Thanks to either Virgin Media or Warner Bros, I am forced to watch V in Standard Definition. I am disappoint. On the plus side, it makes Scott Wolf’s strangely smooth skin seem less creepy.
And speaking of strange faces, I find it humorous that the one person in V who’s least likely to be an alien-reptile is the one who looks most like a lizard (Elizabeth Mitchell).
It’s also worth a mention that, while in ER, Mitchell, now in an alien show, had a womance with Laura Innes, currently playing Sophia, an alien in The Event. It’s also worth a mention that that previous line shows I have no understanding of sentence construction. The Mitchell/Innes connection should not be worth mentioning, as it’s pointless, and frankly, a bit disgusting. Mitchell might look like a lizard, but a sexy lizard. While Innes doesn’t look like anything sexy.
And speaking of Laura Innes, apparently her ER character’s name was Kerry Weaver, and not Carrie. My apologies.
There’s a priest who is undoubtedly going to play a major role, at least in this episode. Sadly, his name is Father Jack, so I imagine him as an alcoholic Irish priest and any presence he had is now ruined.
Is that the head teacher from Buffy? As soon as the name Morris Chestnut appears in the credits, I know I am correct. As always. For I am the TV god.
My net connection goes down briefly. Lacking distraction, I am forced to give V my full attention. These kind of things should never happen in 2011. I am reminded of the days of a broken laptop and a network adaptor, which had to be so gently placed into a USB port that even a twitch could make it fall out.
Anyway, back to the show itself. It’s off to a quick start. A vibration throughout the city steadily increases to a rumble. Aliens are here, yo, and the show’s only minutes old. The rumbling increases to a quake. Father Jack (lol) is in church with a man in a wheelchair. On a cross, Jesus can’t take it any more and tries to kill the disabled man, throwing himself down from a balcony. Father Jack (lol again) moves quick and saves the man.
Three minutes in and it’s already dramatic. A badly CGIed plane crashes in a city street. It’s okay, the pilot parachuted out to safety. No, he’s already dead. Shit.
The tense tones playing over this entire segment are already grating.
Scott Wolf stars as the brilliantly named Chad Decker. Our old pal Chad is a newsman. He deals with a girl with specs on. With the success of Tina Fey in 30 Rock, are more shows going to include speccy chicks?
Erica is an FBI agent. She’s moaning at her son on the phone. He’s a scamp. His name is Tyler and I already know he’s going to be annoying, whether his character is or not.
Elizabeth Mitchell/Juliet/Erica is now Street Hawk. She gets on her bike like a biking lizard and she’s off to pick up Tyler.
The ship is now right over the city. It’s enormous and shiny. It’s better than the one I created in Lightwave when I was at uni in 2001.
By the time Street Hawk reaches her destination, the Army are already there, stopping her getting in and being soldiers and that. The Army man is distracted by a nearby scuffle, and Erica ducks under the barrier. I’m sure I saw that happen in something else recently. My memory has failed me. I am undone.
I’m still laughing at how ridiculously cheesy the name Chad Decker is.
There’s a horrible moment when we see a news vox-pop about the aliens. Two filthy teens talk. One says that this is “the real Independence Day”. His friend points out that ID was a rip-off of various other alien films. It’s an ugly, Scream-esque meta moment, and cuts hard into my suspension of belief.
The face of Morena Baccarin (who hasn’t yet replied to my Tweet tonight) is displayed on the bottom of the ship, big as your arse. She’s never looked as good as she did in Firefly and Serenity, but she’ll do for something to look at. We cut between ships all over the globe as they simulcast her coupon. There’s a cool-looking shot of one over the Egyptian pyramids. Which, to be honest, isn’t the busiest place. We don’t know how many ships there are, but surely there’s more populated areas where this display would be better utilised. In case I forget to mention it later, her character’s name is Anna. It might be Ana, which sounds more alien. But presumably she’s trying to fit in. Otherwise she’s be called 11111.
Father Jack and another priest (who definitely isn’t an alien, okay) find that their congregation numbers have increased hugely since the aliens appeared. Just like people isn’t it? They go running to god for help with something that wasn’t even mentioned in his bloody book.
Another Firefly person is in V. Hooray for Alan Tudyk. If there’s not a flashback moment where he has a moustache, I will be sorely disappointed.
Scott Wolf is shiny and cheesy, yet watchable. He certainly suits the name Chad Decker.
