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In about 99% of science fiction, aliens come to earth in two ways: charging in to invade, or they come in peace... so they can invade quietly. The second kind are the main problem in "V: The Complete First Season," a remake of the 1980s series/miniseries about mysterious alien Visitors who come to Earth with some nasty ulterior motives. While this remake suffers from some "Lost syndrome," it's a sleek, complex story with an intriguing cast of characters.

City-sized alien ships have appeared over twenty-nine cities worldwide, and the aliens' leader "Anna" (Morena Baccarin) declares that, "We are of peace." The Visitors offer their advanced technology to better the world, and cause massive changes -- social, religious, medical, and so on.

While hunting a terrorist cell FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) stumbles across an anti-Visitor resistance -- and the shocking discovery that not only are the visitors reptilian creatures in humanoid skins, but some Visitors are hiding among us. She and the skeptical priest Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) begin forming their own little resistance cell, along with the V-in-hiding Ryan Nicholas (Morris Chestnut) who is trying to reactivate an alien rebellion known as the Fifth Column. At the same time, news anchor Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) finds himself the media ambassador of the V's, caught between ambition and his growing doubts.

But the resistance has more than Anna's cruel, duplicitous nature to deal with -- Erica's gullible son Tyler (Logan Huffman) has become a "peace ambassador" for the V's and is falling in love with Anna's daughter Lisa (Laura Vandervoort). Ryan's girlfriend is pregnant with a hybrid baby. One of their number is captured by the V's and brutally tortured, even as Anna hatches terrifying new plots to wipe the Fifth Column from existence...

"V: The Complete First Season" is very different from the 1980s version -- there are sweeping changes to the story, characters, the political commentary and the aliens' manipulation ("Gratitude can morph into worship. Or worse... devotion!"). The only problem with this season is that it suffers from "Lost syndrome" at times, where it feels like the plot is moving WAAAAAAYYYY too slowly.

But the writing is good -- it's full of suspense and some amazing plot twists (just see what Anna's unleashing on the Fifth Column). The characters are painstakingly sketched out and developed, along with strong dialogue ("Human decency's a privilege, father. He's lost his. And, when we prove to you that he's lying, you're gonna lose yours, too") and some very powerful emotional moments (a Fifth Column doctor is forced to murder his own friend).

And yeah, there's some creepy stuff too, such as when Erica gets her shocking first glimpse of a V face. Not so much rodent-eating, though.

And the story revolves around two strong actresses -- Mitchell has a powerful, wiry presence with plenty of hidden sorrow/strength, and Baccarin is wonderfully creepy as the ruthless, cunning Anna. Chestnut is simply brilliant as a good-hearted V who cherishes freedom and his human lover, and Gretsch is also excellent as a priest torn between his priestly duty and the need to stop the V's. The problem: Huffman doesn't have the chops to make Tyler anything but a whiny little pain, and Vandervoort feels like a token love interest for Tyler.

It has some freshman flaws, but "V: The Complete First Season" is a promising start for one of the few sci-fi shows on network TV -- powerful acting, solid scripts, and some nicely creepy aliens.
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on April 14, 2010
I didn't know what to expect when I watched the first episode of V, but I ended liking it so much. Now it has become my second favorite show to Lost. The show has talented actors, interesting story, and great special effects. The show was on for four episodes until it took a long break, then came back even better than before. The show is fast paced with so many twists and turns, you don't know what to expect. Definitely buy V: The Complete First Season, you will not be disappointed. I hope it gets picked up for a second season.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 15, 2010
Shady aliens once more among us. When comparing this remake to the original, it's not the old ongoing television series in 1984 that comes to mind but its predecessors, the two mini-series that aired in 1983 and 1984 (V and V: THE FINAL BATTLE). Both those mini-series were thrilling and epic, fraught with suspense and so thought provoking. Part of the success was due to the constraints of the limited series format; the story had to move fast, make its points quick, no effing around. With this 2009 adaptation - and an ongoing series, at that - the pace tends to be leisurely; it plods, frankly. I do like this show but I admit to, at times, having gotten impatient.

The pilot episode opens by asking questions such as "Where were you when JFK was assassinated?" and "Where were you on 9/11?" The intent is to hint at the momentousness of the event which transpires minutes into the pilot. But, also, these questions may lead you to pondering conspiracies. And now factor in the current crippling economic condition? The benevolent Visitors picked the best time to announce their presence, their twenty-nine gargantuan alien mother ships hovering over major cities across the globe. These Visitors from another planet claim that they "are of peace, always." That theirs is merely a sojourn, a temporary stay. And that they possess technological advances they wish to share with humanity, along with their friendship.

As the Visitors seek to cement diplomatic ties with key governments across the world, Earthlings are invited to tour the mother ships, to take in the marvels exhibited within. For humans seeking respite from troubled times, the Visitors are viewed as saviors and miracle workers. It's not too long before humans are recruited as Peace Ambassadors and Visitor churches are contemplated. But, down among the dirt, deep in the shadows, there are those who harbor nagging doubts. They are the human resistance. For humanity, that's a good thing. Because there are aliens posing as humans, and sinister schemes lurking behind the Visitors' many gestures of kindness. There is a cook book.

