August 03, 2005

"Over There"

The first television series about the war in Iraq has its good points, but I really don't see myself enjoying the show. The ability of the show to portray violence, cursing and the like were exceptional and will probably merit watching at least portions of future episodes. The writing is pretty cheesy at times and relies on a lot of warmed-over writing techniques (nicknames, cliches, heavy use of stereotypes, etc.). A few of the details about strategy are both original and realistic, but there are tons of mistakes of all shapes and sizes. The soldiers are restrained when they should have obliterated a terrorist holdout. They fire when no targets are apparent, even though for some reason they're supposed to be pinned down. They're un-reinforced and pinned down when they should have had lots of backup and heavy support. They move together in close line formations over open ground instead of spaced out and one at a time.

I'm sure a lot of these decisions were made in ignorance in order to craft a certain scene that the writers wanted to portray, but it's misleading when the show presents itself as a no-holds-barred look at Operation Iraqi Freedom. It also goes to great lengths to make the soldiers seem like they were roped into the military. I am worried about the bias to spin the war as more difficult than it is; many media outlets are drawn to making all wars seem like their fictionalized account of Vietnam.

I'll probably catch a few more episodes to see what it's like, but the stereotypes, bad strategy and MSM editorializations will almost certainly get in the way.

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