Friday, July 29, 2005

Over There from Over Here

So I watched Over There the other night, Steven Bochco's new series on the War in Iraq, showing on FX.

Frankly, I didn't think it was that bad. It had some very pretty shots. But more importantly, none of my anti-war, anti-redstate mentality sirens went off. Although I admit to falling asleep for a while during a commercial break, so that I missed a segment.

But, heh! Apparently, I'm way, way too soft core, because the military types over at BlackFive sure thought it sucked; not least because it used trademark, military stock characters and situations, familiar to viewers, and thereby comfortable to them, from the anti-war tradition of film begun in response to Vietnam. Well, now that they mention that, I can see the point they are making.

And here's some critical detail beyond my paygrade from Citizen Smash:
Simple, stereotypical characters. Not much depth. Unrealistic battle scenes, with poor understanding of fire & maneuver tactics. Too much inane chatter. Anachronisms abound, including a Vietnam era "Huey" MEDEVAC helicopter.

Bottom line: total crap.
Now that you mention it, the maneuver tactics were extremely poor, even from a dramatic standpoint. Completely static: but that is likely an image the show is trying to generate. In other words, this confrontation stands as a symbol of the War in Iraq's futility. But, then, translating tactics into symbolism is not the kind of thing I would notice right off, not without a nudge, that is, since I'm lacking that military eye – and the confidence to critique military action – myself.

And it's the kind of thing the writers and show runners would like, since it obviously flies under the radar of most viewers, except upon post-hoc analysis. And most tv viewers ain't stickin' around for that.


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