Showing posts with label V. Show all posts
Showing posts with label V. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2011

V "Mother's Day" Season Finale Reaction

With extra NCAA Tournament action this year, I fell way behind on my DVR this week, which meant I didn't catch Tuesday's season finale of "V" until Sunday. And what a season finale it was. "Mother's Day" had all sorts of insanity happening, possibly in a last-ditch effort to save the show.

The episode started off kind of slow again, with another convoluted Fifth Column plot to attack Anna. At least now when they're saying "attack", they mean in the physical sense and not through lame PR manipulation. And Erica steps up the level of the plan, enlisting Lisa to actually kill Anna, while Diana reveals herself to her people and changes the course of the V's plan.

Of course, Lisa can't go through with it, causing everything to unravel in spectacular fashion: Anna kills Diana (in front of all the Vs on the New York mothership), imprisons Lisa in Diana's old prison, hatches her last Queen Egg and skins the new daughter identically to Lisa, then sends New-Lisa to mate with Tyler, which she does, before apparently killing him.

Meanwhile, the ominous FBI partner who'd been snooping around Erica finds out that she's Fifth Column, and brings her in. Only instead of being in trouble, Erica is introduced to the government's secret facility where they don't believe the Vs are "of peace", and they're ready to go to war. However, while Erica's underground at the facility, Anna and her adopted human/V hybrid daughter (Ryan's biological daughter) use the power of heart to call on Captain Planet... no, wait, that's not right... oh, yeah, they "Bliss" the human race, turning them into Anna-following zombies.

That's a whole mess of shit happening in a single episode, and while it'd be easy to complain that they didn't get here fast enough, in reality this is the end of the first full season. "V" has only aired 23 episodes over the course of two seasons, and the slow-developing story has been as much the fault of the schedule as it has been the writing.

Now, if the show does get renewed, the key is to hit the ground running as a follow up to all of this. I am concerned because the episode seemed to linger on the big dramatic moment where Erica -- after telling him earlier in the episode how proud of him she was because his belief never waned -- saw Father Jack in the crowd caught up by Anna's bliss. I thought the Father Jack moments, both with Erica and Anna, were among the weaker and more heavy-handed of the episode, and I'd be disappointed if next season spent more time on that than on the action aftermath.

Oh, and please let Tyler really be dead. His story is BEYOND done. Plus, maybe that'll motivate Erica to get into a real ass-kicking mode. Also, don't revive Ryan (who was killed by his own daughter, in a bittersweet moment). His story is also VERY done. If there is a Season 3, it should be about Erica working with Aries (the government agency) to take down Anna and New-Lisa and get original Lisa in charge to get the Vs off our planet.

For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the TV Reviews home page.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Sick Week Round-Up

So, as you may have learned if you follow me on Twitter, I've been sick for awhile. It started Wednesday when I was at the University of Georgia, and is still going today, thought I'm starting to recover. However, because I was so sick (and also in part because of the whole "being on the road" thing), I fell way behind on my DVR -- both in watching and in reviewing. Rather than go back and post reviews on each show I've missed since Tuesday, I decided to just compile them in one round-up post. The regularly-scheduled reviews should resume tonight or tomorrow.


V - "Concordia"
This episode was largely about Tyler, and it seems a disproportionate part of the V's plan hinges on him. We've been given hints as to why he's important (the missing DNA strand being the biggest), but I feel like if we knew a little more, this whole story might not seem so tedious.

No Ordinary Family - "No Ordinary Double Standard"
This was the second time this show's given us hints of a darker story line with Daphne. The first was with the memory erasing, which didn't even last past the first commercial break of the next episode. This time Daphne's discovered that her mindreading powers also allow her to "plant" thoughts in people's minds. The first time she did it in the episode, it was by accident, and she was doing it to save her life. That's fine. But the second time it was on purpose, to get out of a grounding. I'd LOVE it if the show took her in a more morally ambiguous direction, even if just for a couple episodes, to shake things up a little bit.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

V "Unholy Alliance" Reaction

Can we just fast-forward to the part of "V" where something important happens? Because I'm getting tired of watching people move around like pawns in the slowest game of chess ever. Tuesday's episode, "Unholy Alliance", added more pieces to the board, but didn't really get us closer to any kind of endgame on either side.

