"Army Wives" author and show consultant Tanya Biank can't believe Season 4 is premiering this week, and neither can we! Get her take on the show in a new article she wrote for Operation Homefront now:
"A Clean Slate" by Tanya Biank
I want to live in TV Land. I want to survive a hostage takeover looking like I just walked out of the salon. I want to awake from a coma with perfectly applied lipstick.
I want to live in a world where the lighting is always perfect, dinner seems to prepare itself and no one ever has constipation, heart burn, bad breath or flatulence. I want to live in a place where the conversation is never boring, good always trumps evil and life’s problems get solved after the commercial break.
Most of all, I want to live in a clean slate society. Take Denise Sherwood of “Army Wives” fame. Denise (played by Catherine Bell) was pretty much a dog the last season or two. She had affairs with a doctor and then later a double-amputee, for gosh sakes. All while poor husband Frank was deployed.
Fast-forward a bit. Frank, her friends and we, the audience, forgave Denise by season’s end. Let Frank be a sucker, but the steadfast and wise Gen. Michael Holden? Gen. Holden held Denise in moral contempt as we would expect. Yet, he, too, turned out to be as forgiving as Mother Teresa.
In the show’s upcoming fourth season, in a scene where Gen. Holden reminds Denise what a great Army wife she is, I had to stomp my foot as the show’s author and consultant.
I discussed the issue with Deb Fordham, one of our talented writers on "Army Wives." Deb reminded me that Denise DID save Claudia Joy’s life in that bad car accident last season. Grateful to Denise for saving his wife, Gen. Holden made peace and told Denise she was welcome anytime in their home.
“They’ve got a clean slate as far as our stories go,” Deb said.
“I wish we all had clean slates in real life,” I said.
“And that’s why,” Deb said, “we should all live in a TV show.”
Read on for guest-blogger Tanya Biank's take on the latest episode of "Army Wives" and share your thoughts!
"To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping." It's an ancient Chinese proverb that applies well to today's Army wife. But I’d jazz it up a bit: "To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time — and it might as well be the tango."
We got that message this week loud and clear from Mrs. Jean Calhoun, the spitfire senator’s widow who drove her "handlers" Claudia Joy and Denise bonkers. After her colorful stay at Fort Marshall, which included hitching a ride in a Humvee with "the boys" and partying it up at the Hump Bar, Mrs. Calhoun had this to say to Claudia Joy and Denise, who hesitated when she told them to pack their bags for a surprise spa weekend getaway: "But you can, my dear. And you must. You have to be spontaneous every now and then. Keeps the blood flowing. If you don't mind my saying, you two worry too much. Go out. Have fun. You need to grab life by the throat and tell it who's boss. Because before you know it — The parade’s gone by."
And with that Mrs. Calhoun and her big handbag bid adieu. I've thought a great deal about Mrs. Calhoun's message and how it applies to military life, which like a military ceremony, can be orchestrated and choreographed down to the minutest of details.
While Claudia Joy and Denise may worry too much in the eyes of Mrs. Calhoun, there’s plenty to stress over these days as a military wife in wartime. But there’s also much to celebrate, such as love and dedication to family, friends and country. Strength and resiliency comes in knowing your family is part of a noble and courageous effort to make the world a safer and better place.
Mrs. Calhoun’s parting words reminded me of my visit to Fort Hood, Texas, last year. I met an amazing group of Army wives in the 4th Infantry Division who reminded me it's good for the spirit to kick up your heels and have some fun. I was in town as the guest speaker for "The Denim and Diamonds Ball." But this was unlike any ball I’d ever attended. For starters, no men were present—they were deployed to Iraq. (Who says you need men as dance partners?) Instead of gowns, the women wore jeans, cowboy hats and boots. A country band kept the dance floor packed with two-steppers and the generals’ wives did an expert job riding the mechanical bull.
The evening was a celebration of spirit, strength and courage during a stressful and difficult year. All of us, civilians and military alike, can take pointers from these real life Army wives, who chose for one night to come together to dance and laugh like there's no tomorrow.
Jean Calhoun would have had a blast.
Tanya Biank is the author of "Army Wives". Her book is the basis for Lifetime's "Army Wives". Tanya serves as a show consultant for "Army Wives" and is a syndicated columnist. Read her monthly column "Intel with Tanya Biank" at homefrontonline.com and find out more about the book behind the smash-hit "Army Wives" at tanyabiank.com.
Another week, another winner! Now's your turn.
Post a comment here on the blog, and you're eligible to win a signed copy of "Army Wives" by author Tanya Biank. Her book inspired the hit TV series, and is the ulitmate "Army Wives" fan collectible! (Read the official rules here.)
