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OK so for credibility let me give you my background. I was a Sergeant in the Marines from 1997-2001. While I was not grunt as I am sure most of you weren't either although you like to talk like you all are. I was a riflemen before my MOS though. OK, so you all complain that they make soldiers look stupid, get over it. In "Full Metal Jacket" they made Marines look like robots, but hey that's what your called to do which is follow orders. It's a TV show. Then some captain wanted to say that NCO's don't yell at their troops. Well I don't know how it's done in the Army, but if there is one thing I learned in the Marines it's that cussing and yelling causes people to get things done. I think the staff sergeant that they casted was an awesome fit. He reminds me a mini Vin Diesel. Now I am not saying that all the drama is not needed and that they portray all the soldiers as coming from broken homes. I agree that all of that crap is not needed, but look past it and enjoy the show for what it is. I mean you all want to show what life is really like over there. Sure let's show them standing at their post all night without an incident that would be entertaining. Then someone wanted to complain about a Huey being there and not a blackhawk are you serious. I mean the Marines have Hueys so is the Army the only force over in Iraq. I think you guys are taking this way to seriously. As for portraying you in a bad light. I say to hell with em all. Quit worrying about what everyone thinks and just win the war. Deal with the politics later. I love the show as you can probably tell. Some complain about the stereotypes in the show. Well the black guy ratted out the other black guy about not opening the trunk so let me guess that shows integrity and courage for starters. So I don't see how they are portraying them to be only bad people. I guess I just see it from a different view.
This is one of the few shows in a while I've actually looked forward to
watching every week. I know it's probably every bit as unrealistic as
many military personnel have described here, but it's fiction. It's
meant to tell a story, and just like any movie or (non-reality) TV
show, it takes plenty of artistic license. I'm in the medical
profession and I love "ER." Of course I laugh at how unbelievably
inaccurate it usually is, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Additionally, I
don't blame the doctors and nurses who act as advisors to the show;
they don't produce it and have little more control over the script and
special effects than imparting their own knowledge.
I'll definitely continue to watch "Over There."
Fifty years from now, when television historians look back on this era,
they will shake their heads in disbelief that a program as masterfully
crafted as OVER THERE could not survive more than 13 episodes.
A product of the FX network, OVER THERE followed the lives of a diverse group of American soldiers on their first tour in Iraq. Chronological storytelling was used to perfection as viewers are with them from the moment they board the plane en route to their frightening new reality. We share their horror and shock when innocent civilians are mistakenly struck, when roadside bombs obliterate limbs, and when the best of intentions produce the most dreadful of results. On a more personal level, we see them contend not only with bullets and bombs overseas, but with adultery and family tragedy back home. We see Iraq not through a political lens, but through the eyes of those fighting for survival every single day.
None of the effectiveness of OVER THERE could have been achieved without the right cast. Producers deserve a lot of credit for this ensemble, led by Luke MacFarlane (Pte. Frank "Dim" Dumphy), Erik Palladino (Sgt. Chris "Sgt. Scream" Silas), Keith Robinson (Pte. Avery "Angel" King) and a surprisingly good Kirk "Sticky" Jones (Maurice "Smoke" Williams). Adding a female perspective are Lizette Carrion (Pfc. Esmerelda "Double Wide" Del Rio) and Nicki Aycox (Brenda "Mrs. B" Mitchell). These soldiers are all too complex and human. Dim is a college man shell-shocked by the carnage before him. Angel is a man of strong faith who signed up out of anger. Sgt. Scream drops hints he wants out of the army but has nothing to go back to. The interaction between such distinct personalities is one of the series' strongest assets.
For a show that was with us for so short of a period, OVER THERE certainly did not lack memorable moments. There are ethical dilemmas, such as when the soldiers find a stash of money that one of their own could desperately use back home. There are inspirational times, like when a soldier who lost his leg in an explosion valiantly continues with his life. Cultural barriers, media manipulation, and challenges in training Iraqi soldiers were among the many other topics covered.
One of the biggest criticisms of OVER THERE was that it never took a stance on such a contentious conflict. Few seemed to understand that this was part of its genius. Rather than get locked into a political debate, the show sought merely to present the war as it is. Whether the numbing violence we see is worth it or not is up to us. Indeed both sides of the war could study this program and use it to back up their point of view. You will be entertained regardless of your position.
In the end, OVER THERE was canceled because not enough people appreciated it. It's been said that the public may not have been ready for such a faithful adaptation of an ongoing conflict, with men and women still dying each and every day. That is understandable, but it doesn't necessarily make the loss of such a brilliant piece of work any easier to take.
To quote the critically acclaimed Vietnam vetern turned author Tim
O'Brien, "A true story that never happened." Or at least that's what
Over There looks to be attempting to be. Sure it won't be 100%
factually or technically accurate (c'mon like a test season of a TV
show can afford to get a UH Blackhawk rather than a UH-1 Huey etc etc)
The pilot episode is enough to catch interest. While the dialogue
treads familiar "war movie cliché" group, the visual presentation is
excellent. The show does an excellent job in depicting the dirt,
grundge, heat, and freezing nights of the desert. The most effective
scenes are the ones with the barest dialogue and everything is shown.
Whatever your feelings on the war, the show is worth checking out if only for the fact has rengaged the public to think about the war again (which seems to have been relagated to the back of the collective consciousness). Hopefully it'll live up to the hype. Hopefully it will become the TV analog to the documentary Gunner Palace.
