What made me originally fall in love with the series, V? Two words: Kyle Bates. When Kyle made his first appearance (or was it when he first took off his shirt?), I was hooked. And don't get me wrong. I already loved Mike and Julie and Ham and the rest of the gang. But Kyle was Hot with a capital H. And better yet, he had a powerful and seemingly amoral father from whom he was rebelliously estranged. The older Bates was even more compelling--was he really as bad as he seemed?--and the constant tension between the two was what kept me watching.
Kyle and Robin? Boring.
Kyle and Elizabeth? Boring.
Kyle and his dad? Riveting!
Listen, I was an absolute V fanatic. For a few short months my life revolved around this show. I even had my hair styled like Diana, that whacky, messy way she wore it during the series.
So I guess that's why it's so hard to admit what a mediocre mess the series was. The concept was great, utilizing all the original stuff but adding some new wrinkles. The 'open city' thing was fun and allowed for a lot of great plot twists. But those seemingly wore out pretty fast. When the producers started trying to correct mid-season and pump up the ratings, things actually got much worse. Every week it was a kill-em-off festival for original characters, as they exited stage left. Getting rid of Ham was an especially big boner. And then the guest stars got more and more over the top.
The whole Charles thing? Ridiculous! What in the world were they really supposed to do on that big rock once Charles and Diana got married? It's my opinion that this role is what destroyed Duncan Regehr's career.
What about the other actors? They did the best they could with what they had. Lane Smith was superior as Nathan Bates, and Jeff Yagher held his own, even though his pecs and pretty eyes were probably more notable. Marc Singer hung in there as the gun-toting Beastmaster of the resistance, but Julie--the character who made the most notable metamorphosis in the original mini-series--floundered.
And why did Elizabeth have to wear those awful dresses?
The day Nathan Bates was shot was one that will live in infamy at my house--right up there with the assassination of Rudy Jordache in the 'Rich Man, Poor Man' series. My sister and I were inconsolable. The good news? This plot twist revealed Bates' true nature and allowed Kyle and Nathan to finally come together as father and son. Regardless of what happened after (don't try to tell me Kyle *really* stowed away on Elizabeth's ship!), this was the series payoff.
At least for me.