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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A more balanced look...

8/10
Author: pnunes from Canada
2 January 2009

I'm writing this mostly in response to a couple of badly thought out reviews here - one just slags Canadian content and doesn't really give any substantive reasoning for his opinion. It seems he was a bit confused by the plotting.

There are several plot threads being started here and as is usual for an exposition episode, there is a lot of information coming fast and thick, but here it's handled very well without the usual terrible exposition in bad writing like this: "Jack, you're my only brother and I've been very sad ever since mom died and dad remarried five years ago, so I'm upset to see you join the Peace Corp."

There's none of that nonsense here (good writing) and perhaps that's what made the one reviewer confused; he wasn't spoon fed anything.

In any case, several plot threads are set in motion and I'm very interested to see how they resolve.

Another reviewer said NOTHING about the merits of the drama, but simply complained about the most inane "inaccuracies" like what type of vehicle someone drove. Please. Get a life and understand something about television.

On the zostv.com web site, there's some great behind-the-scenes stuff including an interview with the UN peace-keeper who served as the on set adviser who actually served in Bosnia - I think his name was Major John Russell - who is shown directing one of the actors in a scene, walking them through a soldier's thought process.

So it seems that the really important stuff - the reality of the soldiers' situation - is dead on. So if you want to watch a show to see exactly how a beret is worn, go get a documentary. After watching the clips on the web site, I find the "review" that slags the authenticity an insult to the Major who worked on the show and served in Bosnia.

It does seem like a bizarre situation there in the Balkans, but apparently, a lot of stuff in the show is based on reality, like the crazy Speedo Boy character, who actually existed, wandering around the hillside wearing a speedo.

Also - to answer someone else's question, the Colm Meaney character is not supposed to have a Bosnian accent - he grew up in the UK, then came back "home" as an adult. There's a line about it in the first episode and more stuff in later episodes, according to the web site clips.

All in all, I think this will be a fascinating show - something we've never seen from Canada before.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Canadian Drama

9/10
Author: jonathan-mooney1 from United States
5 January 2009

Pay no attention to the negative reviews, ZOS is a top shelf Canadian production. It has all the ingredients of an excellent show; great acting (Nolden), writing, and directing (Azzopardi). I was totally engrossed throughout the pilot and am looking forward to the rest of the series. Some of the other comments rag on it for it's story line and not being realistic, however I would suggest they hold judgement until they see how things play out. It seems to me that all the stories are heading in interesting directions. As for realism, I don't really see any merit in that argument. CSI is one of my favorite shows, but I'm sure it is no where near reality when it comes to the jobs and lives of actual crime scene investigators.

ZOS is a great show, and between this and Sanctuary I am truly impressed with the direction that Canadian TV is heading. I loved it and will continue to pay close attention to this hidden gem of a show.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great writing, great acting, great TV

9/10
Author: claudio21 from United States
24 January 2009

I just wanted to say that I was fortunate enough to watch hour one and two of this series on an international flight on Air Canada. Although being on a 14 hour flight to the Orient might have clouded my judgment, (oh and it didn't), this show had me hooked from the first 10 minutes! The story line, is great, the writing is great, the acting is great, so all in all, I think it is and will be a great series. I am so upset that I can't find it here in the US. Being Canadian and having my fair share of bad Canadian TV most of my life, I am so impressed with this series so far. I guess I might have to wait until it's available on DVD before I can finish watching it.

oh and to all you critics, watch it again and pay attention.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Best Canadian Show Currently on TV

8/10
Author: da_rockwiler from Canada
26 January 2009

Great show with great acting, writing and directing along with cinematography! Very compelling plot lines too like the militant Muslim Serb returning home from the UK to run a seedy bar where he runs his underground drug for gun trade and prostitution ring. Also the Serbian and Croatian dialect is bang on which gives the show a great deal more integrity as does the Balkan actors and sets. Hopefully the CBC and Gov't of Canada will continue to fund this great program so it can continue to pick up more viewers. Shows like this don't come around very often so hopefully it'll be around for along time. Keep up the great work!!

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

ZOS: An intriguing look at our role as world peace keepers.

10/10
Author: ronwismansr from Canada
21 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What a great way to start the new year. A Canadian production that is thoroughly entertaining. The writers of ZOS have given us a host of well defined characters without "being on the nose", trying to explain or divulge every little nuance as a new character is introduced. Totally unpredictable, thought provoking, edgy, sexy, funny and horrifying all at the same time.

When did you last experience that in one show? TMN is onto something. My only negative is the broadcast I watched on Jan19th had numerous audio dropouts on the soundtrack. I found this disconcerting at times but something that can be addressed and hopefully corrected in future broadcasts. A first rate Cast with first rate Direction, Editing and Cinematography. Congratulations and a tip of the hat to all involved. Can't wait for the next episode. This is a must see.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Wowed by this show.

9/10
Author: gregholmgren1 from Canada
9 March 2009

I've been glued to this show since it went to air. I've spent pretty much the entirety of my adult working life helping to make movies and TV shows. Just once, I'd like to be working on a TV show as good as this. I'm not saying ZOS is perfect. It has flaws, so does the space shuttle, but man does it ever raise the bar for Canadian dramatic television.

I've just finished watching episode eight, and I was thoroughly jolted. After episode six, I thought how is this going to get any better? Seven topped it, and eight walloped seven.

Great premise, great writing, great ensemble cast, and fantastic individual performances by all of the leads.

A host of perplexing and terrifying turns of plot, treachery, action, pathos, comedy. Hell they even have a dancing bear, wearing a Union Jack bikini brief no less. I hope that doesn't count as a spoiler.

I've read some comments by former and current CAF personnel who are offended by the show's apparent technical and operational inaccuracies. With respect, I'd have to side with the people who are enthralled with it for it's dramatic and narrative qualities.

