Is ABC's 'V' anti-Obama? Let the debate begin!

V-show-Obama_lDoes 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

Comments (175 total) Add your comment
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  • ger

    I guess the FOX guys don’t realize the show is filmed in Vancouver. Go Canada.

    • KEH

      Media Matters is more Bias than O’Reilly .. sort of the web equivalent of Glenn Beck for the left.. always seeing conspiracy on TV when the show has a different POV…
      I think V does ask the question.. when someone promises you everything.. what’s in it for them? The democrats will tax my kids for thier goals.. the Vs will eat them either way if you believe in a free lunch or Dr. Appt you are gullible.

      • Felix

        “Biased” (not “Bias”)

      • uncle joe mccarthy

        media matters just posts clips from right wing wackos like yourself, there is very little opinion on the site.

      • Kevin

        uncle joe maccarthy, why are you calling someone names just for stating their view?

    • Lauren

      So was Battlestar Galactica. And during it’s good years BSG was about the US post 911. A good number of, essentially, Hollywood shows are filmed in Vancouver.

    • blanco112

      Media Matters isn’t a “news” organization and they don’t try and pretend to be what they aren’t. What they “are” is a watchdog group that reports on right wing bias in the news. At least they come out and say it. I will say I’m a little disappointed in Doc’s assertion that Media Matters is trying to exploit anything. They have been doing the same thing for a while now regardless of whether it’s Glenn Beck, Rush or Fox. To insinuate that they are just popping up now only means you haven’t been paying attention.

      • genius

        Exactly! Media Matters is just setting the record straight. They just point out the facts when someone tries to weasel the words to suit their side of the argument. You know, they care about that silly little thing called “the truth”.
        And boy do they ever have their work cut out for them! My in-box is jammed on a daily basis.

      • Kevin

        Media Matters fails because they take clips out of context and present it in a much more deviant light than it really was. Anyone can take clips out of context and make someone look or seem horrible, stupid, etc, etc…

    • Bruce

      FOX and the rest of the right wing cult have been waiting for the mother ship for a long time. This is as close as it gets.

      • jdilling

        Bruce how ignorant can you be…how’s the hope and change working for you? Or do you have a government job? National Socialist.

  • ObiHave

    Give me a freakin’ break…no more so than the original was Anti-Reagan or Daddy Bush.

    • G

      that’s exactly it. the aliens were promising pretty much the same thing in the original when obama wasn’t around. does anyone pick up on that?
      If you read the media matters stuff, it certainly seems like all three of those guys are just kind of kidding around. MMiA needs there sarcasm meters checked.
      If you wanted you could draw parallels between just about anything. it just so happens that this coincides with some things that are going on in the world now. Maybe some of it is intentional. but claims of these horrible ‘pow right in the kisser’ shots are pure BS.
      people need to lighten up.

      • Q

        People pick up on that, but then ignore it because it doesn’t fit their viewpoint.

    • nunnya

      The original was anti-fascism. Not anti-Regan. When did the Reagan admin try to manipulate the press?

      • Bruce

        since day 1

      • Kevin

        bruce, were they successful? And were they as successful as Obama’s been?

      • just call me teflon

        Were they successful?? Hahahahahaha..choke! Iran-contra slid right off of Reagan’s back and he is actually credited with ending the Cold War. I call that masssively successful. What the question should have been is are they as successful as George W. Bush was? Manipulating the press into supporting the war in Iraq was the ultimate win.

  • Mike

    I’m not so concerned about whether the show is or is not anti-Obama, but I think it’s sort of hilarious that you think this “Media Matters outfit” is using this for self-promotion. Media Matters has been around a good long time, and THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY DO. They watch media and draw attention to conservative bias. Period. The fact that you haven’t heard about it reveals your ignorance (not meant in a snarky way, just being direct). At first I was alarmed that you — being a member of the media — would be unaware of this media watchdog group, but I suppose it just speaks to the fact that entertainment media and political media are different (albeit overlapping) spheres.

    • Mike

      Perhaps I’ve read your blog post too deeply. I realize you don’t say that you’ve never heard of Media Matters, but I do think your language suggests they are some new, unknown entity. And I apparently I felt compelled to respond to that suggestion.

      • Kiare

        I can see how you read it that way- I think that he was simply trying to clarify what the group is about for those who hadn’t. That was my take on it, at least.

    • Red

      Media Matters itself is definitely left-wing — founded by David Brock, formerly a conservative figure, now emphatically a liberal — and bankrolled by Democrats. Not saying any of that is negative; it depends on one’s OWN bias, of course. A group that researches liberal bias, by contrast, is the Media Research Council, headed by Brent Bozell.

  • Ryan

    Why would the aliens not act this way? It’s far easier to get on someone’s side by being nice than to be outright evil. Clearly they are just being smart. I don’t think it has anything to do with the president and any similarity is just an easy coincidence.

    • RA


    • Trixie

      Although the scene where Scott Wolf’s character is interviewing Anna, and she says she essentially wants health care for all, and it cuts to him looking incredulous and saying, “YOU MEAN YOU WANT *!**~*~&&!UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE?!??!~**~(&@)!” I think that was a definite jab at the current administration.

      • Karatex

        I think they were trying to make a joke there. Riffing on the “Universal” in Universal health care.

  • Teleholic

    I really REALLY don’t think the show is anti-Obama or is trying to send any political message at all. I think the reason they’re talking about how the Vs are gonna bring us “universal healthcare” is because that is exactly what we need right now-and the show’s about the Vs arriving when we need them most. The healthcare thing is just something on the show that helps explain why people are supporting the Vs and why they are going to become “devoted” to them.

