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Opinion: CBS show ‘SEAL TEAM’ embarks on suicide mission. 4/5 (6)

“THIS FALL on CBS, catch the newest hit drama to hit the big network airwaves.  Go inside the day to day operation of the the Navy’s SEALs as they prepare, plan, and execute the nations top priority…”

As I hear this it becomes drowned out by the roar of a thousand veterans’ eyes as they roll out of the back of their heads.  If you aren’t painfully aware, consider yourself lucky, because CBS is debuting a new prime time television show this fall entitled, “SEAL TEAM”.  This is the newest attempt by the big network to tap into the “patriot” market.  I say newest because network TV has a long standing record of failure when it comes to creating a respected series about the military.  When I say failure I mean a failure to capture that authentic, and accurate experience that a large portion of the patriot market (veterans) have experienced first hand.

In recent years, the big networks have repeatedly failed to produce a respectable show of this genre that their target audience responds to, the last one I can personally remember is FOX’s sitcom ‘Enlisted’.  This time, CBS is rolling the dice with their new drama series, ‘SEAL TEAM’ which “follows the lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan, and execute the most dangerous missions our country can ask of them.”  The trailer had a bunch of cliche shit in it, the same shit you’d see for any drama type series, but instead of the actors wearing hospital scrubs, they are wearing fatigues and plate carriers.  So lets break this down barney style:

If it looks like a turd….

At first glance the trailer falls flat on its face right out the gate.  A big hit came in the form of their appearance which jumped out as they were all wearing desert digital camouflage uniforms, similar to what the Marines wear.  Not a huge deal, but operators aren’t known to sport traditional uniforms that their fellow, non special warfare operating servicemen, are required to wear.  Keeping along the same lines, during the trailer we see shots of the boys in action wearing their full battle rattle.  Again, a small detail stands out to me.  The biggest reddest, whitest, and bluest American flag patch is stuck right on the front of the leads plate carrier.  Not only is the flag full colored, which is about as far away from tactical as you’d imagine, but it’s position is dead center of his plate carrier, taking up nearly all of the MOLLE straps.   Not to be a snob, but I’m used to seeing SEALs covered in gear and tech devices head to toe.  Since these guys operate on a small unit basis, I doubt these guys have much room on their plate carriers for a what essentially becomes a huge target.

If it smells like a turd….

Cliche AF.  That’s how I choose to describe this trailer.  Everything screams played out, and overdone when it comes to how CBS is approaching this show.  Let’s start with the opening of the trailer where the main character is reluctantly being asked to retell details of “that night”.  Dramatic? Yes.  Authentic?  Wipe my ass.  We are teased with another played out scenario in these military dramas: the battle between spouses over attention and focus, as if being deployed the way SEALs are is a some kind of surprise to her.

In another scene, a supporting character and his spouse lay in bed a midst a conversation.  We hear her say, “…Just come back to us alive.”  To which he looks at her and responds, “Roger that.”  This right here is a huge reason why networks keep missing the mark.  Which writer decided thats how this guy talks to his family?  Do they think he gives his kids an after action report every time they head to the playground?  These writers probably still use Top Gun as a reference on how to properly salute.

It might be a turd.

This whole thing stinks in my opinion.  I try not to be an arbitrary hater but it truly seems like a generic drama narrative with a military filter slapped on their set and dialogue.  I get what they are doing (trying to tap into a huge market that has not been successfully leveraged to watch) and why they are doing it (because America has a huge hard on for the Navy SEALs) but I wish it would be done in a way that veterans could positively respond to and possibly want to watch.  This looks like another lazy attempt by the industry to capture a wanted market.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like thats going to happen again this time around.  I encourage everyone to watch it and find out for themselves. However, I will not be watching.

See the trailer here.

 

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Cam Dupre

Cam Dupre