"Over There"

Discussion in 'Community' started by Thomas Veil, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
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    #1
    Anyone seen this show on the FX network?

    I'd read a review of it, and it sounded interesting: a look at the Iraq war through the eyes of the soldiers. Not done with a leaning towards one political side or the other, but done to give you an idea of what it's like to be "over there".

    The idea of not taking a moral position on the war kind of struck me as timid and commercially-influenced...but then I ran across an episode last night and I watched a few minutes.

    Holy crap.

    I gotta tell you, this is a really powerful show.

    In the episode I saw last night, several soldiers were assigned to operate a roadblock on a lonely road somewhere in the desert. The roadblock was designed to intercept wanted insurgents attempting to flee Iraq.

    Where I picked up the episode, the soldiers had an empty car just off the road, and they were trying to decide how to check it for explosives. They filled the engine and trunk with lead, and nothing happened. One of the men approached the car, but one of his buddies suggested that if it was a trunkful of C4, it wouldn't explode, even under a hail of bullets. So the man backed off, and they rigged a wire to pull the trunk open. The trunk opened and...nothing happened. Until, that is, the soldiers got up from behind the sandbags and started to walk towards the vehicle, at which point it erupted into the biggest motherin' explosion you ever saw.

    In another scene, in the dead of night, the nervous soldiers watched as a car approached from the distance with its headlights off. They watched it keep on coming, and fired some warning shots. The car didn't stop. When it got close they opened fire. The car crashed, and they approached it cautiously with rifles ready and aimed. The driver, an old man, was covered with blood and was dead. The closest soldier freaked when he saw that the back seat passenger was a little Iraqi girl. She was staring right at him. There was blood on the back seat too. The soldier was freaking out at the idea that they had possibly shot innocent civilians. Then he cautiously opened the back door...and the little girl fell forward. The back of her head was blown off. Then he really freaked.

    And then a second car approached, this one with its headlights on. The soldiers, now all very high strung, shouted for it to stop, and for a moment it looked like it wouldn't. Then the car pulled over, and they could see an Iraqi man and woman inside. The man said that his daughter had already been killed that night, and if the Americans wanted to kill him or his wife, they should do it already.

    [SPOILER WARNING] (mouse over to read)

    The nervous soldiers were about to let the car pass through, but one of them kept his presence of mind, and told the Iraqi driver to open the trunk. He did...and the soldiers discovered an insurgent hidden inside. They arrested him, but these young, scared men realized what it all meant. The Iraqis in the first and second cars were working together. The old man and the little girl were meant to be shot -- a sacrifice designed to make the soldiers so freaked out that they would let the second car go through unchallenged. The realization of this moral horror left these young men shaken.

    [END SPOILER WARNING]

    The great characteristic of this show is that the men, the soldiers, aren't all battle-hardened veterans. Most of them are extremely scared, edgy young guys placed in a situation 'way outside of their experience. And that makes it fascinating to watch.

    At least in the 20-minute segment that I saw. But I'd recommend that you check it out. If the show is this good on a regular basis, then for sheer intensity it would seem to rival 24.
     
  2. wrxguy macrumors 6502a

    wrxguy

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    #2
    I choose not to watch this show because I am not in support of the war in Iraq and I did have a close friend of mine that was over there, get killed in duty and I dont want to support a show that is trying to make money advertising a war that i dont support....but that said, the show looks good...but i wont be tuning in
     
  3. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #3
    Great show yet it's very sad in one episode when that guy gets tortured.
     
  4. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #4
    Yes, it's a commercial show, and I understand your feelings. I don't support the war either.

    But I think this show does a terrific job showing the horrors that our boys have to endure over there.

    Heck, if most of the episodes are like this, it might be a great anti-recruitment tool.
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
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    Portland, OR
    #5
    Unfortunately, I've not been able to watch it, but caught a bit of an interview on NPR with one of the creators (and one of the writer/creators from M*A*S*H). They played a blurb from the show where the 'educated soldier' is doing a video email home to his wife, and I gotta say, it was some EXCELLENT (at least IMO) writing.

    You can find the page here:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4769957

    At the top there's a "Listen" button, it'll open in Real Player. Move the slider to 4:40 to listen to the excerpt.
     
  6. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #6
    the first show had two women in addition to most of the same characters. they all got stuck in combat and deal with small things like taking a crap in a combat zone and how women end up getting treated differently in combat. i think the show does a good job of humanizing the soldiers and showing their personal sacrifices on a day to day basis and problems they deal with i.e. taking a crap while in combat or the road block one. personally i think the show try to tell the stories of soldiers in the war, not tell the story of the war in Iraq in a biased light. i will say though, that the show probably leans more to the pro-war side, but issues are treated fairly. however, you end up pulling for all the characters in the show even though the characters have mixed feeling about what they are doing.
     
  7. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #7
    You're right, that is some excellent writing. And, it seems, very true.

    Who is the writer/creator from M*A*S*H? Watching the show, I thought it felt a little bit like M*A*S*H -- certainly not in terms of comedy, but in the sense I mentioned, of young men and women being dropped into an extreme life-and-death situation.
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    I too was impressed and impacted by the simplicity and (IMO) trusthfulness of the words.

    Ah.. unfortunately now FULLY listening to this is NPR replay, it's not the same one that I originally heard. Though, that excerpt (slightly shorter) was in the original. The NPR program I heard originally was with Chris Gerolmo (Co-creator, ExProd, Director, Writer) and (I want to say, but cannot quite remember) Larry Gelbar from M*A*S*H.

    I found it, yes it was Larry Gelbar.

    It was "On Point" from WBUR in Boston via NPR. Here's the link:

    http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2005/07/20050727_b_main.asp

    Use the RealPlayer link at the top of the page and go to 31:12. Here's the full clip that I heard.
     
  9. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    Madison, Alabama
    #9
    I haven't seen the show, but I wonder how accurate it is. For example, Googling for "over there fx" turned up this story as one of the top hits:
    ... on the other hand,
     
  10. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #10
    Very sorry about your friend but the show is hardly advertising the war. It is trying to show it from the point of view of the kids who are over there. Very happy my Tivo picked this up for me. Just added a Season pass yesterday.
     

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