I cancelled my cable a few months ago when I found I was watching series on DVD, and TV was just filling the spaces in my day. When I realized I was paying far too much for things I really didn't watch and killing time that shouldn't be killed, it was time to cancel the cable. I felt brave because The Wire had provided me with six months of viewing as gripping and stimulating as the best books I'd ever read. When it was over, I went hunting through HBO and stumbled across Generation Kill. Another David Simon endeavour, it is an adaption of the book with the same name by Evan Wright. I had read the book and though it had a great overal thesis, the play on the Greatest generation and WWII and the Irag war and its Generation Kill. A different generation or whom war is mediated through technology and whose warrior bloodust is shaped by TV and video games. That said, Simon doesn't portray every soldier as desensitized and ready to kill, and there are plenty of moral quandaries as soldiers try to balance the aggression that makes great marines without becoming wanton murderers. This balancing act is the focus of the show and just as in The Wire, it's all about chain of command: how officers exchange dodgy results for promotions as subordinates pay the cost. The series doesn't have the same overarching narrative as The Wire, but then again it's only 7 episodes. But the great writing is there, and the tragedy is there as soldiers and civilians are just playthings of the gods--in this case, the omnipresent but invisible generals.
Another HBO series for TV refugees