Originally this story was going to dive into the various reasons that there are three military-themed dramas on broadcast television this fall, including NBC’s “The Brave,” The CW’s “Valor” and CBS’s “SEAL Team.” The trades foretold this during pilot season when there were four such pilots in contention, and industry insiders connected this trend to the rise of Donald Trump and the quest to appeal to working-class voters.
“People thought it would be very jingoistic. It’s a military show,” “SEAL Team” executive producer Sarah Timberman recently said at a recent press conference in Los Angeles. “People said ‘We were very surprised. It’s anything but that.’ It feels like it’s about honor and integrity and a shared sense of purpose and common humanity.”
Intellectualizing about the separate motivations and intent of these series would provide some interesting calisthenics for the brain. Perhaps it would enable you, the reader, to comment about liberalism and troop support and maybe even extemporize about the subtle ways that network television subconsciously pushes a politicized agenda upon audiences at large. There are cases to be made on these topics, regardless of what their creators say regarding their motivation for creating these shows.
Here’s what Timberman had to say about the politics of “SEAL”: “It was anyone’s guess where we were going to be politically when we started developing this. I personally thought we would have a different president in office right now. I don’t think our show is about the current moment in politics. I think it’s about something that transcends all of that.”
“Valor” executive producer Kyle Jarrow echoed this in his show’s panel. “Across the political spectrum, there’s a lot of support for our military, but I don’t think there’s always a lot of knowledge about the day to day of what military life is,” he said.
But the reality…