[ This preliminary review covers Season One, Episode One of V, entitled Pilot, which airs Tuesday, November 3, 2009 ]
DISCLAIMER: I have only seen an allegedly “rough” official screener of the 46-minute V pilot. The following review is less of an actual review/recap of the episode and more of a statement of my opinion on the series’ appeal and potential. While I try to view and review with an impartial eye, occasionally some bias will slip through—after all, it’s my honest, humble, and maybe even harsh opinion. I am not presenting this review to you to sway your ultimate decision to watch the show one way or another.
I’ll admit right off the bat that when I got the opportunity to screen V, I was still on the fence about whether or not I was going to watch the show. The initial media buzz had me intrigued…then I learned what the show was actually about: V’s…visitors…aliens. Not my thing. Oh, you say Scott Wolf is in it? Awesome. I’ll consider. What’s that? Alan Tudyk is in it? Um, count me there!
Almost immediately, I’m suddenly disappointed with Scott Wolf’s presence in the series. I can tell his man-whore of a character is going to get on my nerves. Anyway, minutes later, enter: BFS (that’s “Big Friggin’ Spaceship”). Make that many BFS’s! Apparently these visitors sent a whole fleet to Earth; a fleet vast enough to dispatch one ship to every major city on the planet! If that’s not eerie enough, the scene out of Independence Day turns into one out of Equilibrium (which stars PrP‘s Taye Diggs, by the way). Apparently every spaceship is equipped with a huge jumbo-tron on its underbelly to allow the leader of the visitors to speak to/brainwash a massive audience. No worries, though, these hot aliens come in peace. They’re just going to need some of our water and a little lot of highly explosive “mineral”, C4.
My biggest immediate concern was that the earthlings portrayed in this show were a little too calm and trusting. Seriously, people? A huuuuge UFO just darkened the sky above your major city and you stand there, in the streets, looking to the heavens with fascinated, serene looks on your faces? I know I’d definitely have on my WTF face!
Soon, certain characters’ theories reveal that the Vs do not come in peace despite their always smiling faces. Apparently, they haven’t even been living in peace. That’s right. The visitors have been living amongst humans for centuries, causing world-wide war, famine, and chaos. Now, as the beginning of the final stage of their ultimate plan to destroy/take over Earth, they present themselves as saviors to the world they caused to be in dire need of their technologies and medical care.
Like I said before, aliens just aren’t my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I loved The X-Files. But the show at least left a little to the imagination. The truth may have been “out there”, but we were never really sure if Mulder had ever really found it. For every outlandish supernatural explanation of Mulder’s, skeptic Scully always countered with a seemingly more realistic scientific explanation. In V there are no skeptics; there is no ambiguity. They tell us aliens are living among them and that they have proof. By the episode’s end we’re certain they’re correct. So, what now? What’s left to tell? What do we have to look forward to every week from this show? What more could each episode possibly consist of than a revelation of another alien among us—traitor or devotee?
The Bottom Line of First Impressions
The script is extremely flawed—the timeline of the premiere episode is hazy and the dialogue is diluted. The characters (aliens and humans) come off as one-dimensional and unbelievable and make it very hard for the viewer to become invested in what they are doing. The last ten minutes may shock you into coming back for a second episode, but unless the writing and delivery of dialogue drastically improve and the story finds some kind of depth, I’m not sure viewers will be tuning in for long.
V stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Lourdes Benedicto, Logan Huffman, Laura Vandervoort, Morena Baccarin, Scott Wolf. (Much to my, and surely every other Wash fan’s displeasure, Alan Tudyk’s role ended up only being that of a one-episode guest star.)