(You did see that Twilight Zone episode, right?)

Think what you will of Marc Singer, he was on point as the original V's dashing hero. This modern incarnation doesn't feature an Indiana Jones type like Singer, and that's to its detriment. I don't see anyone here as sympathetic or likable as Robert Englund's vulnerable alien Willie. Charles Mesure doesn't have Michael Ironside's presence. But Morena Baccarin is this show's great get. She improves on Jane Badler (who, given, was a hottie in the original V). To cover all bases, though, Jane Badler comes on the new V in Season 2 (as Anna's mother, Diana).

As Anna, the charismatic, press-savvy Visitor High Commander, Morena Baccarin is mesmerizing, and I couldn't resist her wiles. But, then again, I've loved Baccarin since her stint in FIREFLY. Anna is one of the show's focal points, and her Machiavellian character is the most crucial element in the show. The other main lead is Elizabeth Mitchell (from LOST) whose FBI agent/anxious mom character heads up the human resistance. Scott Wolf as the news anchor who becomes Anna's media voice rounds out what's interesting in this cast. The rest of the supporting cast are blah.

The special effects are flawless. The predominant themes of media manipulation, closet fascism, and the gradual erosion of values that result from compromise are old hat. We all knew going in that some humans will choose to collaborate with the Visitors. Some will defy them. I realize that the show is in the midst of world-building, trying to establish its own mythology. But it really could've done with more action sequences and maybe more timely reveals. And more inventiveness. Even worse, the episodes frequently dragged. So it comes down to this: Is the sci-fi alien-among-us premise enough of a hook? Despite the sluggishness, were you entertained anyway? Were you intrigued enough that even that long hiatus in between new episodes kept your patronage? It did, me. Barely. But I wonder how much of that is because I loved the original so much. Season 2 had better pick up tremendously.

V - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, with its 12 episodes, comes in three discs, with the following bonus material: "The Actor's Journey from Human to V" lets you go behind the scenes with cast & crew interviews (00:16:54 minutes); "Breaking Story: The World of V" is an overview of Season 1 (00:16:36 minutes); "An Alien in Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V" is self-explanatory (00:11:52); as is "VFX: The Visual FX of V" (00:15:07); 6 Deleted Scenes; and audio commentary on the episode "Fruition" by Executive Producers Steve Pearlman & Scott Rosenbaum.
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on May 3, 2010
V is one of the best new shows on television - the best in my opinion. It pays homage to the original 1980 miniseries, but it uses modern themes to appeal to today's audience. The characters (well, some of them) are very likable, especially the V's cold (and yet ooh so hot) leader Anna, played by Morena Baccarin, and the resistance group with a mix of FBI Agent Erica, played by the ever-watchable Elizabeth Mitchell, a Priest, a V-turned-human, and a Machiavellian take-no-prisoners mercenary. A lot of people watch for the sci-fi premise, which seems very well done (although I don't have too much experience). The main reasons I watch are actually the characters and the suspense. We know that the V's are here to exploit us, and they're being nice to us so we know they need us for something... but we don't know what yet.

Like every other show out there, V does have some inconsistencies in the plot, and you have to suspend disbelief a little more than you'd like. But overall, it's an awesome entertaining show that hooked me from the start. I hope ABC has the foresight to renew it for a second season, but either way, I can't wait to get my DVDs!
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on May 8, 2012
I wanted to like this show, but it was just so incredibly bad. The story is poorly executed in the very crucial sense that there's very little true drama, no intensity, no suspense, no humor, no heart, very little action. In short, the story lacks the absolute critical elements (or ingredients) that go into good story-telling and consequently the show was not entertaining. The only real story seemed to be the supposedly-friendly-acting-but-really-sinister aliens (aka the Visitors or the Vees) have some super secret evil plan that a handful of humans and "truly friendly" aliens are trying to reveal and stop. That single lone storyline takes up the entire season and it flimsily and boringly drags on and on and on for the entire first season with a few vapid sub-stories thrown in. So the season was really boring since the story never seemed to progress, mature or truly go anywhere. Watching it was frustrating. And making matters worse is the fact that all the characters are boring and uninteresting--the FBI agent, the Priest, the hammy over-the-top Mercenary-type, the friendly "black guy" alien--are all boring. The writing is so weak on this show. The acting is bad. The SFX are bad--I've never seen worse green screen SFX shots on any TV show. For a truly good SCI-FI TV re-make, check out the re-do/re-make of "Battlestar Galactica" (Seasons 1-3). That was an excellent re-make of an older SCI-FI TV show. This remake of V is a colossal disappointment.
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on March 21, 2016
Ever since Arthur C. Clarke wrote Childhood's End in 1953, authors producers and directors have been stringing all the mileage out of this theme that they can. We start with "visitors are they friendly?" right up to Demon Baby and the threatened "end of all things." This 2009 series Visitors does it best. They handle the theme of "are emotions a strength or a weakness" very deftly, and the transformation of how humans view The Visitors is pulled off very nicely. There's a nice, edge-of-your-seat crime drama that pulls the pieces together, makes you care about the outcome, and is likely to keep you tuning in.
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on April 30, 2014
The re-do of "V" (there was a previous "V" back in the mid-80s) lasted only two seasons and was terminated before the entire story-line played out. This was unfortunate, because the series was well-written and well-acted. (I understand there is an organized fan movement to have the show resurrected.)

