Tuesday, November 03, 2009

TVOD: It's V Day (UPDATED with REVIEW 2330 EST)

UPDATE: Well, it's V day, finally. Don't hold me to this, but if I can finagle my son's laptop I may live-blog it. I know, I should have my own but I never leave the house. Looks like I'll be DVRing it, so scratch the liveblog. I'd rather soak it in and then fulminate anyhow.

Anyway- V. Yeah. It feels like we've seen the whole thing already, doesn't it? One thing that just struck me is how androgynous Morena Baccarin looks, something I wouldn't have thought possible. The whole thing seems a bit late too, since the big Alientertainment meme seems to be on the way out again.

UPDATE 2330 EST: So, what we have is a scenario where these beautiful New Age do-gooders come to Earth preaching enlightenment and universal brotherhood (as well as offering "universal healthcare", smack dab in the middle of the big brouhaha over Obamacare in the real world). Then we have these working class rebels who know the real story, that these are alien reptiles that have been living among us for years, slowly gaining power. But what they really want is to to destroy us. Luckily the plucky, tradtionalist Catholic priest will lead the valiant blue collar heroes to victory against those godless alien liberal terrorists (with their feminist Hispanic leader with her mannish hair-do) and their big fancy spaceships and parked in all those degenerate cities like New York and Paris.

Did Glenn Beck write this after staying up for a week chugging cough syrup and reading the complete works of David Icke? Honestly.

But I think I caught a whiff of something, subtext-wise, that might be lurking under the narrative here, that might have an interesting real life resonance. Did anyone else catch it? No, not Project BlueBeam or any of that...

Scott Wolf's least favorite description of himself is that he's the poor man's Tom Cruise. And here he is being used by the aliens to be their media frontman for their world takeover. The aliens with their welcome centers and their recruitment drives. I'm just waiting for them to offer personality tests. You with me?

V producer Scott Peters was co-creator of The 4400, which a lot of people thought incorporated themes from Scientology. But whether this was meant to be pro- or anti-Scientology was unclear. Personally, I think the parallels are a lot stronger in V (particularly the health care thing, the negative publicity riff and the V's going after critics), and more obviously negative. Certainly timely, given all of the negative publicity the CoS has been getting in the past couple of weeks. That just fascinates the hell out of me. Can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

There were little semiotic goodies, but the Independence Day shoutout coupled with the Morris Chestnut character getting an engagement ring for his sweetie couldn't help but remind me of Horus J. Hancock. Loved seeing the dreamy Vancouver lighting, two Firefly alumni and a 4400. As well as all of the beauty shots of the Empire State Building and the Stairway to Sirius.

But there's one big fat caveat here: I just sat down to watch Heroes tonight. I've missed it for the past few weeks, and realized I hadn't a clue what is going on. There's this disturbing trend in SFTV, where shows start out strong and then nosedive. Well, if there any TV execs reading this, let me suggest that the endless serial model has had its day. If you happen to miss one or two eps, you're lost (though I do plan on catching up with Heroes, certainly).

It shouldn't be a chore to follow a TV program, particularly when its based in escapist fantasy. The never-ending storyline is one of the things that killed comics back in the 90s, which is why the big publishers starting breaking the stories into smaller arcs. I'd very strongly recommend that to anyone in the TV biz, if they were ever desperate enough to ask me for advice.

In the meantime, I recommend you check out "UFOs as Vanguards of a Post-Biological Intelligence" by the late Mac Tonnies. Give it a read before V comes on- see what kind of juices start flowing with the two memestreams in open collision. Here's a taste:
The UFO/"alien" phenomenon described by Vallee, John Keel and even Whitley Strieber is alarmingly congruent with a "postbiological" hypothesis. We appear to be interacting with an exceptionally patient intelligence which, despite its advantages over terrestrial science, seems limited by a steadfast refusal to make itself widely known. (Whether this indicates a guiding morality or pragmatic necessity remains to be seen.) Contrary to mainstream expectations, our visitors have opted for a much more gradual form of contact, evidenced both by the often theatrical nature of the apparent vehicles in our skies and by the behavior of the presumed occupants (who seem to enjoy letting us assume they're predominantly human-like, governed by such familiar traits as curiosity and even sexuality).
I've been thinking along Tonnies' lines in a way, myself. Terrible shame we never got a chance to throw it down.

Reports circulating in the Kremlin today are saying that Russian Air Force Commanders have issued warnings to all of their aircraft to exercise “extreme caution” during flights “in and around” an area defined as Latitude 17 North [North Atlantic Ocean] Latitude 3 South [South Atlantic Ocean] to Latitude 8 North [Indian Ocean] Latitude 19 South [Indian Ocean] between the Longitudes of 46 West, 33 West, 46 East and 33 East, and which covers the greater part of the African Tectonic Plate.

The reason for this unprecedented warning, these reports state, are the rapid formations of “geomagnetic storms” emanating from the boundaries of the African Tectonic Plate that due to their intensity have caused the loss of two major passenger aircraft during the past month leaving nearly 300 men, women and children dead.