Thursday, November 5, 2009

Popular Culture, Somewhat Retro

I know you have all been waiting for me to weigh in on the most anticipated series premiere of the 09-10 season, especially those of you who do not watch baseball. Dutifully DVRed, we sat down to watch last night. Even my mother, who called ten minutes before the end, remembered well enough to immediately hang up when I informed her what she had interrupted.

I refer, obviously, to V - the best show from childhood and now, they hope, of my adulthood. Though I cannot imagine that I know anyone unfamiliar with the hyperawesomeness that was V, the short version is the aliens come, they are lizards, and they are not as nice as they seem. And if you think that shit doesn't scare children...

I, over the protestations of my parents who didn't think it was especially good television, adored the evil lizard high commandress, Diana. She was like the Joan Collins of lizard people, and you can only imagine how I adore Joan Collins. When they introduced the Linda Evans blond lizard chick, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Diana to eviscerate her.

New V has done a good job of casting high lizard commandress chick by using the hooker from Firefly, a show I never would have watched, were it not for devoted partner, and for which I am grateful. They have given her an extremely unfeminine haircut which, I assume is supposed to imply futurosity, but instead reminds me of Mia Farrow's abominably stupid haircut circa Rosemary's Baby which is fine, I guess for women who are shaped like boys, but Monica Baccarin has some funk in various trunks and just kinda looks bizarre with the short hair. Her evil, however, is excellently honed - she's got that lopsided grin of doom I so hope I have too.

So the good: Monica Baccarin, obviously. The lizard crossover dude has some potential (though Freddy Kruger he isn't), and the hot catholic priest might not suck.
The bad: there is a hokeyness factor I am uncomfortable with not least because this pilot has been hyped as the best pilot for any show in a decade. Now I know I am a jaded media whore, but I can think of several better pilots (including West Wing, Nip/Tuck, and sadly, Desperate Housewives, and that's just on the cable we all get). Because we live in a post 9/11 world and of course every piece of media we produce from now until the sun is destroyed will need to reference that, there's some of that bs thrown in for good measure. I don't like the actress who is the lead and imdb assures me I've never seen her in any of the other work she's done which is odd since I feel I didn't like her since before this show began. Her relationship with her kid proves, yet again, that people who write for TV cannot, to save their lives, write about teenagers with any kind of authenticity. Her general demeanor reminds me of every chick they've ever had on a CSI: annoying, braying, begging to be sexually compromised in a way that will make her reevaluate her loyalty to fighting crime...

Also, is it me, or are our attention spans dwindling to nothing? So much was packed into this first 42 minutes of show that I don't know how they will ever have enough material to outlast a first season. I had the same problem with the (legitimately awful) new 90210. In original 90210 it took a long time before people were having abortions and drug problems and killing people; new 90210 pretty much covered all of that in the first 5 episodes. I'm a fan of foreplay. I want my watchable television to be drawn out, teasing, with peaks and valleys of mental stimulation. If I wanted a quickie, I would watch MTV or any of the other shiny people networks.

So I'm going to keep watching. The nostalgia alone will hook me (see 90210), but there was a lot of hype over this one and I don't feel this introduction lived up to it. I would love to know what any other fans of original V thought.

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