Over There

in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
So I watched the new series from Bochco on FX last night. Pretty decent show. I am pleased that they are stearing away from the politics of the war and are focussing on soldiers and character development. The best part of yesterday's show was a scene where the soldiers were recording video email for their families and "Dim" a Cornell graduate who enlisted after school described his feelings about war and what does to a person. Pretty gripping I must say.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    I don't think focusing on the perspective of the enlisted people really is "avoiding the politics".

    After all, by "embedding" the viewer with the troops, we inevitably sympathize with their perspective.

    Naturally, their perspective is that anonymous bad people are trying to kill them so they should kill them first. Anything that complicates that-- sorting out who's who, sensitivity to the locals, command decisions, al Jazeera cameras, squeemishness-- anything that "ties their hands" and keeps them from "getting the job done" is therefore pretty much "bad".

    Which is politics, just of a very limited perspective.

    That's not to say that these stories won't be interesting to watch, or that the perspective of combat troops is invalid. And maybe Bochco will prove me wrong and make things a little more nuanced and ambiguous than he usually does. But I think he's being disingenuous when he claims, as he has, that this series is about the people and not the politics.

    The politics is there, it's just whether you care to admit it and take responsibility for what you're saying, or if you pretend that circumstances you are portraying are somehow just a natural fact.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    I thought it had a strong anti-troop, anti Bush tone. Could we expect anything else from the Hollywood elites?
  • Reply 3 of 5
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member

    Originally posted by Moe_in_Texas

    I thought it had a strong anti-troop, anti Bush tone. Could we expect anything else from the Hollywood elites?

    Something's come loose in your head.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    I'm not hearing anything good about this show from the troops.

    "People don?t act like that when an i.e.d. (improvised explosive device) goes off. They make us look like idiots. We?re not idiots!" said a first lieutenant previewing "Over There," the new TV series from Steven Bochco ("NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues") that debuts tomorrow night on FX cable network.

  • Reply 5 of 5
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member

    Originally posted by Moe_in_Texas

    I'm not hearing anything good about this show from the troops...

    Sounds like they're mostly missing the forest for the trees, which any skilled professional would do after watching a Hollywood attempt to portray their profession. Don't get me started on the technical nonsensicalities whenever Hollywood tries to work molecular biology into a show (even if it's in almost every episode of CSI, they don't get any better with practice).

    It's unlikely a squad would be in a stand-up firefight after a week in-country. Most soldiers there probably never see a stand-up firefight. The odds against the same unit losing a WIA to an IED the next day are near-astronomical. During the firefight, the soldiers were bunched way too close together. There seemed to be little or no coordination between units. I don't imagine they'd be screaming at each other, for any reason, while digging foxholes in exposed positions. On the other side, even poorly trained insurgents probably don't mill around firing wildly in the open like they did. As the article pointed out, IED's aren't marked with flags, and trucks never pull over to the side of the road (for precisely the reason depicted in the show). As for that lambasted IED incident, they didn't show the immediate reaction to it, only the later aftermath - once a response force had secured the area and an ambulance had arrived. Seems reasonable for a buddy to turn his concern to a comrade then,

    But all that misses the point. It was a stylized but still reasonable depiction of what "war" is like Over There. It will surely get more reasonable as the characters settle in - they tried to squeeze a little too much into the pilot, which necessarily had to show the arrival of the squad in Iraq. Watching them fill out forms and pull guard duty for a week probably wouldn't have made good TV. And it's a damn sight better depiction of Iraq than the alternative...which is nothing. We all agree that the news coverage is terrible. There's little or no footage available showing soldiers doing their jobs. And print media and blogs just can't convey a message like TV can. So nitpick all you want, but it was A) entertaining and B) fills a gaping void in our public consciousness.
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