Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Déjà Vu All Over Again

ABC’s remake of the 1980s TV series "V" began last night and having lived through the first time, I have to ask why. Other than the idea of using better special effects and telling different stories I don’t know why it was remade. Much like a good joke, once you know the punchline the joke just doesn’t carry the same impact.

I remember the first time "V" aired, over two decades ago, on NBC. Everyone was talking about it the next day, this clever science fiction mini-series, and when the secret of the Visitors was revealed... oh man, let’s just say if the internet had existed, it would have broken in half. But that’s just the thing, when you think of "V" – those of us who remember it- you think of the secret... and like I said, when you already know, the impact is considerably less.

"V" is very much like some of the best episodes of "The Twilight Zone" – you know the episode by the shock twist ending, like "Eye of the Beholder" and "To Serve Man." One of my favorite "TZ" episodes is "Button, Button," by Robert Bloch, which coincidentally has been remade as The Box coming out this Friday. This is another case like "V." If you know the episode, you know the ending, so for me, there’s no point in seeing this flick as I know how it ends.

Now while "V" may have slipped the minds of folks over the years and now be catering to a new generation, "Twilight Zone" has never left the consciousness of the public, being a pop culture institution in syndication now for decades. I just don’t get it, why remake it?

As far as the new "V" is concerned, the first episode held my interest barely. The subplots were far more interesting than the Visitors themselves, a mistake for a series about the Visitors, but we’ll see. Or some of us will. I’m not sure how long I’ll hang with it.

For a more in-depth look at ABC’s "V," as well as the original, check out Andrew Burns’ review over at the very cool website Biff Bam Pop!

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1 comment:

  1. Heironymous1:10 PM

    Haven't you learned this lesson, yet.

    Remakes are like new restaurants, only 1 in 10 succeed.

    Can't wait to go to a Sci-Fi (or is it now SY-FY) convention and see someone with a petition to bring back the new "V"...

    Nyuck, Nyuck!