Army Wives

 
Soapy drama about being married to the military.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show tackles a wide variety of mature, complex topics -- including adoption, surrogate motherhood, alcoholism, children abusing parents, post traumatic stress disorder, and more -- in typically melodramatic soap opera fashion. But it also highlights many of the real difficulties associated with living on an active Army post.

Positive role models

While the wives (and husbands) of those serving must live by Army codes of conduct in public, within their own circle they're often secretive, catty, gossipy, and competitive. The cast isn't particularly diverse.

Violence

Disturbing images of a teen son hitting/abusing his mother. News footage of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is sometimes visible. Children occasionally play with guns, tanks, and other military-type toys. Soldiers are sometimes seen working with or wielding guns. Physical fights between soldiers, some of whom are drunk or traumatized. Some violent incidents, like explosions.

Sex

Strong sexual innuendo and occasional simulated sex acts (including oral sex). Some skimpy underwear. Some of the wives discuss the various names for their vagina, talk about virginity, etc. Sex and infidelity are frequent topics of discussion.

Language

Audible language includes "ass," "damn," "hell," etc.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent alcohol consumption. Lt. Colonel Burton is often seen drunk and acting wildly as a result of post traumatic stress. Scenes take place at a local bar. Some underage drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama about military spouses has strong sexual innuendo, some upsetting scenes of a teen physically abusing his mother, and lots of drinking (some in response to post traumatic stress), While current events in the Middle East provide a backdrop for the show, at its heart, the series is a fictional drama about life as an Army wife (or husband) -- not the current war.

What's the story?

ARMY WIVES revolves around a group of Army wives (and one army husband) who become friends while facing the many challenges of living on an active Army post. The group's key members are strong, well-respected Claudia (Kim Delaney); devoted wife and mother Denise (Catherine Bell), saucy, independent newcomer Roxy (Sally Pressman); former police officer Pamela (Brigid Brannagh), and psychiatrist Roland (Sterling K. Brown), who must rebuild his marriage when his wife returns from Afghanistan. Life on the base is dictated by military rules but the wives (and husbands) follow their own code of behavior. Along with rumors, gossip, and female competition, there are also personal challenges such as abuse, ex-husbands, and financial problems. While their issues may differ, they all share the same anxieties. They're expected to stay strong, but their fears of losing a spouse in the Middle East are compounded by their inability to express those fears freely. Even those who reunite with their partners face realities like post traumatic stress disorder and eroded marriages.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

As is the case with other Lifetime series, Army Wives focuses primarily on the lives of women. The series isn't designed as a political statement on current events; instead, it tells entertaining stories that combine fiction with the very real drama associated with marrying into a military life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media portrays the military. In general, is it positive or negative? How can you tell?

  • Do you think this show reinforces the general public's ideas about life in the Army or dispels them?

  • What are the challenges and benefits of living on a military post or base?

  • How do military families cope with having a loved one serving in a war zone? What can communities do to help these families?

TV details

Cast:Brigid Brannagh, Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman
Network:Lifetime Television
Genre:Drama
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Army Wives was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byaliciamohart April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

A must watch for military spouses

I am a military wife and this is a great show. I can identify with some of the things not all of course. I think it is a must see show for all military spouses. This is great and I am glad they came out with something for military spouses. I think that they should ask military spouses about some of the issues and do the shows on that. It is a great show that I can see being on for a long time.
Adult Written byAnnie722 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Army Wives not the real world

In the real world, these army wives wouldn't survive a day. They just aren't tough enough. Officer wives DO NOT hang out with enlisted wives EVER!! What a wife does or doesn't do has no bearing on whether her husband makes rank, as suggested in the first episode. Wives do not shop for the husbands specific deployment items. Things like this are just ridiculous, and give military wives a bad name. Also, we don't hang back and cheat on our husbands while they are gone (the show hasn't said that yet, but I am sure its coming) And when bad things happen to our husbands, we know it long before it hits CNN. What we do is ferociously protect our families, our children and our friends, just as our spouses ferociously protect the United States of America.
Adult Written byhody272 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

The best summer show on TV

I was active duty Air Force and married to an active duty Air Force Sergeant. While I do see a lot of creative license being taken (the XO's wife is probably not going to be great buddies with an E-2's wife), I see a lot of reality as well. I had friends from all walks of life and worked on projects with the wives of enlisted and officers alike. Yes, by the way we did buy our husband's deployment clothing supplies (me, just cause it was easier to buy mine and his together). The gossip can run rampant, and whether anyone wants to admit it or not, cheating is an issue not only with the ones left home, but the ones on deployment as well. Appropriate fodder for children? No. It would be a huge bore to them anyway. Yes, it's a soapy guilty pleasure for a Sunday night. :)

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