This season of V is drawing to a close — the finale is next Tuesday — and I’m still waiting for the queen alien to gulp down a live guinea pig, the way the reptilian Visitors did in the original 1983 ABC miniseries. But the more I watch, the more I realize there’s something else happening on the new V besides the classic extraterrestrial invasion plotline. On the original miniseries, the aliens would peel away their human faces to reveal the lizard underneath. In this new version, the face beneath the mask looks more like Barack Obama’s. Indeed, V may just be the most wildly paranoid and insanely reactionary TV show since Glenn Beck got a time slot on Fox News. Stick with me here.
The leader of the Visitors, Anna (Morena Baccarin), is smooth, articulate, fabulously photogenic, and seemingly totally benign. She offers humankind “hope” and is mistaken by the Earthling masses as a “savior.” She’s a darling of the left-wing media establishment (Scott Wolf plays an ambitious TV reporter who gets sucked into Anna’s scheme, becoming the alien’s own Keith Olbermann). Anna even gives the whole planet universal health care, setting up miraculous healing centers all over the world. And yet, there is a skeptical band of freedom-loving American mavericks — they call themselves the Fifth Column, not Tea Partiers, but big diff — who recognize a socialist conspiracy when they see one. They meet secretly in dark cellars and scheme to blow up transport shuttles and cause other mischief. So far, though, Anna has always outsmarted them, convincing the rest of the world that these heroic patriots are merely a bunch of crazy fanatics (now they know how Michele Bachmann feels).
Anyway, Pop Watchers, what do you make of the new V? Am I the only one seeing right-wing metaphors here — or is this show truly the sci-fi series of Rush Limbaugh’s dreams?