Generation dull?- where is the action?

Though this series is completely different in subject matter than our other series’, there are several similar elements. As army and police work are in similar discourses, this series could probably be most easily comparable to them. Firstly, the description of rank is similar. As within all power structures, there is a clear hierarchy of command. Yet unlike the blurred lines of the drug world, the army has distinct titles for each member to place them within the hierarchy. The other similarity I found was the use of dark and inappropriate humor. As with the condescending cops on the other series’, the army members use racial slurs and derogatory terms to exert their masculinity. Similar to the war on drugs, these soldiers face the same reality as those in the ¬†lower ranks on ‘the streets’ in the drug trade, that life could end at any time. The only difference is, they are provided with a heightened sense of awareness and simple tools to defend themselves as fighting is the sole mission, there are no drug deals to distract them. Overall, the show seems to drag a bit with no clear climaxes, which is also like the rest of the series’ we have watched. As such, the emphasis seems to be on following the everyday activities versus the high-action drama that most war films feature. To further this, there is the classic reporter character in the show so we get the same perspective we did with Simon on Homicide and the ‘rookie’ characters in all the other shows. Through the reporter we are able to identify with being new to this world and learn as he does. Overall, this series seems very interesting and I find the subject matter more intriguing for some reason, perhaps because it centers around a war I personally feel connected to, versus a world of homicide or drug trade, which I am largely unfamiliar with. It will be interesting to see how the series progresses when the elements of drama finally show themselves.

3 responses to “Generation dull?- where is the action?

  1. I agree, I found Generation Kill to be somewhat boring, with the climatic scenes really not all that exciting. They went through the town and shot at the building, but it didn’t excite me at all. Of course, maybe that is because I am used to Black Hawk Down or other war movies, but unlike the The Wire, the platoon scene is not as interesting because it is more familiar that the drug scene was in The Wire. I guess we get both the cops, the drug users and dealers in The Wire whereas we don’t follow around the Iraqi’s in Generation Kill. Overall, I don’t know what I am hoping for that will make it more exciting, but I need something more than just the funny remarks between Marines.

  2. It took me about four seconds to realize Generation Kill was being produced by David Simon. Well, not four seconds, but ten minutes, as I quietly endured the slow pulse of plot beats I grew to know all too well in The Wire. While often beautiful, thoughtful, and revealing, the style does little to make exciting television (especially in what is expected to be an action flick)
    I too find myself strangely drawn to this story. I think part of it stems from my limited understanding of the war in Iraq, an issue which has been so important to our culture but has somehow gone casually ignored for the last five+ years.

  3. Simon’s slow pacing and exploration of personalities have grown on me. But I feel like it goes hand-in-hand with his usually bleak exploration of the systemic culture of the military.