Monday, February 09, 2009

Generation Kill

FX UK has now shown the first three episodes of Generation Kill and it's beginning to grow on me. Like The Wire it is initially alienating and confusing (although the info available on the website is very useful just for getting to grips with the command structure). The subject matter is tackled in a similar way too -- last night's episode involved a marine who might have shot two Iraqi children during an assault on a (deserted) air-strip. The situation is presented without commentary. The characters have different reactions to the morality of the situation, indeed to the very facts of the situation. Was the action wrong? What were the Rules of Engagement at the time and who was aware of them? What are they required to do now? By what standards are those requirements to be determined? Nothing is simple and no one is made into either a paragon or a villain. It treats the audience and the subject matter with respect.

However, it lacks the variety of The Wire both in terms of subject matter and cast. So far we have learned nothing about the Iraqi population since the whole situation is being focalised through the various marines. I suppose this makes the country they are in seem alien and disorientating too -- we, like they, are very much in the dark about where they are and whom they are fighting or helping. Still, the fare is a little more uniform than some might like. Later episodes promise to fill-in the picture somewhat (when, for example, they eventually get to Baghdad) but there is less of a rich variety of perspective than the earlier series provided.

I'm sticking with it.

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