The CW’s “Valor” is the last of this fall’s new military dramas, and it’s pretty much the least of them. It opens with Christina Ochoa as Warrant Officer Nora Madani, the only woman on a secret combat mission in Somalia.
“You’re the only special-ops chick I ever met, so I’ve got to ask, how do you control yourself around such hot, sweaty men?” one asks.
“Only the smell, sir,” she replies in what is supposed to be cheeky.
The crew is playing 20 questions on the way to combat. A firefight ensues. Nora, who is one of the pilots, is wounded. We cut to sometime later when she is waking up back in her room on the base, a wound visible on her thigh. She pops a pill for pain, which she is getting dependent on, has a moment with her beau — Lt. Ian Porter (Charlie Barnett) — and is off.
Meanwhile, her co-pilot and commander Cpt. Leland Gallo (Matt Barr) is back in his room on base playing a game with handcuffs and a blonde woman.
Later, Nora and Leland get medals, but she’s grounded, the brass worried about a woman in combat. We also learn that one of the men — Jimmy Kam (W. Trè Davis) — on the mission went missing. Nora confronts Leland about it, but he wants her to keep her mouth shut.
But then Jimmy mysteriously calls home telling his wife his terrorist captors want to trade him for prisoners. So Thea (Melissa Roxburgh), a cocky CIA officer, is brought in to take over the investigation and mount a rescue mission.
Nora talks her way on the new mission, but in flashbacks we begin to learn the real story of the failed mission and that leads to an ongoing cover-up.
So “Valor” quickly becomes about secrets and lies, guilt and bravery, and hot bodies and awful banter. It’s not the best mix, and not mixed the best way. The CW describes the series as boundaries between military discipline and human desire being tested on a US Army base that houses an elite unit of helicopter pilots trained to perform clandestine international and domestic missions.
While “SEAL Team” on CBS has a certain sober balance between home life and combat, “Valor” verges into the cute and sexed-up too often, including Nora playing drums when she is stressed.
Sometimes, after what is meant to be a witty line, you’re just waiting for a rimshot.
What: New military drama
When: Premieres 9 p.m. Monday.
Where: The CW.
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