This show, a Steven Bochco creation, suffers from the usual television "flourishes" that are characteristic of the medium. For example, in Episode 11, Sgt. Scream doesn't go home (and exit the show) when he has the chance, in an utterly unconvincing "sacrifice" to enable some Iraqi orphans (and their guardian, a comely but oh-so-world-weary French woman) to keep living in their rundown house in the middle of town. And let's not get into the annoying repetition of the title song at the end of every episode.
As documentary, however, Over There has provided the U.S. public with a more realistic view of the war on the ground than most anything offered by the self-censoring news media or the cheery pronouncements of the Bush Administration. Interestingly, the show was described by Bochco as non-political and indeed, there seems to be no need for preachiness. The squad has weekly encounters with a witches brew of Iraq war horrors: limbs blown off, children killed, deaths from friendly fire, and an Iraqi population bitterly hostile to Americans. The show has even been prescient: an episode a few weeks ago showed the character Bo, who lost his foot and was shipped home in the pilot, getting a bill from the Army for missing equipment, while the Army sent his pay to an old address, where it was misappropriated by his dad. Characters often (and rightly) question what they are doing in this seemingly purposeless maelstrom of violence. It is an observed peculiarity in American culture that "fictional" violence and mayhem are acceptable to sell scented toilet paper and other frivolities, but graphic "news" of the real war is not. In this light, Chaos suggests that a more valuable use of time might be to skip the news of the war on FOX/CNN/MSNBC and the print media and just tune in to F/X on Wednesday nights, at least until the reruns begin...more to the point, does Over There undermine the armed forces attempts at recruitment?