Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Right Wing Conspira-V

In keeping with the geeky trends of recent posts, I've really been enjoying ABC's new show V. It's a remake/ reimagining of the 80s series, which gave me nightmares and yet somehow resides in my mind as a fond memory. In a lot of ways it's a little perfect storm of geekdom--two actors from Joss Whedon's Firelfly/Serenity series, headlined by Juliet from Lost, with aliens, hot girls, and a bit of an 80s retro vibe all thrown in for good measure. The alien tech is all sleek and minimalist--their spaceship could have been designed by Apple--and the show prominently features a Star Wars-friendly motif wherein a small band of mismatched rebels has to unite to fight an insidious threat. In short, if you haven't been watching it, check it out online. I think it's far superior to the other new genre show this season, Flash Forward, and if the public only has appetite for one sci-fi series at a time, I'd rather see V inherit the Lost crown.

That said, the overly-analytical English and film student in me can't help but pick out the possible political allegory hiding beneath the surface like so much lizard skin. While the original miniseries drew clear parallels to the Nazi threat to Europe (check out the flag/symbol of the original V's), this newest iteration would make Glenn Beck proud. Check it out:

  • A new force comes to America taking the country by storm. This force is
    • Young
    • Attractive (and racially mixed)
    • Intelligent
    • Calm but bold
  • This new force promises many key changes, including an ability to
    • Fix health care
    • Bring peace
    • Bolster the economy by emphasizing new technology
  • Though promising great things, this force is actually a dangerous threat, as evidenced by
    • A loosening in immigration laws allowing free passage into the country for outsiders
    • A tightening grip on the media, which kowtows to the new force and refuses to ask tough questions
    • Prompting a turn away from old-fashioned values (in this case represented by people turning away from/questioning their faith)
  • This force excites and engages the younger generation, despite parental reservations
  • This force has infiltrated (we are led to believe) the highest levels of government, including the FBI
  • Those willing to stand against this new threat themselves represent Traditional American Values:
    • Law enforcement (the FBI agent)
    • Religion (the priest)
    • The common man (Georgie)
    • The covert, or former follower, who has seen the error of his ways (the rebel alien)
If there were some way to blame the bank crisis on the V's, I think it would be a typical evening broadcast on Fox News!

So, anyone else watching this? Are you enjoying the show as much as I am? Is the conservative metaphor there, or have I been reading too many essays on symbolism? And by the way, my point is not to comment on whether such a metaphor is good or bad, fair or unfair. I've already said, I quite like the show, and longtime readers will know that my politics don't skew to the right. But I can't help but see the allegory and find it fascinating. What do you think?

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