Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I Watch TV: SEAL Team

SEAL Team! Recently the closer an action show gets to reality the more I find myself questioning the ethical framework. Not so much of the characters, but of the way the situations they’re in are set up. The choices the show makes before the characters get to make theirs.

David Boreanaz is Senior Command Master Chief* Jason Hayes, as good a SEAL as has ever SEALed. In the pilot they’re sent out to capture a terrorist mastermind in Liberia; they rescue a hostage but the terrorist is killed by the rookie. In the second episode they’re sent out to Syria to investigate a chemical weapons leak; they have to bend the rules to get the exposed people to safety and treatment. Then there’s the pirates and they take a couple of chances to rescue the hostages. You get the idea.

In each case they’re at the end of a long chain of unquestioned decisions; to send American special forces soldiers all over the world to fight bad guys doing bad things. That’s okay. I don’t expect deep discussions of geopolitical policy from our heroes. And it’s gritty and hard and people die and things are difficult back home which is certainly a step up from making everything shiny and happy.

They’ve spent enough money to get good helicopters and parachute and boat shots, even if a lot of it is people in rooms talking or dressed in a thousand pounds of gear moving silently through narrow corridors. And there's a dog. SEAL dog. They should probably make the dog the star. Even if he has the name (sigh) Cerberus.

I’m going to keep watching. I’m probably going to keep having the big old why questions.

Watch This: For some quality action TV
Don’t Watch This: For quality action TV that engages with its own premise.

* He’s actually Master Chief, this is a joke.

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