Monday, July 14, 2008


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.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up, I will have to put this in the DVR list.

  2. you left out The Wire. I believe it's the same people putting out Gen Kill. I have it recorded just havent watched it. I add showtime for a few months a year to catch Weeds and californication, good shows as well. I'm still bitter over Deadwood ending to soon, and the Sopranos, fuget aboutit. The single worst ending in the history of Television.

  3. HBO went to crapper lately.I'll DVR this show.They even transferred "Inside the NFL" to Showtime or something.The only NFL show that I liked.

  4. this is the same folks as the Wire. i also met a guy a few weeks back who is writing a forthcoming HBO show...about vampires. look for it this fall.

  5. DLC,

    There were a few promo spots for that new series before and after GenKill. Looks interesting, casting Vampires as the newest minority group and people fighting for "equal rights for vampires."

    Should be either interesting or totally completely lame.

  6. I read a pretty positive review of this on the other day.

    And this morning they had one of the Marines who the book/movie are about (or based on) on The Rock. His name is Rudy, and he was a consultant to the series. AND they eventually hired him to play the Rudy character as well. I guess The D wasn't available...

  7. Nuke,

    I think they considered getting The D, but they were afraid all that concentrated Awesomeness® in one place would just be too much, even for HBO.

  8. The Baltimore Museum of Industry presents an exhibit of original artifacts, objects and behind-the-scenes footage from HBO's The Wire and other television and movie productions filmed in Baltimore. The exhibit Local Scenes on the Silver Screen: "Featuring the Wire," will run from April 30, 2008 through December 30, 2008. Check out David Simon talking about the wire at


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