So this week, a radical anti-V group murders three V Peace Ambassadors, leading Erica to freak and a lot of the blame to fall on Father Jack, whose anti-V sermons have been getting a lot of attention. Erica's got a new FBI partner -- an old friend, it so happens -- and they go to meet with Father Jack, who... blah, blah, blah...

Look, there's a lot of talking, a lot of meeting, a lot of secret-keeping, and a lot of "unholy alliances". Anna goes to the Vatican (conveniently, a Vatican where everyone speaks fluent, un-accented English) and makes some shiny blue lights turn into stigmata on a statue while spouting some mumbo-jumbo about science and miracles (which at least felt like an Arthur C. Clarke shout-out, even if it wasn't designed as such).

This week's episode also brought us two new (likely) recurring characters, in Erica's new partner and the leader of the radical Fifth Column group, the latter played by Oded Fehr, who I really like. But at this point, between Fehr, Bret Harrison (who was nowhere to be found this week) and Jane Badler, it seems like the show is more intent on throwing more cast members into the mix than advancing the main conflict of the series. People keep talking about being "almost ready" and making vague references to something that might happen, but I can't keep sitting through episodes like this waiting for that moment.

It just seems like every time a character is ready to break through -- whether its Tyler vandalizing the church, or Ryan going back to Anna, or even finding out about Father Jack's military past -- everyone just stands around and talks some more. Even the revelation that the FBI is suspicious of Erica came with more talking than action, and that really should have been a much bigger deal. Hopefully next week it will be, because otherwise this show is likely going to lose me.

For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the TV Reviews home page.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

V "Laid Bare" Reaction

The most popular sports movies generally feature a scrappy underdog rising up against unbeatable odds to do the impossible. It happens time and time again, and we eat it up. But sports movies are generally only 90 minutes to two hours long. They didn't do a series of movies on Rocky's shitty boxing career prior to facing Apollo Creed, because no one wanted to watch Rocky get his ass kicked both in and out of the ring week after week.

Well, "V" is turning into the science fiction version of exactly that. This week's episode, "Laid Bare", once again featured our small group of Fifth Column anti-V "terrorists" making the smallest bit of progress, while the Visitors made so much more. Erica and her merry band of misfits captured Erica's partner, a V posing as a human, and managed to get enough information from her to save one girl who'd run away from home.  Meanwhile, that girl was just a single person among dozens rounded up by one of the Vs, as part of Anna's ongoing plot to find and eliminate the human soul -- a plot that involves the deaths of hundreds of thousands of humans in the name of V research.

The scorecard on that one is so lopsided that if it were a football game, the Vs would have put in their backups in the second quarter, and by the end they'd just be taking knees to avoid further embarrassment to the human race.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

V "Serpent's Tooth" Reaction

Part of me wonders if "V" is co-produced by Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat because for every two steps it takes forward, it also takes two steps back (yes, I know that's a dated reference, but the original "V", "Opposites Attract" and I are all children of the '80s, so deal with it).

For this week's episode, "Serpent's Tooth", I'll start with the two steps back and keep it short, because rather than continue to harp on the negative I want to focus on the positive. First, the whole story about the nature of the soul and that being what makes us human was an unnecessary leap into the deep end, and just felt awkward the whole time. I'm not sure a show about lizard-human hybrid aliens needs to muddle things up with more religious themes, especially after the backlash to the end of "Battlestar Galactica." Also, I thought given the importance placed on the relationship between Anna and Diana, there wasn't enough Anna-Lisa interaction, which would have made for a nice generational continuum.

OK, now for the good things, because there were two major developments in this episode that give me hope for the future of the series, even if this week continued to move at the slow-burn pace this show has fallen in love with.

Jane Badler's appearance as Diana, Anna's mother, is a Godsend for this show. In her first scene this week, she revealed more about the V's backstory, endgame, and reason why they haven't wiped out the humans than the previous 13 episodes combined. She had an amazing screen presence and because of her ties with human emotion, I can see her eventually bonding with Lisa and rebelling against Anna. Part of me wishes they'd brought her in sooner, but I'm not sure having her show up in the 4th or 5th episode of last year would have had the same impact.

The other big development this week was the introduction of a second anti-V terrorist group calling themselves Fifth Column, which addresses one of my biggest complaints of the show to this point. Through the first 13 episodes, it seemed like Erica Evans and her merry group of dissenters were the only people skeptical about the V's motivations, even after Red Sky. But it seems like that's no longer the case, and this Fifth Column group is even more hardcore than Erica's (which, admittedly, isn't hard). If this leads to more action and less talk in the show, that's a decidedly good thing.

