Saturday, December 03, 2005

More TV Reviews

I never expected that I would be posting so much about TV...I guess that says something about my social life.

Today I'm going to opine about two shows dealing with the military and then give you a heads up about a show that's pretty damn funny.

First is a show I saw on CMT (Country Music Television). It's a channel I don't normally watch but I was channel surfing the other night and I ran across a documentary called American Soldier. One the face of it the show has a similar format to Off to War. As I have only seen a couple of episodes I can't comment on the overall tone except to say it seems pretty balanced. There is the habit of film maker to try and dramatize EVERYTHING...and especially when viewed by someone who has already been there, it gets tiresome.

I have determined in watching three episodes that the subjects are members of the Georgia National Guard, but I am at a loss to tell you their MOS or what kind of unit they are assigned to.

In all American Soldier seemed to be a fair and balanced look at a Guard unit deployed to Iraq. It's showing Saturday nights on CMT.

UPDATEI just viewed another episode of AS. It is now evident that the soldiers being profiled work in the motor pool, I would assume in the Forward Support Battalion of the 48th Brigade. Interesting that you never seen anyone from the chain of command except the Brigadier General who is in command of the brigade these guys are assigned to. The last episode I saw featured these guys leaving Kuwait en route to Iraq, then in last nights episode they were wearing combat patches. They may do things differently in OIF III versus OIF II, but we didn't get our combat patches till about 6 months into the tour. All this indicates to me is they are showing different events out of sequence.

More troubling was the scenes of solders randomly firing their weapons when they were "engaged". It was never made really clear to the viewer what was actually occuring...just shots of soldiers while their Kevlars off, in a panic shot with a night vision lens. There's no denying that soldiers have reacted in such a manner and will continue to react that way till the end of time. But the show does us no favors by adding no context, no explanation or even adding the information that was available to the soldiers. I don't know this stuff may not be readily apparent to the non soldier, but it bothers me greatly. While I still think they do a better overall job than they guys who made OFF to WAR it is still a flawed product.


The second show I want to discuss is E Ring showing WED nights at 1900 HRS CST on your local NBC affiliate. It's common lately to hear folks complain about how everyone in Hollywood hates the military, well this show is the exception to the rule. I suppose I can be cynical and say the only reason shows like this are made is just to make money. If that is the case or not this show definitely has a pro military slant. I will say that even though there are a lot of contrived situations and things that aren't really realistic, it can definitely be an entertaining presentation that presents the military in a positive light. I can think of a lot worse things to do on a WED night. If you've got the time check it out.

Finally check of Denis Leary's show on Comedy Central, Merry F#@*ing Christmas...I believe the next time it shows is DEC 17...but I caught most of it during its premiere. It was politically incorrect and for the most part pretty funny. If you are a fan of Denis' work you will really enjoy this show. Check it out!
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