Is V about to be cancelled by ABC?

There are rumblings that ABC’s remake of the classic alien invasion series V is about to be cancelled.

Last year, when the series was surprisingly renewed (where fellow ABC show FlashForward was cancelled), many of us thought that V was equally weak and hadn’t capitalised on its first season. To be fair to V, it showed promise, even if the storylines felt dragged and plot progression was non-existent from week to week. It was a pleasant shock that it had been renewed – I’d hoped that the writers would pull together the stronger ideas from the show and throw out the things that weren’t working.

This year, V has been back for two episodes already, and getting mixed reviews. Den Of Geek have been impressed with the direction of the show, but the boffins at AV Club are scathing about the show. In fact, it’s this quote from the author, Simon Abrams that inspired this post:

The show’s major plot points are still moving forward at a snail’s pace, even though the show is slated to be cancelled after eight more episodes.

Eight more episodes? (Update: the season only runs for 10 episodes, so the speculation is that it won’t be renewed after that) So, I looked around, but most bloggers and sources are speculating based on the viewing figures and demographic ratings. The series hasn’t officially been cancelled yet.

Some people speculated the show’s renewal was ABC trying to save face, as it cancelled all the dramas it premiered during the 2009-2010 season, with only “Modern Family” emerging as a breakout hit for the network.

The 2.1 rating is abyssmal, and likely will go down for the rest of the show’s abbreviated second season. There wasn’t much show of confidence that it was held this late in the season anyway; now it’s sealed the show’s fate.

The problem is…V’s first couple of episodes this year have been terrible. The major coup that was getting Jane Badler back to play a character called Diana (note: not her original character from the 80’s series) descended into farce. Badler played the role like a hammy soap actor from Friends. It was embarrassing to watch.

Morena Baccarin – as AV Club noted – is getting harder and harder to take seriously as the alien leader. There was one scene where she addressed the captains of the ships dotted around the globe where she referred to her own race as “visitors”. I don’t go on a foreign holiday and call myself “tourist”, do you? It’s as if the V’s have no real identity beyond what Earthlings gave them and the show has no intention of filling in the blanks.

Based on events in Serpent’s Tooth, it seems that Agent Evans’ branch of the fifth column is spectacularly ill-informed. Because another faction were off suicide bombing the V medical centers. You’d think they’d send a memo to the rest of the cadre, wouldn’t you? It was an attempt to show that the Fifth Column were a global movement that fell flat because somehow Evans and her ragtag bunch of terrorists didn’t know about that strategy. They seemed weirdly disconnected – especially with Father Jack still preaching non-lethal forms of protest.

What I’m trying to say is that when V came back this year, it all felt a bit pointless. Like they’d given up trying. Lazy writing is killing the show. The cast seem to be shuffling around half-heartedly, waiting for someone to shut down this train wreck.

I have ONE SUGGESTION for how to revive this show – have a BIGGER alien menace show up and scare the V’s away, then start chopping up major cities with terrifying death rays. Immediately. And kill Tyler, because he’s an overstyled whiny little bitch. Send him and his haircut to a Disney tween show where he belongs.

Do you think V’s likely to be cancelled – and will you be sad if it is?

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  1. Polyester

    Cannot agree more. It is high time this show was cancelled, so that the people on it can find other work, more appropriate to their caliber. I’m particularly eyeing Morena Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell, they deserve waaay better than they get on this turn. 

    It is especially sad, given how much I liked the first episode last year and how brilliant I though it was at the time. 

  2. taylorcolemiller

    I have to say – this blog post started out very promising … I had read those reviews over at A/V and at best they were just mean-spirited and unhelpful. I don’t necessarily disagree with some of your critical reviews, but toward the end of your post, you got a little preachy. Anna has always called them “The Visitors” – that’s not new, nor is it different from the original series. I’d doubt that the visitors would speak English on their alien ship – but you seem to have graciously overlook that, as you should, you have to suspend reality to a certain extent to follow a television show about aliens. After all, it’d be trite and boring for you to try and figure out how they shove all their alien lizardry underneath their human skin – much as it would be to say, “Santa, comes down the chimney? Pish posh!” 

    I think Morena gets a bad rap for this show – she’s supposed to be playing someone who is stoic and emotionless … and OF COURSE Jane Badler’s going to play the role like a soap opera actress – the whole reason they brought her on is because they wanted to add a bit of “fabulousness” to a clean, neat and tidy show, that’s a little dull.  Else why do they put her in a swamp, wearing a red gown and pumps? LOL 

    I think this show is getting a lot of bad coverage that’s not necessarily deserved – and when people sit down at their computers to fervently write just how trite and unoriginal this show is … they don’t realize they’re doing the same thing.


    1. Gerard McGarry

      Hi Taylor – thanks for your comment. I suppose you could be getting mixed signals from this post because I have mixed emotions about it.

