The original "V" mini-series and "V: The Final Battle" were ground breaking, riveting dramas that were essentially a play on the history of the Nazi party and it's rise to power. The original "V" was one of the most watched mini-series of the 1980's and won international acclaim for it's powerful story and strong performances. The 1980's TV series spin-off that followed did not come even remotely close to living up to either mini-series. The show started with an interesting idea but was destroyed by poor writing, low budgets and uninspired direction and was inevitably cancelled. Toward the end, the only thing the original TV series had going for it was the performance of the always exceptional Jane Badler as evil lizard overlord, Diana.
Season 1 of "V", the remake, updated the original 1980's mini-series for a new century while maintaining the promise of the original by adapting the story to fit into a world more concerned with international terrorism than space-Nazi's.
The new "V" was not an exact copy, it was a re-imagining - which was good, because fans of the original could enjoy something they loved and still be surprised and shocked hand in hand with those new to "V".
The first season of the new "V" was very much about a show finding its feet and a cast finding their characters, but despite those ups and downs an excellent product emerged that resonated with a decent enough audience to get the show a second year despite some unwise network decisions that almost killed it after it's highly rated premier.
When season 2 hit, it hit with a bang! The writers still seemed to be struggling with the whole "show don't "tell" concept that every writer is taught to obey, because exposition is rife throughout most episodes, but with the season now concluded you can see why the exposition was necessary - the writers and producers only had ten hours of television to tell a very complicated story in and try and gain a third year for the fans.
Season 2's most welcome surprise was the introduction of lizard Queen Anna's mother, Diana, played to perfection by the original series' Jane Badler. Though Jane played a character with the same name over 20 years ago, this Diana was not the same Diana audiences loved to hate in the 1980's. This Diana was a Queen in exile playing cat and mouse with her own daughter. The dynamic between both actresses was electrifying and you frequently felt Anna had met her match. While the humans stumbled around trying to figure out how to save humanity from a vastly superior alien force, Diana tormented her daughter, creating doubt and sewing division with the raise of an eyebrow and a carefully planted suggestion.
In addition to Jane's highly publicized return, season 2 also gave audiences a great many twists and turns, including:
- the return of Mark Singer, the original series' Mike Donovan;
- an international resistance that finally started to do something other than debate the need to take action;
- technology versus the power of the human soul;
- Visitors without their human skin;
- critter eating in all its disgusting iconicness;
- Erica Evans finding her inner bad ass;
- the death of half the cast, and...
- we learned the Visitors were like a race of genetic locusts in search of perfection in an attempt to save their race.
If season 1 was good, season 2 was excellent. Yes, it has it's short falls like any young series, but in a remarkably short time the series found it's feet and created a drama that was exciting and surprising. With outstanding performances from actors like Elizabeth Mitchell, Morena Baccarin, Joel Gretsch, Scott Wolf, Morris Chestnut, Laura Vandervoort, Charles Measure, Christopher Shyer, Josh Hildreth and Jane Badler, season 2 was a lot of fun and incredibly easy to watch and get lost in. If the powers that be give fans a season 3, those actors that survive the shocking episode 10 cull can be counted on to give audiences an even better new season, because they're just that damn good at their jobs.
We can only hope the series is renewed for a third year because this show, more than many that have already been renewed as of the end of April 2011, deserves a little more time to grow and continue to wow audiences with promising story lines and brilliantly conceived characters.