ABC's 'V' mini-series ,
which will debut tonight (Tuesday) in the first hour of prime time, is
"nominally a rousing sci-fi space opera about alien invaders bent on
the conquest (and digestion) of all humanity," but "it's also a barbed commentary on Obamamania that will infuriate the President's supporters and delight his detractors,"
Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin asserted in a review distributed by
the McClatchy/Tribune news service and run in Tuesday's Chicago
Tribune, among other papers. Garvin contended:
From the fawning reaction of the news media...to the recruiting of human supporters into an alien front group that could easily be mistaken for "community organizing," the parallels to Obama are unmistakable.
Though the leader of the aliens, in Garvin's words, "is secretly a
totalitarian space lizard who's come here to eat us," the plot has a
featured character, a TV journalist, aiding the effort. "Some welcome
their arrival," USA Today's Gary Levin recounted , "but the suspicious form a resistance movement, which leads the visitors' charismatic leader, Anna (Morena Baccarin), to enlist an ambitious TV reporter (Scott Wolf) as a propaganda tool." Garvin, presumably citing the same character: "One simpering anchorman even shouts at a reporter who asks a tough question."
A storyline ripped from real-life!
The top producer of the mini-series, set to air over the next four Tuesdays and then return in March, denied to USA Today's Levin's any parallels to Obama:
Others on both sides of the political spectrum may point to the visitors' explicit promises of hope, change and universal health care as a pointed reference to pledges of the Obama administration. But [Executive Producer Scott] Peters says the show has been in the works since 2007. Reality was "never really a factor," he says. "There's no political message being shoved down anyone's throat."
Imagine this. At a time of political turmoil, a charismatic, telegenic new leader arrives virtually out of nowhere. He offers a message of hope and reconciliation based on compromise and promises to marshal technology for a better future that will include universal health care.
The news media swoons in admiration - one simpering anchorman even shouts at a reporter who asks a tough question: "Why don't you show some respect?!!" The public is likewise smitten, except for a few nut cases who circulate batty rumors on the Internet about the leader's origins and intentions. The leader, undismayed, offers assurances that are soothing, if also just a tiny bit condescending: "Embracing change is never easy."
So, does that sound like anyone you know? Oh, wait - did I mention the leader is secretly a totalitarian space lizard who's come here to eat us?
Welcome to ABC's V, the final, the most fascinating and bound to be the most controversial new show of the fall television season. Nominally a rousing sci-fi space opera about alien invaders bent on the conquest (and digestion) of all humanity, it's also a barbed commentary on Obamamania that will infuriate the president's supporters and delight his detractors....
From the fawning reaction of the news media (sample press-conference question to V leader Anna: "Is there such a thing as an ugly visitor?"') to the recruiting of human supporters into an alien front group that could easily be mistaken for "community organizing," the parallels to Obama are unmistakable.
The anti-V underground, in its frustrated insistence that the aliens have a covert agenda, resemble nothing so much as the anti-Obama teabaggers. And even the president's repeated attempts to suborn Republicans into making his program bipartisan get a scorching reference.
"Compromising one's principles for the greater good is not a shameful act," a V leader reassures an erstwhile opponent who's just been bought off. "It's a noble one."
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center