If anyone wants to see a 2nd Season of "Over There" you should petition the FX NETWORK at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out the website at (www.fxnetwork.com) and bombard those execs with e-mails people to renew this show & get it back on air NOW!!! Let's be HEARD!!! This show was under exposed and needs to be HEARD for the serving men & woman serving proudly in Iraq and making the ultimate sacrifice. It is sad to see that a show the pays homage to all serving is canceled due to poor viewership. There are no shows like it on TV. Today there are too many "O.C." type shows about a bunch spoiled brats and their life problems on TV and not enough Real Life Modern Day War shows. Come on FX get with the program!!! BRING IT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a great series. No, it is not completely accurate but it is good. It is for entertainment purposes and not meant to be accurate. It is a glimpse of what goes on in Iraq and Afganistan. It shows each character and gives you there strengths and weaknesses. It is one of the best shows on TV right now. A lot of people say that is is not realistic. If you want and accurate picture go and watch a documentary. This will keep you entertained. It is one of the best military shows I have ever seen on TV. I respect the military so much more after seeing this series. Once you watch it you will be hooked. It is well worth a look see.
Over There is an amazingly well acted and thought provoking show. It really brings home the people part of war and what's happening in Iraq. I'm really getting attached to these characters. The casting of this show was well done. I am a new fan of each and every one of these soldiers, although Eric Palladino has always been a favorite of mine. I'm glad to see him in this role, which he is so well suited for. As with anything, I'm sure there are aspects of it that are not completely authentic, but it's close enough to convey the spirit of what takes place in war. I also like the way the show deals with the personal lives of the soldiers, showing the struggles that occur and accelerate when people are separated in this manner.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The show within itself is not bad, but unfortunately it has one major flaw that is so common with military movies, and that is it does not portray the soldiers as people with any intelligence or individuality. The soldiers in the show are portrayed as reservists (i'm assuming they are reservist) that are just plucked up out of their hometown and dropped into a firefight in Iraq with no training, no experience, and unable to function without the input of a salty, seasoned Sergeant. I am a Sergeant in the Marines, and I have been "over there", and I also happen to be a reservist. While I have to admit we had our scary times, there was never an air of helplessness, and every one is required to be able to think. Everyone has a job, we are not just identical pegs that are interchangeable being controlled by some guy that yells a lot. If I were to treat my Marines like that, they would shoot me. Also, the show has some serious tactical errors as far as the rules for convoy operations are concerned and how they are conducted on the roads. The soldier's attitudes were portrayed as naive and ignorant of any of their training or of where they were. For instance, if someone saw someone doing something suspicious on the side of the road, first there wouldn't be a question of "are you sure?" we NEVER question what someone sees, we investigate everything- even if it may be someone' imagination. Second, why would the truck pull onto the shoulder of the road? You just saw something placed there. We NEVER pull onto the shoulder unless we have no choice and if we do pull onto the shoulder, we stop IMMEDIATELY. Third, the people in the back of the truck were just sitting and chatting... How about pulling some security duty by pointing your weapon outboard and scanning for IED's and enemy threats. Fourth, what was with the cammie-netting on the back of the truck? we never do that in a hostile environment because that netting can catch a grenade if one is dropped from a bridge. This just scratches the surface. My point is there needs to be a show that accurately depicts a military units day to day activities and interactions. We are PROFESSIONALS in the military, we each know our jobs, we each have unique jobs and responsibilities, and we a re proud of that. We are not drones that are screamed at by some "Sergeant" that doesn't know our name. One other thing, all convoys had at least 4 escorts. I know, it sounds like I am hard to please, but I feel like shows like this are made to portray me and my fellow warriors. If that is the case, then lets get it right. We deserve it.
I watched the series from the beginning, and I have to say this was
very well done. When I saw the trailers for the series last summer I
was afraid it would be another flag waving, mindless exercise in
patriotism, but that was not the case. To me, the story seemed unbiased
and realistic. The characters were well thought out and diverse enough
to demonstrate that conflict draws people in from every part of the
world, not just from the scene of the event.
There was just enough mix between the members of the unit in Iraq and their families back home to give everyone a three dimensional view of the story from our own living rooms. The soldiers were not just mindless killing machines, they were human beings doing a job and worrying about the people they left behind all at the same time. Throughout the series, each person battles with their inner selves for various reasons, and these battles clearly demonstrate that the characters are thinkers, not just drones. The story and the characters provide the perfect mechanism to animate the true ugliness and destruction war brings without going overboard. The symbolism used in the series was well thought out and precisely executed right to the end of the series when the GI's douse their fire after finishing a hard day dealing with attacks and incompetent commanders.
This series was a true work of art on Mr. Bochco's part. I was sorry to see it end, but at the same time understood that it could not be continuous because then it would become irrelevant as we viewers became more and more complacent as the time wore on. I hope we see more quality work like this in the future, and I hope other producers who may be tempted to create yet another boring "reality" show should view this series in it's entirety and use it as a model to create more interesting and thought provoking television like this series.
Anyone who hasn't seen this should seriously consider a screening some time in their lives. . .........
I saw the majority of the 1st episode and thought it was a good story line.Some of the dialog between the troops seemed a little stereotypical of "Army talk".As a veteran I am watching with an eye of scrutiny more so than the average schmo.Some errors noticed were the female troops wearing lipstick which is an Army no no especially in a field environment.A medivac helicopter in episode 1 was a UH1 Huey model which may be possible but not likely since the Blackhawk model has been in use since the mid 80's.Some of the background scenery looks oh so California, which as it turns out is California.My biggest concern is the message that this show will be delivering.We have enough crap coming from the news networks that are painting our men and women as ugly tyrants.We don't need a show to reinforce the lies and the negativity of our mission.Agree with it or not our troops are doing their mission and not asking for approval.I hope the producers of this show keep it real without some political agenda.If week after week turns out to be gloom and doom with depressing overtones of "how bad it all is..Over There.." dump this show from your viewing schedule. Great widescreen presentation, good music and story flow so far.
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