It may or may not be news to you, but this Old Man was quite the fan - of "The Wire". I believe that I have said on many more than one occasion that "The Wire" is the best and most important piece of media ever produced because of the unparalleled depth and breadth of storytelling present especially considering the scope and level of social commentary within.
So it may be surprising to you, dear reader, to find out that I had not seen the David Simon/Ed Burns HBO miniseries in its entirety until this past weekend. Jack Attack and I had it sitting at the bottom of the DVR queue since it first aired last year, but for whatever reason we'd not started watching it until about a month ago. Over the past month, we've watched it in one or two episode installments.
Despite my puzzling inability to complete viewing of the seven-episode run until nearly ten months had passed, I have to say "Generation Kill" was pretty outstanding. Obviously, there is probably a slant to the story, but the seeming aimlessness and ineffectiveness of the operations on the ground in Iraq at the beginning of Operation: Iraqi Freedom while being carried out largely to the best of the soldiers' abilities is quite compelling. Much as was the case with "The Wire" there are too many great individual performances and rich characters to single out each one, but James Ransone and Alexander Skarsgard* were both great as Cpl. Josh Ray Person and Sgt. Brad "Iceman" Colbert. Their interplay injected humor into the show, usually when the show needed it.
*He was so great in this that it makes his involvement in that shitfest "True Blood" even more unfortunate. His performance does give hope that he will be pegged for playing Thor as is currently rumored. That is, of course, if they decide not to have Vincent D'Onofrio reprise his role from Adventures in Babysitting.
The toll the war took on the soldiers in the short time they were in the presence of the reporter was pretty damn interesting. Information like that tends to be harder to pry from the source so when a presumably objective reporter can see the toll that war takes on a character like Ray, it is feels like privileged information.
Seeing how one officer is a complete fuckup ("Captain America") while another officer trusts his instincts (wisely) over ill-informed orders (Lt. Fick) and finds himself in as much shit as the lunatic who psychotically attempts to bayonet captured combatants in the field, can be frustrating. "Generation Kill" is clearly produced by Blown Deadline, as the clusterfuck that is ground operations in Iraq may as well be the infrastructure in the City of Baltimore. Neither are even remotely well-oiled machines, and both are undercut by those who are ill-suited to be making command decisions being in charge.
The series is certainly short enough to be able to digest it quickly. If you haven't done so yet, there's no time like the present.