CW

Comparing the Military Dramas The Brave vs. Valor

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Both of these military-themed dramas air on the same name: Mondays. The Brave airs on NBC at 10 PM while Valor airs on The CW at 9 PM.

The new episode of The Brave that aired on Monday was entitled “Break Out.” The episode focused on the elite team, along with Deputy Director Patricia Campbell, entering an Afghani prison to interrogate an American who joined the Taliban and has intimate knowledge of an imminent attack. But during the interrogation, the prisoners stage a prison break and the team had to escape before heavily armed Taliban reinforcements arrived.

The new episode Valor that aired on Monday was entitled “Espirit de Corps.” It focused on Nora and Gallo, with their secret still hanging over them, sought further information on the escaped prisoner from Somalia. Meanwhile, the rescue mission to save the two captured soldiers ramped up, but the Shadow Raiders had to not only deal with new Delta Force members joining the mission but also the arrival of several Congress members who were going to decide the fate of the mission.

Let the comparisons begin:

Overall Impression

For me, Valor is like watching a soap-opera. It’s filled with clichés, form-fitting uniforms that I really don’t think are regulation [and don’t get me started on the fact that Gallo had to be reprimanded several times about his hair and beard] and predictable dialogue. On the other hand, I am slightly intrigued about the flashback storyline about the American soldier being held by the CIA.

The Brave is a show that I find myself being pulled into because the characters are believable and I’m invested in the stories. The one complaint I do have, though, is that there has been at least one “oops” moment in each episode where these highly skilled individuals make a glaring mistake that should be so much more obvious to them than they are.

Guest Star Casting

Actor Connor Paolo – who played Jack’s younger brother Declan on Revenge during the show’s first two seasons – was the American turned Taliban prisoner being interrogated. If I hadn’t looked it up on IMDB to make sure it was Connor, I wouldn’t have recognized him. Great job on casting, and I was actually impressed with his performance.

Actress Valarie Pettiford, who played Charlene Cooper on The Blacklist and Ronda Sales on Being Mary Jane, was Simone Porter, the Congresswoman who paid a visit to the Shadow Raiders, and is the mother of First Lieutenant Ian Porter (series lead Charlie Barnett). They did a great job of casting because Valarie and Charlie actually looked like mother and son.

My Recommendation

If you want to watch a gripping drama with very strong female characters who are not over-the-top bad ass just to be bad ass, The Brave is your best bet. There is just the right level of believability in the show and the stories it has covered.

If you would prefer something a bit less authentic and more sex-driven, Valor is for you. Sadly, the female characters are too cookie cutter – the CIA bitch, the tough girl pilot and the stressed out wife and mom on the homefront. The guys are contrived caricatures of military men, which makes watching the show less than desirable.

What are your thoughts on the two shows? Do you like one over the other? Please share your thoughts with us below.

New episodes of both shows will air on Monday, October 23 with The Brave on NBC at 10/9c and Valor on The CW at 9/8c.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Arrow, Grimm, The Blacklist, Teen Wolf, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash and The Fosters (among others). Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.