Four seasons later, The Unit is still The Unit. It is not a big hit (although it averaged at #14 on the ratings during its first season), but it isn’t an embarrassing failure either. It’s just there, cruising along, although the change of time slot for the current season put some viewers in a little panic frenzy about its future. I t’s doing what it does best, and the expectations aren’t really pitted against them.
But the show’s got a dedicated following, and the move to its current Sunday night time slot hasn’t made much of a dent on the ratings. It’s in a pretty comfy position—nobody really worries about it, and nobody bothers about it. (But don’t take me wrong: the fans care, of course.) The question is pretty simple: is The Unit underappreciated?
“I think at large, it’s been underappreciated,” Dennis Haysbert said in an interview. “I think the military really likes it. People outside the military really love it because of the authenticity and the action and the characters.”
Could it be? For a drama that boasts of a familiar face like Haysbert’s—or, if you’re new to this and are pretty clueless, David Palmer on 24—it’s not getting much press coverage. It’s hard to find updates on the show, and the little information for a certain episode that you’re getting isn’t enough to fill a couple of paragraphs. But people love it.
Is it the realism? Maybe some people who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of the military are a little hesitant to touch it. Maybe some have been turned away, but it isn’t much of a worry. With people sticking, there’s definitely some people who appreciate the approach—perhaps subdued, but it’s hard to explain—and are sticking to it every night.
Maybe it’s just the circumstances. There is such a thing as the darling of the press, after all, and you can’t help but think that too much attention is given to some, and too little attention on others. Or they just don’t notice it. (I’ll hint at football again.)
Nevertheless, it is sticking around. No threats yet, but when there is, I can feel that it would be a struggle to get wider support. It’ll just disappear, fondly remembered by some, but perhaps barely known by others.
On tomorrow’s episode of The Unit, the team’s efforts to raid an anthrax lab are stopped by an official (guest star Michael McKean) who thinks his technology is better than their logic. Can there be a compromise? That’s on CBS after Cold Case, or supposedly, 10pm, unless football gets in the way again. Remember to record early.
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: CBS, The Macon Telegraph
(Image courtesy of CBS)