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Real soldiers don't like "Over There"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Father Knows Best, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    Not a place these soldiers recognize...

    These soldiers say 'Over There' is 'bogus'

    By M.L. LYKE

    A truck tire hits a flagged wire, a roadside bomb explodes, a handsome private with shredded leg screams in agony. In the bloody chaos of the moment, his soldier buddies panic. One pukes.

    Stop the cameras! Sir!

    Gilbert W. Arias / P-I
    In a preview of "Over There" at Camp Murray in Tacoma, 1st Lt. Eva Sovelenko reacts to a scene as Sgt. John Figueroa looks on.

    "People don't act like that when an i.e.d. (improvised explosive device) goes off. They make us look like idiots. We're not idiots!" said a first lieutenant previewing "Over There," the new TV series from Steven Bochco ("NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues") that debuts tomorrow night on FX cable network. It's set in Iraq, hyped as "true to life" by producers and hailed by critics as "unflinching" and "gut-wrenching."

    "Bogus" was the preferred adjective among the eight soldiers -- most of them Iraq vets -- viewing the series pilot last week at Camp Murray, headquarters of the Washington State National Guard in Tacoma.

    "Thank God that's over," said a master sergeant as the credits rolled.

    The uniformed skeptics dissected the series pilot scene by scene, beginning with the roadside bombing and panicked soldiers. Who, they asked, was pulling security? And what kind of idiot pulls off his helmet after a bombing attack? "In real life, training takes over. Not in Hollywood," said Sgt. Dan Purcell.

    The flags on the trip wires got an "F": roadside bombs in Iraq are typically hidden in watermelons, hay stacks, animal carcasses -- not marked for easy viewing. "A flag to mark an i.e.d.? What is that -- like don't land here?"

    Truck drivers also got eight thumbs down. "You do not, under any circumstances, pull off on the side of the road. You stop in the middle."

    The TV series, filmed in California, follows an Army infantry squad, flashing between soldiers' experiences in-country and the impact of their deployment back home in the States. It's billled as the first war drama built around a U.S. military conflict still in progress, a war with death tolls mounting daily.

    Bochco, who co-created the series with Chris Gerolmo ("Mississippi Burning"), has stated in interviews that the show is apolitical. "Ultimately, a young man being shot at in a firefight has absolutely no interest in politics," he told Reuters news service.

    But some camo-clad critics at Camp Murray were left wondering just what the message was in "Over There." One said a young soldier who brags about slitting the throat of a child sentry "makes us look like murderers."

    Master Sgt. Jeff Clayton complained that cameras deliberately dragged out the death scenes of Iraqi insurgents after a firefight, lingering unnecessarily on the carnage. "It made me sick."

    And where, soldiers asked, were the scenes of soldiers building schools, Iraqi kids waving American flags?

    The fast-paced premiere is packed with sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll; cool explosions and close-up gore; cussing and wrought emotion. It opens with the soldiers' goodbyes to family and a nervous flight to Iraq. In an instant -- "Yeah, right" -- the new dudes are belly-down in sand in front of a mosque full of insurgents, with two women accidentally trapped in the trenches, one with a big attitude and little common sense.

    "I can do it myself!" she yells at a soldier who tries to help her dig a trench. "You deaf soldier?" It's night, she's totally exposed to enemy fire and, when it starts, it's boy-soldier who has to push her head down to save her.

    No wonder the men keep asking, "What do we do about the women?"

    "I did not like the way the show presents men's opinion of women -- they act like the women were some other species," said Lt. Connie Woodyard, who returned from Iraq earlier this year. "We're not cowards. Women in Iraq are doing amazing things."

    The Camp Murray soldiers dismissed the military firefights as "bull---- " ("Where is the air support? Where is the armor support?"), the dialogue as contrived ("It sucked") and plot drivers as pure Hollywood.

    In the script, characters are thrown together for the first time. They constantly ask each other to explain nicknames. In real life, soldiers are sent to Iraq in units. "They don't have to ask each other's nicknames. They all know each other."

    After one week in-country, the soldier-actors mull life and death and war in eloquent speeches home to loved ones, talking about how war unmasks the monster within. "Nobody is that reflective after one week in-country. It's more like, "Ohmigod, we're in Iraq. Hi. What the hell am I doing here?"

    A few scenes passed muster. Heads nodded when a soldier opened up a packet of Taster's Choice freeze-dried and downed the whole thing. Nice detail. Ditto the scene of the earnest soldier describing the horrors of war via computer video e-mail as his adulterous wife is writhing in ecstasy with lover-boy back home.

    "But after only a week?" commented one soldier.

    "It usually takes at least two," added another.

    One scene hit home for the tough audience: an intimate close-up of two African American soldiers talking band-of-brother bonds. Says one: "If you're looking for another fool to risk getting shot to cover your fool behind, I'm right here beside you."

    Correct! Sir!

    Only one of the camo-clad critics, Sgt. John Figueroa, who is awaiting call-up orders to Afghanistan, said he'd watch it.

