Monday, July 14, 2008

Generation Kill, episode 1

The new HBO show Generation Kill started last night. As you may know, the vlm-tr is a HUGE fan of David Simon and Ed Burns’ last show, The Wire, which I think may be the best television ever produced. Needless to say, I was anxiously awaiting this mini-series based on the book by the embedded reporter Evan Wright.

Episode 1 was marked by trenchant realism that we’ve come to expect from Simon & Burns. I wasn’t struck numb the way I was with The Wire, but then again, I’ve lived in Baltimore and been held at gunpoint, I haven’t been to Iraq, nor been in the armed service. What I like about the way they approach their subject matter is that nothing really has to happen, there is a narrative arc, but they do not feel any inclination to insert action at every turn, or even at all. I don’t feel I can make any pronouncements about the show for a few more episodes, but it looks to be a worthy successor to The Wire.

A NY Times review, was sort of lukewarm, but not particulalrly good, IMO. A much better review, as well as more positive, from Tom Shales as well as one from a fellow embedded journalist, also of the Washington Post. The New Yorker had a slightly negative review that I think missed the point.

The vlm-tr gives it a preliminary “Watch it, biaatch!” with hopes that it will join the pantheon of greatness.

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