Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hollywood Plays to Type

[Cliff May]
Wednesday, October 03, 2007

While walking my treadmill tonight I watched my Tivo-ed recording of last night's episode of The Unit — and I was every bit as chagrined as I feared I'd be.

For those not familiar with this series, the show is about a top-secret Delta Force outfit that knows who the bad guys are and takes them on and takes them out — with no apologies. The Unit reports only to the POTUS. No wussy court orders for these boys.

But in the new season, the Unit is disbanded and targeted by really bad guys, not just your run-of-the-mill AQ/Hezbollah/Khomeinist malcontents but those badder then bad: Yes, you got it, right-wing loonies, rich guys who secretly pull all the strings ,"rent out the Oval Office" to useful idiots, and routinely "disappear" people with names like Mahmoud. Why? Because they fear a lilly-livered liberal will soon be elected President and then will open wide Gitmo's doors.

(But wait a minute: Didn't they just tell us these guys were in charge and rent out the Oval Office? So how can elections be won by those who oppose them?)

Somehow, at the end of tonight's episode (please: let me spoil it for you) the guys from the Unit prevail and we are led to believe they are going back to work for the American people — but how exactly is not clear since we now know that the whole damn country is run by six malevolent families (the Clinton family evidently not among them) which means that everything we think is good and honorable is really dirty and corrupt. Why botther with serving in the Special Forces? Why not fight global warming instead?

And by the way: I also don't like it that Mac and Tiffany didn't get back together. It's not just needlessly cynical, it's illogical: Her memory got Mac through the torture.

Memo to David Mamet: I'm deeply disappointed in you. But enjoy your cocktail parties by the pool with your Hollywood buddies. You've earned it.

The only good news: I fast-forwarded through the commercials and got some exercise on the treadmill.

[All of Mr. Mays' points are pretty much right on the money...but I very much like and recommend the show despite the concerns voiced about this week's episode. - jtf]

1 comment:

Phil said...

I don't think there's much about Mays' commentary he gets right. The viewer isn't led to believe that six families run everything. The idea is presented as a comment by the Colonel's wife as something she has been led to believe, not portrayed as the actual order of things. It's also not clear from the context in which she was speaking whether or not her usage of "six families" was exaggeration for effect. The point being made is that there are powerful people who exercise a disproportionate amount of influence. Can anyone seriously dispute that?

Mac's flashbacks of Tiffy were presented in both favorable and unfavorable lights. Maybe the memory of her face changing to a predatory lizard is the one that really got Mac through his confinement?