Theater of the Absurd

HBO 's Generation Kill captures the Iraq invasion as searing drama and surreal comedy

Paul Schiraldi / HBO

John Huertas, Skarsgard and Lee Tergensen, from left, re-create the invasion.

It is 2003, and as the Marine 1st reconnaissance Battalion waits in Kuwait for the order to invade Iraq, there's a troubling rumor. It's not about the mission or WMD or the equipment they have not received. It's about Jennifer Lopez. J. Lo's dead, the buzz says, and the government is hiding the truth to prop up morale.

This mix of dread and absurdity is standard operating procedure in HBO's Generation Kill (Sundays, 9 p.m. E.T.), which combines bone-rattling action, lacerating drama and comedy as dark and dirty as a nighttime sandstorm. Produced and co-written by David Simon and Ed Burns,...

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