With David Mamet being involved, one can tell that this show is going to be like no other.
I wish David Mamet would have appeared on the commentary track.
I knew The Unit was going to be a cut above a lot of today's current shows simply because of David Mamet's involvement. He is one of the best writers we have working in the theater and film today, and if anything, I figured that his style would create something wholly unique in the medium of television. While I can't say that this show is that much different than similar shows like 24, The Unit: Season 1 works on you episode after episode.
David Mamet's films have a tendency to falter or become somewhat inconclusive. This 13 episode set never really has that problem, even though it does juggle various storylines and impacting ideas. Aside from showing us the day to day lifestyle that these men encounter, we are also taken into their homes. It is weird to think that there are really people like this. Men who are sent on missions to rid the world of dangerous people, yet they can't talk about the work they did. If nothing else The Unit: Season 1 captured that paradox, while showing that all feelings, no matter how much soldiers try and bury them, will eventually come up to the surface.
Commentary for the Episode SERE
This track features The Unit's executive producer Shawn Ryan, Supervising Producer and Author Eric L. Haney and actor Demore Barnes. One can tell within the first few seconds that this is Haney's baby as he explains that SERE means Survival, Evasion, Resist, Escape. Ryan and Barnes talk about how the opening scene came about because of a Robert Patrick imitation, and that this show showed different aspects of who and what we view as heroes. They also muse on what is acceptable to put on TV and Haney discusses the two objectives when you're captured 1) Stay Alive and 2) Never break faith between the people you're captive with. Interesting stuff to say the least.
Inside Delta Force Featurette
A featurette that show's the human cost involved in being a part of The Unit. People like Eric L. Haney, David Mamet and Shawn Ryan are on hand to not only talk about the show, but to break down the scenes as we see them. For instance, Haney (who wrote the book Inside Delta Force), explains that an action like diffusing a hijacking situation might only take 4 seconds. However, it took the production team 12 hours to shoot it. Another thing he stresses is that everyone is effected by legally killing someone, which is what The Unit does.
Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.78:1. At first I found this show off-putting because I thought it might be too darkly shot, or just too high end looking for the subject matter being put across. This show employs a lot of the effects that seem commonplace in a Special Forces TV show, and while I long for a more classical look, I can understand why they have chosen to go a different route as the technology has changed. All in all, I think these shows transferred quite nicely to DVD.
Dolby Digital. English 5.1 Dolby Surround. Close Captioned. Subtitled in English, Spanish, and French. There are a lot of moments in this show where Dennis Haysbert gives the members of The Unit a speech, or some times where I thought some the actor's delivery was trying to be too ahead of the curve. Overall, aside from the commentary track, I didn't need to turn up the sound on my TV that much.
Dennis Haysbert and the rest of the team are artfully touched up on this front cover, which also sports a target and intentionally "muddies" up the soldiers as they move through a mission. The back gives us another shot of Haysbert looking contemplative, a description of this show, a Special Features listing, and some technical specs. The four discs that make up this set are housed in two, slim, plastic cases that are each stored within the slipcase covering. There are different images on both of the plastic cases, and on the back are episode listings, descriptions, and where to find the Special Features.
I was highly impressed with this show, mainly because it didn't seem like the acting styles were that stilted. David Mamet is a very cerebral man, and while he certainly isn't the only force behind this show, his imprint is certainly felt. The biggest thing I noticed was that even though I am familiar with actors like Robert Patrick and Dennis Haysbert, I didn't see them in these roles. It was as if they had really become other people. The fact that I wasn't that familiar with a lot of the other actors around them, also played quite heavily into the suspension of disbelief idea.
Overall, if you want a well written show that intelligently tries to deal with people doing difficult things, then I highly recommend The Unit: Season 1.
The Unit was released .