Allow me to combine fictional universes. Baccarin played a hoe in Firefly. If she’s the leader of this alien race, are they all hoes too? If they are, who do they hoe to? Who is the John? Do they hoe to each other, each taking a turn at paying, then switching roles? Or do they hoe to other races? Is that why they’re here, to turn tricks for humans, being repaid in Earthly goods?
Back with human matters, Erica is on the hunt of a terrorist. She finds a man tied-up and gagged. Given the two Firefly cast members in this show, I briefly consider that this man might be Nathan Fillion. But life just isn’t that kind, is it?
We’re back to Morris Chestnut now. I don’t know his character’s name. I may resort to Mo-Chest or Mo-Nut for convenience. You watch me, I’ll do it. He’s got a dodgy past. A man from it phones him. He’s not happy. Incidentally, when someone on TV asks “How did you get this number?”, they never get a straightforward answer.
A young alien girl constantly smiles and flirts with Tyler, in slow-motion no less. She tells Tyler about the “Peace Ambassador Program”. My ears prick up as I mishear it as the “Peace & Bastard Program”. I feel really let down when I find out the truth.
The priests discussing the aliens might be an ugly allegory for religion. I hope it doesn’t go much further because it’s pretty heavy-handed. Example lines:
“Don’t they have to earn our trust?”
“Under the right conditions, and with enough time, gratitude can become worship. Or worse, devotion”
Mo-Chest’s woman knows something is wrong with him. He tells her “it’s nothing”. Undoubtedly he has had his fair share of broads over the years. Not a single woman on Earth (or in the sky) would accept “it’s nothing”. This show is unrealistic now.
Erica and Tudyk find a phone that was presumably left behind by a terrorist. It contains the most revealing text of all time. It gives date, location, and the point of a meeting. Handy. And bad writing. After picking up a mobile phone, the two discuss a ‘cell’ (as in sleeper cell). I bet someone somewhere thought they meant the phone, and got really confused.
25 minutes in, I’m getting bored.
This ship’s interior looks very much like a TV studio. Which is handy, seeing as CHAD DECKER is there to interview Anna.
Shortly before the interview begins to air live, Anna says that she doesn’t want to be asked any questions that would portray the visitors negatively. CHAD replies that he’s a journalist, the choice of questions are his. Anna points out that this interview, and possibly more, would help Decker’s career. I figure that a lot of interviewers would’ve agreed, then, soon as the camera’s start rolling, got stuck in anyway. But Chad, despite with rock-hard name, caves like a tiny little girl. Spider Jerusalem would never have stood for this. His career would’ve taken off if he was cheeky to Anna and she boiled his face off with a face-boiling-laser-gun.
Erica gets into the sleeper cell meeting by the process of walking through the door. It’s like a rubbish Fight Club. And it’s not what she thought. This is a meeting of people convinced that there are alien sleeper cells across at least the US, if not the world. You dumb-ass Anna.
A leader-type tells the crowd that they will all be checked to ensure they’re not aliens. Which means checking for skull. The visitors are lizards you see, wrapped in human-looking flesh. I assume David Icke was watching when the original aired.
A woman pulls out a big-ass needle. The leader reassures them all that it’s okay, she’s a doctor. It’s a secret meeting, and the only thing that suggests that this woman is an actual doctor is that she looks like she knows how to handle a needle. I’d be asking for some credentials.
Again, you have to respect the pacing of V, they’re managing to cram a lot in. I imagine that they’ll try and flesh out the characters later. I hope so anyway.
A little ball appears. Yep, you heard me, a little ball. It’s spying for the visitors, who then turn up and fight with the humans. A little ball is not dramatic. Drama needs size. An episode of Alias springs to mind. They tried to make an action scene involving a toy helicopter seem tense and dangeorous. Does not work.
The aliens are kicking some ass. I figure that Tudyk might be in trouble. Whoa, not that kind of trouble. Turns out he’s one of the alien sleepers. I always suspected him, even in Serenity and and Dodgeball.
Someone is called Georgie, and Pennywise’s voice goes through my brain. I shiver.
Mo-Nut’s girlfriend is some weird Janet Jackson/Halle Berry hybrid. If anyone’s an alien, it’s her.
Tyler’s squinty mouth annoys me. And that all he does is smile at the alien girl. They could just use the same shot again and again,
More clumsy dialogue. Erica mentions the visitors using a very potent weapon. She stops abruptly, so she can be quizzed on what this is. And you know it’s going to be something profound. I’ll paraphrase:
“What is it Erica, jesus christ, what’s the goddam weapon?”
Boom, hammy finish, fade to black.