PBS ships out with the Navy
PBS documentary some patrons may request:
At first, the 10-hour documentary "Carrier" feels something like a crazy-long Navy commercial.
The camaraderie of the sailors, the giant metal flying toys, aimless teens finding direction at sea, the nicknames and cool tattoos - it all looks like one giant come-on. I wanted to write an eye-rolling review about how PBS has gone into the recruitment business with this miniseries, which premieres tomorrow at 9 p.m. on Channel 2. Vibrant with panoramic shots of the shining sea, "Carrier" starts out like a high-def paean to American military adventure.
But the longer you watch "Carrier," the deeper it goes. What begins as a gung-ho portrait of six months aboard the USS Nimitz develops into a more faceted take on sexism, racism, the strains of hierarchy, homophobia, and the psychic costs of living in an isolated subculture - what one sailor likens to a prison. The miniseries isn't an expose or a political statement, but it is a bottom-to-top warts-and-all profile of a crowded, high-stakes world comprised mostly of 18- and 19-year-olds. The filmmakers deliver a fine balance of both elated big-gun worship and humiliated bathroom cleaning, melting-pot team-making and the cliquishness of ethnic groups.
Here is the link to the PBS website about the series. There are ten episodes and you can watch them on the website as they come out on PBS.