Confidential to the creators of "V"

First of all, let's just deal with the embarrassing fact that I am watching your series at all. I do this, because like all married people (legal or not), sometimes one accommodates the guilty pleasures of one's beloved. I'm allowed to mock and complain, loudly and persistently, about the incredibly crummy plot/dialogue/acting/production values, which contains a certain pleasure of its own (as any fan of MST3K can tell you). The Better Half seems to enjoy my looks of incredulity at every dunderheaded depth you manage to plumb, so in the end it's a win-win. Kind of.

And I am grateful that you're giving Morena Baccarin work. I'm glad to see anyone from "Firefly" get work. (Unless the work is for Andrew Breitbart.) While it's hardly saying much, her performance is the best on your wretched show, which is otherwise uniformly dreadful. (And it's hardly her best work. See above re: "Firefly.")

Finally, it's not that I'm not sympathetic. Doubtless, sitting around whatever fancy room Hollywood types sit around when they decide what bandwagon to jump on, it seemed like a no-brainer to revive another retro sci-fi franchise after the "Battlestar Galactica" reboot did so well. (It is one of the absurdities of my life that I have not yet seen that critically-acclaimed series but am suffering through this one.) Sadly, there seems to be a tremendous gap between their creative achievement and yours.

[Readers who are subjecting themselves to this travesty of a television program, haven't seen this week's episode and wish to remain ignorant of its plot should note my SPOILER ALERT here.]

This week, you crossed two lines. The first is appalling in its way, but relatively innocent and even somewhat amusing. The second is morally ugly.

I am willing to accept a certain degree of silliness in my science-fiction or fantasy entertainments. Trying to, for example, suss out the economics of Harry Potter novels misses the point a bit, if you ask me. I'm willing to accept that, somehow, egg-laying alien reptiles are able to reproduce with placental mammals like humans. It makes no sense, but some suspension of disbelief is often necessary to enjoy sci-fi. There are many, many absurd scientific holes in your plot, but I've tried to swallow them all. This week, you made my jaw drop.

Apparently you expect us to believe that one of the characters has had all of the base-pairs of his DNA removed, in an insidious plot to replace them with alien genetic material. After running complicated tests (on a tiny spot of blood, in itself preposterous but only obviously so to people who have had to submit blood tests in real life), the nerdish scientist wondered aloud how the character has survived with his DNA thus altered. The answer is, of course, that he couldn't. It is 100% impossible to construct any explanation for this. DNA provides instructions for all basic cellular functioning, without which people cannot live. He could no more live without base pairs than he could live with his lungs packed solid with plaster of Paris. Thanks for doing your part, however, to make the American viewing public dumber.

Worse than your intellectual crimes, however, is your moral one. Last night featured the graphic torture of one of the alien characters, which we are meant to watch approvingly. Your characters are suffering from "Jack Bauer syndrome," it seems. Watching the "good guys" do unspeakably horrible things to one of the bad guys then toss her body aside made me sick to my stomach. Moreover, the "heroes" committed their crimes with minimal hesitation (and they hesitated for utilitarian reasons, not ethical one), and with evident gusto and smug, swaggering satisfaction.

Good guys don't torture
. Ever. There was no need to construct the plot to create a "ticking time bomb "situation," and the scene was the very definition of gratuitous.

I can forgive your show for being asinine and shoddy. I suspect nobody's knowledge of biology will be seriously affected by your lame-brained storyline. But your small contribution to America's moral corrosion is beyond the pale.

Stop now.


  1. And here I thought it was a rather creative and complex adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel... ;)

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  3. Well, not only did I make a grammatical error in my snarky riposte, but the evidence of my attempt to remove it is there for the world to see.