Live-Blogging "Over There"

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“Over There” tonight at 10 EST. The new television series about the Iraq war. I’m skeptical. So I’ve decided to live-blog it. If you’re watching, too, send comments.

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2201 Sex in the kitchen for starters? Oooh. That’s subtle.

2209 Women in combat already and we’re not 10 minutes in!

2210 Squad is digging in (Ranger grave). She says: “Jesus I can’t do this.”

Two male soldiers rush over to help the damsel in distress. “Hey Dan, let’s give her a hand.”

“I can do it myself. . .” she whines.

Scene interrupted by combat action. (Badge to follow.)

Very interesting. And surprising. I can’t imagine that Steven Bochco wrote this to underscore the problems with women in combat. But hey, there you have it. Of course, PREDICTION: I’m sure by the end we’ll have Amazon Woman enter the scene. Wait. I bet this very same woman will turn out to be mega-warrior. Bet on it.

2217 “Praise in public; reprimand in private.” Captain in charge berates the lieutenant in front of sergeant and men, undermining chain of command. Hollywood always get military leadership wrong.

2220 Closeup of the chick. Nice eyebrow pencil.

2227 Okay. Where are they going with the women in combat issue? This I was not expecting. Synopsis: girl wanders off in search of privacy to answer the call of nature (whatever). After finding just the right spot and dropping her drawers and flack jacket, an Iraqi sneaks up, pears over the berm and spies her. He is momentarily flummoxed, then regains his senses, and tries to shoot her. (Just like all the bad guys in the movies, he has terrible aim in close quarters with an automatic weapon. . . ) Again, combat action ensues. . .

2236 “She’s alive!” Of course she is. Note: he carries her off the field.

2238 Commercial break. Question: could she have carried him off? With all his gear? Shoot, even without his gear?

2246 So now one of the women is doing a video for her kid at home . . . woah, the women in combat issue is a huge theme in this show.

We just had a scene where a bunch of Iraquis were dragged away and thrown into a truck while hollering about Abu Ghraib. . . were we supposed to sympathise with them?

2249 UnderArmour (product placement – cool though)! Milblogs, is this standard issue now? The Dude would love that! He’s mad that I wouldn’t let him watch this with me. . .

2255 Is that the football player who just lost his leg in the roadside bombing? Man I hate when they set you up like that. Oh is this the end? More reax in a minute. . .

2301 It was the football player. Previews tell us that they’ll be following him through coping with his loss and rehab. I felt emotionally manipulated when he was the one who got hurt. (I wish I’d written down my prediction that he would be the one who died — it was so obvious that they were setting us up to care about him.) But, having said that, if this story line resulted in people appreciating the sacrifices and suffering of our military, then it would be a good thing. . .More on another angle in a minute.

2327 The intellectual character from Cornell said in his video home: “We are savages; war turns us into monsters. . .” Victor Davis Hanson would like this part. He says democracies are the most vicious/brutal fighters and that when we go against other cultures it’s a slaughter. Hanson views that as good though. Hard to say completely from this single episode, but I’m guessing this show will go the other way — it seems like all Hollywood renditions of war turn into anti-war screeds. They’re going to focus on the angst of the individuals in order to tell the story. They won’t take the time to portray grateful Iraqi’s, or mention Saddam’s brutalities. . . and the character who says he “loves the Army” will be portrayed as a doofus.

I hope I’m wrong. But it’s not really worth watching. . . and our soldiers deserve better.

UPDATE: Swanky Conservative live-blogged, too. He had much the same reaction I did. Here’s one observation he makes: “After a firefight, do troops loll around staring at the dead enemy?” Well, exactly! What was that about? Went on forever. Check it out; he picked up on a couple of funny things that I missed.

* * *

To the guys who really are Over There . . . Mudville! Open Post!

The indirect fire Argghhh! has the cliches.

See more outstanding analysis at Target Centermass on Over There. And the best thermal image in the blogosphere.

The Milbloggers are fighting back! Check out Blackfive‘s report — great comment thread.

And Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave gives us his negative reax, but also a list of good war movies. It’s short!

1 August, Ballon Juice has an update.

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19 Responses

  1. Over There

    Over There is starting. I want to be optimistic, but I just can’t. Not yet.

    The show starts depicting one of the Privates smoking a joint behind the motor pool. Not long after a Sergeant leading the squad is bitching about how he’s stuck…

  2. Mike says:

    Try going thru an infantry company area, it looks like a underarmour convention. The loosefit with the stealth logo is pretty popular.

    I dont watch tv, but at least they got that part right.

    =)

  3. “Over There” Report, by Ry.

    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…

  4. I blogged about it also. It is basically recycled pablum from every liberal anti-war film of the past. NO ONE will volunteer for the military if all they knew was this show. I hope no one watches it, or that the producers decide to actually learn about reality. Like that will ever happen..

  5. Cricket says:

    You know, I am going to have to follow this series and see if my reactions tally with that of you all. I say this because as a spouse, I worried that there wouldn’t be a 140 lb man to haul my husband off, but instead some 110 lb girl with cramps. That was about eight years ago when they dumbed down the PT standards so women could hold their own, but the older men had to pump up.

    So I am glad to see that one of my concerns is a viable one when you mentioned her being able to carry him and his gear.

    Damsel in distress. Yep.

  6. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  7. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  8. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  9. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  10. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  11. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  12. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  13. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  14. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Typical day on the ground — [ American at heart – in Iraq] We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going…

  15. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Welcome Aboard — [Michael Yon – in Iraq] Mosul, Iraq Across Iraq, I keep running across American troops who are not Americans. Many of these soldiers and Marines are working towards attaining U.S. citizenship while in uniform, under fire,…

  16. Now I Feel Compelled

    Following all of the coverage of “Over There” by both Milbloggers (Mrs. Greyhawk has a great round up in Dawn Patrol) and main stream media, I’m rethinking my position on not watching the show. In fact, I almost certainly will…

  17. brogonzo says:

    They don’t issue UnderArmor, but I know a lot of guys who use it and swear by it. I haven’t given it a try yet, but then again, I have a cushy pogue job.

  18. Ann says:

    I watched the first episode of Over There. No reaction except the gory leg-blown-to-bits scene made me gag. The second show lost me during the torture scene, about 5 minutes in. I’m sorry, but I have too much empathy for the friends and families of the REAL soldiers in Iraq who have to see commercials and hear reviews of a show that clearly depicts their greatest fears.

    This show is garbage and I hope it’s pulled, but we all know that sex and violence sells so it will probably be a big hit. We all held the World Trade Center attacks as sacred, why are our men and women in Iraq any less? Because they’re military? Bull, they’re Americans. At least wait until the war has ended and these brave men and women have returned (or Bush is run out of town, whichever comes first) before subjecting America to the horrors of this God-forsaken war. Bochco should be ashamed of himself.

  19. Dawn Patrol

    IRAQ Welcome Aboard — [Michael Yon – in Iraq] Mosul, Iraq Across Iraq, I keep running across American troops who are not Americans. Many of these soldiers and Marines are working towards attaining U.S. citizenship while in uniform, under fire,…

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