StoryThe pilot episode of Steven Bochco's Over There is as riveting, unexpected, and shocking as the series premieres of the legendary producer's Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue. The first television drama set in an existing war being waged by the United States, Over There concerns the first tour of duty for a young, U.S. Army unit sent to Iraq. Unlike any number of movies and TV shows starring middle-age actors portraying American fighting forces in past wars, Over There's combat soldiers look and act like the barely-out-of-high-school young adults (many of whom, in Over There, joined the military out of economic necessity) most of our real-life troops actually are.
Whatever one's feelings about the Iraq war, Bochco and co-writer and director Chris Gerolmo (Citizen X) cut through the politics to get to the individuals whose lives are on the line, who left behind families to find themselves in a most alien environment, fired upon for reasons they may not fully understand. Gerolmo does a superb job of showing us combat conditions in desert sandstorms, with rookie soldiers hanging tough under intense heat while insurgents fire from a distance at anything that moves. This is a new kind of war show, yet in many ways Over There embraces a few sentimental conventions, notably scenes in which the unit's members explain the origins of their nicknames ("Angel," "Dim," "Doublewide," "Mrs. B," and more). In the Bochco tradition, when violence comes, it comes as a grievous surprise.
- <li square>Includes the Pilot episode
<li square>FX Promo
|Nicki Lynn Aycox|