4.12.2006

maybe it's in my head....

....but I think that "The Unit" is a pretty good show. I'm a fan of David Mamet, and it's thrilling to get a new dose of his distinctive snippy-speak on a weekly basis. There aren't many shows where the writing voice in itself gives me a charge. "The West Wing" had it for a while, but eventually all the movie references and run-on sentences became just silly. Joss Whedon on "Buffy" definitely had it; that show had me tuning in just to listen to the characters talk. And "NYPD Blue" for the first five years or so definitely had its own language, one that made you feel a part of something, if you understood what the hell they were talking about.
...but anyway, "The Unit." It's really quite fun. Last night's episode involved the team planting a bug on an Iranian ambassador, a visually-unexciting errand that, on every other military-tech show, would be ruined with superfluous jargon and fucked-up MTV editing. But Mamet just does that good playwright thing, establishing character dynamics, incrementally raising the stakes, and having people constantly jawing with that artificial but strangely alluring jibber-jabber that he does. No one gets shot or explodes. There's a shot of a really cool knife. And it's way more exciting than all that 24/CSI crap ever is, IMO.
....it's also almost absurdly topical, because it's a counter-terrorism unit that deals with things like Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. But unlike with every other show that is cashing in on the war(s), I have trust in this show's writer, and feel that the subject matter is in strangely capable hands, for no more valid reason than the fact that he also wrote "Glengarry Glen Ross."
....I'm not looking forward to that episode about the female suicide bombers, though.

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