Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Global Operation, the DSS Web Series -- Still Coming

Sit back and relax, the commercial is still on…

Global Operation, the DSS series that’s coming to the web missed its February release target.  I am told that the pilot episode is running a week late. So we’ll stay in the lookout for that.  The creators told me they got some bad emails and some supportive emails since I wrote about it. The episode has not been released yet, so I’ll wait until I see it before I write them a complaint.   

That said, there are a few items that would probably bug watchers about this forthcoming show. The Bureau’s HQ and center of the universe is in Washington, D.C. not the Field Office in LA. Still, the creator/producer who has zero budget lives and works in LA. So…that’s the main reason, money or the lack thereof. Perfectly understandable.           

Female agents are a minority in the Diplomatic Security Service. Note that the photos in this gallery, you can only find one single female agent.  If you know how many female agents are there in the 1500+ DSS agents, we’d love to know.   All DSS agents that you see especially those on protective detail are in sober dark suits, with dark sunglasses, a gold pin on their lapels, and a communication wire connected to their ears.  That's the look, see them here. Those assigned overseas, observe a different dress code.    

There is a unique function that DSS actually does – apprehension of fugitives overseas.  Wouldn’t that be fun as a reality show? Fugitives may even want to get caught, just to get on tee-vee, did you consider that?  We can start filming in Belize.   

But seriously, in the United States, the Bureau protects the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and foreign dignitaries below the head-of-state level who visit the United States. DS develops and implements security programs to protect the more than 100 domestic State Department facilities as well as the residence of the Secretary of State.  DS also conducts criminal investigations into passport and visa fraud violations, conducts personnel security investigations, and issues security clearances (how sexy is that?). You will notice, of course, what is glaringly absent from this – investigating human trafficking. If DS is involved at all, I doubt if they take the lead over the FBI and ICE inside the United States. In fact, this TV movie on human trafficking makes special mention of ICE.

On guns, DSS Special Agents are law enforcement officials and are indeed authorized to carry guns.  Technical Security Specialists, however, are support personnel. I have never seen one with a gun. I don’t even know that they’re authorized to carry one since they’re kind of like -- the geeks on call when it comes to security technical stuff – CCTVs, security gates, etc.         

Even with those shortcomings I admit I have empathy for the makers of this series.  Can you imagine if you’re in your 30’s or 40’s trying to break into Hollywood where youth and looks are the top currency? So they get points in my book for seeking out their own opportunity.  I also belong to the congregation of “if you build it, they will come,” (remember Kevin Costner and the Iowa cornfields? I know, I know).  Put it another way, if you film it, they will watch it. See? I’m a "glass is full" kind of person. Sometimes.

I imagine that the response to this series will be divided into large two camps. The purists who would like to see DSS depicted in the most authentic manner and in the best light possible (think NCIS with Mark Harmon, the CIA with Harrison Ford, etc. etc.). I can understand that; I would like to see DSS with Mark Harmon, too. I’d even volunteer to be investigated.  Tee-hee! But he’s tied up with NCIS. And the only folks who are interested on making a web movie about DSS right now happen to be these independent actors with no money. Perhaps DS can offer a public affairs consultant for free as part of its public outreach?

The other camp, of course, is the non-purists who think that #1, this is entertainment, and #2, any press is good press.

Okay, hit #3 for let’s sit back and relax; the commercial is still on.


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