Army Wives: Typical Obstacles

ARMY WIVES: 5.07 “Strategic Alliances”

Does anyone else feel like Army Wives doesn’t really know where to go? The show used to give us a great drama that incorporated in important but subtle ways how being in the army and related to the army really gives you a new perspective on life. They really showed us the difficulties and benefits of being the family of someone in the military while still giving us the features of being a drama about best friends.

But I think the show has lost its way. Sure, we still know they’re army wives. After all, three husbands are fighting overseas and one son was just killed in combat. But beyond that, this show could take place anywhere. Actually, it kinda does. Claudia Joy is always off-site at the law firm. Roxy’s at the Hump Bar. Pamela’s either in her apartment or at the police station. Only Denise stays on base, but she stays at home, and frankly, her home could be anywhere. This has become a rather dull Desperate Housewives.

What’s more, we’re running into the standard soap opera storylines: wife jealous (and possibly tempted) by her ex, another gets cancer, another divorces and remarries. Honestly, I’ve seen this all before.

Why wouldn’t Pamela’s family assume that she’d have a big wedding? What show has ever shown someone just remarrying at the courthouse? Plus, with the line last week, “What are you doing next Sunday?” you knew you’d get a wedding this past Sunday night. I knew one of two things would happen mid-ceremony. Either the lights would go out or Chase would get called off to Delta since his paperwork hasn’t officially gone through (that I recall, anyway). The writers chose the lamer of the two.

And then there’s Roxy. I’m really tired of hearing her and Trevor bicker all the time. I think we all knew it was a bad idea for Roxy to start up this truck stop when he was so against it — not that she shouldn’t do it, but she should have either been upfront and said that she’s protecting for their future if Trevor is killed or at least tried to have a real discussion about it, not a bickering match. As for her ex, well, I think I implied my feelings when I said it was a soap opera storyline. I have no interest.

Denise did basically nothing this episode, except for one quick reference to Jeremy and Tonya. Honestly, I find it annoying that we spent so much time dithering over whether Denise and her future daughter-in-law would get along, only to have her fade into the background when Jeremy died. It’d be interesting to see if that relationship had continued, especially much further down the line, say, when Tonya met someone else.

Finally, Claudia Joy. I really don’t know what I think about this newest revelation, except that clearly, they really have no idea what to do with her without her husband around. She’s in a law firm, she’s helping clients, she’s getting cancer, she’s still doing her commander’s wife duties. Honestly, she’s all over the place, and there’s a little bit of a feeling like she’s popping up in scenes where you just asked, Wait, wasn’t she just across town? I think there might be five of her, and I don’t know which one I should care about, if any.

Anyway, the episode was sweet enough, with the twinkle lights and dancing, but I do feel like the show’s at a point where I don’t want to be distracted by twinkle lights anymore. I want to see the real show — what the show was — not the soap opera standing in its place.

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2 thoughts on “Army Wives: Typical Obstacles

  1. Nice burn. How long has this show been on the air? Do you think it’s just running out of steam because it’s been around too long?

  2. It’s in its fifth season. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been around too long, or they moved too fast too early. I mean, think about it: The first season finale, they blew up the Hump Bar and Claudia Joy’s daughter with it. The only other teenagers left were Emmalin and Jeremy. Emmalin’s in college now, and Jeremy just died. As far as the younger generation, we’re stuck with two babies who can’t talk yet, one kid we can’t stand, and Finn, who sadly lacks a lot of dimension (but he’s darn cute!).

    Perhaps it’s much like real life. While, no, the show didn’t rest in its younger characters, the parents are feeling the pain. Army Wives might just be suffering from empty nest syndrome. That means a lot more has to be about the parents’ interactions with each other and their own lives, and with three husbands not even onsight, they don’t have much to talk about. So they’re forcing them into situations we’ve seen before.

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