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What happened to the Army Wives?

What happened to the Army Wives? [aw finale 11 150x150] (IMAGE)It’s that time of year again: Army Wives is back. But, while the Lifetime franchise series has returned to the air, the women, and man, who make up the central group, are nowhere to be found.

I’m not talking screen time … each cast member was present for the season premiere. What I am referring to is, for lack of a better description, their souls. The premiere episode was a grave disappointment for many reasons, and I’m worried about where the show intends to go.

Before we go there, what is wrong with Logan (Paul Wesley)? I mean, seriously? The guy runs off to marry a sixteen-year-old girl? Forget about the fact that he’s a private first-class and she’s a Brigadier General’s daughter; she’s a sixteen-year-old girl! What the hell is he thinking? She can’t marry him without her parents consent! Her claiming the ability to do what she wants doesn’t make her an adult. In fact, it makes her exactly what she is – a spoiled, whiny kid.

Speaking of kids: the premiere picked up right where last season’s finale left off, time-wise. Unfortunately, time did not stand still for the characters, and Roxy’s (Sally Pressman) two sons have passed their cute window. Oh well; it was nice while it lasted.

But on to our favorite characters.

Claudia Joy (Kim Delaney) is lost. I didn’t understand at all where she was coming from, letting Emmalin (Caroline Pires) kick and scream her way to getting what she wanted. If I was her, and the softy-come-lately Michael (Brian McNamara), I would have brought two MPs with me to escort Emmalin to the car and off to Brussels. What if she runs away once they’re there? Okay. No big loss. Amanda (Kim Allen) was the good one anyway, though not speaking for the character, but rather in relative terms.

Denise (Catherine Bell) got what was coming to her, not just because she started the whole thing with Frank (Terry Serpico), but also because she cheated on him. Separated, or not, she should not have been sleeping with someone else. She deserved to be fired from the hospital, and Claudia Joy should have slammed the door in her face. Claudia Joy may not have any idea how to raise her daughter, but she knows enough not to step out on her husband.

And, speaking of rebellious children, how in the world are things okay with Frank, Denise, and Jeremy (Richard Bryant)? He hit his mother! Is that really a forgive and forget offense? What, just because he’s in Iraq, so let’s not rock the boat? Someone needs to knock some sense into the writers.

Roxy’s giving me nothing, letting herself get bogged down in a ridiculous situation with, what turned out to be, a con artist. But even  before Pamela (Brigid Brannagh) had her one big moment of the episode, I didn’t understand how the street-smart Roxy could just take the guy’s word for it that he was Betty’s (Patricia French) nephew. Don’t you think Roxy might have heard of him? It’s like the show isn’t even trying.

Roland (Sterling K. Brown) was so MIA that he is barely even worth mentioning. The writers lay the groundwork for him and Emmalin, for what? So that he could have a big scene, telling Claudia Joy that Emmalin was still grappling with her sister’s death? Was that not clear already?

I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, but someone needs to do something fast. Army Wives had a ridiculously strong pedigree after only one season, but it’s shedding its good will faster than Denise shed her clothing with her hospital buddy.

Someone needs to grab the reins, before the series becomes nothing more than a continuous Sunday night movie of the week. Please.

What happened to the Army Wives? [51GyP93qZIL. SL160 ] (IMAGE)What happened to the Army Wives? [51BrcurVH8L. SL160 ] (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: Lifetime

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Categories: | Army Wives | Clack | Episode Reviews | General | TV Shows |

12 Responses to “What happened to the Army Wives?”

June 9, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Wow – your review of the Wives and Nurse Jackie, two female centric programs, are so full of anger. Maybe these aren’t the best shows for you to be watching right now.

Hope you get to review something you actually enjoy soon.

June 11, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Modwild – I’m going to reply to you directly, although I take the support of the commentators that follow into account. Its not anger at all, but, as Sebastian said, disappointment, frustration, etc. I love a strong female character, lead or no, but, in most cases, I think they’re all scripted as men deep down. That makes for a crappy character that its impossible to get behind.

As far as Army Wives is concerned, I LOVE Pamela, Claudia Joy, and Denise, and it pisses me off that the writers are screwing with them. Think about it; if they lose viewers as a result of their tinkering (see below for examples), they get cancelled. I would hate to see that happen.

