Generation Kill

8:30pm Monday, August 2 on TV One

Following on from HBO’s acclaimed series, The Pacific, comes their next war epic Generation Kill, a seven-part mini-series based on a true story. It focuses on the first 40 days of the Iraq war, also known as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of elite US First Recon Marines who were at the spearhead of the invasion.

In the final episode of Generation Kill (at 8.30pm on TV ONE), Bravo reaches Baghdad and is shocked by the sheer size and scope of the city. They set up shop in an abandoned cigarette factory with a chance to rest for a bit, although the factory grounds aren’t quite as secure as they’d like. Hampered by having only one translator for the battalion, First Recon can only send out sporadic patrols into the city. During those patrols they discover the list of problems the Iraqis face is much greater than the Marines could imagine. Their attempts to help are thwarted by ever-changing assignments; a lack of necessary supplies; unruly locals; and cultural misunderstandings. While Colbert worries about his friend Kocher, who has been demoted, Lieutenant Fick becomes more and more disillusioned with the lack of a plan in Baghdad, and refuses an order that would put his men in danger.

Missed an episode of Generation Kill? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Monday, July 26 on TV One

Following on from HBO’s acclaimed series The Pacific, comes their next epic Generation Kill, a seven-part mini-series based on a true story, that focuses on the first 40 days of the Iraq war, aka ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of elite US First Recon Marines who were at the spearhead of the invasion.

In tonight’s episode, Captain America is over-zealous in his attempts to subdue a prisoner, and his men’s disillusionment with his command is becoming increasingly apparent. Meanwhile, Ferrando tells officers that his counterpart in the Regimental Combat Team has been relieved of duty despite achieving his objective. ‘Encino Man’ takes Ferrando’s speech to heart and puts Fick on notice that there will be no more questioning of his orders.

Missed an episode of Generation Kill? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Monday, July 12 on TV One

Following on from HBO’s acclaimed series The Pacific, comes their next war epic Generation Kill, a seven-part mini-series based on a true story, that focuses on the first 40 days of the Iraq war, also known as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of elite US First Recon Marines who were at the spearhead of the invasion.

Real-life Marine, Rudy Reyes, who plays himself in the series, talks to NPR radio, and describes how he and other marines attempted to blend in while fighting in the Iraq war: “Us Latin guys, we dressed as Pakistanis or contractors and we grew long hair…it took me a long time to grow a beard. I had to just start with the goatee.”

Talking about why he feels the drama works so well, Reyes says, “there’s nothing more dramatic going on than a unit of recon marines, with no close air support or armour, running and gunning into insurgents that are holed up in towns and fighting to the death.”

Having now left the marines, Reyes describes what led him to the decision to quit, “I started hating the fact that we’re not helping anybody over there…I wanted to fight people and engage and kill people who are oppressing others…It’s quite sobering when you look in the mirror.”

In tonight’s episode of Generation Kill (at 8.30pm on TV ONE), having raced to capture the airfield, First Recon is now miles ahead of the rest of the American force which leaves them time to rest and regroup, until Alpha is tasked with a new mission: to recover the body of a captured Marine who was murdered in Ah Shatra, which takes a twist when a CIA-trained army of Iraqi freedom fighters arrives and then just as quickly departs.

Meanwhile, Bravo pushes north, clearing hamlets and facing heavy fire. As Alpha heads into Ah Shatra, Bravo set up a roadblock outside of Al Hayy. The men debate the proper protocol to stop cars, but it’s a fine line between being cautious and putting oneself at risk.

Missed an episode of Generation Kill – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Monday, July 5 on TV One

Following on from HBO’s acclaimed series The Pacific, comes their next war epic Generation Kill, a seven-part mini-series based on a true story, that focuses on the first 40 days of the Iraq war, also known as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of elite US First Recon Marines who were at the spearhead of the invasion.

Star of the critically acclaimed series, The Wire another HBO production, James Ransone plays Corporal Josh Ray Person in Generation Kill. Talking to The Guardian about what it was like to film for eight months in the desert in Namibia he explains, while some fellow actors, ‘got drunk and listened to techno music’ he joined the show’s military advisers and set out to explore the country in a truck.

“You would think I would be safer, being with those guys, that’s not the case. We went on these insane road trips. I must have come close to death – 20 times,” he reveals.

Ransone says filming abroad for this period of time had a very positive experience on him, “it was just good for me to not be caught up in New York City in my day-to-day life, it really helped me a lot to grow and change, being around that much nature on a daily basis, in the most Henry David Thoreau kind of way.”

He continues, “those were 13-hour days. You wake up at five am, then you eat and shoot, have a snack and shoot. Then you eat, try and sleep for 20 minutes and then shoot till six, go to the gym and then sleep … It’s like that every day for eight months. It’s the most amount of work I’ve ever done.”

Having starred in two of television’s most acclaimed series, Ransone explains it’s both a blessing and a curse, “because you think, ‘Oh, everything I do after this is going to be like this’ and it’s just not. The material you get could not live up to The Wire and Generation Kill. So I’m both spoiled and cursed by it.”

