Okay, I found something else to bitch about, and that's Bochco's new series on FX, "Over There." Did you see it? I hope you didn't blink, because I swear there were 20 minutes of commercials in the first half-hour. We're talking marathon commercial pods running much much longer than the show segments, reminding us that Rule #1 is that Rupert must get paid.
The show itself? Kind of a watered down "Battlestar Galactica." There are women there who seem tough enough, sorta. But they're presented as pretty clueless and stupid -- one runs off in the middle of the night to do a #2 out in the middle of no-man's-land, some 50 yards from where the "bad guys" have been shooting their AKs.
The action is kinda mundane, which I guess is the point. This isn't a phantasmagoria like "Apocalypse Now!" But it's also rather predictable. Or didn't you get that the young idealistic jock was going to run into some bad shit?
Still, I ended up liking the characters. And rather resenting the show's creators. The effort comes off as cynical, especially in its effort to leave politics out of it. Note to Steve: Keeping politics out of a war series is a political statement!
In the end, it's kind of like that old show you might have seen in reruns, "Combat."
But "Over There" also points out what's so fucking hot about "Battlestar Galactica." The latter doesn't pull its punches when it comes to politics. Or the tough questions. Battlestar deals with torture. It deals with xenophobia and genocide. It deals with terminal illness. It deals with faith, a lot of faith, pagan and monotheistic. (Still don't have any idea where they're going with that!) The women are soldiers. They trade blows with the men. In other words, "Battlestar" deals with what "Over There" seems to afraid to touch.
I'll give Bochco another chance, but really this feels like "NYPD Blue" in camoflage, "LA Law" with M-16s. If only Bochco had but a fraction of the guts that those soldiers really going "over there" have.