November 4th, 2009
09:23 AM ET
It was pretty much impossible to avoid the promos for ABC's remake of the 1980s miniseries-turned-series "V" the past few weeks. And at long last, it was unleashed on the viewing public Tuesday night.
The basic plot, as anyone who saw the original knows, involves a massive invasion by dozens of alien ships, whose passengers, the Visitors, "come in peace," merely wanting to meet other, newly-discovered forms of intelligent life, and to borrow some of their resources. The reality, of course, is something far more sinister.
Fans of the original probably won't miss the '80s hair, the aliens' orange jumpsuits or the oftentimes wooden acting. But many of the trademarks are there: Reptilian skin underneath human-like features, check. Weird alien technology and weapons, check. A slowly-forming resistance to the Visitors, check. A big fight/shoot-out between resisters and Visitors, check.
No doubt the special effects, and indeed, most of the performances are better than the original. "Lost's" Elizabeth Mitchell shows she can probably carry this series as a suspicious FBI agent. Logan Huffman, plays her son, a wide-eyed teen all too happy to sign up with the really, really ridiculously good-looking Visitors. "Firefly's" Morena Baccarin strikes just the right tone, as the Visitors' charismatic yet creepy leader. "Party of Five's" Scott Wolf has the toughest job here, as a well-coiffed reporter who sells out his principles for fame.
Like most remakes, it has to strike the right balance between pleasing the fans and bringing enough originality to the table to make it all worthwhile. The last 15 minutes or so of the series certainly did that by adding some twists (the spray-painted "V" now has the opposite meaning, Mitchell's closest friend is a Visitor, and the Visitors have been among us for years). The problem will be sustaining that for an ongoing series, and keeping the suspense up week after week for an audience used to the brilliance of "Lost." After a while, "Whoa! That person was a Visitor the whole time!" will get old. And with only three more weeks to prove itself before going on hiatus, the pressure is on.
Did you watch the premiere of "V?" Will you be watching again? And if you saw the original, how do you think it measured up? Check out what iReporters have to say about it, and share your own comments on video or below.
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