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"The Unit" Review by Suzanne 3/19/06

cast pic for "The Unit"

I've watched two episodes of "The Unit" and I'm still undecided about whether I like it. That probably means it's worth watching, at least.

In short, the show is about a secret, elite group of soldiers that do special ops and only answer to the president. It's one part A-Team, one part 24, and one part...??? I don't know what that last part is, and that's part of what makes it intriguing.

If you just want an action show, it fulfills that requirement. It is as exciting as 24 (may not QUITE the roller coaster ride of that show). If you want a show that has snappy dialogue, it has that in spades. The show is written by playwright/Filmwriter David Mamet. If you are not familiar with his work, you may find the dialogue a little strange at times. I think it's fairly easy to get used to, though, if you stick with it. The writing is excellent and well worth watching just for the story-telling.

Besides focusing on the men in The Unit, they also show their families and how they have to cope with living this kind of life. It's hard enough to be military wives, but these women can't discuss their husband's jobs or tell other people what they really do. The stories about the women are part of what makes the show different than your average action/adventure/military show. It's not "Desperate Housewives", but there are certain soap opera elements.

Then there's the acting. It is all top-notch. No doubt the best actors jumped at the chance to work with Mamet. The star of the show is Dennis Haysbert, who is best known for his work as President Palmer on "24" and on those insurance commercials. Also starring are Robert Patrick and Regina Taylor, two fine actors that have done great work in both movies and TV. Popular WB actor Scott Foley is another star of the show.

The Unit is not an authentic military show, since they do not follow the regular chain of command or protocols. That is smart because regular military is probably very boring. We want to see action action action! That is why E-Ring is so boring, frankly. Who wants to see bureacracy at work? These guys see far more action than real soldiers do.

If you cannot watch shows that may be gung-ho about patriotism or seem to promote fascism, then you may find this show objectionable. I have some trouble with that aspect of it myself. However, I have not seen much of that yet, so perhaps this show is not so obvious.  Also, to me the primary goal of any show is to entertain me, and this show definitely does that. So I will keep watching, at least until they do something so objectionable that I can't stand it.

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Updated 3/19/06 


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