Lifetime's "Army Wives" Is Dishonorably Discharged Review

Whenever you see a movie with the Lifetime stamp on the cover, you know to prepare yourself for schmaltzy writing, subpar acting, and cinematography that would make any soap opera look good by comparison. So when you see that same stamp on a TV series, you have to temper your expectations or just obliterate any sense of standards you have whatsoever. And yet, for Army Wives, that still wouldn’t be enough to make the series palatable to anyone but the most forgiving viewer who insists it’s the only show that serves her (because let’s be honest, if you’re watching this regularly chances are you lack a Y chromosome) demographic of women aged 35-55 years with really pro-American opinions. The show’s cast has only gotten worse for wear in its seventh season with the addition of some new blood and the semi-departure of one of the series’ long-term cast members proving just how low the bar is set for the Lifetime channel.

The “cliffhanger” ending of the previous season, which essentially inferred a plane crash with a character melodramatically saying “Oh my God!” during a late night phone call of bad news, amounts to nothing but a single character’s departure and the rest of the cast acting mopey about it and having reminiscent flashbacks about her for a couple of episodes. Otherwise, the series covers a number of topics germane to military life like PTSD, changing branches, the return of troops and adapting back to civilian life, and then a whole lot of sudsy drama about who’s hooking up with who when not looking after mischievous children.

The cast of Army Wives is capable, but their material drags them down to the depths of hackneyed awfulness. It doesn’t help though that Catherine Bell has removed any expressiveness from 70% of her face via plastic surgery, and that the rest of the cast that can emote have apparently been instructed to ham it up by 70% to accommodate (or just because the directors are dead set on making Army Wives worthless melodramatic schlock. Also, can someone please explain why half of every episode is shot with a soft focus? It makes it seem like half the season is a flashback (which it’s not).

Thankfully, this is the final season of this televised abomination.

DVD Bonus Features

A gag reel and some deleted scenes are the only extras.

"Army Wives: The Complete Seventh Season" is on sale September 10, 2013 and is not rated. Drama. Directed by John T Kretchmer, Rob Spera. Written by Katherine Fugate, Tanya Biank, T.D. Mitchell. Starring Brian McNamara, Catherine Bell, Drew Fuller, Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Sterling K Brown, Terry Serpico, Wendy Davis, Katelyn Pippy.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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