ARMY WIVES: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The Lifetime original series about the women who support the soldiers at the fictional Fort Marshall continues into its fourth season. With Denise and Frank dealing with the aftermath of their son’s psychological problems and Joan recovering from her injuries, the families’ lives are troublesome. Add to this two pregnancies in the show and a redeployment, while Claudia Joy and Pamela try to pursue their own careers, and you have a week-to-week drama that has engaged fans.
WHAT I LIKED
As a secondary show, this series has grown on me. What started out as the lesser half of the FOX series “The Unit” has matured into a sometimes cheesy but overly charming series. It totally fits into the template of Lifetime Television, being a show for women about women, but if you can get past the gender focus, it’s not a bad little series.
Even though this series does focus on the female viewer, it does its best to keep things interesting to the husbands and boyfriends that are forced to watch it as well. In this sense, “Army Wives” works to develop the male characters, and not just the stay-at-home dad character (who was originally an Army wife himself though has become less of the focus). There’s stories for the husbands as well as the kids, and a decent amount of military focus.
In the end, I do respect the show because it is really helping to improve the image of the American military rather than tear it down, which seems to be the sad focus of some Hollywood properties nowadays. Yeah, it takes the drama and the story twists a little too far at times, but it does its best to honor the men and women fighting as well as those who stay at home.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There are elements to this show that reveal it as a secondary production, along the lines of some of the series you’ll see on ABC Family. In trying to honor the military, the show gets overly polite and faux supportive. There’s also some pretty corny plot twists and characters that ring more in tune with a daytime soap opera than a quality prime-time series.
But I guess it is a soap opera at its heart.
The four-disc DVD set includes an outtake reel, plus three featurettes. “Safety First” focuses on how the cast and crew bring an episode to life. “Army Wives Get Cookin’” features a cooking class for the cast. “Military Jargon” is a fun quiz with the cast to see how many of the non-official military terms they know.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Women who like television for women.