V is for very, VERY excited.
If you are good and faithful minions you know several important things about us: Lorenzo loves plaid and Tom doesn’t; Tom thinks a dress in a nude shade can be fabulous under the right circumstances, Lorenzo thinks there are no “right circumstances” for a nude dress; Tom is a runaway geek and Lorenzo just loves fabulous women who take no shit. It’s that last point that is key to this post, because minions? V is back as of tomorrow night, which means Tom gets his nerd on, and Lorenzo gets to squee over scary Prada lizard Anna and kickass FBI agent Erica, played respectively by Morena Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell, the late lamented Juliet of Lost.
Now, it’s BECAUSE you are such good and faithful minions that you are aware that V aired its first 4 episodes in November and then went on hiatus for 4 months for a retooling. As you no doubt remember, we were VERY EXCITED about the new show and yet in our writeups (which you’ve all undoubtedly committed to memory by now) we had to admit that, while there was a TON of potential in the concept and most of the cast was doing decent work, there was an “oomph” missing from the show. It started off incredibly strong (helped greatly by Baccarin’s charismatic performance) but very quickly devolved into a somewhat by-the-numbers law enforcement procedural. This was made doubly worse by some very poor use of its “Starring Canada as New York City!” standard network television setup. Anyone who ever spent more than ten minutes in Manhattan can tell you that it appeared nowhere on the screen in those first episodes.
Still, we were enthralled and held out hope that the people involved with the show could right the ship, given time. That’s why we supported the hiatus wholeheartedly. Lost is ending soon, Flash Forward has been a terrible disappointment and Fringe has been inconsistent (and besides, it’s a very different show anyway), so V is where we pinned all our hopes for hardcore nerdery with a weekly cliffhanger.
So, not only are we excited at the prospect of a return and a retool for tomorrow night, but we are doubly so after reading this piece in the Chicago Tribune by our best TV-tawking galpal, Mo Ryan of the Chicago Tribune. Mo was an early “mainstream” supporter of our little house o’ fun here and has remained so all through our various iterations. We have exactly three television critics bookmarked that we check every day and Mo is at the top of the list. She writes successfully about television in the way that we can only attempt to: you really do feel after reading her columns and posts like you just got finished having a great gabfest with a friend about what was on last night. We’ll never forget the time Mo emailed us to excitedly tell us that not only did she get a tour of the Mad Men sets, but that she got to “touch the Draper’s plaid wallpaper!” THAT is a gal after our own hearts.
Mo has some great tantalizing tidbits from our two warrior ladies (Baccarin and Mitchell) as well as an extensive interview with new head writer and executive producer Scott Rosenbaum, who was hired to come in and provide a focus going forward during the hiatus. It’s chockful of exciting tidbits and we’re going to sprinkle some of them around for you right now:
“According [to] cast members Morena Baccarin (who plays the charismatic alien leader Anna) and Elizabeth Mitchell (who plays dogged FBI agent Erica Evans), as well as Scott Rosenbaum, the show’s new head writer and executive producer, “V’s” lengthy mid-season break allowed the tantalizing drama to regroup and amp up the tension.
“There are these visual reveals that, for me as a geeky science-fiction fan, are kind of huge,” said Mitchell, whose character, unlike most Earthlings, thinks the “Visitors” are up to no good. “For Erica, it’s gotten grittier and more tortured — she’s going against all the things she believes in” as she assembles a human resistance movement.”
“In those first four [fall] episodes, we really set up the world and what’s going on,” Baccarin said. “Now these episodes can go deeper into that. Every single character on ‘V’ — we get deeper into who they are and what their faction is and what their agenda is.”
“When he started work on ‘V,’ ‘the first thing I did was, I took everything that I liked and decided, I’m going to amplify that 10 times,’ Rosenbaum said. ‘One of the things I always loved about writing for ‘The Shield’ was the frenetic pace of the storytelling. You know, it felt like you were on a little bit of a roller coaster ride when you were watching that show.’
The second step was to ‘intertwine’ the lives of the show’s characters more intensely but also focus on the “two strong, smart women” at the core of “V.” He noted that there will be juicy stuff for Ryan (Morris Chestnut) and Valerie (Lourdes Benedicto), who are expecting a hybrid baby, and for Chad Decker (Scott Wolf), a news anchor who enjoys exclusive access to the Visitors, who’ve said they’ll provide free health care in exchange for some much-needed minerals.”
“Thanks to the extensive special effects Tuesday’s episode required, it wasn’t sent out [to] the media in advance. But Baccarin said viewers will learn more about Anna — “physically and emotionally” — when ‘V’ resumes.
“There are so many revelations in every episode,’ Baccarin said. ‘I was like, “People are not going to be able to breathe when they watch the show.” (But don’t worry — the revamping hasn’t extended to Anna’s signature pixie haircut. ‘I don’t think I have a choice anymore’ on whether to keep the character’s sleek hairstyle, Baccarin said with a laugh.)”
“She’s so subtle. It’s not like I’m guffawing and laughing and twirling a mustache, you know? [laughs] There’s something underneath everything Anna does. She’s so double-sided. She can be bigger at times but really fine-tuned other times. I really enjoy playing the role because there are so many roles within it and so many levels.”
Anna vs. Erica:
“Anna ‘is an animal,’ Rosenbaum said. ‘It’s not that she doesn’t like humans, it’s not that she’s evil — it’s just that we are standing in the way of what will allow her people to grow and continue to evolve and move forward.’ (Speaking of animals, those who recall the original ‘V’ will see some specific homages to the 1983 series when the ABC show returns.)
Erica, on the other hand, has ‘one arm tied behind her back because she has a little thing called a conscience,’ Rosenbaum noted. ‘How does she fight this battle against Anna, maintaining her humanity and morality, when she is going against a foe that doesn’t have to go by the same rules?’
‘It’s a war, and the humans can’t win mano a mano,’ he added. ‘The trick to beating them is being smarter.”
Are you squeeing yet? All of that sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Fair warning, minions: we will be blogging the SHIT out of this show when it comes back, so you might want to hop on now. In all likelihood, tomorrow’s show will be fairly easy for newcomers to grasp. Besides, it’s not exactly the most complicated story in the world. You can pretty much figure the whole setup out after a minute or two of viewing. Jump on in! The water’s
FINE FULL OF LIZARDS!
[Photo Credit: ABC TV]
Source: “Hey aliens, it’s war!” Mo Ryan at the Chicago Tribune