SEAL Team Review. Three of the television networks are presenting TV dramas about special operations this fall. CBS aired the premiere of SEAL Team on Wednesday 9/8c, September 27th. The lead character is David Boreanaz who starred in the TV drama Bones. His gruff persona will work well in this role. He is supported by a cast that is fairly representative of American society (if not the SEAL community). We have an ethnic and gender diverse SEAL team (along with its support elements) at work here! Overall it was pretty good entertainment for one hour. Certainly there were a few inaccuracies and occasionally you had to press the “I Believe Button” to carry on but the show keeps you engaged. So here is my take on the show.
The series will attempt to blend in the professional, work related side of being a Navy SEAL deployed on missions with the everyday stuff of working on a Navy base and life on the family front. So, for the purposes of being able to program the series successfully I envision our heroes deploying out on short-duration missions during each episode so we can see the SEALs in action and in the same hour see the interactions with the family at home. (I guess the producers figured out you can’t get all the family stuff in by depicting Skype sessions on the tube).
It is nice to see that the show addresses the stress that a SOF family (or any military family for that matter) goes through and this show hits many of the hot buttons (and cliches). The cell phones all go off at the same time at a social gathering (used to be beepers) and our hero SEALs make a hurried departure with quick “I’ll be back” and “Be careful” lines spoken. The show has the pregnant wife at home, the estranged couple who are working through issues, the rebellious teenager, and the family who lost their SEAL now on the outside of the special operations community. I am sure that in future episodes more drama will be presented on additional issues that the military family faces.
The show includes the many aspects of military life that the special operations vet will recognize to include the oversight provided by the chain of command, the reality of combat stress (a scene with a psychotherapist reminded me of the Sopranos), missions that tend to go off track because the enemy gets a vote, aircraft with maintenance problems, guilt stemming from loss of a comrade on a mission gone south, necessity of having ‘bump’ and ‘contingency planning’, and the value of intelligence. The CIA gets to play a role in this TV show; probably a little bit more than actually happens I think. The agency girls are attractive (opportunities for romance) and but the agency guys seem a little nerdy. Hmmmm.
It was good to see the incorporation of a military working dog (MWD). It appears that the show will further develop the team members as we view each episode – how well it will reflect life on a SEAL team remains to be seen. We do have a character who has just arrived on the scene (the new guy) and sets out to prove himself. He gets an uneven start in the first episode. Of interest, is that there is a a sub-plot about a veteran SEAL who writes a ‘tell all’ book about SEAL operations. Who knew SEALs wrote books?
I won’t provide an evaluation of the specialized equipment, weapons, and tactics used by the SEALs – others can do a better SEAL Team review on those aspects. I will say the recon site set up on the balcony of a busy city street seemed just a little bit hard to swallow. Oh, and David Boreanaz probably needs to upgrade to an adult-sized plate carrier. I’ll stop there.
The show was action-packed with fast roping, helicopters, comms-chatter, folks in the rear with headsets watching live video feeds (kill TV), inflatable boats, CQB, urban environments, and technology. SEAL Team could be just the thing to get you through NFL season withdrawal symptoms until the football players stop taking a knee.
If you missed the premiere you can catch up by viewing the episode online and do your own internal SEAL Team review at:
My overall SEAL Team review and assessment? “It is Hollywood but good enough to watch again.”