###A recent drastic change in the fictional storyline on Lifetime TV show Army Wives, NOT about the fine actors Wendy Davis or Sterling K. Brown who have admirably played the characters of Col Joan and Dr Roland Burton for the past seven seasons###
I, Tim Gladieux, (otherwise known as TWG's Mobile Blog... amoung other less flattering names!) have been a loyal follower and supporter of the Lifetime TV show Army Wives for quite some time, even with the many changes that have been made in the show in the seventh season. This is evident by a previous article "The New Army Wives", that I wrote when I saw many fans complaining about the changes on social media. You could also go to my blogroll page and enter "Army Wives" in the search box. (Of course what you will see is a long list of articles about the "Creative People" who bring the show to life, their other projects and sometimes special events in their personal lives). Sorry, I am not a "star struck fan", the tagline to this weblog says it all.
However, as the hidden (not really hidden it's in the head tag as meta data) discription of this article states this post is about:
A recent drastic change in the fictional storyline on Lifetime TV show Army Wives, NOT about the fine actors Wendy Davis or Sterling K. Brown who have admirably played the characters of Col Joan and Dr Roland Burton for the past seven seasons.
It all started when Sterling's character, Dr. Roland Burton, gave Wendy's character, Colonel Joan Burton, an ultimatum, "If you pursue your career further it means divorce!" (or something like that,, not an exact quote.) When I heard that line, I literally yelled at the TV, "What the F***! You dirty rotten Son of a B****!" Really, my neighbors actually complained.
Now the fictional story of Col. Joan and Dr. Burton has presumably ended with Wendy's character making the final decision not to go to the War College and not to succeed in her career by getting a Generals Star. The character is going to resign her commission and leave the Army for the sake of her family and because "Roland" has sacrificed so much! (See my previous article "Colonel Burton Resigning?")
Wait,,, What? Now we come to the real point of this article. Bad Stereotypes or Social Commentary?
If you check that previous article you will see that I do understand there are many reasons why character storylines end and why actors leave shows even at the chagrin of some fans. But what was Lifetime and or Army Wives thinking with this decision? Are they trying to say something?
Truth be told, the issue of whether or not Col. Burton should leave the Army for "the Family's sake" has been an underlining current in the story from the beginning and despite popular belief on social media, my favorite character on the show has always been Dr. Burton. He has always been the Best Army Wife. You see it is simple, in a very real way I am Roland Burton.
By definition a Stereotype is a belief held by someone about another group that is not necessarily true. In my opinion, they are rarely or even ever true. In my REAL life, I have given up careers for family. I have been a stay at home Dad. Hell, recently I was completely isolated from the real world taking care of an elderly parent. Stereotypically, these roles are usually preformed by women. Do I regret any of this? Certainly NOT. Most manly or masculine things I have ever done.
"No man [or father] stands as tall as one who kneels to help [or raise] a child." - Abraham Lincoln
The brackets are mine of course. But still... Now you know why I am so passionate about these issues.
But I digress, granted the show Army Wives is fiction and at the risk of really pissing off everyone of the "Creative People" I blog about, I have noticed that when ever "Hollywood" produces something new, edgy or controversial it is justified by saying, "We are only reflecting society." I would take that one step further and say you have a responsibility to shape and influence our society. To me that has always been the role of Art.
So Lifetime and Army Wives, what were you thinking with this latest drastic change? I have always enjoyed the show because of the diverse story-lines not only about our courageous men and women in the Armed Forces and the truly heroic people who wait at home for their loved ones, but also the many social issues that our society is facing today. What the hell happened?
Let's list the Stereotypes:
I could go on but this article is long enough. Bad Stereotypes or Social Commentary? that is the real question. I do have a few solutions. Everyone who reads this article, go up and use the Social Media Buttons. Let's get the conversation started. You can also call the Lifetime Network at (212-424-7000) ask for the Customer Relations Dept. for Army Wives and relate your feelings!.
Now here is a creative solution, if this really is the end of the Burton storyline, how about a "spin-off"?
Here's the "treatment" (I think it's called). Colonel Joan doesn't resign. She kicks Roland to the curb for giving her that ultimatum and goes off to the War College (taking the kids with her). Dr. Burton continues with his study or research into PTSD of returning veterans. They fight, argue and have lots of drama, cause that's just good television! Finally, they get back together because their careers actually mesh real well. She's a mover and shaker in the military and he is helping our.... here it comes the series title.... "Wounded Warriors". Go ahead, tell me that wouldn't be an instant hit and full of current social issues to champion! Hint: Hire real returning Vets to play the other parts.
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