Tuesday, August 11, 2009

V is for Obama

Washington Post, that bastion of bullshit, has a rundown of news concerning the ABC network and its upcoming shows. Mainly, the November pilot/premiere of the show "V", a re-do of the 1983 miniseries, that chronicles the invasion of Earth by an alien race known as 'The Visitors.' (And yeah, that's Scott Wolf.)

Looking just at the facts, there is certainly meat for a strong article here. The aliens come to Earth in human form, apparently, and use words we respond to, words we know and want, to manipulate us into trusting them. Sound familiar? Okay I'll expand: "hope", "change", "universal healthcare".

Morena Baccarin (the lovely Inara from Firefly and Serenity) plays the aliens' ambassador, well versed in human history and politics, and in portraying her character she has tried "to embody what everybody of every nationality and need wants to see. At the same time, you have your own agenda."

The creator of the original series, Kenneth Johnson, described the show as a political thriller intended to display the rise of a fascist movement in the US. The similarities of the original to the Nazis are numerous as well, with swastika-like symbols, persecution of scientists, youth programs, and heavy-handed propaganda.

The show is premiering a year after Barack Obama's triumphant election day. It was conceived during the Bush administration, but Obama was an everpresent public figure for about the last two years. The aliens come to our world and say they can fix it, pointing out our deficiencies and offering fake hope in order to gain support. It seems to me the allegory is pretty clear.

Still, the Post writer, Lisa de Moraes, try to pass it off as a farce, accusing the showrunner of equivocating and 'lacking verve' during the press junket. She goes so far as to slip her own awkward unfunny jokes in, poking holes at him like the stalwart Obama protector she probably is, to no avail as any point her article hoped to make disappears in her own petulance. At two different times she describes the responses of the writers/producers as "Bette Davis haggling over terms with studio suits" and Mariska Hartigay's face when she's lied to by a molester on SVU. The criticism even went to comparing Obama to an alien as the height of ridiculousness as one reporter persisted in asking if they would be comfortable with the "birthers" claiming the show as their own.

In short, I wasn't really interested in this remake. (It's written by The 4400 guy and I never got into that.) But I might check it out for the political commentary, and for the Firefly alums its got (Alan Tudyk is also a star). But I sure as hell won't read anything from the Washington Post unless I absolutely have to.

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