The Long Road Home – Opinion

The Long Road Home premieres November 7th, 9pm on National Geographic.

It seems 2017 is the year of the military television show. The Brave, SEAL Team, Valor, and SIX have all premiered in under 12 months. Now, National Geographic has a new program to add to the glut. Thankfully it’s a solid offering.

Over eight episodes, The Long Road Home tells the story of a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War, when the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad — a day that came to be known as “Black Sunday.” The incident, which took place 11 months after President George W. Bush’s famous “Mission Accomplished” speech, changed the American military’s view of Iraq from a peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents.

The miniseries frequently cuts between the action on the ground in Iraq and that of the homefront back in Texas, where the soldiers’ wives and families await news for 48 hellish hours, expecting the worst. Although a show about war doesn’t need that tactic to keep things interesting, the dual stories help exhibit the scope of what our troops deal with.

Based on the bestselling book of the same name, this drama also boasts an impressive cast. It’s awesome to Michael Kelly from House of Cards in a lead role, and the rest of the actors, including Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne, and Noel Fisher all do a good job with their parts.

Despite some sloppy writing, The Long Road Home is an extraordinary story. It succeeds in not only dramatizing the heroism on the front lines but also the family bonds and courage on the homefront.