Wednesday, November 25, 2009

7 Ways to Fix the New 'V'

It's still too early to tell whether the reimagined 'V' will be a hit or not, since only a handful of episodes have aired to date -- but a nearly 30% decline in viewership (to a still-respectable 10.7 million) from the premiere to second episode could indicate the show is in trouble.

Reviews of the new series starring Elizabeth Mitchell, Joel Gretsch, Scott Wolf, and Morena Baccarin have generally been favorable, but critics also argue the show feels rushed and doesn't really offer much that's new from the original aside from superficial things such as tone, pacing and effects. Yes, the acting is in a totally different galaxy, but is that enough to make the new series a success? We think not. And while we still think the series has plenty of potential, it could stand for some improvement. Here are seven geeked-out ways to make 'V' the kick-ass show it deserves to be:

1. Give Us More Visitor Backstory

Provide more history on the Visitors so we understand their motives lest they run the risk of becoming one-dimensional caricatures of good and evil like in the original. Give us a look at their home world, for example, and the circumstances that drove them to Earth in the first place. The original never really attempted this.

2. Introduce Unwitting Sleeper Vs

Introduce Visitors in human guise who don't know they're aliens. Admittedly, 'Battlestar Galactica' did it first, but it effectively created a ton of palpable tension and paranoia, and echoed what we all feel in a post-911 world. Could do the same here.

3. Amp Up Anna

Have Anna step up her game. Sure, Baccarin's Anna is great to look at, but her icy cool demeanor is already wearing thin. We're sure there's something freaky lurking beneath her placid exterior that will come screaming out at some point, but we want it now. The memory of the scenery-chomping Diana from the original demands it.

4. (More) Aliens Among Us
In the original, the Visitors forcefully conscript humans to serve in battle against other alien races. Why not bring one of these races to Earth and introduce them as allies? Or enemies. We're not picky.

5. Bring Back Old-Guard V

Create guest spots for old 'V' actors for fan service and as way to bridge the old and the new series. Who wouldn't love to see Marc Singer or Jane Badler on the small screen again?

6. Absolutely, Positively NO Starchild

Avoid the alien/human hybrid plotline that appeared in the original. Is the relationship between Erica Evans' randy son Tyler and Visitor Lisa really going to end up the way we suspect? Honestly, the notion of a hybrid has been done to death on countless other sci-fi shows from 'The X-Files' to 'Battlestar.' The last thing we need is another golden-haired starchild with superhuman powers like Elizabeth from the original series. Remember, Elizabeth crawled into a cave during the original, spun a cocoon and grew into an adult overnight. That bears repeating .... cave ... cocoon ... grew overnight. Now let us never speak of it again.

7. Remember: This Is Not Your Grandfather's 'V'

Above all, it's important that 'V's' creators aren't afraid to take chances, even if it's to subvert a much-loved aspect of the old show. Re-imagine, please, don't simply remake.

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