One comment on “Janessa for today…

  1. That version was at least a Wheel of High-Quality 80s Network Television Cheese, and can still be enjoyed on those terms: The F/X were great for the time period, and still mainly hold up; the miniserieses at least gave The Visitors’ voices a slight warble that meant humans couldn’t entirely mimick them successfully until the Mercenaries show up with gizmos to do so; and there was that still-shocking reveal of Alien Lizard-Skin under their friendly-looking human masks. The cast was as Eighties as you got: Heroic (and slightly dull) Marc Singer and Faye Grant as the Human Good Guys (and Frank Ashmore as an equally Heroic and Slightly Dull Visitor Good Guy); an early major role for Robert Englund as the lovable loser Alien Willie; Leonardo Cimino in the first miniseries as an elderly Wise Jewish Concentration Camp Survivor Who Sees It Happening Again; Richard Herd as the Visitor John…whose just oozed duplicity; and Michael Ironside’s second great genre role as the Mercenary leader Ham, who brought a much-needed blast of deadly pragmatism to the proceedings.

    The remake? We barely made it past the first few episodes – it played as if Glenn Beck had somehow hijacked the Writer’s Room and was riding his Alt-Right Hobbyhorses instead of just telling the story, the F/X work was glossy-blah CGI that felt more like computer-generated cartoons, the cinematography somehow managed to make Vancouver (subbing for near-future New York City) look dull and unconvincing, and I’d swear this show has the worst acting from actors I’ve seen do better (Elizabeth Mitchell, Morena Baccarin, Joel Gretsch). It was the second-biggest disappointment I’d seen – next to the awful remake of THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN.

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