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November 27, 2014

Generation Kill coming to HBO in July - VIDEO

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 25th 2008 3:38PM

Alexander Skarsgrd and James Ransone in 'Generation Kill.'

I remember seeing a promo for Generation Kill very briefly after the series finale of The Wire, but at the time I didn't think much of it. Which is crazy, really, because the promo clearly states that it's a new mini-series from the creators of The Wire. I should have been psyched but for whatever reason, I sort of just forgot about it. It's not like it's new or anything. David Simon and Ed Burns have been signed on to the project since Februrary of 2007. With the July air-date approaching, I would imagine they've been working on it since The Wire wrapped back in September. I feel like we've heard nothing about it though. Then last week I was in a Barnes & Noble and I saw the book (same title) that the seven part mini-series is based on. I bought it and read it in about 2 days cover to cover. Holy crap was it good.

Written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Evan Wright, Generation Kill is a firsthand account of the Marines of the First Recon Battalion. Wright rode with them for months starting in March 2003, documenting everything, as they became some of the first soldiers to enter into what has become an endless war in Iraq. The book is easily one of the funniest and scariest things I've ever read in my life. It's superb.

And it makes perfect sense that David Simon was the guy tapped to adapt it for film.

For those that have read it, you'll know what I mean, but GK reads just like a Simon book; especially Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets or The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. All three novels are true accounts of reporters just transplanting themselves into these completely unknown territories. By the end, they become part of it in a sense.

The promo for GK looks great (it's embedded at the end of the post) and based on the few lines you hear, it seems like most of the dialogue has been lifted straight from Wright's book. Calling this authentic would probably be an understatement, but you have to keep in mind that this is about soldiers in a war that is still going on. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only other show to ever attempt that was the short-lived FX series Over*There.

Over*There suffered from a lot of problems, especially over-exposure. People were sick of hearing about the war. But that show, which I'm sure was based on some truths, was still fictionalized. Generation Kill is the real deal. Plus, I definitely think it's going to benefit from being a mini-series. Honestly, I think that's enough for most people. It goes without saying that the war in Iraq is a very touchy subject still and anything on TV that tries to depict it is rightfully going to be scrutinized from every angle.

As an added little bonus to Wire fans, take a good look at the screenshot from the promo that I put at the top of the post. It's hard to tell with those Elvis glasses on, but can you tell who that is? It's James Ransone, better known as Ziggy Sobotka on season 2 of The Wire. He plays Corporal Ray Person, one of the main players in Wright's account.

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lLONHKIRBYTX007

As a Vietnam Vet and the father of a SGT Radio Operator with 1st recon at this time. I am intrested to see how the recon does the jobs. My son is getting ready for his 2nd tour in iraq with 1st recon. He reenlisted for this in 2006 so he has his quals in a lot of stuff I do not understand as I am retired RM2(SW). I was on 2 amphibs and I know what recon does. As far as I am concerned the recon guys are the best of the corps. but I am prejudiced like that since my son is with recon. As far as I look at it all the marines my son serves with are my sons. so go ahead and see this film.

ORAH SEMPER FI!

LON K. HE'BERT, RM2(SW), USN, RET

FYI,

My son is 3rd generation navy/marine corps radioman. His grandfather was a navy radioman at guadalcanal but served with the marines too. I was during nam, and now he is. so it is a tradition in our family to be a communicator.

June 10 2008 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mr.spook


I am really interested in this mini-series, although a lot of it isn't accurate. I was stationed with 3rd Recon in Okinawa, Japan when this was coming out. Some of the accounts were flat out wrong---Casey Kasem in the book is said to be a total idiot who has little experience and wouldn't have normally been out with the battalion. Well
he was actually one of the most experienced Recon Marines in the active component. I think he did an interview on a blog somewhere.

One of the odd things about this is that it's real people and the war is still ongoing. "Iceman" Sgt. Colbert is still in the Marine Corps and is now a Gunnery Sergeant in 1st Recon Battalion. I wonder how often he get's questions about the book?? I wonder if it effected his being assigned or not assigned to Marsoc. That's the Marine Corp's special operations command unit.

For anyone wondering about the specifics, Recon Battalion is not the Marine Corp's premier unit. It might be considered "entry level" special operations. People like Gunny Colbert would move on to Force Recon Company, a unit similar to the navy seals sdv or a ranger lrrp. Now that is gone and the Marine Corps has folded them into Marsoc's MSOB. Marine Special Operations Battalion. Not a very interesting name huh?

May 09 2008 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kip

Generation Kill is written by a writer embedded with Marines. It is from his perspective as an outsider looking in to a culture foreign to many in America and Recon is a foreign culture within the Marine Corps. Remember, 75-80% of the Corps is service and support elements.

However, the better NON-FICTION book written is One Bullet Away, written by the CO of the unit Wright was attached to.

April 27 2008 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kenm

I'll only watch it if it comes very close to accurately portraying life in the military (like JAG or The Unit) and doesn't take any political or overly sensational angles. Otherwise it's just another piece of crap coming out of hollywood.

At least being on HBO we know that it will last at least a full season.

April 25 2008 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hiki

"For those that have read it, you'll know what I mean, but GK reads just like a Simon book; especially Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets or The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. All three novels are true accounts of reporters just transplanting themselves into these completely unknown territories. By the end, they become part of it in a sense."

Novels are Fiction. Those book are not.

April 25 2008 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
No1Dad

"Generation Kill is the real deal."

No, it's entertainment based fiction. If you really want to see the real deal, check out the documentary series called Outside The Wire.

April 25 2008 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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