03. August 2005 · Comments Off on Memo: Try It Again, This Time With Feeling · Categories: General, GWOT, That's Entertainment!

To: Mr. Steve Bochco
Re: “Over There”
From: Sgt Mom

The following items are noted, in no particular order of importance, based on the numerous reviews of the pilot episode of your TV series about a small Army unit engaged in the current war in Iraq, in the hopes of bringing certain realities to your attention. Please realize that the almost unanimous chorus of pointed criticism and the accompanying storm of brickbats and rotten vegetables are due to disappointment amongst a military audience. There are not many TV shows focusing on the military experience, so our expectations are high of those few. Shows about cops, doctors and lawyers are, god save us, a dime a dozen; the audience can pick and choose those nuggets of hearty, authentic goodness among the dross. A series focusing on soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines only comes along about once a decade, so all our interest and hopes are directed towards it, instead of being diffused among many. “Over There” may yet be salvageable, should you and your writers embrace the following:

1. We have had an all-volunteer military for thirty years. Only a bare handful are left on active-duty service that had anything to do with the draft, were draftees, or had to cope with draftees, or remember Vietnam.

2. Random urinalysis means that drug users are caught, sooner rather than later. There may very well be pot-heads in the service, but not for very long. Golden Flow will get ’em.

3. Units rotate in-country together; people have usually known each other for a bit before going “over there”.

4. Read the milblogs. Please.

5. Put in an application for some new clichés. The old ones are threadbare, and unsuited to further service. Replacement clichés are necessary and desirable; especially of you expect this show to last longer than “Cop Rock.” (Ohhhh, that was mean of me. Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

6. Hire a new military advisor. Or pay more attention to the one you have.

Sgt Mom

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