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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

V S2E2: Serpent's Tooth

"Tick-tock, tick-tock."

This show. It's killing us. We can't remember the last time so many good opportunities were squandered. Here they have a concept that sells itself and a handful of solid television actors to pull it off, and it's just one mediocre episode after another. We realize we're only two episodes into the new season, but things are already not looking good. And considering there are only ten episodes total for season 2, the likelihood of a season 3 seems impossibly remote, given where we are right now.

Is there anyone who gives a crap about whether Ryan has a soul? Anyone at all? Does anyone really care about Father Jack's latest crisis of conscience? Writers: STOP TRYING TO BE DEEP. Lizards in tight dresses want to mate with humans! You don't need to dress that up with a lot of silly nonsense about trying to find the soul. It's painfully stupid and it plays against the show's strengths.

And right now, the show's various strengths all sport boobs. Erica, Anna, Lisa, and Diana are the only characters worth caring about and the only actors doing decent work. You could do a lot worse than to build the entire show around these four. Granted, Anna is quickly losing any cohesion as a character and poor Morena is forced to forego the subtle portrayal she developed last season and lapse into Alexis-style bitchery and scenery-chewing, which is a shame. Especially since, for all her scenery-chewing, can anyone really make head or tails out of her plans? Every week, no matter what happens, Anna smirks and says something along the lines of "They're playing right into my hands." We're starting to think Anna's just a big bullshit artist and she has no idea what she's doing from one moment to the next. Stick Joshua in the "memory chamber!" Put skin on Ryan's gigantic baby and make her sick! Tease Ryan that he has no soul! Get Lisa primed for baby-making! Red rain! Blue Energy! Phosphorus! Something-something Tyler! Slap mother! Give mother a necklace! Take it away!

Could someone on the writing staff please make the attempt to tie this shit together? Because right now it's just a bunch of half-baked ideas thrown at the viewer, one right after another. The result being: we just don't care. Sure, we get that it has something to do with breeding and according to Diana, Anna's infertile after her last egg drop, which does tend to make the whole thing a bit more urgent, but still. Let's see some actual movement.

And we admit this is just nerdy nitpickery, but we wish they'd explain the whole "queen" concept. We get that the idea is based on insect populations, but in nature, there's never more than one queen at a time. Why is Diana still alive if she's no longer queen? Why is Anna so hellbent on making Lisa queen, since it would presumably force Anna to step down? You CAN do something with these concepts, but they're not doing anything with them.

Also, why the hell are Erica and Lisa keeping Tyler in the dark about everything? What purpose does it serve?

There is just enough going on to keep us coming back. We're intrigued by the developments with Erica's partner. We're happy to see that they're expanding the resistance to an apparent world-wide network. Diana's bitchface is still entertaining (even if her scenes and dialogue are a bit silly). But damn, writers. You had half a year to re-tool this show and so far, nothing is impressing us. We hate to sound so bloodthirsty but at this point, the only thing that could really turn this around are some character deaths and a major change in the status quo.


* Erica's partner (whose name we can't be bothered to remember or look up) is one crackerjack undercover agent, isn't she? Let's hand over a piece of evidence to the Number 2 V in full view of hundreds of people! Apparently, she was banking on humans being incredibly stupid and it looks like most of them are, since only Chad noticed the exchange.

* We actually liked that bit with Erica showing her V scar to the suicide bomber, as well as the rather smart way she managed to get a hold of some of Tyler's DNA. She's a smart, quick-thinking character and Elizabeth Mitchell does her best to give her some heart and (forgive us) soul. It's a shame she has so little to work with.

* As much as we're enjoying Jane Badler's campy turn as Diana, we can't help wondering what the thinking is behind making her so sympathetic to humans. Given her iconic turn as the original Diana, we would have thought villainy was the way to go with this character. We'd like to say this is an interesting twist, but we can't help thinking an opportunity was squandered here. Then again, we probably shouldn't assume that she is as she appears.

* "Our superior technology will isolate and destroy...THE SOUL!" Dun Dun DUN!!!!! Oh, PLEASE, Mary!

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