V

 
(i)

 

Exciting sci-fi remake mixes action, moral quandaries.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite the fact that the show revolves around invasion and oppression, the series demonstrates why it’s important to judge people not by what they say, but by what they do.

Positive role models

While some characters on both sides (alien and human) are self-serving and manipulative -- with some humans willing to sacrifice their values for personal gain -- some of the aliens are willing to break with their superiors and defy their overall invasion plan, and other humans are brave resistance fighters.

Violence

Some intense fight scenes involving small explosives, crowbars, fists, knives, guns, and other objects of mayhem that leave some characters with deep slash wounds...or dead. Some implied torture, to both human and alien characters. Some deaths are sudden and violent.

Sex

Some heavy flirting and suggestions of human-alien romance. Occasional make-out scenes and images of partially clad (bras, underwear) humans and aliens.

Language

Some swearing, such as “dumbass,” “my God,” and “fricking.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this remake of the same-named 1980s miniseries centers on the arrival of a group of alien Visitors who claim to have only the best of intentions but actually have a hidden agenda. As their real goals become clear, a resistance movement starts fighting back -- so you can expect some fighting (sometimes intense, with small explosives, knives, etc.), as well as minor swearing and some suggestions of human-alien romance. Various forms of torture are also implied. Several main characters are placed in situations where they must make tough choices -- to stand up for what's right or to abandon their principles and sell out the human race for personal gain.

What's the story?

When a fleet of massive spaceships suddenly appears over Earth, mankind is terrified. Where have they come from? What do they want? What kind of creatures are inside? But all of these concerns are dispelled when they see the aliens’ leader, Anna (Morena Baccarin), who looks like a beautiful woman, speaks perfect English (and many other languages), and reassures the planet that her people have come in peace. The Visitors, as they like to be called, simply want to befriend us and promise to share all kinds of advanced technology and medicine. Most of the world welcomes the Visitors with open arms. But a handful of people have doubts about the Visitors' intentions, including FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch), who are recruited by an anti-Visitor terrorist group that's determined to expose the aliens’ true intentions.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

V is a departure from the typical alien-invasion yarn because these invaders don’t rush in with blasters blazing; their plan -- to gain the planet’s trust and then slowly assume power -- is much more insidious. There’s plenty of fighting when the guerrillas take on Visitor guards, but the more interesting part of the show is watching how people react to the Visitors. Ambitious journalist Chad Decker (Scott Wolf), for example, is offered the chance to become the Visitors’ primary news conduit, a position certain to boost his career if he’s willing to abandon his principles. As Anna watches him squirm, it’s clear that the Visitors know exactly how to manipulate the people of Earth.

Still, it's sometimes hard to believe that so many people can be so easily misled, and that only a small handful of resistance fighters are aware that that the Visitors' intentions are anything but benign. Not only is Erica defying the aliens, she also must stand up to the government that seems only too willing to embrace the Visitors and ignore the potential threat. As a result, the show often plays much like many other actions programs that pit a small team of rebels against a larger force -- the fight scenes can be dramatic but not especially original. Where V stands out is in the more personal dramas, when it creates thoughtful moral conflicts. Watching people struggle with choices that could be good for them as individuals but terrible for the world shows the best, and worst, of humanity.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about principles. Would you help the Visitors if it led to wealth and personal power? Or would you fight back, even if resisting had a high cost? What do you think of the characters' decisions in these situations?

  • Why do so many aliens on TV shows and movies look like humans? What do you think of the show’s explanation for this seemingly impossible biological coincidence?

TV details

Cast:Elizabeth Mitchell, Joel Gretsch, Morena Baccarin, Scott Wolf
Network:ABC
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of V was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old February 19, 2011
 

Perfect for a very mature tween

The Message: That most people are dumb enough to believe in the stupidest things.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written bySynchronicity May 19, 2010
 

Deserving of a second season. The best mainstream sci-fi show in years

Back in the 80's, there was a show called V. This is a remake of that show. And yet, compared to the bad shows on television these days (*cough* Two and a Half Men *cough*) and the bad remakes of classic shows (*cough* Knight Rider *cough*), V is a breath of fresh air. In this series, an alien race called the Visitors (the V in the title) lands a ship in New York, a ship in Tokyo, a ship in London...basically ships everywhere. They want to be at peace. Or so we think. An anti-Visitor rebellion group called the Fifth Column gets involved, and more secrets are revealed about the Vs. From the first episode, this series was great. It's also much more appropriate for teens than Heroes or a similar sci-fi show. But kids should probably stay away. There's quite a bit of violence, which can get gory at times, but in some disturbing sequences, the camera moves to a different scene as soon as the violent moment starts. The ideas presented (such as alien tracking of humans, the ethics issues involved, and interspecies sex) may be disturbing to some. There's occasional partial nudity and a heavily implied alien sex scene (it lasts for about 30 seconds). There's also some heavy makeout sessions between a teen character and his girlfriend. Language includes your average profanity: "d*mn", "a$$", "h*ll" and "b*tch". Overall, in an era of bad TV, V is the only major show I watch besides The Big Bang Theory. Only bad thing about V: delays that would make Lost fans jealous. It's probably going to take 6 months from now for new episodes to come. At least there will be a second season. I can't wait for it!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byPunkchic November 11, 2009
 

Interesting, but parents watch it first!

I watched the first episode of the show because I was bored and waiting for dancing with the stars. Its very interesting actuatlly. Well let narrow the results Violence: Fighting, some blood, a couple of dead bodies. Sex: Some romance, one "Shes hot" phrase(I dont really mind this but some people do), and kissing. language: d*** is all I remember. Also, they have priests in this. I'm catholic and I think that they introduced the priests respectively, but thats just the first episode. others may disagree.
What other families should know
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass