Under the Radar

'The Fighting Season': This Isn't 'Call of Duty'


The Fighting Season is a documentary series about the war in Afghanistan that's currently hiding out on DirecTV's exclusive Audience channel. The six-episode program aims to chronicle the war from a soldier's perspective and was shot over three months in 2014 by a crew led by Ricky Schroder.


Yep, that Ricky Schroder, the actor who first gained fame as the kid on Silver Spoons and later as a grown-up cop on NYPD Blue (he seems to have gone back to "Ricky" after a few hears as "Rick"). Schroder put together a crew and spent the May to August embedded with soldiers commanded by the elite XVIII Airborne Corps and the 10th Mountain Division, Spartan Brigade.

Since most everyone he met wasn't yet born during his TV years, most didn't recognize him. He told The Wrap, "Mostly they are so young — they’re my son’s age. They knew me as the “camera guy” – not as Ricky Schroder. Most people my age know what I have done, but [the soldiers] are in their 20s and had no idea."


There's not really an overarching narrative to this documentary: each show very much tries to chronicle what happens to the troops they're filming without dwelling on the overarching politics and strategies for the war. The filmmakers (and soldiers) have a real affection for the Afghan people and their struggles, but this aims to a be a politics-free story.

DirecTV's Audience network is on Channel 239. They've aired the first four episodes but those are available on demand online or via your satellite box for DirectTV customers. Everyone else will have to wait for a DVD release or for the series to debut on Netflix.

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