The premiere of FOX’s new comedy, “Enlisted,” contains plenty of mistakes. Any current or former service member could tell you at least 10 things the military comedy got wrong in its first episode. But after sending the cast to boot camp and hiring a military adviser, the show hopes to do justice to the men and women serving our country.
Zap2it spent a day on set with Geoff Stults, Parker Young and Chris Lowell, who play three brothers who serve together in an Army rear detachment unit (the group that stays home to take care of the base and the families of deployed soldiers), and co-star Angelique Cabral, who plays Stults’ rival sergeant, and they say their time at boot camp really helped them appreciate both each other and the reality of being in the military.
“We spent a very intensive week together. They really sent us to Fort Bliss, and we really did boot camp. That set the tone for the show,” Cabral tells Zap2it during a break in filming. “That was a game-changer. I trust these boys. I trust them on a level that I don’t have with anyone else and I would say that it comes through in the acting and in the scene work.”
Stults says although the week was tough, it was worth it. “We were up in the middle of the night getting screamed at by drill sergeants, running miles, marching down the road in the middle of freaking nowhere; we were doing obstacle courses — we were really immersed in it,” he tells Zap2it. “It was only a few days, but we were in it. I didn’t love having a large man wake me up in the middle of the night [by] ripping the sheets off my bed, saying they weren’t folded properly. It wasn’t my favorite moment at the time, but I’m glad we did it.”
Still, the pilot is riddled with errors — so much so that the show is running a contest to spot the mistakes. “You may have seen a trailer for our show and thought, ‘Boy, those idiots sure got a lot of things wrong,’ and well, you’d be right,” Stults says in a video introducing the challenge. “The facial hair, the long hair, no covers — who calls a Bradley a tank?”
If you write down everything they did wrong and send them in, you’ll get an Enlisted Challenge coin in recognition for attention to detail. “We apologize for our mistakes,” Stults says. “We made great effort to get things right in future episodes. But first, we want to own up to our snafus.”
Stults tells us the show is making every effort to avoid making future mistakes, but hopefully military members will be able to see past the technical errors. “There are men and women who serve today who want to be depicted properly and they’ll be critical of it — but hopefully they’ll get a kick out of it,” he says.
What did you think of the “Enlisted” premiere? What errors did you spot?