Is it over for "Over There"?
Wednesday night marked the final episode of the season for FX's "Over There" – and quite possibly the last episode ever.
Though the show had a ton of press coverage, a decent effects budget and a cable-TV allowance for sex, language and violence, it just didn't get the ratings it should have.
Many of us in the media are left scratching our heads, wondering what went wrong….when we likely have everything to do with it. We just don't understand that Americans, for the most part, just don't care about the war like we do.
Many Americans (or so the theory of the week proclaims) are sick of the war and even if they support it, they don't want to know anything else about it. Hell, they may not even be watching or reading the news coverage anymore, let alone tuning into a fictional show that depicts the very worst parts of said war. Who wants to see seven soldiers get shot at, kill civilians and get cheated on by their spouses when they could just be watching some craptastic reality show or the 20th version of “Law & Order”?
I hate to believe the theory, but it makes sense. "Over There" is the first television show to depict a currently ongoing war – and maybe this is why it never happened before. You can't escape from reality (that's real reality, not TV reality) when it's right in front of you.
I, for one, really came to fall in love with this show. At first, I found the characters to be somewhat unlikable and unfamiliar…but over the course of the season, as the characters got to know and trust each other, I came to care about them. By the end of last night's episode, I was jumping at every gunshot, fearing for their lives. I also appreciate the fast pace and constant suspense of every episode, making “Over There” much more an observant “action-driven” series than the usual variety of “character-driven” series. Maybe that’s something else viewers don’t like: They aren’t outright told everything that’s going on like on “ER”, “CSI” and just about every other drama on TV right now. They have to figure it out by paying attention.
Not to mention that unlike most shows (I daresay all shows) on both network and cable TV, the characters are played by newcomers who (gasp!) look remarkably like real people. How believable would it be for Benjamin Bratt and Lara Flynn Boyle to be playing soldiers, anyways?
Although I cared more for some than others, the intertwining storylines from Iraq and the home front make for a varied show from week to weel. In fact, my only qualm with the show was that there was just too much going on. Between Bo Rider's recovery after losing his leg in the first episode, Dim's wife's recovery form alcoholism, Sgt. Scream's re-enlistment, Mrs. B's AWOL in Hollywood, Doublewide's husband's flirtation with a fellow "Army wife"….it's exhausting.
But because there were so many storylines (and so many loose ends), I would like to think FX would be willing to give the show another season. Just because some people don't care about the war doesn't mean some (read: me) don't care about these characters and what happens to them. Not only that…but ending a series with a cliffhanger (in this case: who shot Captain Underpants?) is just cruel.