Army Wives loses a soldier, The Killing continues

Army Wives fifth season finally has what has to be an everyday reality for army personnel, the death of a soldier. Meanwhile the US remake of The Killing continues to be pretty good!

In many ways Army Wives is one of my most guilty of guilty pleasures. It features women whose main role is to be a wife to their soldier men, the one man (Roland) who is an army husband to a successful army woman (Colonel Joan) is often shown to be almost unfairly taken for granted in a way the women never are. The show is soapy and a little too comfortable, and one of the main criticisms, five years of the show and no main character who is a soldier has died. A couple of years back, Claudia Joy and Michael’s daughter Amanda was killed in a bomb blast, and this season, Jeremy Sherwood, son of Frank and Denise was killed in action. I have to say, Army Wives deals with death is a very emotional way. I sobbed through Amanda’s death, and similarly Jeremy’s while not really caring that much for either character. Where the show works – and why I am still watching after all these years – is that the main characters are so well drawn. I love Claudia Joy, Denise, Roxy and Pamela. I love Roland and Joan, I can put up with Michael’s slightly pompous ways because he is a good man (and I still remember him as Seven of Nine’s date on Voyager – the one whose arm she dislocated on a date!) Frank may be gruff, but he has a heart of gold. Trevor is a kind and honest character. Only Chase of the husbands is one I would kick to the kerb – as Pamela did (so I was a little sorry to see them get back together – lazy story telling in my opinion. Divorce amongst the armed forces is an issue I believe)

Anyway, the aftermath of Jeremy’s death has been pretty devastating for many of the characters, and I think the show has handled it very well. Often on tv shows a character dies and within an episode or two everything returns to normal. The death of Amanda in the earlier season impacted on her family and Jeremy’s death is also affecting his family and poor Roland too, who was the doctor who approved him to return to service.

One storyline I do wish they would drop is Roxy’s son TJ (who I am pretty sure is a different young actor this year) being a super bratty kid. Who wants to watch that! Ditch it!

Meanwhile I’ve finally figured out who Mireillie Enis who stars as Sarah Linden on AMC’s The Killing reminds me of – she is the love child of Elizabeth Moss and Dana Scully! Her lack of emotion is pure Scully – as is the red hair. Standing out in these early episodes is Michelle Forbes as Mitch Larsen, mother of the victim Rosie. Some great work from Forbes, but the whole series is doing a decent job of telling the story is a measured and deliberate way, really showing us the emotional impact of the killing. OK, still not as good as the Danish original, Forbrydelsen but much better than I feared.