Wednesday, November 04, 2009

When A Remake Already Seems as Tired as the 30 Year Old Original...

The rebooted V premiered last night to, frankly, astounding numbers. 14.3 million viewers, and a 5.2 rating in the demo were certainly beyond what anyone was expecting. Even ABC had not dared to dream that big. The marketing campaign was certainly huge, I haven't been able to read a magazine in the past month without ads on every few pages. There have even been multiple V adds on any given single website in the past week. The marketing was massive, and it brought out a lot of viewers.

I was looking forward to V, remembering the terrifying nature of the first mini-series as a kid. Muse had never seen the original and so had few preconceived notions but was willing to go along for the ride. Sadly, after an hour of the program, we both arrived at the same conclusion: boring, cliche, and tired. Oh so tired. There is nothing in this show that hasn't been done before. And no, I'm not referencing the original. I mean that there is not one idea in this new V that hasn't been done a thousand times in the past 30 years. It came across as if the writers are expecting people to enjoy it simply because it's a remake, and apparently therefore, does not need anything original.

We have pretty spaceships hovering over cities, terrorist cells that are really just Visitors planning our downfall, whiny way-too-pretty boy kids rebelling against their parents, aliens seeming oh-so-nice just to soften us up before they eat us, etc. Oh, and the priest is already making eyes at the FBI agent like he's ready to renounce his vows after knowing her for all of a half an hour. And the "best" bad line of the night goes to Scott Wolf who gets to ask Anna, the leader of the Visitors, "Are there any ugly Visitors? You're all so beautiful." Ack! I think I just lost my dinner. I get the meaning, but it was about as well executed as a George Lucas line.

Then add on that the whole hour seemed so rushed. I was astounded at how much they gave away already. So many devices that should have come into play later, and they're already revealed. Then of course, there is the closing "season preview" which totally destroyed any sense of mystery or suspense.

The rumors are that this show has been beset with production problems from the start. There are only four episodes ready to launch (there were unknown factors that shut filming down at least twice) and ABC has already announced that after those four, the show will be on hiatus for at least 4 months.

The show might maintain an audience, but sadly I expect to see a huge drop in the coming weeks. I'm as avid a sci-fi watcher as you can find, and even I have no excitement left in me to watch this show. Will I? For the time being, the recorded version so we can get through it faster without commercials. But this rebooting of V seems to be so much like the visitors. Something ugly and not at all good hiding just beneath a pretty exterior.

I'm curious if any of our readers/posters watched the premier and if so, what your thoughts were.


"Nick" said...

I didn't watch it because I was with Nomad and CRChair until about 8pm, didn't get home till 8:15.

I was planning on streaming it over Hulu, but based on a few reviews, including this one, I am not as gung-ho as I was.

If I get time, I may still watch it.

Nomad said...

Even though I am almost as big a sci fi geek as Ward, I was never drawn to the original and thus I pretty much found the advertising for the remake to be condescending. After this review, there is pretty much no chance that I'd ever bother to stream it from Hulu or NetFlix or pick it up on DVD/BluRay.

Sam said...

I LOVED the original. It completely terrified me but I loved it. Watching it again as an adult last weekend on the SciFi channel I appreciate it even more.

This new reboot was a bit bland. No suspense, the irritating "rebellious" teeny boppers (grow up already), wasn't sure how I felt about the priest. Then again I'm not really in the demographic they're after am I? All that aside the special affects were nice and I got a bit of a Firefly fix seeing Tudyk and Baccarin. It's up against NCIS so I'll be DVRing it and skipping the endless ABC self promotion.

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