Monday, October 17, 2011

ABC's V Season 2 on Blu-Ray

What happens when a much heralded and praised television series decides to go long on special effects and short on respect from the studio releasing it? It goes the way of V, and turns from one of the most enjoyable shows on television to live a life that turns to disappointment and only 2 seasons of television. The program based on the 1983 miniseries that turned into a television series in 1984 where aliens come to various locations around the world to ultimately take over the human race by intermingling among them as humans until their ploy is ultimately discovered. The series was reinvented in 2009 and 20010. Much like the original series, it unfortunately continues to a place where there is no real ending. It is a shame because this well acted, well conceived program had much promise and I believe the story, although week at parts it would have succeeded if ABC gave it an opportunity, including a consistent time slot and programming hours but as of now, there are no plans to my knowledge to renew the series, in fact if it is renewed, it appears it will be on a network other than ABC as they have officially canceled the series. This isn’t unusual for ABC though; there were no less than 4 shows I really enjoyed this year that went the way of cancellation, all unresolved and open-ended.

The DVD version of the series actually works much better than the television series itself. There are not the interruptions and we know when the next episode will air. It airs when we play it, ABC was so inconsistent in the programming of V it is a wonder it went as far as it did. It had no options but to lose viewers because when tuning in from week to week, one may find anything airing that particular week, except for V.

Technically, this program was fun to watch and the special effects were most of the time on par with theatrical releases. Unfortunately special effects alone won’t carry a television series. I was also pleased with the acting in this program, ranging from the beautiful Alien Mother Anna played by Morena Baccarin, now appearing on Showtimes, Homeland, to the equally beautiful and talented Erica Evans played by Elizabeth Mitchell, noted for her role in Lost. There was also an abundance of other characters in the story line. The real beauty was the science fiction concepts and the special effects. They were on par with most movies and certainly beyond the realm of expectation for a television series.

V takes time to develop the characters. I found myself rooting for some, and wanting justice for others. We follow the exploits of Erica Evans, a single mother who also works for the FBI. Evans suspects and later discovers the plot of the Aliens, led by Anna to destroy the human race, eventually stripping the earth of her nutrients and leaving the human population for dead. Season 2 picks up where season 1 left off, one needs to watch season 1 to fully understand season 2. This is especially so in the understanding of the characters which are developed in season 1. The characters are well developed though and we see and discover the backgrounds of each which helps us understand and appreciate the show even more so.

One of the things I especially appreciated about the program V is its incorporation of contemporary social issues such as nationalism, health care, the role of religion in society and more. It takes on each of these areas in what I believe to be a fair an impartial way. If anything it takes on a position which addresses the need of society to be aware of the political ploys of those in power. There are those who promise things when in reality there is no intent to deliver the things promised. I was reminded of Biblical concepts which warn of such things. We see a beautiful angel of light, which will promise the world, yet in reality, has no desire to do anything more than steal the soul of those it pretends to love. In that intent to do harm is the message of peace, perfect health care, an acceptance of all people, yet in reality, manipulation and greed drive those making the promises. Just like in V, there is a warning that those things which take us away from family and faith, in reality will ultimately destroy us. Just like in the Bible, that enemy comes to devour and destroy. These images along with current events show us V, like all good science fiction was ahead of its time and should have been embraced and supported. This is true especially regarding people of faith as there are so many parallels brought forth in this program that relate to contemporary society.

I liked this series a great deal and the DVD especially the Blu-ray is quite nice in its transfer and provides excellent sound. I was also pleased with the special features offered. While the special features are not the easiest to navigate they are there for the viewing of any fan. While I think the plot weekend somewhat during the 2nd season, it is still good. That said, it is not as weak as some have reported it to be and the DVD of season 2 where one can follow the series helps illustrate that. I would recommend for the fans of science fiction, as well as those who may be a little more conservative in their mind set (the positions V seems to take supports especially more conservative political positions) purchase both season 1 and season 2. See for yourself, and enjoy, this is a series I personally own all V episodes ever produced, from the television show and mini-series of the 1980’s through and complete through the last season on ABC, which should not have been its last.

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