Monday, April 28, 2008

Carrier is Magnificent--All Aboard for the Full Deployment

Carrier, the amazing new documentary series about life aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier premiered last night on PBS at 9pm. If you missed it, you will have many more chances to catch subsequent episodes, so please set your DVR or TiVo now.

The first hour of the series started with the Nimitz leaving port in Coronado (San Diego) California. We are introduced to some of the real people who will be followed through the series. I can't wait to see more of the no nonsense Command Master Chief Christopher L. Penton who is from Louisiana. We are also fascinated by the young Chris Altis, a 21 year old recruit who works on deck loading bombs (ordnance) and removing them from the jets. The women sailors are given full focus in this series too, including Seaman Recruit Cindy Costa who is a culinary specialist. Don't let her size fool you, she helps prepare meals for 5,000 people a day. And one of my favorites so far, is Airman Shaneeka McCree. She looks young enough to be still hanging out in high school, but she's already on her second deployment, working in Primary Flight Control at a job that she says is, "kind of like an air traffic controller".

What is fantastic about CARRIER?: everything, really. The cinematography, the music, the people, the enormous scope of the project itself. What is not so great about CARRIER? That they will be feeding it to us every Sunday in one hour portions. I want to see the whole thing NOW. The last scene of the first episode was beautiful and emotional and left me wanting more. The Nimitz makes its first port at Honolulu, Hawaii, and the sailors are ordered on deck to man the rails in their gleaming white uniforms. The 21st century behemoth Nimitz glides by the memorial for the USS Arizona, in a silent salute to the Navy comrades who were lost, but never forgotten on December 7th, 1941.

Please also visit the PBS website, as it contains many great factoids to help you understand Navy ranks, terms, etc. as well as upcoming episode descriptions. I have learned plenty already!

Much more to come on this one, it's just the beginning. 4+ stars on the Jane-o-meter. This is a documentary that you will not want to miss.


Lisa said...

I tell you what was the most fascinating thing for me -- I missed the darn thing, because I didn't even realize -- it didn't sink in, even though you had written about this before it aired -- that it was going to be on PBS. I thought it was Nat Geo or History or some net like that. Shows unfortunately how PBS has sort of fallen off the "must watch" list, and it was once firmly entrenched there. I hope they will be repeating it a lot -- but PBS stations don't tend to run replays as often -- but I see that full episodes are up on their website, and even accessible from a Canada ISP, which is VERY rare and very good! I will watch online and catch it next week on TV! I need something for my Sundays, post "John Adams"! Thanks for this great positive review!

Anonymous said...

The show is brilliant. I went to and bought the 10 hour DVD serious which includes bonus features. As a spouse of an army guy, it is interesting to see what each branch of the military is like. Chris was my absolute favorite. I wonder how he is doing and the baby that he was expecting....Anways, great show and never a dull moment!