June 9, 2009 at 9:59 PM

‘scuse me, But “Army Wives” lost its soul halfway through Season 2. That’s when I dropped it. It became unbearable to watch, repetitive and, as you so eloquently put it, soulless.

It should’ve been canceled there and then.

@Modwild: I think this isn’t anger, it’s disappointment. Subtle difference.

June 11, 2009 at 5:11 PM

I was wondering why halfway through last season Claudia Joy said to Pamela, “we finally shook Sebastian off!” :)

I have to hope they’ll get back to the old, because it was just such a surprise to me that I enjoyed it so. It’s hard to let go when you get that kind of a gift. Plus, now I committed myself to covering it, and you know how that is ;-)

June 10, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Unfortunately, I have to agree with this review. Season 1, this was my favorite tv series. Season 2, it wasn’t nearly as good and I hated some of the storylines.
After they’ve written Denise into the cheater corner, with a husband and son in battlezone, they’ve pretty much telegraphed that one of them, probably Frank will be seriously hurt and/or killed and she’ll feel guilty. And then the writers will try to guilt us into feeling sorry for her. Pfft, not me. They can write her off now.
And what Gen and his wife would allow their 16 yr old to dictate a family separation after all this time and under these circumstances. That’s why they have family counseling on posts. Take her behind to Brussels, put her in counseling.
Roxy lost her street smarts, Roland who?, and I love Pamela. Anyway, they’re gonna lose me soon if they don’t do something.

June 11, 2009 at 5:15 PM

It’s going to sound silly, but I think that new Emmalin was a huge mistake. Her becoming a more real character after the actor change has opened up a lot of bad stories in a short time.

June 10, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Modwild, I don’t think it’s fair to imply that Aryeh is against/angry at female centric shows, thereby implying some sort of misogyny on his part. I think you need to think about the shows that Aryeh is reviewing. I (a female) found Nurse Jackie (the show) to be horrible, and her character to be distasteful and horrendous. What sealed it for me was the whole organ donor plot– not only signing the card, but then lying to the family members (who legally have the right to decide what to do), even when they felt it was so out of character for the person they knew and love to decide to donate. Not only did Jackie not have any redeeming qualities, but I did not find her, or the show, to be interesting.

In terms of Army Wives, Aryeh made clear in this post and his previous one that he loved the first season of the show and hopes it gets back up to that form. I agree with him, as do other commentors, that last season was really weak, since it turned into a soap opera as opposed to the daily lives of the women (and Roland, and Michael), complete with struggles, triumphs, and friendships. To say that he hopes the writers will return to that focus, instead of ridiculous stalker/affair/underage marriage plotlines is, in my opinion, the core of what the writers need to do. For me, one of the highlights of last season was Joan and Roland with their newborn daughter, and without fail, I tear up every time I see a clip of Joan saying she is deploying to Iraq. Army Wives is at its strongest when we see more normal, everyday scenarios and can concentrate on relationships. For instance, I feel the most significant part of the premiere was not all the nonsense about Emmaline and Roxy’s bar, but when Claudia Joy closed the door on Denise. Finally, a glimpse of getting back to the heart of the show– the relationships between the army wives.

June 10, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Sadly, I must completely agree with this post. I loved season 1 and stopped watching somewhere in the middle of season 2. I tuned in to the season premier, hoping the show had returned to the quality of season 1, but alas… no. Unless I hear good things later on, I don’t plan on watching the rest of this season.

June 11, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Then definitely make sure to check back at my reviews, because I’ll let everyone know the second I detect a move in the right direction!

June 10, 2009 at 3:18 PM

I’m afraid I have to mostly agreed with you. The season premiere was a big disappointment. What are the writers thinking? They must have changed writing staff, they certainly couldn’t be the same writers as in season one. Very disappointing but I’m not ready to give it up just yet.

June 11, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Whether you were being facetious or not, the show’s creator (Katherine Fugate) was given the boot last August. However, while that could explain a shift this season, season two aired from June-November 2008, so it had likely wrapped production before she left. But, there’s apparently been a continuous shuffle of the show-runner, which could explain a certain amount of unevenness. I don’t know.