A giant space ship parks (illegally) directly above 57th Street, and a beautiful, smiling face appears on its underbelly. Like Madonna or Garbo, she goes by just one name - Anna (Morena Baccarin). We need just a few little things - water "and a mineral, which is abundant on Earth" - and then we'll be on our way, she promises.

Speaking to people in 29 other cities, Anna almost seems to be running for president of Earth - everyone will get universal heath coverage - but not everyone is fooled. Chad Decker (Scott Wolf), a blow-dried twinkie of a news anchor, scores an exclusive interview with her, only to be told he can ask only nice questions. FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell, "Lost") learns that the V's (for visitors) may even be behind terrorism, while priest Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) fears people are now trading their faith in one God for another.

BOTTOM LINE "V," as some may recall, was an NBC miniseries in 1983 and '84 and series from 1984-85 - a totemic year when pop culture wanted to explore the implications of a totemic novel, Orwell's "1984."

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Aliens-among-us was mostly just an allegory to explore fascism, Nazism, good-and-evil, human faith, even the nature of God. And here we go again.

When some Cassandra warns that the V's are here "to cause unnecessary wars, economic meltdown, and faith twisted into extremes," you're meant to think George W. Bush, Bernie Madoff and Osama bin Laden. Instead, you'll just laugh - out loud. "V" has its fun moments, but mostly this is pure bunkum, or 1980s-era TV with a thin 2009 veneer.

GRADE C