June 03, 2004

Impromptu Review

I recently caught an episode of the HBO series Band of Brothers on The History Channel, and I have a couple of questions:

Do soldiers under fire or imminent threat of fire really have a lot of time to stand around (or huddle in a pit) gazing angstily into the distance? And if they do have a lot of free time waiting for the bad guys to resume trying to kill them, do they spend it being angsty, or do they try to get their minds off of the fact that they're waiting around for bad guys to kill them?

And when they're under fire, and serving as medics, and people are yelling, "MEDIC!" because someone's just had his leg blown up and is bleeding everywhere, do they saunter over and gaze angstily down at the screaming, bleeding man, or do they get over themselves, let the training kick in, haul ass and try to save a life? I'm kinda hoping it's the latter, especially if I'm the screaming, bleeding person in question.

Because while I was intrigued by this episode of BOB and will try to catch more of them, I found myself not exactly sympathetic to the angsty, glaring medic who was the focus of the whole thing. In fact, Hublet had to stop me from yelling, "Would you QUIT STANDING THERE PULLING YOUR PUD AND GET ON WITH IT! YOU'RE ANGSTY! AND TROUBLED! I! GET! IT! NEXT!" at the screen every time he was on. And since he was the main subject, he was on a lot.

I understand dramatic license. But I also understand "way the hell over the top," as well as "scenery chewing." What I didn't understand until I saw the "Bastogne" episode of Band of Brothers is that it's possible to chew scenery when protraying silent, glaring, angst. Congratulations, Mr. Angsty Glaring Medic Actor Guy! You've created a whole new category of irritating actor mannerisms for me to endure! Huzzah!

Posted by Big Arm Woman at June 3, 2004 10:39 AM

Ya gotta watch all of Band Of Brothers. It makes sense and it's good. This from a person who is so not a big fan of war movies.

Better yet, watch the episode featuring the survivors from Easy Company to get a better understanding of who those men were and still are.

And who the hell was the medic you're talking about?? For me, the main character was Winters and he wasn't a medic, he was a natural born leader.

If you really want to make your viewing experience memorable, watch it with a vet who has been shot at. Changes the dynamic.

Better yet, watch a Viet Nam movie with a 'Nam vet. It'll be hard to hear the dialog over all of the laughter.

Posted by: di at June 3, 2004 01:21 PM

I have no idea who this guy was--they kept calling him "Doc," and there was a whole subplot with an angsty French nurse who subsequently died when a church fell on her. I figure the whole series won't be about this guy, but BOY! He sucked the life out of the show. If he'd existed for real, they could've just put him in a room with Hitler and his aides and waited for them to surrender: "No more angsty glaring medic guy! Please, make it stop!"

Posted by: BAW at June 3, 2004 02:33 PM

I always thought Hitler with Tiny Tim singing would have stopped WWII a lot quicker. Haven't come up with someone for Hirohito yet.

Oh, that sounds like a new parlor game...."People Who Would Have Made Hitler or Saddam (or Pick Your Favorite Genocidal Dictator) Off Themselves If They Were Trapped In The Same Room."

Could be the new "must have" for Christmas....:)

Posted by: di at June 3, 2004 03:22 PM

From what I remember about combat, you spend your 'waiting' time running scenarios in your head and figuring out how to survive them.

There isn't a lot of emotion in combat because the only reasonable emotion is pure panic and that gets you killed... so you concentrate really hard on what you're doing instead.

Of course, there's nothing that says you can't go all emotional or brooding or whatever the plot calls for, but if you'll talk to combat survivors I think you'll find that most of them adopted a 'professional' attitude.

Posted by: ManFromPorlock at June 3, 2004 04:02 PM

No TV since '71 so I can't contribute. But I do remember an episode of Mission Impossible that involved an agonizing struggle to crawl up a thousand flights of identical stairs. Lloyd Bridges had a lot of that kind of scene too. No plot, just agonizing doing of the same thing forever. Sort of like Sisyphus but without the rolling. That and TV news clinched the deal, and out went the TV forever. I figured it was aimed at women, which it sounds like this medic might be.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at June 3, 2004 08:56 PM


1. Michael Jackson
2. Rosie O'Donnell
3. Regis Philbin
4. Dr. Phil


5. Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (though she would have scared them silly in an entirely different way....)

Posted by: Naomi at June 4, 2004 09:14 PM