• These Soldiers Are Lacking in Valor (CW)

    by  • September 10, 2017 • Broadcast Decency, CW, Paleyfest 2017 Reviews, Sex, Violence • 0 Comments

    Valor

    Lies, deceit, and conspiracy dominate a Special Operations squadron.

    Several months ago, Captain Leland Gallo and Chief Warrant Officer Nora Madani – both helicopter pilots in the elite Special Operations “Night Raiders” squadron – were involved in a secret mission in Somalia to abduct a mysterious prisoner. But the mission went badly wrong: two of the soldiers on their team, Sgts. Kim and Hendrix, were captured by a Somali warlord; the prisoner, actually an American soldier, ran away; and Madani shot and killed their CIA contact. Gallo and Madani covered up their actions, and were decorated for heroism; but now, under the pressure of keeping their secret, Madani is starting to crack, even as she and Gallo are chosen as part of a team to rescue Kim and Hendrix. But as they keep their own dirty secret, other mysteries rear their heads: who was the prisoner? What role did the CIA play? And who else knows of their own lies?

    As a combination of military action show and tense conspiracy thriller, Valor has an intriguing plot; but it contains violence, profanity, and sexual content inappropriate for children. In addition to the expected military scenes involving gunfire, Kim and Hendrix are shown being tortured. Profanity includes uses of “ass” and “bitch;” and sex is quite graphic for a prime-time broadcast series, including a scene of Gallo naked and handcuffed to a bed while a naked woman straddles and rides him. (Gallo refers to this scene multiple times later, bragging to Madani that “she’s into the kinky stuff, she likes handcuffs,” and offering to do “kinky stuff with admin.”)

    At a Paley Center panel, Valor’s producers boasted about the series’ accuracy and their desire to show the military in a positive light – particularly as most soldiers are the same age as CW’s typical audience of millennials. However, some viewers may find the depictions of the lead character’s self-aggrandizing lies something less than heroic; and, however many “military advisers” Valor may have, the show’s accuracy suffers in its depiction of an active-duty helicopter pilot (someone who would have no reason to go undercover in Middle Eastern society) wearing hippie-style long hair and a scruffy beard.

    Valor premieres Monday, October 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET on the CW.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

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