In tonight’s episode of Generation Kill, having survived its first trial by fire, Bravo press forward, awaiting orders for a new recon mission. Scoping out a roadside hamlet, the company watch in horror and disbelief as a regimental combat team arrive with guns firing and the hamlet is obliterated.

On new orders, Bravo head to the town of Ar Rifa, where Fick (Stark Sands) tries to take control of a dangerous situation created by Encino Man (Brian Wade), who requests an artillery strike on a phantom RPG team. After Alpha Company shells the town, Ferrando (Chance Kelly) issues a new, more urgent order: push ahead 40 kilometres and capture an airstrip controlled by Iraq’s republican guard and defended by tanks.

Missed an episode of Generation Kill – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Monday, June 28 on TV One

Following on from HBO’s acclaimed series The Pacific, comes their next war epic Generation Kill (tonight at 8.30pm on TV ONE), a seven-part mini-series based on a true story, that focuses on the first 40 days of the Iraq war, also known as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of elite US First Recon Marines who were at the spearhead of the invasion.

Alexander Skarsgard plays real-life marine, Sergeant Brad ‘Iceman’ Colbert, and talking to Timesonline.co.uk, reveals he had some knowledge of the army from his time in national service in his native Sweden.

Skarsgard explains why he completed his service when many of his peers opted out, “the reason I did it – I was 19-years-old and grew up in downtown Stockholm. I wanted the challenge. I was curious. I wanted to see what it would do to me to go through all of this.”

He continues, “that’s why I joined the unit that I joined – the anti-sabotage and anti-terrorist unit, working in small units on islands. I did a lot of stuff that, as a 19-year-old kid, you want to see if you can pull it off. I hated it most of the time, because a lot of the guys I served with wanted to be James Bond, whereas I was a hippie. But it was good for me.”

Asked if that helped prepare him for his role as ‘Iceman’ in Generation Kill: “I knew how to strip a gun and that sort of thing, my training was similar to what those guys went through – the details, the level of respect and how you handle your weapons and gear. It was helpful for me to have gone through that in the Swedish marines.”

“But, that being said, it’s still the Swedish marines. We don’t go to Iraq. People don’t shoot us, I never left Sweden. All our training was there.” Skarsgard smiles, “our last war was 200 years ago,” he contines.

Talking on the red carpet to about.com Skarsgard talked about his experience filming Generation Kill: “we were gone for seven months and my family are all in Sweden. I didn’t even have a chance to go home for a weekend when I got it, they were like ‘boot camp starts tomorrow so you have to fly to Namibia’.

Skarsgard said there was a benefit to this unusual filming experience, “it was good in a way because it’s about this platoon and in a way they are very isolated, so I think it helped us as actors. We got to know each other inside and out, and hopefully that affected the show. You could see that we really care about each other, we really did spend seven months in those hummers talking about everything and nothing.”

In tonight’s episode of Generation Kill, under orders to consider any Iraqi carrying a weapon as hostile, Bravo busts north toward Nasiriyah, where Alpha Company is skirmishing at a bridge outside the city. After successfully entering the city, they head north to Mesopotamia, and Bravo continue to lag behind other companies, partly because of a wrong turn ordered by its commander, Captain ‘Encino Man’ Schwetje (Brian Wade, The Big Bang Theory), who blames it on Colbert (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood).

The platoon finally enter a successful skirmish in Al Gharraf, during which Trombley (Billy Lush, The Wire) scores his first kill. Elated and relatively unscathed, the platoon celebrates its triumph, despite Sergent Major Sixta’s (Brian Wade, Criminal Minds) refrain to ‘maintain the grooming standard’ and shave off all moustaches.

Missed an episode of Generation Kill – full episodes are available online. Go to www.tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Monday, June 21 on TV One

Following on from HBO’s acclaimed series The Pacific, comes another war epic Generation Kill, (tonight at 8.30pm on TV ONE). A seven-part mini-series that focuses on the first 40 days of the Iraq war, aka ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of elite US First Recon Marines who were at the spearhead of the invasion.

David Simon and Ed Burns, the team behind the acclaimed HBO series The Wire, have executive produced and co-written Generation Kill which is based on the book by Evan Wright, a real-life journalist who spent time with marines during the invasion.

Simon explains why they took great care to make the drama as authentic as possible, “it needs to feel real – not just to marines, but to the marines who served with the First Recon during the invasion of Iraq. If it doesn’t feel like we’re doing our best to approximate their world, then we’ve failed.”

Asked to explain what is meant by the phrase ‘Generation Kill’ Simon says, “what it means to me is that these 22, 23, 24-year-olds are different from earlier generations of American warriors. These are extremely smart, extremely aggressive, extremely well-trained marines. They are taught to think alone and operate in small units. This is what America can do with a young man when you spend a million or a million-and-a-half dollars training him.

“They are not only deeply influenced by the Marine Corps, but by a popular culture that reflects everything from hip-hop to the popularity of video games. They are grown, lethal men, yet they are still recognisable as our children,” he continues.

