by Vic Holtreman
The original V series that aired back in the 80s was basically about the threat of Communism and Soviet Russia, so I anticipated that ABC’s remake would have some sort of political undertone as well. What suprised me in the pilot was the apparent target of the show’s political undertone: President Barack Obama.
The episode opens with the standard TV pilot mechanism of briefly showing us a a minute or so of each of the characters we’ll come to know over the course of the series. We have the handsome newscaster who is not taken seriously and wants to get ahead, the single mom FBI agent, a priest and a man with an obviously shadowy background trying to make a fresh start in life.
Soon enough huge spaceships appear over major cities in a scene reminiscent of Independence Day (the writers are quite aware of this, actually pointing it out on the show itself). The ships turn into mega big screen TVs in order to deliver a soothing message by series star Morena Baccarin, who plays alien visitor Anna. She says they are overjoyed to find life on another world – and that they never expected they would find any (then why build a massive video/PA system in to the exterior of your starship?).
They come promoting goodness, peace and light – they’re here to help us with their technology, including setting up healing centers where they can easily cure over 60 incurable diseases. The world is “hurting” according to one of the characters, so it seems the vast majority of the population accepts them on their word without much questioning at all. There are small protests breaking out everywhere, but those folks are looked at as rabble rousers who need to get with the program.
The aliens are all good looking and about hope and change (their words, not mine) and interestingly when reporters begin to ask hard questions upon Anna’s arrival, the newscaster mentioned above accuses them of being rude(!). Later Anna decides that she wants him to be their PR conduit and he is taken aback when prior to their first interview (which could skyrocket his career and fame) she instructs him that he is not to ask any questions that could show the Visitors in a bad light. He balks, but acquieses – and she rubs his nose in it by saying (when the cameras are rolling) that he should feel free to ask anything he likes, they are an open book.
During the interview the phrase “universal health care” is actually used in describing what they are offering and why they should be accepted.
There’s an underground group that knows what the Visitors are up to, but they are looked upon as nutjobs and terrorists even though they are in the right and know what the Visitors are really up to.
Interestingly there is a priest on the show who is skeptical of the Vistors’ intentions despite the Vatican quickly coming to the assessment that the Visitors are good – and he worries about happiness about the Visitors’ arrival turning into devotion and worship.
I’m sure that those who don’t like what the current administration is doing will see a clear connection and those who agree with what Obama is trying to accomplish will either laugh off any such connection as ridiculous or will read more nuanced meaning into the show to demonstrate it actually supports this administration.
What do YOU think?