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With no resolution in sight, Iraq remains a timely backdrop. Audiences are hungry for glimpses of history in the making. March 19 is the war's second anniversary.
But not any and every angle of war is being depicted. One aspect is glaringly absent from most projects: negativity. The U.S. soldier is the hero; his cause is just. Storylines featuring the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal or war protests are no-nos.
"That gets you into arenas of policy," says Bochco, who has written four episodes of Over There, which is filming in Santa Clarita, Calif. "We'll be telling the story about young people's experience in war. I've always tried to stay off a soap box. I don't think proselytizing is good storytelling."
... "In many ways, Hollywood is embedded with the military," Robb says. The military "know that when positive images are portrayed in movies and television shows, they see huge spikes in recruitment. The military is really pressing to get into these pictures. ... These films (that receive Pentagon assistance) should have a disclaimer: 'This film has been shaped and censored by the military to meet recruiting goals.'"