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An early review of… Generation Kill

July 16, 2008

Given that I’m a reporter who covers the military, in addition to my other duties, you can imagine that a seven-part miniseries written by David Simon (a former Baltimore Sun reporter who penned my latest television addiction and the only thing keeping me sane during the NFL and college football offseasons — The Wire) about a reporter embedded with an elite Marine unit during the early days of the American invasion of Iraq might peak my interest. The miniseries is based on a book by Evan Wright.

While it’s still a little early for me to decide whether or not I really love this show given that only one episode is aired, I will say that from what I saw in that first episode, I like the show very much. The characters in this series are very much like the characters in The Wire. Every character, both protagonists and antagonists, have redeemable moments and even the show’s foremost protagonists have moments that make you cringe.

The show does have problem areas for me, including the way the Marines’ parts are written and how stereotypical all of the Marine roles feel so far. This depiction of soldiers in a war zone is hardly new and hardly interesting. Simon will have to figure out a way to humanize the soldiers lest the show become a 7-hour sequel to Sam Mendes’ Jarhead.

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