An amazing thing happened at a recent debut of a much-touted ABC pilot.
A not-so-subtle message was sent to a large viewing audience.
The targets of the TV communiqué were Democrats in power. If you can believe it, the Obama administration, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the Democrats in Congress were smacked by Hollywood on a major television broadcast.
Rather than use the tired old clichés of villainous conservatives, Christians, gun owners or Republicans, the new show “V” went after the current D.C. free-enterprise-destroying agenda, and did so with an interplanetary vengeance.
Sci-fi tales are known as the repository for parables that describe current circumstances in society. Orwell, Huxley, and H.G. Wells wrote social commentary in the form of narrative fantasy. “1984” was a warning about totalitarianism, “Brave New World” showed the consequences of science without moral limitations, and “War of the Worlds” displayed the danger of complacency.
But these days, I wouldn’t expect a prime-time premiere of a show on a major network to contain plot lines that are pleasing to members of the Tea Party movement.
“V” features Reptilian lizard aliens who want to kill us all but in order to gain our trust, disguise themselves using cloned human flesh as beautiful people. The aliens are masters of the media image but their rhetoric is not matched by their actions.
Anna, a stunning female leader of the aliens, could be Nancy Pelosi’s younger, better-looking cousin. She explains that the “visitors” (hence the title, “V”) are here to help us with our problems. You see, they have all the answers to the crises we face. Their first move to earn our trust and devotion is to offer the world universal healthcare. Some would criticize the parallels for being too obvious, but to see the arrogant, power-drunk politicians getting theirs is just too much fun.
Anna and her fellow aliens assert complete control over the media and will only allow positive coverage of the visitors. A reporter who is offered an exclusive interview with Anna is told not to say anything negative or media access will be terminated.
A group of humans have discovered the truth about the aliens plan to murder mankind and seek to expose the seemingly attractive visitors as the reptile-skinned monsters they truly are. They bear an eerie resemblance to listeners of Michael Savage.
The original 1983 "V" miniseries had an anti-communist theme that tapped into Cold War anxieties. But most sci-fi series these days have towed the line and kept their plot lines in accordance with the Hollywood liberal thought police.
The New York Times predictably slammed the show as unrealistic and left-wing bloggers have become apoplectic over the series.
But the public loves the show.
The aliens of "V" may not have finished remaking the world on the show, but they were able to pull in more than 14 million viewers. That is a larger audience than all but one new show this season, and “V” was tops with the coveted 18-49 age demographic, ABC’s best showing in three years.
Strangely, ABC had removed the original showrunner, producer/writer Scott Peters, even before the pilot had aired. Peters was made exec producer, a position normally without creative power, and replaced him with Scott Rosenbaum, of “The Shield” and “Chuck” fame.
One wonders if with these big ratings the network will bring Peters back. Or, will he be shunned because of the pilot’s underlying message.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, commentator, media analyst, and law professor. He is the co-founder and Chief Legal Counsel for InternationalEsq.com, a legal think tank and educational institute for the study of law in the media. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood.
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