Burns, a war veteran, explains why he was inspired by the book to create the series, “I was in Vietnam as a member of the army infantry. But when I read this book I realised I’d never met soldiers like this. They’re incredibly knowledgeable; physically, they’re unbelievable. They’re the best of the best. And to see them take a journey where they start to have doubts about the viability of the mission, or the strategy behind the mission, makes for incredibly powerful storytelling.”

Explaining what he would hope the audience to experience through Generation Kill he says, “for me, I would like viewers to see the humanity of these young men. They’re like warriors in the old tradition, and they pride themselves on what they do. So when you let them off the leash, it should be for the right reasons, because lots of people will die. It’s not their fault; this is just how war is. And when we let them do what they do, we should honour them for it.”

In episode one, the marines are at Camp Mathilda in Kuwait trying to combat boredom, cramped tents, a lack of humvee supplies, moustache protocol, officer ineptitude, a wind storm, an espresso machine fire, and rumours of J-Lo’s death while awaiting orders from Colonel Stephen ‘Godfather’ Ferrando (Lance Kelly, Fringe), the raspy throated Commander. They also welcome a writer from Rolling Stone magazine, Evan ‘Scribe’ Wright (Lee Tergesen, Desperate Housewives) who is going to join Team Leader Brad ‘Iceman’ Colbert (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood), driver Ray Person (James Ransone, The Wire) and Lance Corporall Harold Trombley (Billy Lush, Cold Case).

Missed an episode of Generation Kill – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

It was TVNZ’s turn to show off which series they’ll be screening in 2010 at their new season launch today in Auckland.  As you’d expect, there’s a fairly solid line-up.

TV One has a new goal:  to be a little edgier.  One might assume: a little less safe.  It will be interesting to see how this transcribes into ratings.

TV One should dominate Mondays with The Pacific, an HBO series from the makers of Band of Brothers.  This will be followed by the multi-Emmy award-winning series Generation Kill. However, as it aired in the US in 2008, it can be bought on DVD here for about $40.

On TV2 Monday night kicks off with Supernanny followed by Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters.

Before Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice screen, Tuesday nights on TV2 will have New Zealand’s version of The Apprentice.  No doubt Terry Serepisos should do quite well now that some of the boys from his club are heading to the World Cup.

Speaking of which, unlike other major sporting events, TVNZ has chosen not to relinquish the free-to-air rights for the football World Cup in South Africa which will screen on TV One.

Wednesday will see the local version of Masterchef New Zealand on TV One, confirming that the format won’t follow the highly successful Australian version.  This will be followed by the second season of Packed to the Rafters that is about to finish in Australia.

The final season of Lost has been promised to be aired as close to its US release as possible. The word simulcast was used but no one expects the show to air at 2pm.  TV2 has it listed in a Wednesday timeslot which means the best we can hope for is that ABC in the US move the show to a Tuesday so that it will air here within hours. If not, one can only assume that New Zealand internet traffic will be incredibly low for the six days post the season finale in the US as kiwi fans avoid websites spoiling the mystery.

The lead in to Lost is the new sci-fi thriller Flash Forward.

Coming to TV One on Friday nights is Leigh Hart’s Mysterious Planet which will be up against a tough comedy line up on TV3.  TV2 will screen the ninth season of American Idol after Two and a Half Men and The Middle, a show that is scarily reminiscent of Malcom in the Middle.

TV One is bringing the Bond-a-thon to Saturday nights with all 22 Bond movies.

Marcus Lush will be back with South, as will Matthew and Marc’s Rocky Road and the Amazing Race for Sunday evenings.  Sports fans will also be introduced to a new show on TV One for Sunday’s lineup.

The spaceships were shown but the cult remake of V wasn’t mentioned specifically.

The show of the preview though had to be This is Not My Life from the makers of Go Girls and Outrageous Fortune.  It looks hot.  The brief snippet made me think of Minority Report and the cult series Nowhere Man from the nineties.  It stars Charles Mesure (Gerard from Outrageous Fortune – does this mean he’s dead and not in Season 6?) and Tania Nolan (Angelina from Go Girls).  Of everything I saw, this was the one I’m most looking forward to.  Hopefully we’ll get a copy of the trailer soon.

New Shows
Flash Forward



The Middle



The Forgotten



The Vampire Diaries



Human Target



Drop dead Diva



Cougar Town



Hawthorne



Hung



Castle



Generation Kill



The Pacific



Past Life



V

Local
The Apprentice New Zealand
Masterchef New Zealand
Leigh Hart’s Mysterious Planet

Real Life: Are You My Tribe

Returning
Shortland Street
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
Packed to the Rafters
Beyond the Darklands
Gangs of Oz
Criminal Minds
Sunday Theatre
South
Medical Emergency
Piha Rescue
Border Patrol
Animal House
The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show
Inspectors
Cold Case
The Zoo
Desperate Housewives
Brothers & Sisters
American Idol
Go Girls
The Big Bang Theory
Chuck
The Mentalist
Scrubs
Rescue 1
Fringe
Two and a Half Men
Gary Unmarried
Grey’s Anatomy
Private Practice
Police Ten 7
Neighbours at War
America’s Funniest Home Videos
The Amazing Race
Matthew and Marc’s Rocky Road
One News
Fair Go
Sunday
20/20
Close Up