Lifetime's drama series, Army Wives
, has captured the attention of millions of viewers in the United States. It is the highest-rated series in the network's 23-year-history and has been renewed for a second season. Based on Tanya Biank's nonfiction book, Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives
, the series follows the story of four military spouses and a husband stationed at a fictional post called Fort Marshall.
Among the millions who tune in every Sunday night are real-life army wives at Fort Bragg. They enjoy watching a piece of their lives being represented on the small screen, but are also the first to detect when the show exercises creative freedom with military life.
Susan Shue, wife of Army Spc. Michael Shue, said Army Wives
helps raise awareness about real issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. She also said that the show gives other people the opportunity to see what real military spouses go through.
“Obviously it's more dramatic than anything I've experienced, but it's a TV show” she said.
Trina Kiser, another military wife, said that she and her husband, Sgt. First David Kiser, decided to watch the series to “see how close it was to the truth.” Because her husband is currently in Afghanistan, she records the episodes for him in order to keep him updated.
“I think they are half and half,” she said. “You see things that wouldn't really happen.”
Despite the show's inaccuracies, Kiser said that, as a whole, she enjoys watching Army Wives
“It's something you can really get into other than your own life,” she said. “I'm just a big fan.”
Biank, who is an Army wife herself, believes that one reason why the drama series has earned a large following is because it presents a side of war not typically seen in other television productions.
“You don't need blood and guts to show a war story,” Biank said in a phone interview with the Fayetville Observer
. “Showing a scene where a husband is not present for the birth of the first child is just as effective as showing a battle in Iraq.”
Although she serves as a consultant for Army Wives
, Biank said that ultimately, the people behind the successful drama series are the ones that have the last say.
“It's up to them if they want to use my advice or my opinion,” Biank said. “They've been very welcome to that because they want to get things accurate. It's very difficult to recreate military culture.”
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Fayetville Observer
(Image Courtesy of Lifetime)