For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the TV Reviews home page.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Desktop Girl of the Week: Laura Vandervoort

I may not have been that thrilled with Tuesday's season premiere of "V", but that doesn't mean I wasn't excited about seeing Laura Vandervoort on my TV screen again. The former Supergirl (on "Smallville") plays Lisa on "V" and it appears that her character could be the pivotal one in the show -- assuming they ever get around to whatever major conflict is supposed to happen.

The 26-year-old Vandervoort has been acting since she was in her early teens, but mostly in minor roles -- and a starring role in the teen-centric show "Instant Star" -- which explains how I've only seen her in "Smallville" and "V". Still, I was incredibly excited to meet her -- and other V cast members -- this past October at New York Comic Con. She may have been better looking in person than she appears in photos, and she was incredibly sweet. Then again, that's to be expected, since she is Canadian.

As always with DGOW, I’ll provide a widescreen (1680x1050) image for downloading. If you want to see past DGOW, then just check the archive album.

V "Red Rain" Reaction

Heading into to Tuesday's "V" season premiere, "Red Rain", I was hopeful that last season's cliffhanger ending would lead into more action-driven conflict between humanity and the Visitors. However, as the characters seemed to so frequently point out in this episode, that isn't likely to happen for two reasons. First, the Vs seem to have the capability to wipe out humanity as soon as they want, and second, they don't WANT to, because they seem to need humans for some yet unknown (but hinted at) reason.

So, instead of some giant battle, we got more of the slow build between our small group of Fifth Column terrorists/revolutionaries and the manipulative Visitors, though at least this time Bret Harrison (formerly of "Reaper") is along to lighten up the ride. Despite that addition, and the apparent conversion of Scott Wolf's television host to the cause of Fifth Column, the show seems decidedly stuck in the same mode it was in Season 1, bordering on taking risks -- such as when Anna revealed her tail and slashed off a Visitor's human face before killing him -- but then pulling back and getting back to more Erica-Tyler melodrama.

The episode wasn't bad, not by any stretch, but it wasn't good either. It just was. None of the developments in the show -- whether it was Harrison's scientist revealing a V skeleton or Anna letting Ryan go or Tyler and Lisa taking their relationship to the next level -- were particularly groundbreaking. Even the revelation that the Vs may have experimented on Tyler when he was in Erica's womb was more of an "oh, that makes sense" moment than something that really grabbed your attention. In many ways, the show is starting to remind me of "Heroes" from Season 2 on, where you kept waiting for something huge to happen, but instead all you got was a slow trickle of progress.

The episode ended with the introduction of Jane Badler (from the original series) as Anna's mother Diana. Hopefully her addition to the cast will bring out more interesting developments for those characters, since I care way more about the Visitors and their endgame than I do anyone involved with Fifth Column.

For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the TV Reviews home page.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Weekend at New York Comic Con

Well, that took longer than expected.

As I mentioned in my post from earlier today, I spent most of today cleaning, organizing and generally recovering from New York Comic Con. Why'd it take all day? Well, take a look at my living room after I got back last night:

Normally, there's be nothing on my couch, and all those comics piled up around the room would be in long boxes. So how'd the room end up like that? Well, to start with, I commuted back and forth to New York every day, rather than staying in the city, so by the end of each day I was exhausted. But there was more to it than that.

First, a little background. I last attended NYCC in 2007, and it was a much smaller show back then. Despite the significantly increased guest list and panel schedule for this year -- and the move to the entire third floor of the Javits Center -- I hadn't anticipated just how large the show had grown in scope. This past week, thinking the con would still be manageable, I pulled about 200 comics from my collection, hoping to get them signed, splitting them into piles of 100 for Friday, about 60 for Saturday and 40 for Sunday.

On Friday, I arrived at about 10:30, hoping to get in line early for when doors opened to the general public at 1:00. My original plan of attack was to get in line for the Adam Hughes sketch list, then try and get into the one non-ticketed Stan Lee signing line for the weekend. I got onto Adam's list, but by the time I got over to the Stan Lee line, it stretched about 10 aisles deep, making it far from worth it to stick around. So I spent most of my Friday chasing wild signatures. Of the 100+ comics I brought with me, I probably ended up getting about 40 or so signed. I also took some time to walk the main show floor, where I picked up the NYCC exclusive versions of "True Blood" #1 and "Spike" #1 from IDW, as well as the "Charmed" #3 exclusive from Zenescope.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Series of Tubes: V Season Finale Reaction

When I heard the news that "V" had been picked up for next season (though as a midseason show) while "FlashFoward" was canceled, I was disappointed, but not surprised. You see, "FlashForward" set up its story so that it could exist as a single-season show. "V" on the other hand has moved forward so little this season that it NEEDED a second season. Tuesday's finale at least moved things forward in a way I feel no other episode did this season.

