Dave Duncan

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‘Over There’: Tonight on History

Yes, I’m a History Channel addict. There, I said it. Are you happy? Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, there’s a new Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue, etc) show that premieres tonight on History that I’m salivating for. It’s called ‘Over There’ and it’s a sort of on-the-ground depiction of the war in Iraq.

I’m going to repost a review by Christine Clark that I clipped from DOSE magazine. It contains some spoilers for the first of the thirteen episodes, so if you plan on watching the whole mini-series you may just want to pass. It’s going to air tuesday nights at 9pm on History Television (in Canada).

For the review, just click on

OVER THERE (Tuesday on History Television: 9pm ET/PT; 10pm MT)
Players: Lizette Carrion, Josh Henderson, Luke McFarlane, Kirk Jones
Pitch: The Iraq war is the stage for this unflinching 13-episode series taht follows the young members of an army unit on its first tour of duty.
Prognosis: This war drama still might be the most groundbreaking series to hit fall in primetime. There’s a sense of detachment in calling a war drama ‘Over There’, and that separation comes through in the series’s refusal to attach itself to any glorified war ideology.
‘Over There’ is disturbing. In the first two episodes, the baby-faced troops kill a young Iraqi girl when the car she’s travelling in tries to jump a checkpoint, and the most likeable character, the charismatic Bo Ryder (Henderson), gets his leg blown off when his transport truck hits a land mine. The environment these characters find themselves in is hellish, but their diminishing psychological states are a far worse purgatory. That is the focal point of the series: the emotional and mental drain of war on the soldiers and their families at home.
‘Over There’ covers the territory Emmy-winning producer Steven Bochco likes to tread. The godfather of television realism, Bochco (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue) changed TV’s landscape with gritty narratives, fractured psyches, documentary-style filming and a healthy disregard for network standards and practices.
‘Over There’s unapologetic depiction of war is definitely not for those who like their realism with a screener.

For those of you reading in the US, I think it’s already showing on HBO.

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