TV Review: VyceVictus On ENLISTED 1.11 “The General Inspection”

Another dispatch from our enlisted service member, talking about Fox's Army comedy.

You can follow all of VyceVictus' Enlisted reviews here

I'm sorry to say that I'm still running behind on my Enlisted reviews timetable. A combination of school and work has put a crunch on my extracurricular activities. However, provided my current country of residence doesn’t implode over the weekend, I should be back on track to finish up the remaining episodes in the next few weekends on time. But it's all good, because I genuinely look forward to seeing each episode no matter my schedule, and this week's "The General Inspection" proved to be among the funniest episodes of this entire season.

CSM Cody gets the garrison spun up in crisis mode when he learns that his beloved mentor General Murray is coming for an inspection of the post. Fort McGee ain’t exactly at the top of the list of places to go to see What Right Looks Like, but with the super soldier SSG Hill (and some all-too-easy stroking of Pete's ego), the Sergeant Major finally has a chance at obtaining a perfect inspection commendation and the admiration of the General. Unfortunately, the rest of the soldiers in Second Platoon do not share their enthusiasm:

When Pete shows a little mercy in order to get things moving, the platoon mistakes his kindness for weakness, resulting in SSG Hill going into super strict “Shouty Pete” mode in order to shape things up for the inspection. But getting the base inspection ready is only one part of CSM Cody's worries. He also intends to get in the General's good graces through his stomach with snacks, but the general has very particular tastes he must appeal to. This mission is assigned to his star pupil SSG Perez (who is also convinced with minimal ego stroking and the possibilities for accelerated promotion), but the task of fulfilling the generals diva-like list of demands proves far more difficult then anticipated. Luckily for SSG Perez, PFC Hill comes through with the assist, revealing competence and an impressive set of skills belied by his goofy, childlike nature.

I really appreciate the fact that even though we are this far into the season, the show still manages to involve small but significant moments of character development, adding a little more dimension to the gang each time. Whether it's Derek's unusual status as a soup aficionado, SSG Perez's momentary breaks in her steely composure revealing her neuroses and insecurities, or the realization that despite Randy's awkward enthusiasm, he is a super soldier in his own right, I'm glad the Enlisted writers have taken the time to flesh out the cast and make them more than the one-note jokes they could have easily become.

This episode also maintained a high rate of fire in the jokes department. There was actually a lot going on, plot-wise, which was reflected in the fast pace. As in the other strong episodes, the show really fires on all cylinders when the characters pull off rapid-fire dialogue with several punchlines laced throughout their conversation. Even the dreaded 2LT Schneeberger hits some great comedy beats in a scene with CSM Cody and SSG Hill. And in one of the series' visually iconic moments, there's even a cute little live-action Donkey Kong set piece that was really fun to watch.

Still, the show wouldn’t be nearly as great without its moments of heart. As opposed to one episode defining heart-wrenching moment, however, the love is spread out in smaller but still poignant moments. When the sergeant major addresses the troops in formation looking sharp in their dress uniforms (props to the wardrobe department on this one, by the way; everyone looked squared away and real-life inspection ready), there was a great sense of pride that was well-earned. And the little moments of bonding between Jill and Randy as they accomplished their mission successfully were really sweet.

Definitely among the best episodes so far, "The General Inspection" is a good reminder of just how much I needed this show in my life and how glad I am that it is able to finish its time on the air for everyone to enjoy. As always, you can let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments, I look forward to everyone’s replies. I don’t just mean my Enlisted articles either; like this show, being able to contribute to the discussions in BAD is one of the things that keeps me going day in and day out, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Peace.