But first: I had great plans for the Autumn Detritus series, but life got in the way – actually, my certification exam and my latest accident got in the way. So the next installment of Autumn Detritus will be the last, then blog will go back to general randomness.
Warning # 1: By reading this, you might die of chronic boredom.
Warning # 2: It will be infested with spoilers.
Warning # 3: My stupid opinions are just that – stupid opinions. If at any point they seem patronizing, then… what? They are stupid opinions. Just ignore them and move on.
Warning #4: Yes, I copied the warnings from Audiovisual Summer of Doom because I was too lazy to write new warnings.
As I mention in The big “V” rewatch, I loved the original V miniseries and thought the TV series was not good.
I believe some things should be left untouched, but I was pretty excited about a new take on this story, hopefully one that would right the wrongs of the original TV series.
The first four episodes have already aired and we won’t have new episodes until next year, which renders this little review completely useless. But I’m writing it anyway because…
Well, just because…
Initial impressions – The pilot
The pilot did a good job in setting up the characters’ personal ordeals pre and post invasion, but it had a serious pacing problem: it was too fast in setting up the arrival of the visitors from the human perspective; it got too slow when the humans began investigating incidents surrounding the invasion, resorting to hardcore exposition. And by the end of the episode, it sped up to the point of rushing things when it came to the formation of the resistance.
Fortunately the pacing slowly improved in episode 3, and the fourth and final episode for the year was pretty good and had some nice twists.
Which brings me to –
Ana says: “Don’t be frightened…”
The character I was most concerned about was Diana. You see, initially I thought the characters would be the same but the story would occur in present time. If this had been the case, I thought no one would have been able to do what Jane Badler did with her character. Diana was pure evil, but there were layers to all that .
Instead we got new characters, some loosely based on some of the original characters. Well done, I say! But it still leaves room for comparison.
Diana’s equivalent, Anna (played by Morena Baccarin) is just as evil as Diana but in a completely different way. Anna is very controlled and methodical, unlike Diana, who was impulsive and outwardly dominant. Morena Baccarin is doing a terrific job at portraying this character and making it just as layered as Diana was.
As for Erica Evans, the FBI agent/mommy of annoying teenager that finds herself directly involved in the resistance almost by accident, I think the character needs more development, but Elizabeth Mitchell is a good actress and is doing a good job with what she’s been given.
Action Padre? ACTION PADRE!!!
Father Jack Landry (played by Joel Gretch) is a special case. By the fourth episode, we were given enough information for me to conclude that he is a more existentially tortured version of Father McKenna from Angels and Demons: Father Landry was in the army and served during war; he later chose to exclusively serve the Lord, but after the invasion he is faced with the question of whether he should be a servant of the Lord or a soldier. See? It’s Action Padre all over again.
To me, Joel Gretch is the equivalent to Michael Ironside in one way, and one way only (because their respective characters have nothing in common): every time either one of their characters in on screen, I revert to my hormonally charged teenage years and blush. And I get the giggles. *runs embarrassed*
Scott Wolf’s character, Chad Decker, is the equivalent to Mike Donovan from the original series, but the characters are nothing alike. Decker unwillingly found himself in the position of being Anna’s bitch, PR-wise. But he is just as controlled and methodical as Anna. This character needs more development, but I kind of prefer him over daredevil Mike Donovan. Donovan was too impulsive for his own good. I think Decker has the potential to become a great source of intel for the resistance.
The only thing I can say about Scott Wolf at this moment is that his unnaturally youthful appearance is distracting. I believe he is a Lizard himself. Watch out, I think we’re being invaded.
The things I love…
Vive La Résistance!
Although the idea of forming a resistance was horribly rushed in the pilot – and presented with blatantly annoying exposition, the actual formation of the new resistance has developed very nicely, allowing us to see the conflict it creates for the characters; a crisis of faith for each of them, if you will.
But the one thing this series got right from the beginning was the introduction of The Fifth Column, the group of dissident visitors working secretly to halt Anna’s evil plans. This is the only element of the story that has unfolded in a way that has brought an element of surprise that the original series didn’t have, starting with the revelation of Ryan Nichols (wonderfully played by Morris Chestnut) as a lizard and the father of the first hybrid baby.
I’m curious to see how they will go about introducing John May, the philosophical head figure of The Fifth Column.
I was also happily surprised when the main lizard doctor was revealed to be an important member of The Fifth Column. It shows a level of organization the original series never allowed the audience to see.
The things I hate…
Well, the pacing needs to improve or at least continue the way it was in the fourth episode, otherwise things will get boring pretty quickly.
Unfortunately the red uniforms and industrial ambiance were sacrificed on this version and replaced with neutral tones and a very clinical look. I miss the red uniforms. The new uniforms make all visitors look like they’re working at a spa. And the inside of the mothership actually looks like a spa. It’s kind of unsettling.
But that’s not what I hate.
What I hate is not a thing:
What I hate is this little twat. Agent Evan’s stupid son.
Little Tyler Evans is the equivalent to Robin from the original series, a character that not only ended up giving birth to the first hybrid (“the star child”, a character that ended up being as annoying as Robin herself), but also spent most of the time complaining about how no one paid attention to her. Little Tyler seems to be headed that way.
Oh look, he falls for Supergirl! And she happens to be Anna’s daughter. Anna also happens to have plans for the little twat. If those plans include getting him preggo with a human-lizard hybrid that will eventually carve its way out of his belly, I’ll be a happy girl!
I’ve got nothing against the actor. It’s not his fault. But why do TV shows insist on including teenage characters that represent the worst teenage qualities and make my blood boil? WHY? WHY? WHY?
I think the show has the potential to become really solid if it continues with the pacing and structure achieved by episode four. I’m willing to give it a chance, at least for the first season.
On a more alarming note, I know my morbidly girlish curiosity will keep me glued to this show until I see an equivalent to Michael Ironside’s character. *Swoons*
Until next time… We are at peace – Always.