After a season of build-up and minor conflicts between Fifth Column and the Vs, we finally got a major event -- Erica using a "blue energy" bomb to destroy Anna's soldier babies. It wasn't the event that was the big deal (don't forget, this same group already blew up a shuttle), but Anna's reaction to it. She completely snapped, experiencing human emotion for the first time, and sending the Vs into attack mode.

Look, I understand that this show had to do SOMETHING to move the conflict forward, but I would have much rather seen a cold, calculating Anna make the same move. It didn't help that Morena Baccarin, who I normally love, really over-acted the entire scene. Still, the visual of the sky going completely red as the ships moved in was cool.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Desktop Girl of the Week: Morena Baccarin

I really want "V" to be good. I enjoyed the pilot, and kept watching even as the news of possible cancellation swirled about, particularly during the long hiatus. The first three episodes back from the break have been disappointing, and I see no evidence that that's going to change. So why do I keep putting up with the show if I'm not liking it? Two words: Morena Baccarin.

Morena, who is probably best known for her role as companion Inara Serra on "Firefly" (and the movie version "Serenity") is further proof that women from Brazil are 432% hotter than their American counterparts. She was pretty much an unknown when she was cast in "Firefly", but quickly made the role stand out.

After the untimely cancellation of "Firefly", Morena moved on to a role on the even shorter-lived series "Still Life", which produced a few episodes but never actually aired on U.S. television. She reprised her role as Inara in "Serenity", and did a three-episode guest spot on "The O.C.", which, I swear, I've never seen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Series of Tubes: Hiatuses Coming to an End

FlashForward returns to the airwaves in an hour (at least, in the Eastern and Central Time Zones) after more than three months off the air (not counting Tuesday's recap episode), marking the beginning of the returns of a lot of sci-fi type shows, most of which had some level of critical acclaim in the fall, but also their fair share of problems.

So let's take a look at the upcoming schedule and see which shows are coming back to my TV schedule in the next few weeks.

Last episode: Dec. 3, 2009; Next episode: Tonight
The way this show was spiraling out of control, it definitely needed to take a break and get things back on track, but I think three and a half months was a little too long. For the first few weeks after the show disappeared from ABC's schedule, I was missing it, but at some point since 2010 began, I moved on. The characters were so one-dimensional that there was nothing keeping me hooked from week-to-week, outside of the main story of the blackout. And even that was handled poorly (with a fumbling revelation in one episode, then some conspiracy confusion). I think this show will survive the rest of the season, but a 2010-11 pickup seems unlikely at this point.

The Vampire Diaries
Last episode: Feb. 11, 2010; Next episode: March 25, 2010
This show hasn't been away that long, but because of the way the last episode ended -- with the revelation that Katherine wasn't in the tomb, which means she's probably alive out there somewhere -- I've been anticipating its return. After a disappointing start, this show has really picked up in its last few episodes, and I'm excited to see where they take the story from here, particularly if more of the vampires in the tomb can somehow awaken and escape. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Five - Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Shows in Trouble

It was supposed to be a banner year for science fiction on television, but things have started to fizzle out. So what’s going wrong? Let’s take a show-by-show look at this to see if it’s a trend, or just a coincidence.

1 - Dollhouse
Status: canceled, will run off remaining episodes
I’ve already written about this, but I don’t think the failings of “Dollhouse” were specifically because it was a sci-fi show. The show failed because it struggled to establish exactly what it was and who we should be rooting for, character-wise.

2 - Eastwick
Status: canceled, will run off remaining episodes
A fantasy show, involving witchcraft instead of science, Eastwick seemed to have all the necessary elements to succeed. But it seemed like the creators wanted to downplay the genre elements and play up the characters -- who themselves weren’t particularly interesting. It resulted in an incredibly weak show that never had much of a chance of succeeding.

