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DVD review: The Unit season one.

Fox Home Entertainment

The Unit it is based on the Inside Delta Force books by Eric L. Hanely, and was created for television by David Mamet (yes, that David Mamet, who wrote Glenngary Glenn Ross and The Untouchables).

For those of you who use to watch Felicity and think “Damn, I would LOVE to see Scott Foley shoot down a helicopter with a stinger missile!”, this is the show for you…but let’s face it, if you watched Felicity, you are probably NOT going to watch a show about an elite military squadron that espionages (made up word?) all over the globe and assassinates bad guys.

When I started watching The Unit, all I knew about it was that the cool guy from 24 and the Allstate commercials was in it. The cool guy is, of course, Dennis Haysbert, who is so commanding on The Unit when they do flashbacks to when he wasn’t the leader of the squad, you still expect him to give out all the orders…but they give him a mustache that makes him look like Carl Weathers from Predator or Richard Roundtree, so you are OK with him taking orders. (Do you remember when Mr. Haysbert played Pedro in the “Major League” series of movies? I didn’t.) Since they needed someone rough and tough–who you could see giving Dennis Haysbert orders–to play his commanding officer, they went out and got the Terminator himself…(no not that one, the OTHER one). That’s right, the ONE Terminator that legally could run for president: Robert Patrick (who would have kicked Arnie’s ass in T2, to put it in Scooby-Doobian terms, “if it hadn’t been for that meddling kid”).

After the first two episodes I thought “this show is OK, but I have seen better.” (Maybe it was because I was watching Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell” at the same time…which is a damn good show; not just because it has a nude Melissa Sagemiller, guns, and the sexy, “damn I wish I were gay,” Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr, but because it is interesting and scary at the same time. Scary in the “Oh, crap! This is probably really going on,” kind of way…not in the “BOO!” kind of way.) But as I kept watching and got to know the characters, and as the cast began to gel and become more comfortable with each other, I began to really enjoy it.

Two people who acted their asses off were Regina Taylor and Abby Brammell. Ms. Taylor plays Dennis Haysbert’s wife, who comforts and shows the ropes to the new Unit member’s wives. Ms. Brammell plays one of the Unit wives that would be unlikable if played by a lesser actress (…not to mention she wears t-shirts that make me go all Drooling Homer on her!).

The extras for season one include one episode with commentary, and an Inside Delta Force documentary in which you get to hear David Mamet say that trying to get The Unit made was like hitting your penis with a hammer for six months. Now that’s dedication.

All in all I would say the The Unit is a VERY good show, with something for everyone…guns and espionage for guys and drama on the home front for the ladies.

Randy Otteson