      I loved Season 1 because it looked at the impact “the arrival” had on the human race – people flocking to churches, other people becoming devoted or in thrall to the Vs. I thought it was an interesting exploration of what might happen to religion if other beings appeared on Earth with superior technology – that old notion of advanced tech being indistinguishable from magic, etc.

      The viewers clearly wanted the show to prove that the Fifth Column was a viable threat – so we get global suicide bombings. That was great, but they fudged the part where Erica, Jack and the other look like a depressing bunch of radicals that no-one else is talking to. How could they not know that suicide bombings were being planned? This makes them look like clumsy footsoldiers in a cellar while someone, somewhere else, is making intricate strategies while Father Jack bores everyone to death about collateral damage!

      I also feel like the new “Erica was impregnated by a V” storyline is going to be a disaster. So V’s have been walking the Earth for decades, experimenting on us and FBI Agent Erica Evans just happens to be a test subject? You’d think that Anna would know a lot more about her in that case. And perhaps that she’d be more closely monitored since she’s had a child. Which would make her antics with the 1/5th Column transparent to Anna.

      My overall feeling is that Season 1, even with its obvious flaws, had a fair bit of potential. The first two episodes of Season 2 – for me – have felt badly thought out. Nothing really makes sense anymore and there’ve been a raft of sudden changes that don’t really make a lot of sense. 

      If I’d been behind this show, I’d have made it a limited run, for one thing. Maybe not as short as the original series, but limited so that there was a definite story to tell with a definite conclusion. I don’t think there’s scope for this story on a long-running, episodic basis. The in-between episodes feel like filler.

      If Season 2 was to be 10 episodes, and Season 1 ended with Red Skies, then I’d have made these ten episodes about Anna’s declaration of war on the human race and had the humans working together to bring down the aliens. That would at least have focused the writers on the endgame. I do believe that trying to stretch a cult series out too far tends to ruin it – imagine if Heroes had ended in Season 1? We’d all remember it as a classic, and not a superpowered train wreck.

  3. taylorcolemiller

    I think we can both agree on one thing – Heroes.  *facepalm*

    Have you watched the original series, just curious? It was a mini-series, that got a lot of traction so they made a second mini-series. Then they made the series, which actually did not do well, because they stripped out a lot of the mythology. See, when you have an idea for a show that is catastrophic, aliens invading, everyone turning into zombies, it must be difficult to develop into a series. A mini series or a movie, sure fine – you have an endgame, but with television, you have to plan for an unlimited run – and I think that, sometimes what they’re trying to do is plan far in advance, so they’re trying to take it slowly and let it advance, which I actually really support. Television moves much too quickly these days.  Personally, I’m glad Jane Badler is on to really amp up the melodrama and put Sci Fi back into what was essentially just a cop drama with some really strange criminals.  Now – I think they need to use her more. 

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Heroes – did you do like me and watch every episode in the vain hope that it would suddenly get better again? My biggest criticism of Heroes was that nobody would stay dead – they should have killed off easily 50% of the cast at the end of Season 2 and started with fresh characters and new powers. But that’s a discussion for another thread!

      It’s been so long since I’ve seen original V that I can’t really remember it at all. Which is good in that I can’t be constantly making comparisons between versions.

      As for the current series – that’s not how I understand these are being made. From what I hear, each show is commissioned a season at a time. Studios don’t want to take the risk on a three-season deal if nobody’s watching. And while shows like Doctor Who in the UK are written with a season-long arc in mind, it doesn’t work that way for American shows. They’re almost making it up as they go along, which is why – in the case of V – most people felt there wasn’t much plot development going on in Season 1.

      I hope the show finds its feet again though, but I have a feeling it’ll take more than Jane Badler to revitalize it! 

      I hope you’ll stick around though, and comment on any other television posts we have. And don’t forget, you can write your own reviews on the site too.

  4. Paul Jacques

    My biggest complaint about the show is The Fifth Column staying behind the scenes(for the most part). In the orginal V, the Resistance started fighting almost right away. There were gun battles, hostage taking, bombing V processing plants, and sneeking on to the motherships. These guys spend most of their time staying undercover and complaining. I want to see more action.

       I do agree with the V’s calling themselves the V’s. Surely they have a name for their race.

  5. MarkJJ

    I wanted to like this show.  I’ve watched almost every episode (I may have missed 1).  But I just can’t enjoy it.  It moves way too slowly.  The major plot points don’t progress at all.  And the major plot points are terribly boring: they infected women to prepare them for a breeding program?  I don’t think the show has explained why they want to make half-breeds with humans.

    I also hate when writers use shock and awe to get viewers interested but they have no idea what to do with that shock and awe.  Remember in Season 1 the shot of at least 200 motherships in outspace apparently making their way to Earth?  They have yet to touch on what that was about.

    They still haven’t given us a real alien face reveal.  They use cheap green screen graphics.  Their special effects, like eating a rat or when their fangs come out, seem produced on a fisher price laptop. 

    This show just seems like the writers have no idea where they are going with the story.  I hope it does get cancelled because I want to see how they end it without having to endure another season. The new V should have been a mini-series.


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