V (1983)

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
V (1983) TV Poster Image
'80s alien invasion yarn is still worth watching for teens+.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It's very clear who the "good guys" and "bad guys" are, and the former are definitely fighting for what's right. Despite the fighting and violence, the clear message is that a brave and united humanity can stand up against a much more powerful foe.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The plucky members of the resistance might be outgunned by the aliens, but their courage, loyalty, and indomitable human spirit ultimately prove more than a match for the visitors’ advanced technology. Not everyone is pure of heart, though -- some humans collaborate with the aliens to avoid persecution and/or earn rewards. On the flipi side, some of the aliens are less clearly evil than others, with more complex motives.

Violence

Plenty of fight sequences, though the aliens’ blasters don’t appear to do much visible damage, and the action isn't especially intense. The aliens' malevolence comes more through intimidation and manipulation, though the threat of force is always there. Some scary scenes involving the aliens' revelation of their true lizard-like selves. An intense childbirth sequence is one of the miniseries' most memorable scenes.

Sex

Mostly just kissing shown. The aliens' arrival prompts widespread panic, leading one teenage girl to worry that she might die a virgin. She later falls hard for a handsome alien who has an ulterior motive -- human/alien sex between them is clearly implied, though not shown.

Language

Relatively infrequent use of words like "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism

A few '80s products are visible in the background.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking at parties. One character gets drunk by himself and then picks a nasty fight with his family.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this cult favorite 1983 TV miniseries (which later spawned a regular series) includes several battle scenes (with guns and other weapons), but the action isn't very intense, especially by today's standards. There's also some social drinking and a creepy alien/human relationship that clearly suggests -- but doesn't show -- inter-species sex. The aliens' rapid, insidious takeover of the planet’s government is clearly meant to suggest parallels to the rise of the Nazis in pre-war Germany.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byRosebud95 December 11, 2010
This series is cool. It's plot is kind of complex, but entertaining. Things to watch out for are some mild profanity, implied sex and the aliens real face... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 November 1, 2010

A different alien invasion

Though sometimes confusing, V is a very entertaining show to watch. It has a complex story line, and the aliens are more subtle than most. There are a few thing... Continue reading

What's the story?

When a fleet of massive spaceships suddenly arrives, the people of Earth are terrified -- and then relieved when the aliens turn out to be friendly. The Visitors, as they're called, look much like humans and are happy to share their advanced technology. But it soon becomes clear that the Visitors have a much more sinister agenda in mind. In short order, they claim to have discovered a secret conspiracy and take the world's leaders aboard their ships for their own \"protection.\" By the time martial law is imposed, it’s too late: The aliens are in charge. Only a fiercely determined -- but severely overmatched -- resistance, is willing to stand up to them.

Is it any good?

The aliens’ plot bears an eerie similarity to the Nazi war machine in the World War II era, though the scapegoats here are scientists who might uncover the Visitors’ secret. While a handful of people fight back, most hope to avoid persecution and look the other way as their neighbors disappear -- and a few are eager to collaborate for the promise of rich rewards. This parallel isn't an accident; one character is a Holocaust survivor who quickly recognizes what’s happening and urges people to resist before history repeats itself.

V was a major TV event in 1983, when the miniseries originally debuted. It spawned a second miniseries and later a weekly series that followed the efforts of the plucky resistance fighters to drive the Visitors from Earth. The effects seem dated now, and the acting is so-so, but the main lesson dates back at least to the 1940s and still holds up today: If you don’t stand up for what’s right when others are being singled out, there will be nobody left to stand up for you when it’s your turn.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different ways that aliens are portrayed in sci-fi movies and TV shows. What hopes and/or fears to the various depictions reflect? Do any seem more or less realistic to you?

  • How has TV violence changed in the years since this miniseries originally aired? How do you think it would be different if it was made today?

  • How do you think you'd react in a situation like this? Would you side with the resistance? Can you see why some people choose to collaborate with the aliens in exchange for personal gain?

  • Why do you think the series tries to explicitly compare the aliens' agenda with the Holocaust?

TV details

For kids who love sci-fi

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