Friday, June 03, 2005

Tonight I watched "Hills are for Heroes" for the first time in probably 6 years (I could look it up in my journals to confirm that, but I'm too lazy right now). "Hills" is a two-part Combat! episode usually ranked as the finest in the series. Vic Morrow directed it himself (he plays my beloved Sgt. Saunders), Gene L. Coon wrote it (yeah, "the other Gene" of Classic Star Trek), and every actor in it turned in a superlative performance.

"Hills are for Heroes" is not an 'enjoyable' episode. Most of it involves Kirby yelling at Lt. Hanley, Sgt. Saunders trying to calm them both down, and lots of soldiers dying as Second Platoon tries and tries and tries to take a hill commanded by two Nazi pillboxes. It's essentially an anti-war war movie, illustrating the futility and senselessness of war. Even if you don't know the characters at all, you can understand the different tensions between them, their frustrations and worries and fears. It'd make a great initial ep to show people who don't know the show, except that it's kinda depressing (it would've been the first I showed to Noumenon and the Chameleon, except it's in Season 4, which I only acquired about a week ago).

I love this ep for many reasons; when I list my favorite C! eps, it comes in third or fourth, usually. I think what I love most about it is the fact that no matter what is going wrong in my life, watching "Hills" always makes me feel better. It reminds me that things could be a whole lot worse. I wasn't particularly unhappy when I watched it today, I just wanted to see it since I think the last time I watched it was the summer of 1999. Back then, I watched it for its cathartic value, because I was in a pretty dismal place. I'd just finished my first year of college and was home for the summer. I was having a hard time finding a job, I missed my new friends, and I'd just found out for sure that a guy I'd liked a lot for 7 years did not reciprocate my feelings. Finally, one night, I curled into a miserable lump on my bed and watched "Hills are for Heroes" after everyone else at home was asleep. I realized my life was actually pretty good--at least I wasn't crawling around in the dirt getting shot at. Things looked up after that. I got a job, my friends and I talked on the phone a lot, and I met a new guy who was really nice and maybe kinda sorta liked me...


  1. Unless of course you're in a video game; then getting shot at is fun.

    Or so I've been told...

  2. Even in video games, I prefer shooting at people to being shot at.

    Actually, my favorite video games are the first-person-shooter type. Not that that's really saying much, since I don't (and never have) own a Nintendo or X-box. I've played "Goldeneye" at Toys'R'Us in the past though, and it was loads of fun.

    My brother and I had some lovely computer games we played a lot when I was in high school. My favorite was (still is) "Batman Forever". No guns in that, but lots of punching and kicking. I was always Robin, of course...

  3. I realized my life was actually pretty good--at least I wasn't crawling around in the dirt getting shot at.

    So not going paintballing with Stingrae, then.

    Soldiers fighting in battles is the one thing in movies that always makes me cry. I don't know why.

  4. I've never gone paintballing, although it does sound like fun. It doesn't generally result in fatalaties though (just watched an NCIS that involved dead guys and paintball, so have to say 'generally'). So if Stingrae ever invited me to go paintballing, I would (I'm a decent shot anyway).

    Soldiers having buddies get killed near them in battle makes me cry.

  5. Hi there! It's Lanyn from LJ, coming over to visit. "Hills are for Heroes" is fabulous. I haven't watched it yet on dvd. Want to save it. I have a tendency to put the dvds on and not be able to take them off again (no willpower whatsoever where Combat!'s concerned!), and I really want to savor the 4th season, not rush through it just to see them again.

  6. Hi, Lanyn! I know what you mean about savoring Season 3, I'd only seen one ep before, so I'm really going slow with those. Actually, I still several in season 2 I haven't seen yet, and in 4 as well. Before they came to dvd, I'd seen maybe 75 I've got lots and lots of "new" eps ahead of me yet! So believe me, I'm savoring them as slowly as I can :-D


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