The Corner

V Stands for Vawful With a Silent V

For reasons I could not possibly articulate, I’m sticking with ABC’s remake of V like it’s Bob Dole and I’m the ‘96 GOP. It’s hard to watch and you know it’s going to end badly, but what’re ya gonna do?

Spoilers ahead.

My chief complaint is that this should be the easiest TV series in the world to write, and yet it’s as if there’s an institutional hostility to plausible motivation and plot. Let’s start with Anna’s mom, introduced last week. 

Let me get this straight: the one-time queen we’ve just learned has been secretly held prisoner in the swamp-basement on the mother ship, was dispatched to Earth many years ago to do undercover work and intelligence gathering? Really? That’s even worse than sending Captain Kirk on away missions. He was just the captain of one ship. This is the Queen of the entire lizard race and she was working like one of the kids from 21 Jump Street in 1990s New York? And we’re afraid the humans are going to lose to these morons?

Moreover, the mom (played by the chick from the original series) apparently hates her daughter for betraying her, seizing power and locking her away in what appears to be the University of Florida’s Chi Phi fraternity’s common room. Fair enough. But then why is she constantly warning Anna that Anna’s own daughter (basement mom’s granddaughter) will betray her? Why tip her off?

Then there’s this soul-studying plotline that kicked into high gear last night. Apparently the V need to gather even more humans to study, because the locked-up-grandma says the secret to the human resistance is the soul. More on that in a moment. 

But first, are we really to believe that  an alien race with vastly superior technology needs to rely on one dude with a panel van trolling for runaways to serve as research subjects? Really? And their plan is to collect “hundreds of thousands” of them this way? And it needs to be done  in mid-town Manhattan? No offense to the Third World, but if I was a race of super smart geckos trying to collect human test subjects, I might — just might! — look someplace other than the media capital of the world.

And then there’s this soul thing. I like — really like — the idea that the soul is making a comeback. But to listen to the salamanders, they’d never heard of it until last week and they have no idea that there’s at least an open debate about its existence, whereabouts, nature etc.

This would be fine, except for the fact that they’ve spent decades collecting intelligence on humanity. They’ve mastered all of our languages. They’ve insinuated themselves throughout world governments. They even know that the first thing to promise us when they land is universal healthcare. But souls? Never heard of them. So rather than spend five minutes on Wikipedia, the iguanas are going straight to a risky, inefficient, implausible plan to mine every 7-11 parking lot and back alley in the New York metropolitan area for skeeves and going-nowhere-fast guitar players to use as pinatas with a special prize inside called the soul.

And why hasn’t the FBI agent from Lost (I’m too busy to look up names) told her son about the V’s true intentions yet? The only reason the kid is a V sympathizer is that his girlfriend (Anna’s daughter) is, well, exactly the sort of crazy hot alien every teenage boy hopes to be captured by. But the girlfriend is now on our side. So why keep it all a secret? The kid is obviously dumber than a box of rocks, but come on.

I could go on, but as I’m probably one of the only people around here who watches the show and clearly the only one who takes it remotely seriously, I should probably stop.


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