Finally I found a reality show worth watching! Sunday night PBS began to broadcast a ten part series: Carrier . It is a great look into the life aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), commissioned in 1975. So far, I am really impressed with the quality of this production. Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions financed this project after others walked away. Thanks Mel!
Carrier more than presents the USS Nimitz as the “ultimate diplomatic tool for the President”, a “floating dictatorship defending democracy” or a "floating high school." It highlights the personal and day-to-day lives of many of the crew members — many just out of high school or in their early twenties. Surely national secrets have been sanitized from this film. Unlike other PBS shows like Frontline this one so far (up to episode no. 4) has been free of ideologies. Instead, it is simple refreshing and "honest" look at Naval life aboard one of the USA’s premiere ships. All ranks and all jobs —both men and women — have had equal air time so far. I'm sure not all in the US Navy are pleased. But it is nice to see the openness. Hopefully Carrier will enable all to see the attractiveness of Naval life, discipline, duty, commitment, honor and the like. Master Chief Christopher L. Penton is surely the “coolest CMC” to be found.
I highly recommend Carrier if you haven’t already been viewing it. It is also scheduled to be re-broadcast this summer on PBS. Television without commercials is very edifying indeed. The US Navy defending freedom worldwide, even more so!
Update Thursday May 1, 2008: The first airing of Carrier concluded tonight. Fortunately I was able to catch all 10 episodes. A good series, television or movie, is one that makes the viewer care about the subject matter and personalities presented. Wow.. Carrier is such a series! I won't give away any personal-story endings here but I know that women would enjoy Carrier just as much as men. The episodes have a near perfect overarching structure: the first episodes are "rough", the middle episodes are drama, the final two episodes really tug at you. I would be so disappointed if this did not win an Emmy Award or something for Documentary. I will be on the look-out to see how it does during awards time.