'V': An Anti-Obama Allegory?

ABC's new sci-fi drama is read as a critique of the Obama administration

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ABC's alien drama 'V' debuted last week to 14 million viewers, glowing appraisals, and speculation about whether the show is a thinly-veiled critique of the Obama administration. The plot focuses on a charismatic alien leader (read: Obama) who comes to earth promising peace and universal health care, only to wreak havoc on mankind. Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly have all touted the show. But others have either condemned its message or refuted the parallels altogether. Here's what's buzzing:

  • A Timely Message, writes conservative Ted Baehr at Big Hollywood: "The theme of being wary of false saviors is very biblical as well as politically and culturally astute ... This is a message Americans really need to consider, not just in regard to big government but also such things as environmentalism and the humanism so prevalent in our government-run public schools. All the isms claiming to save you... often lead to bondage instead."
  • Finally Hollywood Scores One for Us, writes James Hirsen at Newsmax:"If you can believe it, the Obama administration, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the Democrats in Congress were smacked by Hollywood on a major television broadcast. Rather than use the tired old clichés of villainous conservatives, Christians, gun owners or Republicans, the new show 'V' went after the current D.C. free-enterprise-destroying agenda, and did so with an interplanetary vengeance."

  • Whose Idea Was This? cries liberal writer Jonathan Chait in The New Republic: "This is not just a right-wing worldview but the worldview of the paranoid Tea Party movement. I’m really not sure how this made it onto network television. Maybe the calculation is that Glenn Beck will start urging his viewers to watch and a ratings bonanza will ensue. (I don’t expect scientists will be the scapegoats in the new series, as the original “V” alien campaign to tar scientists as a fifth column sits uncomfortably close to the current right-wing view that the world’s leading scientific organizations are conspiring to suppress evidence that global warming is a hoax.)"
  • It's Not Social Commentary! insists Jason Easley at Politicususa: "The themes in its debut were also present in the original run of the show in the 1980s. The original miniseries ran in 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president... The series was in development before Obama had even won the presidency. The pilot script was kicking around for more than a year before the show went into production, so Beck, Hannity, and Bill-O are wrong. 100% wrong. It is work of science fiction that as it progresses will touch on many of the traditional themes of the genre."
  • These Clips Prove It's an Allegory! smirks Gawker's Adrian Chen. Chen draws a tongue-in-cheek comparison between the script and the Obama presidency. Taking a scene where a gullible journalist favorably reports on the U.S. granting aliens visas to enter the country, Chen writes: "Talk about riding into anti-Obamaville on a horse made of allegories! Where to even start with this thing!? First of all: visas = immigration. The media is covering immigration in the show, just like they do in America. So, easy parallel: Media in the show = Media in real life."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.