Hide your gerbils! ABC’s re-imagined visitors have finally arrived. As their massive ships hover above Earth’s major cities, the scaly aliens attempt to infiltrate human society in very attractive costumes. The idea of seemingly benevolent aliens isn’t new, but it’s more compelling than clearly-defined good vs. evil. How will the contemporary Vs compare to their cheesy 80′s counterparts?
In a word: Pretty frakking well (OK, three words).
Warning: Some spoilers follow. If you don’t want to know, here’s the short, spoiler-free version of this post: It’s doing well and we like it. For the spoiler-rific version, keep reading.
First, the numbers. The November 3rd premiere posted a 5.0 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 13.9 million viewers total. In fact, it beat out the premiere of Fox’s heavily-advertised “The Cleveland Show” from Seth MacFarlane as well as “NCIS.” The second episode was seen by 10.7 million viewers and drew a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a 27% drop from the premiere; not unexpected as 80′s nostalgia and pure curiosity inspired many of those initial 14 million viewers. Still, a 3.8 rating and 10.7 million pairs of eyeballs are enough to keep “V” on the air.
The story is just as promising. By the end of the first episode, we learned that the visitors have secretly existed among us for years. A resistance group has formed and one of the main characters, Ryan (filling the Robert Englund role as the cooperative visitor), is revealed to be a visitor, unbeknownst to his fiancée. In the 2nd episode, we’ve meet a foul-mouth priest and the FBI agent’s son who’s decided to become an agent for the visitors.
In other words, it’s moving along briskly.
This revamp of “V” is sexy, fast-paced and contemporary. Working with themes that Alien Nation and Battlestar Galactica addressed so keenly, “V” transcends the camp of Kenneth Johnson‘s vision. Red jumpsuits and Yoko Ono-style sunglasses have been replaced with smart suits and uniforms. More importantly, ABC is keen to address religion, trust and social class during prime time. Here’s hoping they’ve got the stones keep it going.