Friday, August 12, 2005
Next week on Over There: Lt. Worf gets fragged
Steve Bochco's new series on FX, Over There, is apparently divorced from reality. From Michael Fumento's review:
How a fictional show shot in La La Land could make anything about
policy “obvious” is hard to fathom. But the series does tout its realism, as have some reviewers who’ve never gotten closer to Iraq than filling their gas tanks. Further, Bochco claims it’s politically neutral. Unfortunately, “Over There” puts reality in a body bag and is as unbiased as if scripted by a guy named Allen Queda. Iraq
In order to include women, two females from a transportation unit just happen to join the siege. In fact, they just happen to tag along for the rest of the series! Reality is sacrificed to the God of Diversity. Why didn’t Bochco also include a Klingon?
The thin man returns links to Brent Bozell's take on the entertainment industries attitude towards the middle class:
You can almost feel the hate coming out of Kohan against suburban neighborhoods: "They all look pretty, but they're built like crap. It's the same house over and over, all style, no substance. Everything in their world is mass-marketed. There, homes are full of condo furniture, which looks perfect at first, but it's just trash." Left unspoken: unlike my home.
Rightwingsparkle comments on FX's show selection.
Fumento's article is also on TechCentralstation. According to the comments section the show is getting mixed reviews at Fort Stewart. Article (Bugmenot required):
The FX network's new fictional war drama "Over There," about a squad of 3rd Infantry Division soldiers fighting the war in Iraq, may be entertaining television.
However, some in the 3rd ID - or married to soldiers serving in it - say the television show is an unrealistic and, at times, upsetting portrayal of a war that's already very real in their lives.
"In my opinion, as far as engaging in combat the way they do, it's a little unrealistic," said Sgt. David Cebolla, now stationed at Fort Stewart with the 3rd ID's rear detachment.
Cebolla knows a thing or two about being "over there."
His first deployment as a platoon sergeant with the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry during the 2003 invasion lasted seven months.
The way the show portrays a group of six new Army privates that head immediately into combat, alone and led by a sergeant they don't know, doesn't reflect reality, Cebolla said.
Most soldiers know the others in their unit because they've trained together for so long, he said. And squads regularly interact with larger units, a fact that seems missing in "Over There."
"It seems they portray them as a bunch of draftees that get sent straight to the front line. That wouldn't happen. They're going to go through some train-up phase before they go into that situation," he said.
Created by Steven Bochco of "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" fame, "Over There" is the first TV war drama to be aired while combat is still taking place.
So far, it's been successful. The 4.1 million people who watched the first episode put it in the top-10 basic cable series debuts of all time.
Despite its edge, "the show doesn't proselytize," Bochco said. "It just presents you with the complex realities of being in a war and leaves you to ask yourself interesting questions: What's right? What's wrong? How does one reconcile personal beliefs with a sense of duty?"
Military personnel and their family, however, have been critical of the show on Internet message boards, including one on the show's Web site.
Erica Reynolds, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Sherman Reynolds of the 5th Squadron, 7th Calvary, is now in Iraq, has only seen part of an episode.
Scenes depicting a wife crying after discovering she's pregnant, and showing another wife cheating on her husband while he's in combat, unfairly portray military wives as weak, Reynolds said.
While the show depicts 3rd ID soldiers, and images of what is supposed to be Fort Stewart, the show's creators and writers have not actually visited the installation to do research, said Lt. Col. Robert Whetstone.
That bothers Reynolds.
"If they're going to use and abuse the 3rd ID patch, they need to come here and talk to some of the spouses," she said. "The actual drama is enough, they don't need to overplay it."
Made without the cooperation of the Pentagon, the show does employ a military adviser, former Marine Staff Sgt. Sean Bunch, himself a veteran of Iraq service.
Bunch not only put the actors through a week of "boot camp" before the show's pilot episode, but he continues to advise cast and crew on everything from the proper way to hold firearms to a soldier's likely emotional response.