I think Generation Kill authentically represents warfare, and has perhaps one of the most authentic representations of warfare in all of film or television. Generation Kill is most comparable to Band of Brothers, a similar mini-series based on World War Two. Band of Brothers, although realistic, ultimately glorified war and the courage of the men who fought in WWII. Generation Kill, as authored by the always pessimistic David Simon, instead chooses to examine the mainly negative aspects of war. Although we’ve seen negative portrayals of war on film before with Vietnam films like Full Metal Jacket and Platoon, we have never seen anything like Generation Kill before on television.
It seems to me that all films and television shows made about American wars by American artists have a negative or positive view of that war based on our success in the war. World War Two films and television programs usually glorify the positive aspects of war, whereas films about unsuccessful wars usually focus on the negative aspects of war.
I think that there has yet to be a war mini-series or movie that accurately captures both the glory and the tragedy of war simultaneously (although Clint Eastwood’s two WW2 films and Saving Private Ryan come close), and I think that Generation Kill could have served to show us some more positive aspects of the Iraq war, although understandably it’s hard to stay positive about a quagmire.