‘It Can’t Happen Here’: Why the ‘V’ Warning Still Relevant Forty Years Later

ALICANTE. “V” did a lot wrong. For starters, the choice of title, which (though explained at the end of the original miniseries’ first episode) is still unclear as to what it refers to, is subtle and easy to find online. Continuing, I’m trying to deal with an overly broad cast (both good and bad) that spawns an endless number of storylines lacking in interest or special meaning that are difficult to follow. Or shamelessly adopting the visual language (and dialogue structure) of soap operas. yankees subgenre rich people cry too How Dynasty (besides reworking the stars of the genre) with a montage that features black holes rather than ellipses.

But in spite of this, it became worldwide phenomenon (Note this is a three-hour TV mini-series that aired on NBC in 1983, before Google), which spawned again a sequel in the form of a (wider) mini-series and finally a regular series of 19 sixty-minute weekly chapters with single-valued plots strung on a common one. The only explanation, besides the fact that in the early eighties Martians they were like that main stream like now Turkish soap operas, which he buys by weight antenna 3is that “V” also did a lot of things well.

Currently, “V” cannot be legally viewed on streaming. His remake out of “two thousand”, without half the finesse, despite the obvious improvement in special effects (because it suffers from the same sin as the weekly series that killed “the lizard that lays golden eggs” by forgetting what made the game special Being ‘fantasy car‘ or ‘team‘), yes, it is available on some platform. However, the idea of ​​the original mini-series is unfortunately still alive. forty years later about his premiere.

The story of “V” begins as “Independence Day” (or rather, it was the other way around). Images of the arrival of visitor ships with nothing to envy blockbusters from Will Smithhair stand on end. Some humanoid aliens (hehe) come to Earth as friends to ask us for help because they have destroyed the environment, and in exchange for some chemicals they need, they offer us all their knowledge. But soon ratty things start to happen, sorry, strange things. and TV camera Mike Donovaninterpreted Mark Singer (“The Beastmaster”, 1982) was the first to realize this, along with an authorized scientist (40 years before the invention of this term). Julie Parrishwho gives life Faye Grant. They organize resistance by wearing a red “V” for victory.

Actually, the creator, screenwriter and director of “V” (in the sequels they will get rid of him; this Show Business), Kenet Johnsonwanted to adapt the book of the thirties “This Cannot Be Here”, from Harry Sinclair Lewis, about politics with fascist ideas that came to power in the US with a populist discourse after the crisis of 1929 (any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental). But in the end, he had to include the Martians in the story, because NBC, respecting the title of the adapted book, also did not believe that an American could be a Nazi, and preferred an external threat, such as The Manchurian Candidate. .

“V” may have done a lot of things wrong too, but there’s no denying that he aged wonderfully (with the exception of some very appropriate special effects for the time and format, mind you). Because his warning is closer to the reality of 2023 than it was forty years ago. For example, and without forgetting populist speeches the already mentioned post-crisis period, which in recent years has elevated more or less totalitarian politicians, we have I despise scientists (promoted by the lizards to prevent them from revealing their true intentions and faces) which is now championed by flat earthers, anti-vaccinationists and others.

Or the distrust of a dedicated populace in front of evidence that aliens are actually a bit of a bastard. “That can’t happen here.” And the extreme right rules or has ruled Greece, Austria, Poland, Italy… even Sweden (albeit in the form of external support)! And he affectionately does it in Spain.

Green Nazis

In a very non-subtle form (very emphatic, in fact), the V parallels the Nazi Party’s rise to power: Even visitors, all in uniform, wear a hair-length symbol that looks like a swastika. These are lizards behind friendly human faces; they use billboards like the one that was common in the first half of the 20th century, between the civil and world wars, to convey their message of brotherhood; they founded a youth organization for the children of earthlings (the parents of an enthusiastic character who signed up are horrified that he will betray them); they “indicate” to that part of the population that it is not convenient for them (in this case, as it was said, to scientists); at first they find not only disbelief, but also direct collaborationism, like in Vichy’s… Even a Jewish character who spent his youth in a concentration camp warns his family that “we have not learned anything.”

Even more amazing coincidences with the current reality. Given that the protagonist was a cameraman, it was obvious that the media would play a central role in the plot: visitors first use them to gain our trust, and then infiltrate it, hiding reality from us. The loss of TV prestige in V, even though Save Me hadn’t been invented yet, is comparable to what it is today. Donovan has a damn video of Diana eating a rat. and an alien showing his true face, and not even for those. The most astute journalist in town becomes the lizard press secretary (at first with as much conscientiousness as ambition), raising an interesting debate about objectivity.

There are positive parallels, and of course, one should stay with them: the resistance that Donovan and Julie put up, along with a handful of other bold criticisms (not to be confused with the resistance of the “awakened” “howls”). although they believe they see reptiles everywhere), helping a neighbor (embodied in that Jew who learned something in Mauthausen), the aforementioned critical spirit, the courage to do the right thing, even if it is inconvenient … And, as a curiosity, the series will be Exalt in the second season Michael IronsideIt is known that millennials as “the villain from Total Recall”) and gave one of his first roles Robert EnglundAKA Freddy Kruegerwhich here makes a good-natured visitor and a bit of short stature.

V, the original miniseries, was so successful that NBC green-lit a slightly longer second season (but in the same format), V, the Last Stand, and then the aforementioned 19-episode weekly series, which it lost the favor of the public (it was no longer about disclosing a conspiracy, but about fleeing and being shot). The two, without Johnson at the helm, ended up sinking the product andimmodest television‘, the TV magazine that published the episodes in comic book format had to come up with an absurd ending and make sure it was based on scripts for the next season that never existed. But no matter what, V’s warning continues today, forty years after it premiered, and it’s more relevant than ever.

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