Sunday, October 11, 2009
Somehow I missed this until I saw a TV commercial in a pub the other day. As an adolescent in the 80s, I was a huge fan of V, to the point where when I was 11, I was going around telling people I actually was one of them. Which worked up until someone checked by trying to pull my "fake" skin off. Bad times.
Where the old show seemed to start out largely as an allegory of the Nazi takeover of Germany, the new one seems to play off the fears of Americans on both ends of the political spectrum: liberals will nod at journalists selling out to retain access to important figures on one hand. Liberals will fail to notice (or be displeased) that the aliens chose to arrive during the Obama administration, using terms like "hope" and "health care". And ABC execs selling advertising by using themes that resonate with hypersensitized viewers couldn't be more pleased by both. One wonders what afiliates' news anchors will think of these themes.
The big story for me is the alien leader. I confess: as a young boy I was in love with Diana. Madly, unhealthily, Shakespeareanly. (What chance did I have against her? In the clip I just linked to, she shoots a priest and then, after telling him that vulnerability is precious because it can be used, she shoots his Bible.) She remains the only celebrity to whom I have ever written a fan letter. At 11, she was the first female I imprinted on, and to this day if you're a cold-blooded brunette in leather boots, I'm yours. I'm being serious, she really ruined me for all time. (I never fixated on the hamster-eating fortunately.) Here we see her hard at work in the office. If "I'll break her...she's going to be my masterpiece" doesn't win your heart, then nothing will. (See what she did to me? Ruined.)
All this is to say that not only was I suspicious that the new V could turn out to be a well-done remake, considering how long it's been in development hell, I also didn't believe for a second that they could get somebody that would even remotely measure up to Jane Badler's Diana, the diabolical lizard-queen ideal of womanhood to which all other unfortunate females are compared, deep in my twisted id.
But they did.
They got the one actress who might actually be even hotter (and more evil = same thing) than Jane Badler.
They got Morena Baccarin.
This blog is intended to be a place of hard-science speculations, and the occasional discussion of science fiction, not Ask Men for nerds. But in this one case I think an exception is more than warranted.
But enough about that. Besides this obvious perfect casting choice, the reviews of the pilot have been extremely positive. The time in development hell was supposedly worth it; we'll see next month.
One positive: the journalist character is actually portrayed as a human being with an ethical conflict tempted by power and career considerations, rather than an agenda-driven ideologue-comic-book robo-villain. I think the casting for that role was influenced by the actor's uncanny similarity to Michael J. Fox (feeds into 80s nostalgia).
In any event, I will watch the new V. I promise to refrain from future reptile-girl hyperbole.