a crush on one of them.  He forged his mom’s signature so he can become an “ambassador” on the same night his mom realized her partner was an alien and tried to kill her.  This will no doubt result in the biggest grounding in human history, or wind up causing a larger split between mom and son.

"Just be sure not to ask anything that would paint us in a negative light."

Ana (Morena Baccarin)-I must thank my pal, Slynn, for pointing out Ana is played by Firefly’s Inara.  I knew she looked familiar but was more fixed on how perfect she was for the role.  We don’t know that much of Ana yet, but she’s clearly not on the up and up.  What I really like about her, is she seems to get human behavior, which helped her zone in on how to pick the right reporter for their all important Telecast.  When she made it clear to Chad that if he didn’t go by their rules, the implication felt darker than simply the interview would be off.  Remembering her as Inara on Firefly, I was always underwhelmed by her character unless she was simply doing comedy.  Now I’m enjoying the actresses’ darker side and am chilled to the bone when she comes on screen (so far).

"Is there such a thing as an ugly visitor?"

Chad Decker (Scott Wolf): It’s Bailey!  And he’s all grown up!  Ok, technically Bailey grew up on Party of Five but I never bought him running the restaurant.  But I can buy him as a swarmy news anchor looking to move up the media ladder.  Before the visitors he wasn’t making much headway, but after winning Ana over with his sarcastic charm, he got the interview of the century.  Of course, when given the chance to take the moral high road and walk away or give in to further his career, he chose the latter.  At this time we don’t know if he is so devoid of human conscience that he will simply shrug it away or he will try to tell himself that the supposed gifts the are giving to his world will make up for the blind eye.  I can bet though, since he is the media and TV reporter, he will be the last to realize that the aliens are not really what they say they are.

"Rattlesnakes are God's creatures, too. Doesn't mean they're good for us."

Father Jack (Joel Gretsch)-I was wary of the token christian character.  Hollywood always does a poor job and I end up getting so irritated (see Studio 60).  However, I was pleasantly surprised by Jack’s immediate questioning of the aliens arrivals and everyone’s acceptance.  I do believe in case of such an event, the empty churches would suddenly get filled up as the scared masses try to look to a higher power to explain everything.  The elder priest wants to see their return as a miracle on itself.  Jack, however, wants to use the pulpit to preach against mass devotion to a strange new power.  He’s got some great lines in this episode, including that the world being in a bad state will see the alien arrival as the coming of a new savior, and that idea scares him to death, even before finding out what these beings truly are. I wonder if the show is going to try to pair him with Erica and I’m not against that, but right now the focus needs to be on how to start a revolution with a priest and a FBI agent.  It’s gonna take some time.

"There is hope"

Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut)-Holy cow!  This was the one character who had a twist I didn’t see coming.  While I enjoyed seeing Firefly’s Wash (now playing Dale) on screen, I knew he was being setup to be revealed as a bad guy.  I figured he would be “the mole” in the FBI department.  What I didn’t see coming, was that he and Ryan would be of the same species. Unlike the past series, the show threw in a twist where the aliens have been living among us for years, blending in.  What  a wonderful idea!  It creates paranoia in our own population since now, you can’t even trust the people you’ve known for years. Then you go and take one alien named Ryan, and allow him to technically “defect” to the human side while engaged to one of us who isn’t aware she’s engaged to an alien!  That’s just awesomeness IMO.  He’s a good guy now, I’m sure.  But I bet we’re gonna find out he hasn’t always been such and his choices in the past will wind up haunting him.

So all in all, a solid premier episode.  The ratings were really high too, though I expect that to fall some. I’m worried because being a curse for any TV show, whichever character I get attached especially too, will wind up kicking the bucket in some horrible and non enjoyable way.  I also want to make a vow I shall not ship anyone on this show! It’s not about romances and I’m gonna squash any thrill I get from whatever chemistry winds up wrapping certain pairings!

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2 thoughts on “V is for Visitor

  1. All quite right, though I would say that Scott Wolf’s character does already suspect there’s more to the aliens than meets the eye. It’s just that right now he’s willing to overlook that to further his goal of becoming a big shot reporter, but I’m betting that he won’t stay that way for long. He’s already not happy about it and I’m guessing he’ll unite with the Fed and the Father (which is what I will now call them thank you very much) down the line.

    LOVED Ryan, very intrigued by him and I can’t wait to find out more about his past. The twist of having the V’s already disguised here on earth is great. The President could be a V. Actors, athletes, tycoons…it’ll be fun to watch that play out and see various reveals down the line.

    Very solid first episode and I’m already excited for more. So happy to have a few new shows that thrill me this year, this one, Glee, Modern Family and Community are all made of win for me. 4 new shows is unprecedented lately!

  2. Firefly’s Inara, Stargate SG-1’s Adria and now V’s Ana. Wasn’t Joel Gretsch in something similar just few years ago? 4400? I remember watching when it started but lost interested and now I can’t even remember what that show was really about.

    Maybe I’ll wait a while and try watching when I don’t have to stop and wait for the next episode. And hope that the curse is broken.

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