'The Hurt Locker' as a reality TV show: People, 'The Running Man' is coming true!

hurt_lockerLest you still harbor any doubts that we are living in a Philip K. Dick-esque dystopia: According to The Hollywood Reporter, G4 has ordered a new reality show called Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan, which will follow an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Afghanistan. This same territory was covered in last year’s The Hurt Locker, although Bomb Patrol will presumably not include an existential inquisition into the addictive emptiness of modern warfare. It’s foolish to judge anything this early (Bomb Patrol is set to air next spring), but it’s hard for me to picture how a show about soldiers engaged in a life-or-death activity — in the midst of a highly controversial conflict — will manage to not be incredible offensive to every single human being who has ever lived.

Now, perhaps I’m a pessimist, and I shouldn’t worry about a future where the different branches of the armed forces all compete for ratings with their own reality shows. (Possible titles: Marine Madness, Air Force: Explosions in the Sky, In The Army Now, and Submarines: We Still Use ‘Em!) If I can play Devil’s Advocate for a moment, more than a few people pointed out that Hurt Locker was unrealistic at best. (At worst, it was a science fiction movie.) And maybe, as debased as reality shows tend to be, this is exactly the kind of ridiculata that America needs in order to get re-invested in the war in Afghanistan.

But I dunno, PopWatchers, something about this makes me feel queasy. But maybe this is a tentative step forward in the reality-show genre? Maybe the makers of Bomb Patrol will give the material the respect it deserves, and not drown the proceedings in rap-rock muzak and hyperkinetic editing? Maybe there is gold at the end of the rainbow? Sound off below?

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Monty

    I’m wondering how much they will have to pay the camera crews for this shoot. I have a feeling their rates will be higher than when they follow C list celebs around Los Angeles…

  • Ceballos

    Although the G4 “pedigree” is discouraging, I’m thinking (hoping!) that this project would be more along the lines of a “Deadliest Catch” type of reality show and less along the kind of trashy reality show that you seem to have in mind. (Which, granted, is pretty much everything else.)

  • JLC

    I hate to say it, but just look at the ratings for Captain Phil’s death on Deadliest Catch. The formula seems to be to get people invested in these soldiers’ lives and then have them tune in to see if they make it through alive. While the subject of bomb disposal itself is interesting, the voyeur aspect makes this whole thing troubling.

    • Jason

      This is one more step toward “Idiocracy” being a reality. Look it up. Horrible movie, but seems its accuracy increases with each new show. At this rate, we’re 5 years away from “A$$”, a film about a butt.

  • Dan

    I’m imagining this to be more documentary than reality TV show. It’s not like they can set up “challenges” to see who disposes of the most bombs. It could be a look at what it really is to be an EOD soldier in combat, which I know is nothing like the mediocre movie Hurt Locker portrayed it to be. Like you, I hope it is done with some respect and dignity.

  • The Truth

    How can soldiers disarming explosives be offensive to anyone? Also if this is going to be an actual real Army EOD team they follow you will not see the Hurt Locker, you will see soldiers using proper tactics and procedures. Plus DOD will supervise and censor the filming to ensure the enemy does not get anything useful from the show.

  • Josh

    It probably shouldn’t have any of that rap-rock muzak and hyperkinetic editing that you’re talking about. Those things only serve as a distraction.

    I’m curious as to how they’re going to portray the characters in the show. Will it be a critical or sympathetic of the military. Or perhaps this won’t be about the military and more about the troops.

  • Chaz Winterbottom

    This show is totally going to bomb.

  • PJ

    Worst idea ever. I find it offensive that some Hollywood moron wants to exploit the real life and death work of our troops. Afghanistan is not Jersey Shores.

    • Chaz Winterbottom

      Jersey has more than one shore?

    • The Truth

      Since Hollywood existed it has partnered with the military to produce this kind of stuff. It can’t happend unless the military approves of it. You need to watch the History or Military Channel this is nothing new. As a Veteran I support people who try to document and film what our military is doing good and bad as long as its accurate.

  • rick

    i predict a fail, war movies have been increasingly poorly recieved by the public-noted exceptions being hurt locker and the messenger. As an ex-marine myself, i can say that we appreciate hollywoods attempts to shed light on the current middle east sitch, but bomb patrol doesnt smell like a winning recipe to me.america just wants this war over already, they arent going to want to watch a show that glorifies the continuing tragedy of human suffering which is the current war in afghanistan.

  • Allan

    What a garbled piece of commentary this is. I reject your assessment of Hurt Locker (and yes I read the New Yorker article) and can’t imagine why America needs to re-invest in the war in Afghanistan when we’re already up to our eyeballs.

  • nick

    its not explotation,its bringing you in to the lives of soldiers and what they go through everyday

  • Daniel

    Holey CAP if this is the show I’m watching…..This is the most intense thing ever…My dad was in Vietnam My uncles were in both the Korean war and the bay Pigs..this the closet thing to real war that my uncles is on TV.,.My Dad died in Vietnam..

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