Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Has ABC's V Jumped the Shark?

This commentary is a little more than a review.  It contains spoilers, but nothing much beyond what has already been aired.

Who doesn't love a good fascist-alien-take-over-the-world story?  I can't resist them.  I enjoyed the original V miniseries, and I have fun watching the current reboot.  Well, mostly - that is.  It has its moments.  But more and more, it seems to be having more irritating moments.

What works?  It's fun watching the resistance build up; watching the Fifth Column get Anna's goat.  Don't you just love watching her get worked up, but not really - because she's not supposed to have any emotions?  We are looking at the promise of the biggest catfight since Janeway and the Borg Queen.  What will Erica Evans do to get her son back?  And what will Anna do when she learns that Erica is the leader of the Fifth Column?  Or the one who destroyed her precious eggs?  Or the one who orchestrated the attempted assassination of her?  I can't wait to see how this is resolved.  Meow!

Then again, if it's anything like waiting for Lex Luther to kill his father in Smallville, then I'll be sorely disappointed.  If that's what the V writers are planning then it'll play out something like this:

Marcus: I have learned who is the leader of the Fifth Column.

Anna: Who is it?

Marcus: It's the same person who destroyed all your eggs and yet avoided all our onboard cameras.

Anna: Well you tell me who it is?

Marcus: This person also tried to kill you and shot me instead.

Anna: I'm trying not to show emotions here!

Marcus: It's Erica Evans.

Anna: Ooh, that <bleep>!  I'm going to get her.

Marcus: She planted a bomb on this ship.

Anna: Oh oh!


We'll see what happens, but I'm not holding out too much hope, as the list of things that don't work is getting larger:

Erica Evans is leader of the Fifth Column after winning over captains from all around the world by simply discovering the V's ultimate plans.

The V's spend all season long looking for Hobbes, and in one crucial moment, they simply stop him on the side of the road and say, "Push this button if you ever want to see your girlfriend again."  If he's now so easy to find, then why isn't the Fifth Column dead?  And are they planning on going anywhere with this little distraction?

Did I already mention that so much goes on inside the V ship while avoiding all the onboard cameras?

Anna really doesn't know that Erica is her ultimate enemy?  Boy, is she stupid - stupider than all of Clark Kent's friends.

Erica and Hobbes?  Sex?  Umm - where did that come from?  There was one hint of putting them together in the prior episode where they glanced at each other just before the safe bomb went off.  And then BAM!  Sorry, but it reeks of an ABC executive saying, "We need more sex."  What it isn't is good writing and good character development.  Come on writers, save the drama for the upcoming catfight!

Why can't Diana go up that little elevator of hers?  It seems that everyone else and their dog can go down it!

Where is Marc Singer?  I heard he was supposed to be in one of these episodes.

Who didn't know that Rafael was going to start foaming at the mouth after Tyler punched him?

V's have no emotions?  But they learn them from the humans?  It really comes from wearing the skin?  And taking off the skin really kills them?  Maybe the soul is in the skin.  Hey, I figured out the big secret before Joshua did!

And the worst thing of all: no online streaming!  In this day and age, this is one surefire way to kill off a show.  Warner Brothers (don't blame ABC - it's not their fault) hopes that the popularity of V and the lack of online streaming will force us to watch it live and boost the ratings.  Well, it's not working, and I fear it's having the opposite effect.  This show is on the quick path to cancellation.

I can tell you what's really happening, though.  Warner Brothers is missing out on valuable cash flow.  If they would only let their shows stream on Hulu, abc.com, Netflix, iTunes, etc. like everyone else in the 21st century, then they would get money from the advertising or from the fees to watch.  Nowadays, it's ever so easy to find a not quite so reputable yet legal website that will stream any show for you for free and with no commercials!  After all, if an avid V fan misses an episode due to a snowstorm or a faulty DVR that accidentally records a Walking Dead rerun instead, what other choice does that fan have to watch the episode he missed?

To Warner Brothers, I say: get with the times.  Do away with your old fashioned ideas that shoot you in the foot.  Instead of resorting to your greedy attempts to artificially boost ratings, why don't you just give us a good show to watch?  Why don't you let your shows breathe on their own?  Why don't you listen to your fans and give them what they want?

Oh well, V.  It was fun while it lasted.  There are two more episodes left, and I would love to see a third season.  If I get to see Marc Singer before you go off into the canceled abyss, it will have all been worth it!

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