When I saw Generation Kill before this class, I did not know that it was a Burns/Simon production. On the re-watch, I am beginning to understand how television authorship really does affect a particular show. Generation Kill looks and feels really similar to the Wire. The documentary style returns in Generation Kill, but it is the characters that are most similar to me. Like in the Wire, each character is extremely complex, and there are many of them, although Generation Kill is arguably much easier to follow initially than The Wire. The dialogue feels real, like in the Wire, and it ultimately feels grittier and more realistic than other war mini-series we’ve seen (i.e. Band of Brothers, which tends to glorify war). If The Wire was the answer to the glorification of police work, then Generation Kill is the answer to most war shows on television that glorify battle.
Ultimately Generation Kill fits in perfectly with Simon’s overall work–he’s trying to paint a picture of “the collapse of the American Empire.” In The Wire, he showed our domestic problems, in Generation Kill he’s talking about issues abroad. Both works seem to compliment each other in Simon’s negative worldview. It was interesting to see this continuity in Simon’s authorship from The Wire to Generation Kill.