The Drama of Iraq, While It Still Rages

Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times:

27stanTiming is the questionable element in “Over There,” Steven Bochco’s 13-episode series about soldiers fighting in Iraq. It is not only the first television drama about the conflict, but also the first American television series that has tried to process a war as entertainment while it was still being fought.

School shootings, presidential scandals and even abuse of Iraqi prisoners are now routinely sifted into “Law & Order” subplots; viewers have become just as inured to the fictionalization of real life on so-called reality television. But even in our hyperaccelerated media culture, “Over There” is fast work.

And that is both troubling and comforting. “Over There,” which begins tonight on FX, is a slick, compelling and very violent distillation of the latest news reports and old war movies and television shows. That alone could make it seem like a show business atrocity, a commercial abuse of a raw and unresolved national calamity.

Except that exploitation is not necessarily a bad thing.

More here.