The right-leaning Drudge Report of course linked to Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin’s review of the new ABC series “V,” which ran in the Chicago Tribune under the headline “‘V’ aims at Obamamania.” But I’m afraid the piece in question tells you a whole lot more about the politics of Garvin than the show’s producers.
The subject, in fact, came up at the TV Critics Assn. tour over the summer. For all I know Garvin was the one who asked the question about whether the producers were skewering Obama by including references to “hope” and “universal healthcare” within the show about aliens coming to Earth, offering the lure of fabulous solutions to our problems.
According to a transcript, though, here’s what executive producer Jeffrey Bell said at the time:
“Look, there are always going to be people who will look for agendas in everything. This show was conceived during the Bush administration. It got executed in an Obama administration. There are people on either sides of the aisle who can find things. You can say,’Yeah, look how stupid these people are for following blindly and believing everything the government is saying,’ and you can have people who are upset about that. And you can have other people saying,’Look at these people who are promising everything at no cost, and look, they are leading them to their own doom.’ And so, for us, both sides have strengths and weaknesses. … But to try to tie it to the birthers or anything, I find, is kind of, you know, ridiculous.”
And here’s what exec producer Scott Peters said on the same topic:
“It’s a subjective experience to watch a television show. I think that if you are bringing something to a show and watching it, looking for something in it, you can find it whether you are on one side of the political spectrum or the other. The main theme of the show is dealing with blind devotion, and I think that you can sort of look at that in two different ways. And, you know, people will bring to it what they bring to it, and I think it’s our job as storytellers to put some provocative things out there and leave things open to interpretation to really bring an audience to it and really be compelled by it.”
Peters, by the way, was just replaced by Scott Rosenbaum as the program’s showrunner, which continues “V’s” unusually tortured path to the screen — especially given how positive many of the early reviews (mine included) have been. Still, in terms of the show being some kind of screed against the Obama administration, that appears to be far more about what Garvin perhaps wanted to see than what’s actually there.
In other words, as Freud might say, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a headline is more compelling than the insights that go with it.