12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Not good enough,
This review is from: V - Season One  [DVD]  (DVD)
I was a fan of the original series of V. It had a lot going for it - good scripts, many charismatic characters, good special effects, and a tense and well drawn out plot. It also produced some of the most startling and memorable TV moments of its day, notably the birth of the half-visitor/half-human child. And crucially, it didn't take itself entirely seriously: characters like Willie (a good natured visitor played by the actor who would later become Freddy Kruger) were both funny and likeable, while the villain of the series - Diana - was someone you could really love to hate.
By comparison, this remake - or re-imagining - suffers badly. First of all, it takes itself far too seriously. Its atmosphere is one of paranoia rather than tension: the characters seem constantly to believe that they are being watched or controlled, but we never really feel that they are under any serious threat. The visual impact of that mood is that much of the action takes place in murky warehouses: in short, it's often just boring to look at. The characters are very poorly drawn, and often difficult to tell apart. Whereas Diana stole every scene that she appeared in, her 2009 counterpart Anna is enigmatic and brooding. Physically, she has a strong presence, but we never fear her.
There are few special effects to speak of, aside from one genuinely impressive shot of a fleet of visitor star-ships coming to earth - which appears about half-way through the series. I'm not sure if a contemporary audience would take the laser guns from the original series entirely seriously, but for a science fiction series, there was not much evidence of imagination or innovation.
Rather than trying to measure up to the original, it instead seems derivative of a lot of other recent series - the paranoia of the X-Files, the confusing plot twists of Lost, the fake intensity of 24. And in the end, it doesn't ever quite establish its own identity.
I gave this show a chance but as it headed towards its final episodes, it had really failed to hold my interest. Ultimately, the problem here is that the show lacks momentum. I found it boring - not only because it's inferior to the original, but mainly because it just doesn't do enough to stand on its own merits.