V On the Bubble: Keep Or Cut?
By mid-May, broadcast TV bigwigs will be making tough calls as to which shows will return for the 2011-12 season, and which won’t. To complement TVLine’s “Renew Our Show!” Bracket Tournament, we’re singling out select “bubble” shows to survey their prospects. The latest series entering our orbit: ABC’s V.
THE SHOW: V (ABC)
THE TIME SLOT: Tuesdays at 9/8c.
THE CASE FOR KEEPING: There is a compelling TV series to be made about an alien race visiting Earth, ostensibly coming “in peace” yet secretly beholding a nefarious agenda. V, ultimately, could be it, based on the Season 2 finale’s decision to dispatch wholesale with some problematic (or simply annoying) characters and extraneous story elements. FBI agent Erica Evans (played by Elizabeth Mitchell), once blandly diplomatic but newly enraged by the needless death of her ex, should only be more brazen in her counterattacks once she realizes that her son Tyler was turned into an afterglow appetizer by Anna’s (other) daughter. Speaking of the V queen’s offspring, maybe I’m simply a sucker for the Evil Twin gimmick (and/or the idea of Double the Vandervoort!), but giving Anna a malevolent “Lisa 2.0″ to replace her sadly humanized predecessor should ratchet up the nasty, provided they do what you are supposed to do with Evil Twins: Play the ol’ switcheroo, lots! One more undeniable arrow in V‘s quiver: Morena Baccarin, whose icy-cold composure as she deals with us pesky humans does send chills down a spine. Let’s just get Anna out of that sterile, CGI’d mothership more often (even if it means depositing her in the show’s unconvincing rendering of “New York City”).
THE CASE FOR CUTTING: Some argue that V progresses too slowly. But as I watched these last few weeks, I became of the opinion that its biggest liabilty is an inclination to move things along too fast. That “compelling series” I alluded to early on? I see it as meticulously plotting and building up to the Visitors’ invasion plan, rather than uncork it in a hurried Season 2. Oh, and then there’s the science! Reaper‘s Bret Harrison was brought on board as an all-purpose bio-physics-geology whiz whose primary job was one of impossible exposition, babbling on about phosporous levels, human-V DNA splicing and what not. (Again, that info-dump was likely a result of the shortened episode order for this sophomore run, but still — my head, spinning.) Now, I’m not even going to touch upon newsman Chad Decker’s indecipherable agenda, Father Jack’s meandering crisis of faith, or the criminal underuse of Jane Badler’s Diana. But as expressed above, there is a new hope for V now that the eunich-like Fifth Column has been splintered and replaced by Marc Singer’s obviously well-funded Project Ares, and Erica has gotten her badass on.
Hit the comments section to make your own case for keeping or cutting V.