Those who are looking at this blog for only reference to art house films, and heavy documentaries will be disappointed. Television is what is closest to the average person. The average person is where morality and ethics derive.
I have been tracking the development of ARMY WIVES since its first episode. Inherent in its story line related to war, knew it would of necessity deal with ethical themes. ARMY WIVES is an ensemble cast. It is the story of four women, and a man who are spouses of active duty army personnel. They are raising their families on an army base in the USA. They are of different socioeconomic backgrounds and they become friends. Last night’s episode deals with loss, grief and redemption on the domestic front.
Season 4, Episode 7, May 23, 2010 10 PM PDT Lifetime:
In this episode in the ‘A’ story line a pregnancy is lost by a couple who dearly wanted another child. The husband, who has seen active duty, has the strength to explore his own grief and feelings of inadequacy to support his and his wife’s pain. The second army wife, the closest friend of the woman who has lost her pregnancy, is struggling with issues around her husband’s absence in family life. He is often altered in his character, related to his secret missions. She is choosing between divorce and living through it and moves to a compromise -- an acceptable action for her moral tension. The third army wife, a nurse cum paramedic, struggles to reconcile the loss of her son to a reenlistment and fears that he will not finish college, ( loss of a dream for her progeny), and may have worsened post traumatic stress disorder or die in combat. The fourth Army wife, who has lost her eldest daughter to a bombing on domestic soil some episodes ago, now sends her daughter off to college. She chooses to regain something she lost, when she became an army wife, her own education. She dropped out of Harvard Law School and now wants to return to study law at the university near the army base where she lives.
Information flow and changes in technology, medicine, and ecology shift at warp speed. It is important to see how artist and media synthesize and influence morality in this shifting milieu. In particular, the genre melodrama is closest to the hearts of the majority of the people. In many ways, television is the equivalent to the Greek Poetics of Aristotle - yes the Greek plays. At the end of the day, many look at television and deal with aspects of their own lives that would be too painful to access without the distance of the screen. This is one of the ways that film and television work. It is also the reason that bioethicist and clinical medical ethicist especially need to understand how film and television communicate.
Season 4, Episode 7, May 23, 2010 10 PM PDT Lifetime
(For more on Film/Bioethics on this site see "Lighten Up" - slides 29 - 36, and in the reference slides at the end for Aristotle, On Man in the Universe, Walter J. Black. New York, 1943.)