It's been a long time since HBO has had a decent series.
The subscription network was hitting home runs regularly with the likes of The Sopranos, Band of Brothers, Deadwood, Entourage and (for some people, I guess) Sex in the City.
But ever since the series so-called finally of The Sopranos, their offerings have been pretty boring and forgettable. The network's recent series, Tell Me You Love Me and In Treatment, seem to be an exploration into how boring other peoples' psychoses can be (although, Tell Me You Love Me earns a pass for the full-frontal nudity).
But I was really pleased with the initial episode of Generation Kill, the seven-part miniseries that follows an elite squad of Marines through the first 40 days of the Iraq war. It is based on the book of the same name by Evan Wright, an embedded journalist writing for Rolling Stone during the invasion.
The production did a great job of keeping showing the tedium of pre-invasion dessert life in Kuwait -- how soldiers dealt with heat, boredom, training equipment shortages and questionable leadership -- as they prepared to be the tip of the spear into Iraq.
The anti-military bias, if there is one, is only very subtle, and -- at least in the initial episode -- the narrative seems to be more concerned with presenting the day-to-day lives of the men on the front line, than with overt political statements about the war itself.
The violence in the first episode was pretty tame as well, especially when compared to The Sopranos and Band of Brothers. Of course the war is just starting, so I expect this to get a little more intense.
Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing the remaining episodes, and I'm keeping the DVR set.
tagged: HBO, Generation Kill, Sopranos, Band of Brothers, Tell Me You Love Me, In Treatment, Iraq, Marines