Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Case for V Glee

I have been wrong before. I look to what I initially thought of the revamped miniseries for Battlestar Galactica and soundly whip myself regularly for my early doubts considering its eventual greatness. But what I have seen so far of Glee and the revamped V have left me a little underwhelmed. So far.

Let’s start with V. I love the original miniseries, which I have also watched fairly recently, along with V: the Final Battle. Putting aside the dramatic change in tone between the two miniseries, the first 2 parter was a brilliant “aliens come to Earth, take over the government, undermine the scientific community, and then get on with their naughty plans” show with a definite Nazi feel. The story unfolded through the eyes of a few humans from different backgrounds and the impact of the increasing repression on them.

Fast forward 25 years to the new V, and the influence of 9-11 paranoia is clear in the fact the heroine is now a Federal agent, there is a Catholic priest wringing his hands over the spiritual aspect of it all, and the aliens have apparently been running everything – except the major news networks (like FOX, which is, in reality, obviously run by Beelzebub) – for years. The aliens do not work t
o woo governments, instead opening free health clinics the instant they appear – and I still have no idea what their “cover story need” is, besides perhaps needing a few hugs. It’s all brought down to such a micro level that the macro level seems to have been completely abandoned. Hmmn, let me see: huge motherships over several countries and the government or military from NONE of them have tried to come to some mutual agreements or form alliances?

And then there is Glee. Is it too much to expect something from a frothy comedy? It’s got a lot of cool credentials, and it seems Popular (pardon the pun) enough, but (and this may be showing my age) it’s a bit sad when all the kid characters are as dull as dishwater despite their clich├ędness, and the interesting characters are support characters like the mad wife, the chronically clean colleague and – the main reason to watch the show – the towering comedic colossus that is Jane Lynch in the guise of the psychotic cheerleading coach. Besides these characters, the song and dance routines are so slick (there is no denying that these people are great performers – well, I am not so sure about the “jock”, but then I could never do what any of them do) that it is perhaps natural that they have ended up on an album as they could never really be performed that way “live”, and the storylines are fairly… well, uninspired. I am expecting too much I think – I should really just be thankful for some brilliant dialogue and throwaway lines and enjoy the musical performances.

It’s a disappointing start for me to both of these shows. I am holding out hope that V, with its amazingly beautiful cast (Morena! Supergirl!) and the strong themes from the original, will become more than what it appears to be thus far; whereas I think that there is no hope for Glee to be anything other than what it is.

If there are any other shows that I should give a try, let me know.

Verdict: Song, dance and spectacle, but lacking a bit of heart, V and Glee show promise but have thus far not delivered. Here’s hoping for a bit of a kick to both of them. 2 Neilson ratings out of 5.

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