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The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Over There 
3rd-Sep-2005 09:59 pm
ARVN Ranger
Anyone else been watching Over There? Six episodes in, I'm still not sure what to make of it.

Cut for spoilers
On the one hand, as one might expect from Steve Bochco, it's got some great characters and dialogue and lots of black humour e.g. the squad eating MREs in the back of a truck, reminiscing about what foods from the US they miss, one of them breaks wind and comments "farting is such sweet sorrow", another is told while recording a video email that he can't refer to where he is: "You see any signs round here saying Downtown Shitville?" It doesn't shy away from awkward subjects either like having to make decisions about when to open fire or not under less than clear circumstances, treatment of prisoners, random deaths all around them and, unusually, devotes a fair bit of time to showing the effects on family back home.

On the other hand, it still comes across as still pulling its punches. I suppose it could be argued that the programme is about soldiers on the front line who won't be able to do much about the politics of American involvement in Iraq but, even so... There's also a sense of red shirt syndrome too - one of the squad loses a leg and is sent home and we follow his recovery (where he seems to break his morphine dependency after just one night of puking up a lot...) but there seems to always be a previously unseen grunt around to trigger a booby trap or get in the way of a RPG.

I guess I'm finding it interesting enough to keep watching it and look forward to it, which is more than can be said for SG-1 right now but I still have mixed feelings about it.
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