I just watched F/X’s new show “Over There,” and it may have been one of the most wasted and unpleasant hours of my life. Well- there was that one time in undergrad when I drank a bottle of cheap tequila and vomited through my nose for 2 hours. But at least I was drunk enough to dull the pain.
I couldn’t even finish the show, and as I write this it is playing in the background, and I hear someone screaming in agony. I wasn’t aware the show was filmed in front of a live studio audience.
At any rate, it is a smorgasbord of stupid, replete with every cliche and every simplistic and cartoonish characterization of the military imaginable. We have the stupid officer/NCO conflict, ham-handedly portrayed (or shall I say over-played), the race angle, the cheesy swapping of nicknames that seems to be first nature for bad military movies, and so on.
While the combat inexplicably starts and stops to allow the characters to have time for idle banter, the pain from the crappy dialogue is never-ending. Then you have the real silliness that is bound to offend anyone who ever served in the military. Friendly mortar fire dropping in at a “danger close” range of 15-20 meters, soldiers firing never-ending magazines blindly over berms (made with hand shovels in the cover of darkness- don’t ask) at wild angles, the clear lack of order, explosions launching people through the air triggering memories of the A-Team, Army guys referencing ‘boot camp,’ the advance over the berm online ala Pickett’s Charge at Cemetary Ridge. Like I said, the pain never stops.
I don’t know what military they fashioned this show after, but if this is an accurate portrayal of the modern military since I left, we have bigger problems than recruiting shortages. I also hope this show was not meant to be a ‘salute to our troops,’ because I have a feeling the troops are sure to salute right back. Unfortunately, it will be of the one-fingered variety.
Since this is ostensibly a military show, perhaps the best description is one that even most non-military types will understand.
*** Update ***
More here. “Not even close to ‘Over There.'”