Last night, as I sat down to do one last round of editing on the aforementioned video project, I turned on the TV, to serve as background noise- and while channel surfing, found myself on FX network, where an "encore presentation" of "Over There" heaved into view.

I figured "what the heck- if nothing else- it'll be background noise..."

This was the most insipid, cliched, purile piece of crap that I've witnessed since "justice sunday" (Yet, without as many trips to the bathroom, strangely enough.)

Steven Bochco must have holed himself up inside a concrete bunker with a pound of cocaine, three hookers, a month's supply of Dom Perignon and freeze-dried Mahi-Mahi Fillets (or whatever these producer-types eat, nowadays), and every poorly-produced war movie since "Stalag 17". He obviously emerged with the delusion that he could be Oliver Stone, but then, saw his stipend check, and his budget, and decided "screw it all- I'll just pander to the lowest common denominator- this is FOX, after all!"

The tried, trite stereotypes are all there- the racists (who will, (yawn), undoubtedly soon learn the error of their ways)- The Inner-city youth (of every heritage, to fade in and out at Bochco's discretion, whenever he wants to REALLY pander), the sensitive arty guy, with a troubled life- the all american white dude (several sub-types here- we have "the patriot" type, the "salt of the earth" type- and other such stereotypes) the scared, petite gal with a weak exterior, who, we all know, will, in an episode to come (which I will never watch, "Bob" willing,) saves her entire team, through an amazing act of heroism, after which her fate will be thrown into question, come the end of the season (hopefully, never to be resolved, once this show gets tossed in the can.)

Strangely enough, not one of these folks, throughout the show, show a single bead of sweat on their faces, and never look as if one single bit of evil-doing iraqi dust has been able to adhere itself to the godly skin of these actors, who always look like they just emerged from a sauna, and a full Garnier-Fructis treatment.

The camerawork is shoddy, and lamely tries to do mimic a "documentary style" sort of filmmaking, which completely fails, because, well, it's hard to shoot something that LOOKS indie, on a million-dollar camera. The location directors were apparently shown five photos of conditions in Iraq, and told "we want exactly 8 minutes of each of these- get to it." Their attempts to mimic living conditions in Iraq by using photographs they've seen in "Time" is just laughable.

Hmn- I'm gonna have to come up with a rating system for films/tv shows- I've reviewed about five, here.... Let's see...

Okay- On a scale of one to five blows to the head with a ball-peen hammer, which indicates the level of brain cell loss I feared while watching this atrocity, I give "Over There" a four-blow rating. Further, this is a disgrace, and a cheap attempt to sanitize one of the greatest atrocities in the world, today.

"Over there", once again...

I dunno WHY the hell I bothered using this abominable show as background noise, again. While I hate Murdoch with a seething passion, his FX network occasionally shows halfway decent stuff (Nip/Tuck, King of the Hill) that entertains the lizard brain, while I use my more honed faculties to tackle the freelance jobs at hand.

I tuned in, tonight at ten, figuring there'd be a rerun of Nip/Tuck, but again was confronted with another episode of this bowel-movement of a show. Out of morbid curiosity, I left it on, simply because I figured it would be interesting to see how much idiocy could be packed into 40 minutes of television. At 11:00, I wished that, instead, I had spent the previous hour having my head slammed in a car door by an evil robot made out of colostomy bags.

New offenses against the brain: I realized- the writers of this show have the easiest job in the world- they skim the headlines, and write shallow dialogue around whatever looks juicy enough for prime time, yet inoffensive and tame enough to keep the true reality of the war in Iraq from the popular conscience. Secondly- the characters are all- every last one- suffering from schizophrenia. From one scene to the next, not one of them maintains a cohesive personality. In one scene, the sensitive guy (now wearing an arabic scarf, to demonstrate his open-mindedness) is asking himself "deep" questions about the situation he finds himself in- in the next, he's acting like Sergeant Rock, stuffed to the gills with crack and viagara. One moment, the black racist dude is chumming it up with the white racist dude, and the next, is complaining about the "white man's war."

It's insane- and I'm ashamed I wasted an hour of my life, listening to it. Strange, how the re-make of the worst TV show in human history (Battlestar Galactica), kicks the hell out of a show that's a sham re-make of a war, taking place, before our very eyes.