Reading Too Much Into the Politics of V (Spoilers)

Are they sniping at Obama? Sure? Bush too.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

A charismatic leader promising hope, change and universal healthcare ... a complicit press ... and hiding a terrible secret that you might have read about on the Internet ... a new Beck/Limbaugh biography of Barack Obama? No! It's V, the ABC remake of the classic early 1980s alien invasion mini-series. MSNBC just reported that the show's creators deny that they're taking a shot at Obama. But of course they are: The aliens bring healing technology that they'll share with all. "You mean universal healthcare!" the co-opted reporter responds, as if anyone had not yet made the political connection.

But the politics aren't all conservative. As the show's first episode reaches its dramatic climax, a character reveals that the aliens have been here for years, quietly infiltrating human society in order to set the stage for their takeover. Among their nefarious actions were "unnecessary wars"--apparently George W. Bush is a space alien. (Well maybe not Bush; maybe Rove or Cheney. Oh definitely Cheney.) And as Jonah Goldberg points out, one could argue that "much of the stuff about the dangers of 'devotion' and promises of miraculous cures amounted to an indirect shot at faith-healing evangelicals." (He's also right about this: "If I were 17 and the super-hot alien blonde wanted me to put on a German gay disco doorman's jacket, I would have done so.")

So is V thinly veiled GOP propaganda? Nah.

V like all half-decent sci-fi is allegorical entertainment and is taking shots at targets of opportunity. Most especially the show's creators must be delighted that the media has taken their bait--debate whether the show's about Obama ... thus generating buzz for the show (which looks entertaining enough, an hour in, by the way).

As I've argued before, conservatives especially tend to be a bit obsessed with the politics of film. And it's silly--and remains silly when liberals do it. Sometimes a TV show is just a TV show. The overarching message isn't political, it's economic: Watch our show; buy our advertisers' goods.

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