No better part of CW’s ludicrous ‘Valor’

Sunday, 08 October 2017, 04:45:20 PM. Every network seems to have its own military-themed drama for the new season — and now CW tries to hoist the flag with “Valor,” about an elite Army unit of helicopter pilots.This is a series that makes every other show before it in this genre look like “From Here to Eternity.” CW’s “Valor” is overblown, badly cast, horribly filmed and my candidate for Worst New Show of Fall 2017.

Every network seems to have its own military-themed drama for the new season — and now CW tries to hoist the flag with “Valor,” about an elite Army unit of helicopter pilots.

This is a series that makes every other show before it in this genre look like “From Here to Eternity.” CW’s “Valor” is overblown, badly cast, horribly filmed and my candidate for Worst New Show of Fall 2017.

Warrant Officer Nora Madani (Christina Ochoa, “Animal Kingdom”), one of the first female pilots for the unit known as the Shadow Raiders, and her commanding officer, Capt. Leland Gallo (Matt Barr, “Sleepy Hollow”), lead a team in Somalia to capture a top-secret prisoner. Even they don’t know who they will be transporting.

The mission goes horribly wrong. Several of the team members are either killed or, like their colleague Jimmy Kim (W. Tre Davis, “Shades of Blue”), captured by enemy forces. Nora is shot in the leg.

Somehow Nora and Leland manage to survive until they can be rescued.

A month later, back on base in Atlanta, Nora’s boyfriend, Lt. Ian Porter (Charlie Barnett, “Chicago Fire”), worries about her, for good reason. She’s fighting bouts of pain, PTSD and her guilt at not telling commanding officer Col. Robert Haskins (Nigel Thatch, “American Dreams”) what happened in Somalia. She and Leland have made a pact to lie to their superiors for reasons that don’t start to come into focus until the very end of the hour.

Nora, when she isn’t completing Leland’s dopey training exercises, likes to say things like “Gotta live hard to be hard” and “Duty is the cure for weakness.” She takes out her frustrations on drywall and on the drum set in her bedroom.

When Jimmy’s captors allow him to call home, Nora and Leland become determined to return to Somalia to rescue their friend and uncover the mystery surrounding the prisoner who got away.

Jimmy’s call also brings in the CIA in the form of Thea (Melissa Roxburgh, “Star Trek Beyond”), easily the most ludicrous character on the series, which is saying everything. Thea feels the need to compliment Ian on his looks, repeatedly, in front of other men even. Would any woman who rose up through the ranks of the CIA at such a young age and was put in charge of such an allegedly important mission risk it all to sexually harass a stranger?

“Valor” is obviously teasing at romantic entanglements between Thea and Ian, and Nora and Leland, but the manner in which it brings them together doesn’t generate sparks so much as gagging. With the possible exception of Barnett, not one of the cast is remotely convincing or appealing in their parts. The helicopter action is neither impressive nor especially authentic looking.

If the U.S. Army were anything like what “Valor” depicts, the United States would be saluting the Canadian flag.

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