The basic story is that the earth has been invaded by an alien race who become known as "the Visitors," or "the V's" for short. The aliens are led by Anna (Morena Baccarin), a beautiful and charming but privately ruthless leader, who puts a benign, pretty face on top of what is basically a plot to destroy the human race and take over the world. Anna and the aliens are opposed by "the Fifth Column," a small group of humans and alien-defectors who know what is really going on. They are led by FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell), whose own son Tyler (Logan Huffman) has been targeted by the aliens to play an important but unspecified role in their plans. Other prominent members of the resistance include a Catholic priest, Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch) and Ryan (Morris Chestnut), an alien who has defected after developing human-like emotions and attachments. Caught in the middle is prominent news anchor Chad Decker (Scott Wolf), who - despite his occasional misgivings - allows himself to be used by Anna as a tool of her propaganda.

The human race is divided over the aliens. Many are deceived by their show of benevolence and their ability to produce medical marvels and other feats of superior technology. The Visitors use sex appeal and idealism to recruit young human "ambassadors" to act is go-betweens between the aliens and humans. The ambassadors - who include Erica's son Tyler - are unwitting tools of the aliens' program. A minority of humans continue to harbor suspicion of - and hostility towards - the aliens, but the aliens are effective propagandists who overcome most resistance through their medical marvels and technological gifts.

In some ways, the show calls to mind the 1960's series, The Invaders. The aliens have infiltrated human society over many years, and are virtually indistinguishable from ordinary humans. (Their true appearance is reptilian, but they have replicated human skin and facial features.) The infiltration of the Visitors into all walks of life puts the members of the resistance in a state of paranoia, as they can never trust someone not to be an alien in disguise. (They eventually develop a test by which an alien can be identified.) Another nod to The Invaders is that when the aliens are in jeopardy of being captured, they swallow a suicide pill which consumes their bodies in flames in a matter of seconds, destroying the evidence of their true nature.

The plots typically involve the efforts of the Visitors to spread their influence and control over human society, efforts which are countered by the resistance, and then counter-countered by the Visitors. Newsman Chad Decker is often caught in the middle, typically acting as a vehicle for alien propaganda even as his suspicions grow.

For me - and I am not alone in this - "V" often reminds me of political events in real life, and sometimes refers to those events (e.g., 9/11) explicitly. "V" is not, however, a piece of political propaganda, even though I think that conservatives will find more to like in this show than in a typical TV drama.

I think "V" is an entertaining series, and hope that it is resurrected and allowed to reach its final climax. (I will not do a separate review of Season 2, other than to say that it continues to entertain and add new elements to the story. Each episode reveals something new, and you never get the impression that the series is spinning its wheels or "jumping the shark".)
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on June 1, 2016
They could have gone on for a third and forth season but like all the Execs they like the Sit Coms about another rich family's life in the toilet in florida or new york or boston, give us SciFi people a break? Were not from that dorky group, and I know that thats were all the people move to the west coast to enjoy a great life want to see the east again? Thats all we hear is how great it is back east? well why did you move out west to watch movies about the east? Give us ScFi we like it.
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on May 2, 2011
I can't understand the 7 bad reviews for this show I read but whatever. I'm an average sci-fi fan who thought the 'V' of 25 yrs ago was 'ok' but this updated version is terrific. And the ultimate compliment to it is that in season 1 you get a mere glimpse of what the aliens 'really' look like and yet the show is compelling and creepy and utterly entertaining. The show is totally made by the perfomance of Morena Baccarin who plays 'Anna' the alien Queen. She is so beautiful, creepy, and deadly you almost wind up rooting for her in her quest to wipe out Earth! Her counterpart Elizabeth Mitchell as the FBI Agent on Earth trying to expose the 'V's' is also terrific. It is this battle between two Mothers that actually drives the show. The supporting cast of Joel Gretsch as Father Jack, Scott Wolf as a self serving journalist, and the gorgeous Laura Vandervoort as Anna's daughter are all great additional characters on the show. Post 911 fears; idolatry; wanting someone or something to 'fix' all our problems; these are just a few of the issues dealt with on 'V'. I really, really liked it and didn't think I would. I will definitely purchase season 2 when its available.
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on April 9, 2014
However, you can say that about every film (except Godfather II). The series was good and the special effects were great. (This is just the first season remember). The steelbooks are the sets to get. Great collectibles, especially if you can get them at this low a price for an entire season. The only problem was the steelbook had two small dents on the front. (That stuff always irritates me, but now bad enough to send back for a replacement).

I think you'll enjoy this remake and Season Two is also available but for a lot higher price. It also doesn't come in a steelbook. I haven't seen the second season so I can't tell you if it's worth buying or not you'll have to make that decision yourself. However, expect to receive the usual great customer service from Amazon.com. They are always a '5 Star' group.
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