'68 Whiskey': A military dramedy with a palatable plotline, here's why you should give the Paramount show a shot
May contain spoilers for Season 1 of '68 Whiskey'
Created by Roberto Benabib and produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Paramount Network, '68 Whiskey' is an upcoming military comedy-drama that features a medical unit in the US Army.
The story follows a multicultural blend of women and men deployed as Army medics to a forward operating base in Afghanistan and the several unorthodox methods they employ to keep soldiers alive.
The group stars a fresh, young cast including Sam Keeley as Cooper Roback, Gage Golightly as Grace Durkin, Jeremy Tardy as Mekhi Davis, Cristina Rodlo as Rosa Alvarez, Nicholas Coombe as Anthony Petrocelli, Derek Theler as Sasquatch, Beth Riesgraf as Sonia Holloway and Lamont Thompson as Col. Harlan Austin.
As we follow their adventures and misadventures — mostly the latter — at the NATO Coalition Base Guardian in the Laghman Province of Afghanistan, we see how the Army medics move forward in a place that is often nicknamed The Orphanage — more on that perhaps later.
Along the journey, the group endures a dangerous and rather absurd, almost Kafkaesque world (a characteristic that is very much pertinent to the first episode itself when a goat shows up out of absolutely nowhere).
What adds to the drama on '68 Whiskey' is the outrageous behaviors, self-destructive appetites, intense brotherhood and innate sense of purpose. At the same time, the characters have their own backstories — some even keeping a fair share of secrets from not only each other but also the US Military.
But the key factor is the camaraderie shared by our protagonist Roback and his two closest mates (and medics) Rosa Alvarez and Mekhi Davis — a relationship that is instantly likable.
The series also touches on some socially relevant issues faced by the country today — be it immigration and deportation (as we find out Rosa's backstory) or mountainous medical bills — '68 Whiskey' comments on the subjects in its own irreverent manner.
It is a simple recipe for a dramedy that works ever so often. But that doesn't mean even if '68 Whiskey' is a cliche, it'll make for completely palatable viewing.
'68 Whiskey' premieres January 15, Wednesday, at 10/9c on Paramount Network.