    "Hey, I'm into Hollywood," he said, shrugging.
  2. grampster

    grampster Well-Known Member

    Someone ought to throw Bochco and Geralmo into the company of a rifle squad of ground pounders for a month. Then let's see what kind of "entertainment" they film. gahhk!! :banghead:
  3. RevDisk

    RevDisk Well-Known Member

    Heh. So true. Gee, Hollywood screwing up a film/series about war. Very surprising.

    Actually to be fair, a lot of recent war movies have been very well done. We Were Soldiers, Black Hawk Down, etc. Perhaps we were spoiled, and Hollywood is trying to bring a balance back. :rolleyes:
  4. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Well-Known Member

    He's probably hired a couple of mall-ninjas who've operated for the past six years on covert ops in Iraq and Afghanistan as "techinal advisors". :D
  5. molonlabe

    molonlabe Well-Known Member

    And this surprises who???
  6. dolanp

    dolanp Well-Known Member

    When Hollywood dislikes a war, they make movies and shows where the soldiers are idiots who don't know what the hell they are doing. Just dumb kids blowing up the 'poor enemy' and crying when they get scared.

    It's a shame to read this because I was hoping it would relay the real experiences of soldiers in Iraq. I guess that was way too much to hope for.
  7. RevDisk

    RevDisk Well-Known Member

    Saving Pvt Ryan - Captain quoting Emerson

    We Were Soldiers - Lt Col Moore reading all kinds of books, and quoting various historical figures. Nicely showed off the enemy as being human too.

    Black Hawk Down - showed many of the soldiers making good decisions. And why they also made bad ones.

    Here's something. Plenty of soldiers ARE idiots that don't know what the hell they're doing. If you serve any longer than a week in uniform (I'm being generous), you'll run into the biggest idiots in the planet. Unfortunately, it usually seems that a large number are placed in your chain of command or handle your paperwork. ;)

    As for crying, eh. Not really. But I've had plenty of close calls where I took a lil "private time" to chain smoke half a pack and wait for the hands to stop shaking. But guess what, if you see a buddy get half his face ripped or blown off, it's gonna bother you a bit.
  8. enfield

    enfield Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a re-make of "Platoon".
  9. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    [Movie Guy Voice]

    From the creator of NYPD 2069 and the unforgettable Cop Rock, this season, Steven Bochco is Over There.

    [/Movie Guy Voice]
  10. Kjervin

    Kjervin Well-Known Member

    When I saw the first commercial......

    I immediately thought that the intention was to try to erode support for the US being in Iraq because it showed familes falling apart and soldiers falling apart in battle. It seemed like a cheap shot to me. Like they were thinking, "If we only show them how bad it is, they will finally understand and join our side." I think the series is born out of frustration that there is as much support for us finishing the job as there is. I bet the series is a fairlure after the first episode as people find that it rings hollow.

  11. entropy

    entropy Well-Known Member

    You are so right, Rev Disk! :p S-1 and S-4 offices are their favorite haunts, although S-2 and 3 offices are by no means immune from them either. :uhoh:

    I'll watch it tonight, but will probably be doing a lot of this: :rolleyes:
  12. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    I could have sworn in one of the TV previews, they showed a lefty AR.
  13. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Well-Known Member

    Now now, let's not forget Doogie Howser M.D., that was a Bochco as well.
  14. 21H40

    21H40 Well-Known Member

    Are they just too lazy or what? :confused:

    I've already seen multiple blogs and short documentaries on this war.. it isn't like they need to "create" much, with so many soliders (servicemembers) speaking their mind and telling about their experiences on readily available media. They could easily plagerize for the whole season.

    Really. Even without using real expereinces, go hollywood with me for a minute: I want you to look inside and FEEL terror... be terror... imagine yourself as the insurgent -- become the IED -- are you labeled with a surgen general's label? (this explosive is known to cause discomfort in the state of california)
  15. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    i'm quite surprised to see this in the Seattle PI. i didn't think they would print anything that would disparage hollywierd's all knowing wisdom and actually pay attention to our fighting men and women. guess i have to give them kudos for that.

  16. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    Not exactly. It's a reversed image. If you look closely, you'll see that while it is ejecting from the left side, the mag release is also visible and the selector is not. It's a standard right handed M16 but with the image flipped.
  17. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Well-Known Member

    All they will show in this show is pointless mayhem and death. The message is "Don't support this, and for heavens sake, don't enlist." I guess Hollyweird believes that only White European countries deserve freedom, and then only if they plan to hand it over to Socialist thugs.
  18. wingnutx

    wingnutx Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to watch this. It looks crappy just from the commercials.
  19. Old Dog

    Old Dog Well-Known Member

    Bobby --
    M. L. Lyke was an "embed" with a carrier strike group when OIF started; she'd been deployed on the ship for quite a while and wrote numerous stories up to and after OIF started. She was able to relate to a lot of military personnel pretty well and wrote some good stories. Speaking of the P-I; had at least one editor who came out with a couple pretty well-reasoned pieces on gun issues (actually pro-gun, anti-gun control) a couple years or so ago ...
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Can't be any sillier than "Saving Private Ryan", which was nonsense from its premise to the actions of its "soldiers" to the fake equipment used.

    Pure Hollywood garbage.


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