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July 28, 2005

"Over There" Report, by Ry.

[Update - unexpected Instalanche for my birthday, whee! Welcome visitors, do feel free to poke around. If you would rather get the abbreviated version (synopsis) of all the opinion here, consider this post, where I wrap it up into a tidier package. And please, feel free to add your own comments. If you are concerned about email privacy, just put in a bogus email, or a bogus website (which will trump the email). Passion is fine. Disagreement is not discouraged. Just be polite, is all I ask! ]

I *was* gonna do this, but what the heck, I'm running short on time, and Ry already sent this in.

Any dissenting opinions?

Okay, 'Over There' report: It's pretty bad. Has just about all the old war movie cliches and ALL the lefty anti-war chliches(everyone's there because they're screw ups or poor, or the one guy who is dumb and actually wants to be there).

War Movie Cliches:
*It has the hard bitten sergeant who yells, but really cares.
*The philospher.
*The brotha' who just wants to get along, and sings gospel.
*The O-G brotha' who's rather racist.
*The officers are stupid and do things to get the men killed because they're stupid.
*THe officers face no danger and live rather high on the hog.(A captain drives up in a humvee with gangsta rap playing real loud, and his utilities aren't even dusty).

Anti-war cliches:
*War reveals Man to be the Beast that he is. (Oooooh. Deep.).
*Everyone who is there, except for the one gung-ho fool from Texas (Texas! Get it?), doesn't want to be there and joined because of misfortune.
*The openly religious character is rather cruel (she crushes the hand of dead Iraqi).
*Almost all the soldiers come from poor families.
*Ah, and the song. 'Where someone has to die.' Deep.

Then there's all the errors in the stupid thing.
*They have a transport squad holding the perimeter on a mosque for three
days, where the transport just happened to be shot up.
*An Abrams tank is on hand, but isn't used in the assault on the mosque AT ALL.
*During a night movement all the soldiers move line abreast standing
more or less straight up, and don't even attempt to utilize any cover at
all as they move.
*While digging foxholes a female soldier(who happens to be the religious one) starts to whine, get in a shouting match with one of her squad mates, and of course draws all hell down on the squad.
*A squad member goes wandering off on their own to go #2, and of course
gets ambushed and nearly killed. Having to be rescued by the rest of the squad.

They tried to play this off as neutral in the press. It's anything but. It's hackneyed. It's poorly written(if I can point out technical flaws you know it's got a lot of problems). It's the typical backdrop for doing other issues(like race, like gender, the role of mankind, etc).Don't waste your time. Hopefully this will go down in flames like Cop Rock.

I'll observe that the hackneyed part *was* noted by Ms. Stanley in her review. Got to give her credit there - but I'll leave my opinion out of this for a bit. She still liked it because it gave, she feels, an authentic view of the war. And, if you accept the anti's spin to the war, she's correct.

As for going down in flames... if the combat scenes and characters can suck you in, I suspect people will watch it. It plays to the low expectations people set for stuff like that. The more interesting part will be... does this set the Zeitgeist for the war... as M*A*S*H kind of did for Korea (and Vietnam, too)? The characters of M*A*S*H were generally likeable, and we military types all knew Burn's and Houlihan's... but did the show represent Korea? Not really. Does it in the communal mind... arguably.

Interesting question - and I suspect this audience isn't going to be diverse enough in outlook and opinion (no slam guys, but on things military and the war, we're pretty much a cluster, it's on things social where we have our spread) to answer this question well... but how many people's perceptions of Vietnam are shaped by Platoon... or by We Were Soldiers?

Sounds like we'll need to get the milbloggers working on it - how about you guys that have time to do it go visit the milblog world, see who commented on the show (preferably by watching it) and send me the links? We can put together a consolidated milblogger 'review' center. Let's see if we can find stuff from guys who have been in the box (or are, if it's available over there) as opposed to old farts like me (though those are good too, but let's face it, as commentary on the show, guys who are the models for the show are gonna have the cred!

Update: The milblog reviews are rolling in:

Charmaine Yoest of Reasoned Audacity Live-blogged it.
Air Force Pundit.
Commander Salamander.

I could have gone on for 3,000 words, but the show wasn't worth it to me, so
I kept it uncharacteristically short and not-so-sweet.

ES: Lost opportunity. Good concept smothered by bad writing and a bad-hollywood-vietnam-movie template they just could totally get rid of.

Honestly John, who in the military of 2005 can get away with smoking a joint in the open on base in front of the "motor pool" with other soldiers watching/down wind.....and no one does anything? They started out with this, and from a crediblity standpoint lost me from there.

Oh, one more things....they had more callsigns than a looped CD of "Top Gun." Lost chance.

I am still waiting for the movie of the 2001 mounted attack in AF promised
in 2002...


The Word Unheard.
A Healthy Alternative To Work.

Interesting the positive views, like Freakychylde or Brandon's Mom:

I watched Steven Boccho's Over There. Being a Mom of an Iraqi Vet I at first was very apprehensive. I found in watching the show it was entertaining and believable. Not having been to Iraq or in any war I do not know if this hold true for the ones that were actually there.
I do feel it will help bring awareness to what our boots on the ground face and that is a good thing.

I think thus far, the concern amongst the milbloggers (a surprising number of whom couldn't/didn't/wouldn't watch the show) disagree that it truly shows what the 'Boots on the Ground' face, much less behave.

Castle Philosophtrix Kat spent *mucho* effort on this.
Final Review.

John | Permalink | Comments (34) | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
» The Word Unheard links with: Forgive Me for Lack of Interest in 'Over There'
» Swanky Conservative links with: Milbloggers weighing in on Over There
» Reasoned Audacity: Politics in Real Life links with: Live-Blogging "Over There"
» A Healthy Alternative to Work links with: "Over There" met with some hostility
» CDR Salamander links with: Over where?
» Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave links with: Over There
» Ed links with: Over There: Over And Out
» The Indepundit links with: "Over There"
» Signaleer links with: "Over There" TV series on FX....
» The Indepundit links with: "Over There"
» Just Some Poor Schmuck links with: "Over There" Overhyped
» Mudville Gazette links with: Dawn Patrol
» Joe's Dartblog links with: TV Reviews From Those Who Have Been "Over There"
» Random Thoughts From Marybeth links with: Over There
» Literal Barrage links with: Saved By A Review
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Over Where?
» Dean's World links with: Bochco's Over There Bombs With Current Military Personnel
» Dean's World links with: Bochco's Over There Bombs With Current Military Personnel
» trying to grok links with: OVER THERE