Obviously, any follow-up to The Wire was bound to suffer by comparison, but the first episode of David Simon's Iraq War miniseries, Generation Kill, was a pretty big letdown nonetheless. I'll be coming back to it next week - first episodes are always a tough thing to pull off - but so far a miniseries that promised to show us "the new face of American war" looks like a mash-up of things we've seen before: Its portrait of American man-children in the desert that will be familiar to anyone who's seen Jarhead, or Three Kings, or Stop-Loss, or even documentaries like Gunner Palace. It's competent, sure, but it isn't particularly revelatory - and with Simon and Co. involved, revelatory is what I was hoping for.

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