Army Wives: The Complete First Season
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The people who brought you Greys Anatomy switch their attention from the medical to the military with Army Wives, a compelling and topical look at the lives of the partners providing support to the soldiers of the US Army. American TV heavyweights Kim Delaney (NYPD Blue) and Catherine Bell (JAG) lead the cast in the drama, following four wives and one husband living on an Army base where emotions often run high. Praised for its accuracy as well as entertainment, the series is inspired by the book Under the Sabres: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank.
DVD Bonus Features
1) A Tribe Is Born Commentary With Executive Producer Deborah Spera, Creator/Executive Producer Katherine Fugate & Co-Executive Producer Marshall Persinger
2) A Tribe Is Born Commentary With Director Ben Younger and Director Of Photography Lloyd Ahern
1) Independence Day Commentary With Creator/Executive Producer Katherine Fugate, Co-Executive Producer Marshall Persinger and Actors Kim Delaney & Catherine Bell
2) Independence Day Speech
1) Have At It With The Army Wives
2) Have At It With The Executive Producers
3) Missing In Action: Deleted Scenes With Commentary By Creator/Executive Producer Katherine Fugate, Co-Executive Producer Marshall Persinger
4) Hump For The Lump: Deleted Story Line
5) Army Wives Gone A.W.O.L (Bloopers/Outtakes)
6) Wives On The Homefront
7) Dirty Laundry Commentary With Creator/Executive Producer Katherine Fugate, Co-Executive Producer Marshall Persinger And Actors Actors Brian McNamara, Sterling K. Brown & Wendy Davis
8) Goodbye Stranger Commentary With Creator/Executive Producer Katherine Fugate, Co-Executive producer Marshall Persinger And Actors Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh & Drew Fuller
By focusing on those "keeping the home fires burning" and largely ignoring politics, Army Wives appeals to fans of great drama all over the political spectrum. The Season One box set shows a key reason for its strength: the first-rate cast, led by Catherine Bell (JAG) as Denise and Kim Delaney (NYPD Blue) as Claudia, but also featuring the seasoned TV actress Wendy Davis (Joan) and plucky newcomer Sally Pressman (Roxy). There's also one prominent Army husband, Claudia's husband Roland, played by the handsome Sterling K. Brown. The chemistry among these women, living together at an Army base while most of their husbands are off at war--or helping to orchestrate the battles afar--is as undeniable as in any great TV ensemble, reminiscent of the early days of ER. This territory has been for some reason largely unexplored by Hollywood, but what a rich territory it is: Americans may exhort "Support our troops", but the ones who do that day in and day out, on a deep emotional level, are the troops' families. In one moving mid-season scene, Claudia gives a speech, exclaiming, "We serve too!" which is no less moving for being obvious.
The series also doesn't stint on its visuals and sets. Shot on location in South Carolina, using a variety of vacant military bases and stately historic homes, Army Wives has a richness, a depth rarely seen on TV. The optional commentary, by the episode's director and its visual effects director, helps the viewer appreciate the cinematic techniques employed in the shots--lingering tracking shots, for example, and fewer cuts back and forth. But Army Wives is not without humor. When Roxy overhears a conversation in a ladies' room about one wife's possibly being beaten, she announces for the full room to hear: "He hits you once, hit him back. Hits you again, shoot him in the b--ls!" Cut to closed stall, where a couple has been trying to have a secret tryst, stifling laughter. The laughs leaven the tears, but the drama of the series overall is always first-rate --A.T. Hurley
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Although, I officially left the world of the Army years ago with an honorable discharge if you look at the broader picture, before joining the Army.....I had actually already spent the first 17 years of my life in the Army, traveling around the world with my father, mother, and siblings as an "Army Brat", then I left home to go to college and to experience other aspects of life and living. Nevertheless, it did not take long for that special nostalgia that hits some Army Brats to hit me too and I decided to take up the challenge of being a soldier myself.
I confess that I am happy to say that it was rewarding, I did well, (I am my father's daughter after all....am I not? smile) and I was proud to be an active soldier and I am still proud to be a veteran. I left the Army not out of disgust, fear, or anything else negative. I just felt that I had proven what I wanted to prove......namely that I could meet the challenge and be a good and successful soldier! Having achieved my goal..... I then had the desire to move on and to fight other more personal battles that needed to be fought and won.
That being said I would just like to confirm that the world that is described, shown, and scrutinized in "Army Wives" is a real one: magical, honorable and really does ask the very best of all concerned!
Consequently, if you want an intimate look into the hearts, minds, and souls of the members of the US Army or the military services in general....in order to be able to better recognize, respect, and appreciate the sacrifice and dedication that these soldiers and their families make and give..... then this TV series is for you. I know....because I was both a witness and a participant.......I have truly been there......and done that.
To my fellow soldiers and their family members: I salute you all!
SP4 Shirley Marie Rowell Bradby
72G Communications Specialist
US Army Veteran