3 - V
Status: on hiatus until March
V’s four episode mini-run wrapped up on Tuesday, and that’s what sparked this idea. V has been plagued by behind the scenes problems from the beginning, as ABC tried to downplay the whole “alien invaders” aspect of the show. None of the show’s marketing referred to aliens, and even on the show, they’re always called “the visitors” or “the Vs”. Now, with the show on hiatus for three months, it’ll be easy for it to get lost in the shuffle, which is unfortunate, since “V” probably has the most deeply rooted sci-fi plots of any of these shows (including the sci-fi tradition of using aliens as a metaphor for something more Earth-bound).

4 - FlashForward
Status: full-season order received, but production halted
This show had such promise early on, but things have stalled. The last couple of episodes have been incredibly disappointing, and now ABC has called for a halt to production, according to a spokesman “to maintain the high quality of the show” (can you say “too late”?). In my eyes, the reason the show has bogged down is because it’s become character-centric, trying so hard to avoid being science fiction. When you’ve got visions of the future, an experiment that caused the entire planet to black out, and possibly magic rings, you’re sci-fi. Embrace it.

5 - Heroes
Status: still going, for some reason
Just go away. At this point, you’ve gone from being character-based sci-fi to boring primetime soap. Strangely, the shows listed above generally struggled creatively when they tried to avoid being “too” sci-fi. Meanwhile, as “Heroes” got deeper and deeper into the genre (with shadowy corporations, genetic formulas, time travel through centuries, butterfly effects, etc.) it got more and more unwatchable. Maybe the people in charge of the other networks saw that, and that’s what led to the toning down of the genre elements in Dollhouse, Eastwick, V and FlashForward.

Obviously, none of the shows listed above are on the SyFy channel, but a sci-fi show should be able to succeed outside of one small corner of the television universe. I’d say that “V” or “FlashForward” might be better served by getting away from ABC, but FOX cancelled “Terminator” and “Dollhouse”, NBC dropped “Medium” and is watching “Heroes” die a slow death and CBS stuck both of its fantasy shows on Friday night. Meanwhile, The CW continues to have success with “Supernatural”, “Smallville” and “The Vampire Diaries” -- in part because the network can afford to live with the lower ratings genre shows traditionally bring in.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Series of Tubes: Catching up on this week in television

I fell behind on my DVR this week for a number of reasons, not the least of which was a debilitating cold that turned into a migraine that made me not want to stare at a screen at all.

Then, just as I was getting better, I decided to go through with my trip to New York to see LeBron, which was worth it, but brought the cold back, so I basically sat around today in bed -- which actually helped me catch up, since I didn’t have the migraine and was able to just watch TV. So here are some quick-hit thoughts on what I watched:

-V” was really enjoyable. I expected them to drag things out for weeks -- like “FlashForward” or “Lost” -- but instead they blew past all the exposition by jumping ahead three weeks. And while some people are criticizing a supposed anti-Obama agenda in the show, I’d rather just enjoy it as a good sci-fi show.

-Speaking of “FlashForward”, they finally did something that was a key plot point in the books -- people committing suicide to prevent the future they saw (if you’re dead, you obviously don’t have a future, regardless of what happened in a vision). It’s a touchy subject, but I thought the show handled it well. Plus, it gives the characters interesting places to go from here.

-My DVR forgot to record “Bones” and “Fringe”, mostly because it thought there was still a World Series game to be played Thursday (obviously, there was not). I did manage to watch them on Hulu. “Bones” was ok -- I didn’t like the case, but the insecurity of Booth at the end made up for it. “Fringe” spent a lot of time on Broyles’s back story, which was somewhat interesting, but I miss the specific references to The Pattern and the over-arching mystery that drove Season 1. I understand that ratings-wise, those episodes are hard to do, but they’re much better.

-30 Rock” continues to be the funniest show on television. This week’s audition episode was an instant classic. There was a great exchange between Jenna and Tracy when they were discussing the possible new cast member. Jenna said, “He’s evil, Tracy.” Tracy responded, “He’s ‘Evil Tracy’?!” Jenna looked at him all confused, and Tracy finally figured it out. “Oh, he’s evil ‘COMMA’ Tracy.” I laughed so hard that I had to rewind because I missed the subsequent joke (also, I was in pain from laughing because of the cold).

There are some other shows I watched (like “Smallville” and “Eastwick”) but they might have actually re-induced a headache by being so bad, so I’m not going to pay them any more attention.