Army Wives: The Complete First Season Review
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It takes a tough woman to be a military wife. Some can handle it. Others can’t. I know from experience—not as a wife but as a military girlfriend—just how tough it can be. My boyfriend left home to deploy somewhere in the Middle East on October 30, 2002, and we haven’t been in the same room together since—which is why I can relate to the women in Lifetime’s series, Army Wives.

These women experience fear, frustration, and sometimes even hate for the military because it’s duty, unit, and family—in that order. No exceptions. Their men can be harsh, and their word is law when it comes to conflicts between military duty and family duty. It’s not personal, but it sure feels personal sometimes. Army Wives explores what it means to be married to a soldier, from putting your life and your dreams on hold to the long separations. And I felt their pain acutely because I knew what they were going through.

  
 
In the show’s first season, four women and one man struggle with friendship, loyalty, and understanding honor on a military base in South Carolina.

Roxy (Sally Pressman) marries Trevor (Drew Fuller) after knowing him for only four days. Since she’s the new girl on the base, she has a lot to learn, but she’s tough as nails, and she’s my favorite of the bunch.

Pamela (Brigid Brannagh) is married to a Delta Force soldier. One phone call, and he disappears without a good-bye. She doesn’t know where he’s going or when he’ll be back, and no contact is allowed while he’s gone. One poignant scene, in which she looks away at a July 4th celebration and looks back to find her husband gone, had me in tears.

Claudia Joy (Kim Delaney) has been an army wife for 19 years. She knows how to deal with military politics, even if she doesn’t always agree with what’s being done. She’s married to a high-ranking officer, and their lives are constantly under the microscope.

Denise (Catherine Bell) is married to a soldier who treats the family like he treats his men. They’re on a strict schedule, and he’s not to be disobeyed. Denise has to fight for her dreams and her identity.

Roland (Sterling K. Brown) is married to Joan (Wendy Davis), a career soldier who just got back from a two-year deployment. She’s suffering from PTSS, and he feels powerless to help her.

These characters may be married to soldiers, but they don’t allow their spouses to treat them like they’re under their command. Each one takes control and deals with the harsh reality of military life. They support their spouses with a whole lot of love and a strong spine, even as they make mistakes. And though the husbands are tough and strict, they still manage to convey how much they love the women they’re married to.

I didn’t expect to get addicted to Army Wives because I’m just not into dramas—but I ended up watching the entire first season in one sitting. I laughed, but I also cried a lot—which I hate to do.

I recommend watching this series to get an idea of what military wives go through—but I have my doubts that non-military viewers will truly understand it. It’s just one of those things that you have to experience before you really get it.

Totally alluring and addicting, Army Wives is a must-see series. Since it’s filled with surprises, you might have guesses about what’s going on and what might happen next, but I guarantee you’ll guess wrong most of the time—and that gives Army Wives a thrilling edge. I simply love this wonderful series, and I look forward to watching the second season.

While you’re checking out the DVD, be sure to check out the bonus features, too—including Wives on the Home Front, an inside look at real army wives.

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