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Bad Idea – REALLY Bad Idea

February 17, 2011

In the previously discussed vein of reunion pron*, the latest “reality” show to be floated is this one.

Coming Home will feature U.S. soldiers reuniting with loved ones after serving long tours of duty. The show will be paired with Lifetime’s hit drama Army Wives.

Now – my own two cents?  you want reality?  then follow along with these military spouses while they try to function for a year; thrill to the deployment gremlins as they strike the unsuspecting family right in the wallet; feel the tension as the phone calls get cut short or the internet connection is turned off after “an incident”; sit with that spouse at an FRG meeting or briefing; control your excitement when that dark sedan comes down the street and stops on your block!    Now that show – will never happen.  And I’m damned if I want a happy tense exciting time to be voyeuristically watched by anyone else.  Will they follow us when we have that first post deployment fight? NO.  They want to watch us ride off into that pink sunset on a white steed and live happily ever after.  Until the next deployment of course… and then they want to greedily watch as we say goodbye… tears are great for ratings!

Here’s the website for the show announcement – go on over and make your voice heard.


*no, didn’t misspell, just hate the creepy traffic we get when we use the word!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2011 12:08 pm

    Posted a link and a rant to my Facebook page — but don’t like to add comments in those kinds of forums. At least I can let my family and friends know how I feel about a show like that, as a military spouse. And I think it’s a load of crap!

    Here’s what I said:
    “Dear “Mass Media” – Stop exploiting military families by only portraying two things: their emotional goodbyes and their happy reunions, because THAT IS NOT REALITY. Bring *real* awareness about the burden that military families are carrying by depicting the whole up-and-down cycle that military families go through during a workup, deployment and reintegration. Show the anxiety, loneliness, tension, financial hardship, bereavement, grief — everything. Not just the “feel good” moment of those service members who come home to their families safe and uninjured. Because many do not get their happy ending.

    This kind of thing gets me so pissed off…”

  2. February 17, 2011 12:16 pm

    On the one hand, I think it’s kinda cool that this show is sharing homecomings, and that it does show a little of what it’s like. But on the other hand, it just gives civilians the “happy ending” feeling, when it’s rarely like that at all. How does that help our military families, or our servicemembers for that matter?

  3. Laya permalink
    February 17, 2011 4:23 pm

    I’m a little amazed that no one’s told them that it was a terrible idea. Or protested it yet.

    • February 17, 2011 4:38 pm

      I was asking around what others thought, and some ladies are okay with the show. They like the shows lighter, happier focus (rather than some of the other shows, like PTSD ones, that have been done). You know, they’ve got a point. We hear a lot of bad news; maybe a show sharing the good times might not be bad.

  4. February 18, 2011 8:48 am

    I have told my husband that if he ever tries to surprise me with a reunion I will punch him. I’m not a violent person, but I really think I would. We need the emotional, physical, mental prep for their return. It’s not just about seeing them again, and that’s what tv producers and audiences just don’t get. Every single time he comes home I have to go through a process of letting go the independence I’ve gained, prepare to let him take responsibility back, for him to (gasp!) touch my–I mean our–stuff again, to put down the stress and angst and anger of spending so much time apart. I have to say goodbye to my girlfriends, because no matter how hard we try to stay in touch, it’s just not going to be the same. I certainly can’t imagine the psychological ramifications on these families as directors are exploiting it all for the highest ratings with no regard or even the remotest understanding about what goes into it. Disgusting.

  5. Michelle permalink
    February 20, 2011 1:29 pm

    I feel like why do strangers get to be part of the reunion that they did nothing to deserve? It’s such a terrible idea -yet – some of “us” are the ones who agreed to be on the show…so someone thinks it’s a good idea, some mil-families think it’s a good idea. No one but me and my kids get to enjoy that moment with dh.

  6. Michelle permalink
    February 20, 2011 1:30 pm

    oh hit enter too early – so it’s not so much the TV that is exploiting “us”. All the families who are appearing on the show are doing it too. There would be no show if people said no. But someone is saying yes.

  7. February 20, 2011 2:25 pm

    I love watching the reunions, but it’s because I know why they are as powerful as they are, what they mean, what the wait for that day involves, etc. I agree with what was said above about this show giving people (people who know nothing of the experience) the happy ending feelings they like – but it doesn’t do anything to help them understand or recognize the hell that is waiting through a deployment (or, for many families, multiple deployments) and the difficulty of adjusting afterward.

    These happy endings will also do nothing to make them curious about the whole story, because as far as they’ll be concerned, it all ends up being happy at the end, and that’s all that matters.

    This is why I started “Like it for TIME.” The families of military are a large part of the war story, and until people are more familiar (as familiar as they can be) with the REAL, full, complex experience of military families, they’re missing a big chunk of the overall war story they think they know from watching the news and movies.

    • libarmywife permalink
      February 20, 2011 3:17 pm

      We love Like It for TIME as well!!

  8. February 21, 2011 12:58 pm

    This is a horrible idea. But the general public likes to see things like this so I can understand how someone thought it would be a good tv show. Someone once posted a video mashup of parents surprising kids (usually at school) after deployment and I commented I would never do that to my kids. Everyone acted like I was the bad guy.

    • Michelle permalink
      February 21, 2011 2:58 pm

      don’t worry – I hate those “surprise” kid reunions too. That makes 2 bad guys. They make my stomach turn.

  9. February 21, 2011 5:03 pm

    Military wives deserve our own show on Bravo. The Real Military Wives of (insert base name here.)

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