    • Harry

      definitely. Universal Healthcare IS something that would be pretty good right about now. There aren’t a lot of things that are better for gaining someone’s trust than curing formerly incurable diseases. Plus, as a lot of people have pointed out, they did that in the 80’s version too, way before Obama, or even Hilary. It’s a coincidence.

      • Lilly

        Another coincidence is that the statistics for the current unemployment rate in this country came out this week: Highest unemployment since 1983. The same year the original series aired… I don’t know if I think it is political, intentional, or pure entertainment, but there definitely are some strange coincidences here.

      • Kevin

        Harry, universal healthcare is a way for the government to take control of things that the government was never created to take control of in the first place. I think this is why the aliens use this in V… it’s something that sounds good on the outside, but something that can be used as a means of controlling people and taking more of their money via taxes, etc.

        I think what’s far more interesting is that the alien asks the press basically not to make them look bad, which is what Obama has been accused of doing, which is a way to take away freedoms of the press while also controlling public perception so that the public remains favorable to you (if they are impressionable).

  • Sean

    Oh….my… The American people need a hobby. Once there is time for these types of debates, we must be near the bottom of this barrel we have created. When the need to be partisan instead of simply American reaches the low of looking for clues in a sci-fi television remake from the 80’s, you have to ask yourself why?! Please ask yourself and then go out and put something positive into the world. Peace.

    • davey

      Well said Sean. You took the words right out of my mouth – I’m Canadian though.

  • Bobby

    She is a lot cuter than him.

  • DN

    Isn’t the premise of this “V” reboot the exact same as the original mini-series? I don’t know because I’m not watching the show, and that makes me ask about it’s popularity because we know the big twist already, don’t we?

  • Shemp

    I agree with ObiHave. The makers of the original would have to see into the future because the aliens also claimed to cure diseases in that one.
    I just hope there is more action than drama and a different spin is put on it than the original.

  • jen

    I really don’t think this show is anti-Obama at all. I watched the original as a kid, and I saw a bunch of similarities. The Vs were about health care and change and used youth way back then.
    That said, as I was watching this, I said to myself that people were going to think this is bashing Obama. I said this to my roommate and my dad, and both of them disagreed with me. I feel vindicated, but I still think it’s stupid.

    • Chappel

      I agree. This is just a case of people projecting their fears and hatred and using any and all opportunities to spread their political propaganda and further influence the sheeple who buy into their philosophy.

    • BCHtown

      The original “V” was an allegory of fascistic totalitarianism, specifically Hitler’s Germany. This has been documented over and over. It seems that Hitler came into power promising “hope” and “change” from the dismal period of German history between WW1 and WW2, promoting reliance on the government to provide all essential services like healthcare. Hitler used the youth of Germany to act as quasi-spies on their own families. Hitler used the arts community to promote his agenda.
      Now, I’m not saying that Obama is Hitler-esque, but the similarities of rhetoric between the Hitler-led National Socialist Party of Germany in the 1930s and 40s and today’s Obama-led Democrats are only highlighted, likely unwittingly, by “V” in both the original version and todays.

      Now, I’m not saying that Obama is Hitler-esque, but the similarities between the National Socialist Party of Germany in the 30s and 40s and today’s Obama-led Democrats are only highlighted, likely unwittingly, by “V” in both the original version and todays.

  • Lene

    Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar. It’s a sci-fi show. About lizards. And if there’s any political analogy at all, I believe it’s to facism, complete with Alien Jugend.

  • Mr. FAMU

    Why not take it further and say the show is ANTI BLACK!

    There was only black person in the entire episode lol

  • Blue Silver

    Anna is HOT!! ‘Nuff said!

    • Bobby

      Smokin’ Hot!!!

  • Diane

    Let’s see…beings come out from nowhere–the world hails them as messiah–they promise no harm, peace, hope and health…dont see how anyone could compare that to Obama…???? wait for it, wait for it… Oh… evil deceiving people to accomplish their own agenda…control over individuals..hum..

    • BLT

      what? i don’t get it

      • Felicia

        Kevin, it was ok when Bush was stepping all over the Bill of Rights? Absolutely, no government control there.

    • oh Diane…

      Uh…yeah, Diane. *Clearly* your puppet strings are already being pulled by Uncle Barack, whose meanie pinkos have already installed the Big Brother TV in every room in your home, are forcing you and your family to wear red and chant praises to the laborers at regular intervals during the day, and now your wages are the exact same as your neighbor’s. Yup, Obama’s DEFINITELY controlling you. DIRECTLY. ::sarcasm:: Get a grip on reality, lady.

    • Harry

      are you calling Obama evil?! seriously?! I hated Bush probably as much as you hate Obama, and thought he was a terrible president, but he wasn’t by any means evil. And what’s evil and selfish about trying to end a pointless war and get everyone health-care so they can live better lives? Even if you don’t agree with it, it’s more stupid than evil.

      • Kevin

        Harry, what’s evil is when someone pretends that they want health-care for everyone so that they can live “better lives”, when what they really want is just to have more control over your daily lives and to make the government so powerful that it can begin to control everything that you do, and the freedom you used to have is stripped away. That’s where I think the “evil” comes from is trying to decieve people from what your real intentions are…

  • Hola

    Faux News – We Distort You Comply

    It’s no surprise that those people would make this into something it is not.

    It’s just a TV show.

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