27. July 2005 · Comments Off on Over There · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Just a reminder: Steven Bochco’s Over There pilot episode airs tonight at 10 EDT (with encores at 11, and 1am), on FX. Between Bochco and FX, I’m expecting a high standard of quality. Bochco promises to stay out of the politics of the Iraqi campaign (and I doubt Murdoch would buy his show if Bochco wanted to), and concentrate on the personal stories of his fictional platoon, and their families back home.

Update: Well, the reviews, the real reviews, from real service people, are coming in on this, and just about every other milblog on the planet. And, as in this Seattle Post-Intelligencer story, are running on the negative side of mixed.

A lot of the criticism centers around the details: The Taster’s Choice slam, for instance, was excellent. Other details, like the buried IED, with a little flag on the trigger, where down-right idiotic. Bochco certainly needs some qualified technical consultants involved in production.

The most prevalent negative opinions though, seem to center around the stereotyping of the characters, and the matter of good taste, over producing an entertainment program while people are fighting and dying.

I’m a bit more philosophical about it. I mean, during WWII, Washington actively encouraged and supported Hollywood’s production of war movies. But, because of that, there was a massive propaganda factor. As far as being true-to-life goes, relative to the war movies produced from 1942 to 1945, Over There is a newsreel. Further, anyone that gets there bustle in a bunch over the stereotyping simply doesn’t understand the realities of producing series television. It takes time to flesh-out a character; if this squad is as cartoonish at the start of season two as it is now, that would be a problem. But, for a pilot, this is pretty much par-for-the course.

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