I've been watching the new reboot of V, and I have to say: Show, I am disappoint. The foreshadowing-to-payoff ratio is entirely too high for my tastes.
For those of you who haven't seen the new iteration of the franchise: So, aliens (The Visitors) show up at Earth one day, led by the charming and beautiful
In the original version of the series, The Visitors look human and talk a big we-come-in-peace game, but soon they start abducting humans for weird ungodly experimentations and then we come to find out that their big plans are to make Earth a giant human farm (see, "To Serve Man" really was a cookbook after all!).
Fair enough. But in the original version, this WHY, WE NEVER COULD HAVE GUESSED THAT ALIENS MEANT TO EXPLOIT HUMANS FOR THEIR OWN USES, I'M SHOCKED, SHOCKED I SAY twist came about halfway through the pilot episode. The new version has been on TV since November, and the overall plot arc hasn't moved much beyond "Hey, I don't think The Visitors are really on the up-and-up here." There's all sorts of hints being dropped that something is in the works, and there's a splinter group of Visitor dissidents getting ready to fight against the rest of the Visitors, but beyond that, we have no clear idea of what, exactly, the Big Alien Plan is.
I guess what I'm driving at is-- foreshadowing is great and all, but damn, man, you've got to have it pay off eventually.
For books-- I recently read Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Regular readers of this blog will know that I've had some certain experience with Mr. Stephenson's books before, and unfortunately, my opinion of him has not changed. But this is going to be the subject for a future and much longer entry.
(In fairness to Mr. Stephenson, however, and I must give him his due, he has pulled off a monumental feat of literature. Namely, that his protagonist Randy Waterhouse manages to be more unlikeable than both Ignatius J. Reilly and Holden Caulfield combined. Such an epic creation deserves recognition, and oh boy will I recognize that when I write about the book more.)