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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Archived: We distort. We decide.  |  Topic: Television Review: Navy NCIS S1E8 - Minimum Security 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Television Review: Navy NCIS S1E8 - Minimum Security  (Read 2041 times)
Snowspinner
Terracotta Army
Posts: 206


on: March 31, 2004, 06:02:06 PM

I decided to snag an episode of this show because I really liked Mark Harmon when he did a few episodes at the end of the third season of The West Wing. Since I at least mildly enjoy the other CBS show to use a recurring West Wing character, I thought I'd check this out. Also, I like mysteries, at least in theory. Sure, I was a bit turned off by the redundancy in the title. (Navy NCIS… as though there's also an Army Naval Criminal Investigation Service.)

We open with a coroner even stranger than CSI: Miami's. In fact, this is fairly normal for the show. Everybody on the show is absolutely crazy. Which does not quite seem the normal order of things for a military show. We have our excessively eccentric coroner, as mentioned before, but we also have the goth tech, the haplessly eager guy, and Mark Harmon tossing off one-liners. The problem is that, outside of the goth tech and the coroner, no one is actually funny.

On top of that, the show is fucking offensive. This week we went to Guantanamo Bay. Apparently, in this reality, we have a problem with holding people there for a long time. And we're concerned for their mental health. We also seem to treat them well. One gets the impression that Guantanamo Bay is a magic happy place, where everybody knows your name, instead of an arguably illegal military base on foreign soil. Also, one gets the sense of the prisoners having, shall we say, a good time. Oddly, neither the torture nor the holding of children under the age of 16 seemed to make it into the episode. Must have just been an omission. After all, CBS would never demonstrate conservative bias. No,  never. After all, they're too busy protecting the world from evil nipples.

Of course, it turns out that we shouldn't treat the prisoners as nicely as we do in CBS-fantasy land. See, if you give Guantanamo prisoners anything nice, like, say, a transfer to minimum security, they'll cause another 9/11. Oh, and for good measure, we have a treasonous Arab translator, and a bunch of sexism. Add the stupid humor, and you hit the level of offensive propaganda right fast.

It's not even that I mind propaganda. I mean, I loved 24 last season – both when Jack was being a ruthless lunatic and when it was being a thinly veiled allegory about Iraq. I could watch Sorkin episodes of The West Wing all day, even though I find Sorkin's brand of liberalism moronic. Because those shows are actually well done. And they don't try to be stupid about their propaganda. Jack Bauer's actions have consequences. The Bartlett administration is flawed – deeply so. But this isn't that. It's just a cheap gloss of some of the most substantial issues facing America today. I'd say the show insults the intelligence of its audience, but, watching the show, I can't help but think its audience deserves every bit of it.

Navy NCIS airs Tuesdsays on CBS at 8/7c.

I will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war
A twisting pillar spun of dust and blood up from the prairie floor
I will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow
And the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory, when I go
Paelos
Contributor
Posts: 27070

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Reply #1 on: April 01, 2004, 08:52:02 AM

Did you review a show here, or did you just spout off your own brand of political shlock? Here's a hint, when you do your reviews, assume at least some of the populace didn't watch it. You may think something is propaganda crap, but really you didn't even logically spell out what parts of the show did that with any details. Instead we get broad statements and political junk.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
Snowspinner
Terracotta Army
Posts: 206


Reply #2 on: April 01, 2004, 11:09:42 AM

I thought I was pretty clear. It portrayed Guantanamo Bay as a happy fun land where everyone is treated just splendidly. It also established that treating Guantanamo Bay prisoners too kindly led to terrorism attacks. Did you want a full plot summary? I wasn't going to give that, because, well, people have been complaining about that, so I figured more review, less recap.

Here's the plot - translator from Guantanamo Bay is found dead with emeralds in his stomach - he swallowed them, they killed him. Investigation uncovers that he was secretly working with a terrorist suspect to try to get him into Minimum Security. He was doing this because said suspect was to murder one of Bin Laden's son-in-laws. This is all uncovered by our fearless investigative team, who stop the murder, and can now question Bin Laden's son-in-law to get info.

But, really, it was the visual portrayal of Guantanamo Bay as a nice, hopping place that people are eager to go, as well as the plot that the Arab translator isn't to be trusted, and letting suspects into minimum security is a mistake.

The show was flagrant propaganda, and idiotic propaganda at that. If I'm going to watch propaganda, I want it to be at least as good as Birth of a Nation and Triumph of the Will.

I will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war
A twisting pillar spun of dust and blood up from the prairie floor
I will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow
And the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory, when I go
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