So, Fox has a new comedy debuting on January 10 titled “Enlisted.” And boy howdy, when the trailer first hit the internet, did vets let Fox know they weren’t impressed.
So the production team behind the show decided to seek constructive criticism.
What’s my take? Glad you asked.
This isn’t a show about the Army. It’s a show about people, one that just happens to be set in the framework of people in the Army. The Army setting is simply the vehicle used to tell stories about people. And while the veterans community is large enough to be heard when complaining about the show, it isn’t large enough to carry a show on a major network. The writers have to make the show accessible to the general public, who have little or know knowledge of what the Army is like. Further, the need to tell human stories means that sometimes, creative license will have to override accuracy in depicting Army life. And I’m pretty OK with that.
Do you recall the reams of people up in arms over The Office’s faulty depiction of the reality of the paper products industry?
Was Scrubs (where the producer worked before) a true to life depiction of the lives of health care professionals?
Sometimes, the best stories take a kernel of truth and stretch it to the absurd conclusion.
As long as the majority of the cast is shown as decent people, dedicated, if not always squared away, that’s fine. It’s one thing to mock or hold up for ridicule “that guy” from time to time (and every unit has “that guy”). But if the show makes a sweeping generalization that everyone in the Army is a dolt, that would be unpardonable.
I don’t really know if the show will be good or bad, successful or cancellation bait.
But I’m not going to call for heads on pikes just because the cast isn’t fully versed on AR 670-1.