I watch documentaries for historical accuracy and context. I watch dramas to be entertained and when they are good, to get to certain elemental, universal truths.

Thanks to the entire ZOS team for a thrilling, thrilling ride.

Big time congratulations!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Worth seeing, but not for the faint of heart

9/10
Author: Robert B. Marks from Kingston, Ontario
25 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've just watched the preview of the first episode on TMN On Demand. This is a very good show, with solid performances and developed characters.

On a personal note, I'm very happy to see Canadian military activities trumpeted at last. My country doesn't advertise what it's doing nearly enough, and it is doing important work. And, peacekeeping has to be one of the hardest jobs for a soldier to do - it's good to see somebody has finally dramatized it, and dramatized it well.

This is not a series for the faint of heart, however, and that needs to be stressed. The violence of a zone that requires peacekeepers - in this case a fictional town in the Balkans - is not shied away from. A key point of the pilot involves two children straying into a minefield. A mine goes off, and a small boy bleeds to death from a severed leg as a peacekeeper tries to rescue him without being blown up herself. The violence is graphic and realistic, and the viewer is forced to face head-on the horror of a situation that most of us try to forget exists, but is all too real.

There are some issues, however - the show is not perfect. Colm Meaney plays a chilling Muslim fanatic re-arming his side for the next round of violence, but his Irish brogue stands out like a sore thumb, and makes his character seem to be a star vehicle rather than an actual person. An attempt at a Balkan accent would have been better. And then there's the militia leader wearing nothing but a Speedo, overcoat, and belts of bullets, who is a bit on the strange side, and a naked Major who appears as a vision and curled up on a bed, who is downright bizarre. Hopefully these will see some explanation in future episodes.

So, this is a show that is definitely worth watching, but if you aren't prepared to deal with the heart- and gut-wrenching reality of a place that has been torn apart by war, you might want to give this one a pass.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good and not as bad as.....

8/10
Author: NebLWeffah from Canada
8 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

....some people have said. First of all let me say I'm from Canada and I have the greatest respect for our troops and our peacekeepers and can only guess at the horrible situations they must find themselves in every day. Canadian peacekeepers are known the world over for their professionalism and courage. I can sympathize with some that feel Canadians are been shown in a very poor light here and yes, there are great inaccuracies in the equipment and uniforms...please, a Ferret armoured car? But, the show isn't about that. It's about the aftermath of an ethnic cleansing war and how people are trying to get back to their lives while still under the control of corrupt regime and living with very old hatreds. It happens to take place while Canadians and others were involved and there to bear witness. As a story of corruption, greed, power and what amount to ineffective world scrutiny, I think it's first rate. I like the characters, I like the action and I like the setting. Although I've never been there, it looks and feels like Bosnia to me. I can disregard the inaccuracies for the sake of believing that there is a peacekeeper base somewhere in a hellish place with real soldiers who are real people dealing with real life and real temptations. I love Nick Mancuso, he plays the monster type very well. I like the Canadian major because he's just a guy from Alberta trying to do his best. My favourite character is Colm Meaney though, he is the personification of evil and represents all that is the worst about a place like that.

I give this show credit for telling a story, not for being a documentary which it isn't. It's a soap-opera-action-drama-fact-based-fiction and it does a pretty good job.

As an aside, I love the UN force name - Transitional Unification Force - 'TUFOR'. I can't think of a more perfect name for a bunch of Canadians - great in-joke if albeit unintenional.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Best English Canadian Production I've Seen

9/10
Author: Badgerly from Canada
7 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ZOS is exceptional in nearly every aspect. Notably, the story line is solid with intertwining sub plots, and the acting from a primarily Canadian cast is outstanding. Each episode leaves me guessing and waiting for more.

Canadians are not known for their dramatic acting abilities, but Nolden (Cpt. Kovacs) and Davidovich (Mila Michailov) are captivating in their portrayals of strength tempered with uncertainty. Doucet (Major Desjardins) gives a truly heartbreaking performance while trying to atone for his actions and protect the one he loves.

ZOS is accurate in its depictions of violence. The gore is realistic and not for the feint of heart.

I was exceptionally impressed by the unconventional and perhaps unpopular views that ZOS was able to express through its characters and story. Azzopardi shows us a film that steps away from mainstream American interpretation of war and peace. Many of the UN officials have their own agendas far beyond peacekeeping. Titac, a westerner, is perhaps the most cruel and corrupt of all characters; meanwhile, the Imam, a Pakistani/American religious leader, is against violence and promotes Christian relations and tolerance. For Canadians, it is sometimes hard to acknowledge that we are just as prone to immoral behavior as our Southern neighbors in war zones; nonetheless, Azzopardi forces us to accept that Canadian soldiers can are just as prone to theft, drugs, illicit sex, and general poor choices.

In response to the negative reviews: I cannot help but feel that you're missing the point of a television production. Yes, perhaps their uniforms are improper and the wrong vehicles are being driven ... does the average viewer really care? No. I was too interested in the story to really be knit picking - I mean, its a fictional town anyways. If you want a completely historical account of the Canadian presence in Sarajevo, I suggest you find a documentary. A 100% completely accurate film without any Hollywood flare added would be quite dull...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Solid but very un-PC

9/10
Author: jawyant-1 from Canada
27 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Top quality drama set in a the midst of a peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia, this series has no doubt drawn fire from critics for its less-than-complimentary portrayal of Canadian peacekeepers (among others) and of the peacekeeping mission itself. Far from being unrealistic, one fears that it is far closer to the truth than we are willing to admit. The story is strong and acting is far above average for Canadian productions, although it is sometimes a little hard to keep track of the characters. Perhaps that is intentional, to give viewers the same sense of confusion that must haunt the troops in the field on these missions.

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