Does ABC’s politically charged reboot of the eighties sci-fi series V have something against President Barack Obama? A number of critics and bloggers have noted what seems to be a critique of the new president’s messianic perception in the show’s pilot episode, which premiered on Tuesday to blockbuster ratings. In case you missed it–or in case the political reading completely escaped you–here’s the basic idea: In V, there’s a charismatic, telegenic extraterrestrial leader Anna (Morena Baccarin) who comes to Earth promising peace and offering universal health care. Anna and her attending alien armada may truly have Earth’s best interest at heart–or they may be leveraging their buzz, celebrity, sex appeal and idealism to lure the planet down a road to ruin.
In my recap of the pilot, I argued that V wasn’t really politically partisan, but rather a mirror to the wide range of reactions–positive and negative; hopeful and skeptical; gullible and cynical–that Obama has inspired. But apparently, the folks at unabashedly conservative Fox News see V as being more pointed and personal in its polemics. According to a new study by Media Matters In America–described as “a progressive research and information center dedicated to monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the media” (read: a non-profit liberal-leaning watchdog group)–Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck have all “endorsed” V as “a critique of ‘Obama-mania.'” The report quotes Hannity as saying: “You know, I think this is one show that I can actually get behind.”
Now, I can see V being a commentary on “Obama-mania,” but I’m not convinced the show is commenting on President Obama himself. It’ll be interesting to see if V continues to be a favorite of the Fox News set if it’s revealed that Anna has genuinely good intentions but is being thwarted and subverted by her own alien people–like, say, a political faction that’s transparently right-wing. At the same time, I have to wonder about this “Media Matters In America” outfit trying to make some noise with their study: it seems to me they’re exploiting both Fox News and the current hype around V to promote themselves. Perhaps they’re trying to court donations from Geeks For Obama?
Regardless, what do you think of V‘s political metaphor? Do you think the show is pro-Obama or anti-Obama–or neither? And what would happen to your interest in the show if it revealed itself to be clearly Right or clearly Left in its political worldview? Would that annoy you? Intrigue you? Inspire you to watch something else?
Photo Credit: V: Michael Courtney/ABC; Obama: Janet Mayer/PR Photos