The first season of 'V' was hurt by its incessant drive to throw one plot twist after another at us. Unrelenting in its surprise moments, they became less of a surprise and just expected. Season two is no different. It's no wonder the series was canceled. It's a frustrating series to watch. One of those shows, that if given the chance to continue on, would always offer up more questions than answers. A show where it's impossible to like any of the characters because they're often double-, triple-, or quadruple-crossing each other. It just becomes too much to handle. Well, it did for me anyway.
The second season begins where the first left off. Anna (Morena Baccarin), angry about the destruction of her soldier eggs, decides to release something called Red Sky. A plan that turns Earth's sky red, and then rains red rain infused with high amounts of phosphorus that is supposed to make the people of earth mate-worthy for the Visitors, not really taking into account all the people that were inside when the rain came down. But, thinking through things isn't a strong point of this show.
FBI Agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) continues to lead a small group of Fifth Column members in secret, while out in the open she pretends to be Anna's friend. Erica and her friends try at length to disrupt and assassinate Anna, but they always seem to pick the hardest moments. There are plenty of times where Anna is left vulnerable, or where Erica is alone with Anna that could've resorted in them dispatching her. Sadly, that type of logic doesn't hold up with this show. Instead the team of resistant fighters plans out elaborate attacks, all the while forgetting how many times Anna really is out in the open with hardly any protection.
Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut) is a Visitor, but has turned against Anna. That is, until the token baby enters the show – seriously, every serialized sci-fi drama like this must have a pregnant woman and/or a baby. Anna takes Ryan's baby and forces him to do her bidding. Even though the other members of the Fifth Column quickly figure out that Ryan could be turned quite easily, they never once question him. Then we're supposed to be surprised when Ryan does indeed betray them. See what I mean? All this back and forth double-agent stuff becomes so tiring that you'll see it coming way before it happens.
Perhaps the worst aspect of the series is Tyler Evans (Logan Huffman), Erica's son, a sniveling little annoyance that spends his time whining about how much he loves the Visitors, but never actually thinks through anything. His character is so dumb and shortsighted, it's a wonder he's lived this long.
I could never really get into 'V.' Its storytelling was so by-the-book that it never had an original bone in its body. The twists and turns were painfully obvious. All the characters, even the main ones, were dreadfully one-dimensional. The only one who showed much depth was Anna, and even watching her grew tiresome after a while, because nothing really changed. Anna was like the Sue Sylvester of aliens. She'd show signs of character progression, only to have them squashed because the plot called for her to be a giant bitch again.
I know that people liked 'V,' and that's fine. Its soap opera feel never appealed to me though. It always felt hollow, and frankly unnecessary. Its cancelation made sense to me.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Season two is a 10-episode season spread across two 50-GB Blu-ray Discs. The discs are housed in a standard keepcase, which also has a cardboard slipcase that it slides into. The art work on the box is slightly different than that of the actual case. There is a tri-fold booklet included that outlines the episodes and special features.
Things don't really change much in terms of quality from the first season. Warner's 1080p picture has, more or less, the same types of problems that plagued the first season's release. What I will say though is that the green-screen backdrops appear slightly better this time around. They aren't as cheesy and ridiculously bad looking in high-def. They don't look stellar, but at least they appear a little better this time around.
The intimate close-ups and character shots are full of well-rendered fine detail. Faces are privy to quite a bit of detail during these scenes. From Huffman's boyish looks, to Baccarin's exotically smooth skin and perfectly manicured eyebrows. Colors, when they aren't rendered by a computer, look rich and life-like. Forest greenery and crimson blood jump out at you.
The problem though is that the same technical problems pop up here. There are endless amounts of banding that can be seen on the digitally rendered backgrounds. Especially in the medical rooms where the experiments on the humans are performed. Ringing around lights and characters is also a worry. Aliasing on tight grates, and brickwork is ugly at times. Blacks feature a lot of errant noise. Jaggies don't appear nearly as frequently though as they did in the first season, however, the anomalies present really do damper the mood.
Warner has heard our cry apparently and has decided to go with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track for this release. Fans will recall the disappointing lossy audio that was released with the first season. I'm pleased to say that the difference is very noticeable here.
Explosions pack more punch as the LFE slowly and deliberately resonates around the room. Panning effects are much smoother as spaceships fly from one side of the frame to the other. Surrounds are normally full of lively action whether it be the busy confines of an FBI field office, or the frantic voices of a protesting crowd.
This season, overall, is much louder than season one's release. The entire mix feels fuller, and more lifelike. Dialogue is always clear, and doesn't feature any hissing or crackling that was heard in the first season. This is a big step up and fans will thank Warner for the lossless treatment.
'V' has its fans and I respect that. They'll be happy with this release. I'm just not a fan. The show was too caught up in its own secrets and mysteries that it failed to create a world with characters that were relatable or likeable. The characters felt more like chess pieces being moved around by the writers in order to get the most suspenseful scenes they could, without really developing them on a more humanistic level. The show as so paranoid about showing who was double-crossing who, that it forgot about the larger picture. It's been canceled now, and there's no word that it will be coming back even with a fan led push. Looks like this is the last we'll see of the Visitors and that's fine with me. The video for this release is still problematic, but the audio is a big improvement. For fans only.