Note: Iwrote and posted this on Big Hollywood to try to get some common sense into the debate about the show “V”.
I missed the series premiere of “V’ on ABC but not the ongoing flap afterwards. The remake of the 1984 sci-fi classic seems to have hit a lot of nerves on the left and found an audience on the right. The left wing media type are outraged that the series is “degrading” the Obama Administration. Some on the right are wondering if a secretly conservative Hollywood talent I being dismissed from his job in retaliation. As I am writing this I am watching O’Reilly, to use one of his words, bloviating about “the writers taking shots at President Obama.” If you want to be angry or find some deeper meaning here, go right ahead but in this case neither the left nor right is correct.
As it happens, I am acquainted with Scott Peters who developed and wrote the remake of “V” for ABC. Mr. Peters was also the creator and executive producer of “The 4400” and a writer for “The Outer Limits.” As far as I know Mr. Peters has only made one mistake in his career and that was directing me in the low budget film “Don: Plain and Tall” back in 2003. It was the story of my friend comedian Don McMillan’s life as a comic. I played myself in the film and the part was horribly miscast.
When I started reading some of the rumors and theories about the Mr. Peters’ latest show and the behind the scenes politics I laughed out loud. Let me try to shed some light on the “V” controversy while everyone, left and right, takes a deep breath and grabs a cup of tea.
The script was not written as a roman a clef or allegory for the Obama Administration. The script was written by Mr. Peters during the Bush administration and started before Mr. Obama had the nomination. The author, Mr. Peters, is not some sleeper evil right winger and Obama hater. Mr. Peters, besides being a talented writer and director is a gay, legally married in California, liberal supporter of the President who worked for and donated money to the Obama campaign If he is a mole for some right wing conspiracy he may be the most committed spy ever. Mr. Peters, who was born in Canada, recently became an American citizen, a process he was trying to expedite so that he could vote for Mr. Obama, a deadline he missed by two days.
Unfortunately for Mr. Peters this isn’t the first time in his career that fans or critics started seeing things in his work he didn’t intend. Some fans of his show “The 4400” saw hidden meaning in those episodes too. At first Mr. Peters would try to respond but had to just quit paying attention as the theories about “The 4400” got more and more bizarre.
Mr. Peters’ replacement as showrunner by Scott Rosenbaum isn’t due to some leftist plot at ABC. From reports I have gotten from informed sources he is well liked by the network. The show is being produced at Warner Brothers and there seems to be some friction between the network’s vision for the show and WB’s. Mr. Peters’ replacement was being worked on well before the show went to air and became a hit.
It seems that a lot of us may have spent too much time in an image poetry class in college and try to find the hidden meaning in everything. So next week just try to enjoy the show because, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, sometimes a TV show is just a TV show.