An attractive, telegenic, charismatic leader shows up out of nowhere, promising change for the better and universal health care, and charms millions of Americans, while others refuse to jump on board the love train, and some even go so far as accusing the new leader of being a covert terrorist.
It should, because it it’s a fairly accurate (if overly-concise) account of President Obama’s campaign. It also happens to be the plot of the new show V, minus a little tidbit about reptilian aliens.
According to this article, the similarity is a little too perfect to be ignored. The author states his opinion that the show is a “barbed critique on Obamamania that will infuriate the president’s supporters and delight his detractors.” If that’s true, than we have a high-profile primetime series being used as an outlet for seething anger towards the president, not only taking aim at his supposedly specious ability to charm people, but also putting forward the belief that he is truly here to harm good, upstanding American citizens.
So, is it true?
Nope. The show obviously uses the political language of the day — a character directly, without coding, says that the aliens can offer “universal health care” — but that’s because television dialogue always reflects the language of the present culture. V doesn’t strike any eerie realistic chords with its political rhetoric anymore than The West Wing did.
Thanks to 24-hour news channels, which have made celebrities out of partisan political commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann, politics have infiltrated pop culture like never before, and have become completely infused with entertainment. Given this merge, is it any surprise that pure entertainment is based on political secrecy?
V’s source material — the 1980s mini-series and series — used similar references — and it was obviously created decades before anyone even knew Obama’s name.
Liberal or conservative, whatever your stance may be, feel free to enjoy V as a fun, if slightly silly, bit of escapist television, and leave the politicking to the professionals. Sometimes science fiction and fantasy can be used more effectively than any other genre to make social criticisms, because they allow us to step away from naming names and speak clearly, if through the lens of metaphor.
But sometimes it’s just for fun. And such is the case with V.