With David Mamet as the invisible hand it would be hard for this show to be anything less than authentic.
Sometimes this show got a little too confusing for my tastes.
In this post-9/11 world The Unit: Season 2 plays as coldly as one might expect, but that does nothing to detract from the strength of what it is both trying to say and put across. In a nutshell, this show looks at American operatives who do a job many of us could never do in a million years. They work the covert angles, go on the missions that nobody knows about, and they kill because that is what their job description entails. Season 2 of this fast moving show continues the characters escapades, yet tries to bulk things up with more action and explosions than was seen in previous seasons. The big stars are Jonas Blane (Dennis Haysbert), Bob Brown (Scott Foley) and Colonel Ryan (Robert Patrick).
This also show mixes our main character's fieldwork duties with their home lives. Oftentimes we see the wives of these characters and the effects that their husband's work has on them. In addition to that, we also get a firsthand look at the danger that these civilians have been put in simply because they chose to marry who they did. There is a strength to this show that is matched with both superb acting and solid writing. While I don't know how much writing David Mamet actually does, I love that he has brought his style to television. His writing is all about information. The Unit: Season 2 presents us with situations and we've got to make sure we've been paying attention, because like the characters we are following the rules are constantly changing.
Making of the Season 2 Finale
Okay, so the bonus features really aren't that amazing. This section looks at the finale that closed the show and let me just say that it could be defined in one word: FIREPOWER. Eric L Haney, who actually served this country as one of these operatives depicted in this show, explains how The Unit is based on his life. The usual things are covered like the technical logistics of pulling off a show like this, how the action scenes are put together, and just the overall ruggedness of the day and night shoots. The goal it seems was that the production would go off with a bang, and it seems like this desire impacted (literally) everyone involved.
Mission: The Making of Sub-Conscious Featurette
Dark of the Moon
In this featurette we see how the cast and crew work with weapons. The firearms are broken down and we see various rifles and other machinery that can kill human beings. The main goal was to find out what was needed to really pull off the battle scenes with authenticity. Eric L. Haney explains that the Dark of the Moon Episode was primarily created to satisfy the action junkies that watch this show.
I listened the commentary track for the episode Freefall. Talking on it were Dennis Haysbert, Abby Brammell (she plays Tiffy Gerhardt), and writer/producer Daniel Voll. They discuss the locations of where this show was shot (San Pedro mainly), the vagaries of switching locations (weather problems), and how good of an actor Dennis Haysbert is to stand toe-to-toe with UFC Champion Randy Couture. While nothing overtly amazing was revealed during this commentary track, I thought that everyone involved gave very thoughtful insights to what they created.
Widescreen. As I usually say whenever Fox sends me a burned DVD, I was impressed that this release looked as good as it did. It's widescreen look has to go through many different interior and exterior shots. Also, considering the numerous action sequences, explosions and gun fights, I loved that this show never resorted to that ADD style of "cutting every 2 seconds" filmmaking. The colors on this show seemed to go from green, to blue, to normal, yet I never could shake the feeling that there was a downcast, foreboding look layered over this entire show.
The audio for this release was good but I have never known Fox releases to not present them in that way. As I sometimes have said, I never felt like the action scenes were happening around me in my living room, but I think that that might be more of a case of how I screened this DVD. Due to my situation, I watched it on a portable DVD player which, try as it might, is probably not the ideal way to review DVDs. Things sounded good but I probably could have made them sound better on even my one speaker television.
Fox only sent this over to me in a white envelope so it is somewhat hard to really say anything about how this show was packaged for release.
What separates The Unit from shows like 24, is the fact that I think viewers have become a little too comfortable with the world of Jack Bauer. After all, how many terrible days in a row can this character have? How many death defying things can he avoid before he himself becomes a casualty? While The Unit does offer up moments like these, the fact that the show examines a collective whole certainly says a lot about where this show is going. Sure, I pointed out who I feel the stars of the show are, but that doesn't mean that it's the same for everyone watching. Also, The Unit looks at the work of not only these men but these departments, and within that it also focuses on the bureaucracy that sometimes stops all good intentions from getting done.
While I won't say that The Unit: Season 2 is for everybody, its audience is certainly one who should enjoy what the show brings forth. If you want well put together stories, most of which probably go through the hands of one of America's greatest screenwriters and
playwrights, this show needs to be in your DVD collection.
The Unit was released .