V

Don't miss Regina Nigro's new review, on our online Culture page, of the new sci-fi series "V," in which she praises the show's appeal, but also dissects its hidden xenophobia.  The show's theme--aliens "cultivate" relationships with humans on earth--proves to be morally problematic.

“V” is one of the most engaging, tightly structured, well-paced miniseries that has aired in recent memory. No moment of screentime is wasted; every scene is designed to either reveal a character detail or advance the narrative. All the characters have understandable and explicable motivations. But while this incarnation of "V" is an intriguing reimagination, there is one issue that rankles. The writers' cleverness at reinventing the alien sect as a terrorist cell, with earth as its battleground and humans its quarry, is marred by that conceit's troubling lack of self-consciousness. The Visitors have no political context or history. They are terrorists who are "alien" and "foreign": worse still, they are literally non-human, reptilian.

Advertisement

It is disconcerting to imagine the American viewing public watching “V” and reflexively linking aliens with terrorists and reptiles—beings who also, as other critics have noted, apparently support universal health care. Surprisingly, “V”'s most worrying political underpinnings is that it has no political underpinnings. “V” is inevitably operating at cross purposes, drawing on a political trope widely familiar to the American viewing public--terrorism--that is steeped in political events while adopting an unnuanced apolitical stance toward these alien terrorists.

Read the rest of her smart piece here.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years 11 months ago
I haven't seen this version of V yet, but I did like the old V series.  If I remember correctly, it was a human minority fighting against the aliens that was seen as kind of terrorist in that version (but terrorist in the good "resistance" sense), as the aliens were in bed with the  collaborating  human government. 
Jason Welle
8 years 11 months ago
These are good questions to consider, but the new 'V' has only aired two episodes.  Can we let the story play out a bit before we dissect it too much?

Advertisement

The latest from america

Father Michael Nixon and parishioner work a volunteer table at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City, Fla. Photo by Atena Sherry.
Much like New Orleans’ Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, the low-income neighborhoods east of Panama City, where St. Dominic is located, were especially hard-hit by the storm. Now residents here are desperate for help.
Atena SherryOctober 18, 2018
“I believe there are adequate, alternative options for true women’s health care out there, and Planned Parenthood is not needed,” said Alisha Fox, a health and wellness coach at a Catholic fertility center in Chicago.
Colleen ZeweOctober 18, 2018
 Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa checks out the name badge of Nathanael Lamataki, a youth delegate from the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, as they leave a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Cardinal Souraphiel highlighted the role globalization plays in connecting young people in unjust ways.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 18, 2018
The pope said he would visit North Korea “if an official invitation arrives.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 18, 2018