If you, like me, were impressed by tonight's premier of FX's Over There, there's one thing we should both remember. Forty Americans died and 426 were wounded, most of them seriously, in the real life "over there" this month. Actors get paid big bucks and go on talk shows when their work day is through. While those who have volunteered to protect you and me in Iraq and Afghanistan don't get that kind of fame or money, but their sacrifices are real.
i hope the show stays centered on the American experience. i was happy to see that they did not try, at least in tonight's episode, to put a human face on the enemy or tell "their side." Let Ted Koppel and his buddies at Al Jazeera do that; there's enough relativism in the media as it is. i also did not detect any overt political messages, either right or left.
i imagine some observers might be upset that not every character was Tom Hanks. i don't mind that kind of realism in war movies. As a war movie fan, i like the Adam Baldwins and Nick Noltes the best. These are the complex characters who may seem like assholes with less than honorable motivations, but they get shit done. i bet there are lots of them in real life and thank God for it.
i'm also not bothered by Over There's portrayal of soldiers complaining about the Army. i'm not a veteran -- and i know that many of my visitors are, so correct me if i'm wrong -- but soldiers always gripe about the military. And there's always some incompetence and poor decision-making in any organization. Hell, does everything run smoothly at your job? It doesn't at my job, that's for sure. People who point to mistakes made in wartime as a reason to surrender are simply people who don't know what the fuck they're talking about.
So overall, i thought tonight's episode was pretty good, and i would say that if the rest of the series follows the same tone it should help our war effort. Which is more than i can say about anything else i see on tv that's war related.
[cross-posted at annika's journal]
* If you're interested, you can read about the latest disgusting media attempt to demonize an American soldier here. Also, you might be interested to know that a soldier who used a dog to frighten some detainees might spend more time in jail than the convicted LAX Millenium bomber.