- Format: DVD Region 2 for the UK
- Number of Disc: 6
- Genre: Military & War
- Starring: David Boreanaz, Max Thieriot, Jessica Par¨¦, Neil Brown Jr., A.J. Buckley
- Studio: Paramount
- Release Date: 2018
What’s it about
It takes a special breed of warrior to become a Navy SEAL. In the thrilling first season of SEAL Team, discover the intense, high-stakes world of these dedicated global guardians who live and die on the front lines of America s war on terror. Starring David Boreanaz, this gritty, authentic military drama takes you behind the scenes of the private and professional lives of heroes and their families with an exciting mix of emotional realism and explosive action.
I grew up in the sixties, a time when the military was frowned on by a vast number of people in this country. Rather than focus that anger at those in charge it was the men in uniform who were coming back from Vietnam who received that anger. Soldiers who had done nothing but their duty were spit on as they disembarked from planes. They were called baby killers. The reclamation of the American soldier took years to take place, scarred by a war that was left behind.
The honor of the military existed but the public perception was what needed to change. The first Gulf War helped that to an extent. The Iraq War did as well. Finally the focus shifted from the armed warriors of the military to those responsible for their being sent off to other countries. And rather than being attacked on their return people remembered how they were treated before and made sure it never happened again.
I mention this because for years the depiction of those in the military seemed fueled by those who despised them. When you look back at films made after the Vietnam War what we got was the vet depicted as insane and homicidal (TAXI DRIVER) and movies depicting those who fought in Vietnam that suited those claims of baby killers (CASUALTIES OF WAR, PLATOON). They weren’t presented as heroes. Even extending into the 2000s we saw soldiers depicted poorly in films like JARHEAD and HURT LOCKER. But that’s begun to change. Rather than focus on things that went wrong films are now being made that depict the heroism and good done by the military. Last year that concept made its way to television with the series SEAL TEAM.
If you’re not familiar with the term SEAL in the military it is the elite Special Forces team, the best of the best. The name SEAL stands for Sea, Air and Land teams. This is a group trained in tactics to be used against enemies in combat as well as other missions planned for them. Consider it a scalpel being used to remove a cancer rather than using a cannon to do so.
With that in mind CBS this past year created the series that focuses on one team and its members. They team is led by Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz), a married man who oversees everything his team does both on and off the battlefield. As the series opens Team Bravo is dealing with the loss of one of its members. The loss is felt hard by all team members but especially Hayes who feels responsible for all of his men.
The series focuses on the training of the team as well as various missions they are sent on but has several recurring stories that run throughout. One of those involves Special Warfare Operator Clay Spenser (Max Thieriot), a second generation member. He wants to be the best he can, to be a part of the team, but he’s hindered by the fact that his father wrote a tell all book about his time in the team. This leads to the rest of the team having issues with him, feeling that they were betrayed by his father and unsure of how well they can trust him as well.
A second story involves the fallen comrade from the series opening. While helping his widow go through his things to dispense with, Hayes’ wife comes across a picture of the man with another woman. Discovering who this woman is and finding it has the possibility of involving potential terrorists has Hayes’ delving deeper into her background while not making the rest of the team aware.
Other side stories run through the show as well. But the main focus remains on the missions they are sent out on, a new one each week. Torn from the pages of current events these involve things like a ship held hostage in the South China Sea to the evacuation of an embassy in South Sudan. One episode deals with the trade of an Army deserter for prisoners being held at Gitmo. Another involves a potential dirty bomb. And of course the majority of episodes deal with missions that take place in the Middle East, the current hotbed of military action.
I’ve read reviews of the show that have taken shots at the acting involved and have to take issue with those criticisms. Every performance on view here to me seems not only competent but done well. Boreanaz who could have set back and done nothing more than collect residual checks for his involvement in shows ANGEL and BONES instead has put himself front and center as the focal point of this series. If he were not up to the task the series would collapse. It doesn’t and he shows what he’s capable of here. The rest of the cast is up to what’s required of them as well. Each displays the necessary qualities of a team, not just in the characters that they portray but as an ensemble in a series as well.
The show offers plenty of stories to focus on surrounded by enough action to keep viewers watching. It’s well produced and most likely will continue for some time. Most importantly, at least for me, is that we once again depict our soldiers as both human beings and as heroes. Being placed in harm’s way more than once and coming home again they deserve this sort of treatment. It’s a refreshing change of pace and one that should be welcome.