"It's the perfect show for right now, whatever way you feel about the war," said Catherine Bell, who plays Denise Sherwood, a loving wife and mother to a teenage son who physically abuses her while her husband is away. "Most people are against the idea of our guys dying over there [in Iraq and Afghanistan], and the show shows the stories of the families faced with that fear on a daily basis.
"The friends all harbor secrets that isolate them. Former-cop-turned-surrogate-mother Pamela Moran (Brigid Brannagh) fears the community will learn she's giving birth for money, while scantily clad bartender Roxy LeBlanc (Sally Pressman) struggles to overcome a sordid background. Emmy winner Kim Delaney ("NYPD Blue") anchors the group as Claudia Joy Holden, the assertive wife who commands respect around the post. And Roland Burton (Sterling K. Brown) sticks out as the male counterpart, dealing with his wife's post-traumatic stress disorder.
I live on a military post. I have yet to meet any woman who looks anything like Catherine Bell. I don't know any surrogate mothers or sexy bartenders.
I do know plenty of assertive wives. And I'm sure there are abusive teenage sons, and female soldiers with PTSD.
I also know plenty of truly strong women who struggle with difficult (but not violent) teenagers, especially boys; women who have to work to pay the bills (but they don't tend bar or sell their children); women who try to have a normal family life while the head of the household is gone for over a year. I know women who can't say no and get too involved in volunteer activities, and other women who can't say yes and retreat into their private shell. I know women who struggle with fear for their husbands' lives, and others who reach out to those who have lost their husbands. I know women who support the war, and women who don't; women who push their husband's careers, and women who nag him to get out.
Army Wives premieres on June 3rd at 10 pm. I hope I'm sleeping then. If any of you watch the show, let me know. If you are an Army wife, let me know if you think it's real. If you're not an Army wife, watch it for the entertainment value, but don't expect to get a true glimpse of what being Army Strong is really all about.