Review: 'Six' is worthy of its SEAL designation
Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 4:12 PM Central
by John Couture
I have to admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to shows about our nation's special forces. I find them intriguing and a compelling watch, so you have to take this review with a grain of salt because I was certainly a part of History Channel's target demographic when they pitched this show.
Seemingly, what sets Six apart from its numerous competitors is the declaration that this show is "inspired" by real SEAL Team Six missions. Given that this team was ultimately the one responsible for bringing Osama bin Laden to "justice," this declaration raises expectation levels to a level that any show would have trouble meeting.
So, the fact that Six comes real close at several points during the first season is impressive and encouraging for future seasons. The one TV show that I would compare it most to would probably be the CBS show The Unit. While The Unit follows a fictitious special forces unit, both series share the burden of balancing the two main theaters of conflict, home and abroad. While Six excels when the team is deployed and bullets are flying, it tends to swing and miss more often when the team is home.
On the flip side, The Unit excelled at the home drama and spent less and less time and money on the deployed action as the series got older. If in some alternate world, they could marry these two shows, I think you would have a near-perfect special forces show that could rival Homeland and its portrayal of the CIA.
The fact that the History Channel has already ordered a second season is a good sign that the show will have enough legs to find that optimal balance between the missions and the home life. While sure, it is compelling to think that these are based on real missions, it is obviously a scripted show so the reality can only carry the show so far.
It will be the downtime and the familial interactions that will ultimately determine the long time prognosis of the show. The one thing that the show does have going for it is a compelling ongoing storyline that concerns Walton Goggins' character Rip. He is the prototypical SEAL member but many of the first season's dramatic twists revolved around his ulterior motives and decisions. Having such an experienced actor such a Goggins leading the charge is a boon for the show and his performance is certainly one of the highlights of the first season. As I mentioned, the show really needs to spend time developing the home scenes because in this season, it felt like they were almost an afterthought or a time filler until the next big action sequence.
I wasn't sure if it was just inexperience in writing this type of drama or if the creators were trying to convey the familial disconnect that SEAL members must feel when they are not out in the field. Again, I think The Unit excelled at striking a great balance between these two and I have faith that Six will eventually get there on its own.
Six is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.