Don't forget to tune in to "Army Wives Confidential" this Sunday at 10 pm et/pt. We'll be airing Season 2 from the beginning and revealing behind-the-scenes clips from your favorite Wives.
Come back to myLifetime.com and talk about it on our new "Army Wives" online community. Take polls, create face-offs, and share your stories with fellow fans just like you!
A signed copy of Tanya Biank's book "Army Wives" can be yours! All you need to do is leave a comment here on the blog, and you're eligible. Simple as that!
Topic? Sally Pressman's chic new hairdo:
Remember to read the full giveaway rules here.
Need help finding the perfect gift for the biggest "Army Wives" fan you know? Look no further! Read the rules to enter for another chance to win a signed copy of "Army Wives" by Tanya Biank, the ultimate superfan gift.
To enter, simply leave a comment here in this blog post. We're giving one away weekly!
What would you love to see happen in Season 3? Sound off here, and who knows, maybe you'll be a winner this time next week? Have at it!
Are you the winner of our "Army Wives" Season 1 DVD giveaway? You're about to find out! We had an amazing amount of responses, but, unfortunately, can only have one lucky winner.
Congratulations to myLifetime member slgordon! You'll be hearing from us soon about your prize.
Today is also the announcement of our first "Army Wives" book giveaway! We'll be giving away an autographed copy of "Army Wives" by author Tanya Biank to one lucky winner each week until the return of "Army Wives" Season 3.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here on the blog in this post. It's so simple, how could you not give it a shot? Post away!
By the way, make sure to read the official rules here.
"Army Wives" author (and real-life Army wife) Tanya Biank dished the dirt on all the behind-the-scenes news from the set of "Army Wives" as a guest blogger, but how many of you have read her book that inspired the hit series? Now's your chance!
Read a juicy excerpt from "Army Wives" and find out what you've been missing:
"Army Wives" by Tanya Biank
That night at the Lafayette Ballroom, after dinner, songs from the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, a video clip, and speeches, the dancing finally began. As Andrea Lynne headed across the room, a married col- onel caught her by the elbow. Colonel Lance Mifton was drunk, and he looked Andrea Lynne up and down as if she were a dessert.
"You're going to dance with me later, right?" he said.
Andrea Lynne was caught off guard. "Sure, just come on out on the floor and grab me," she answered. But the colonel wouldn't let go of her arm.
As promised, here’s some pictures from Tuesday night’s event at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. where military solders at the hospital and their friends and family were treated to an advanced screening of episode five of "Army Wives" as well as a chance to meet some of the cast:
And here's some moments you won’t read about anywhere else:
1. Brigid and Sally’s fierce stilettos that they wore all night long...without complaining!
2. Sally sitting on Brigid’s lap to purposely "blooper" her interview. During the interview Brigid was talking about how her character was going to have a “sassy” storyline coming up real soon!
3. A man whose chair broke at an awkward moment during a hilarious sexy scene of Episode 5.
4. How I found Brigid’s missing sweater underneath a pile of stuff and was this close to offering it up for grabs on the blog. (Sorry, guys. I tried!)
FYI: Brigid later fessed up to leaving little black sweaters everywhere she goes.
I had an advanced preview of this Sunday’s all new episode of “Army Wives” at the event, and I must tell you, this was my favorite episode yet. Dare I say it, the best episode of the show to date!
It made me laugh, it made me think, it made me cry. And, I learned from Sally Pressman that it was directed by Joanna Kerns, of “Growing Pains” fame. (She also directed the episode "Dirty Laundry" in Season 1.)
I can’t give too much away without ruining some great moments, but here’s a sneak peek:
Tune in Sunday at 10 pm et/pt to watch the entire brand new episode! Come back to the blog after the show for my weekly recap! (And soon I’ll have video from this event too.)
I’ve just returned from an incredible “Army Wives” event in Washington, D.C. at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Stars Brigid Brannagh (Pamela Moran) and Sally Pressman (Roxy LeBlanc)joined executive producer Deborah Spera, Army Wives author Tanya Biank, and Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant and wife of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff who was injured while in Iraq, previewed "The Hero Returns" this Sunday’s episode, “The Hero Returns,” honoring our country’s bravest men and women in the armed forces. General and Mrs. George W. Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army, also made an appearance at this special event.
It was so amazing to see real-life Army wives and their husbands watching this episode in the very same room with the actors who portray the events that happen every day in their very own lives. The parallels between fiction and reality were everywhere. In fact, I met the “real-life Roxy and Trevor,” Jason and Jordan Pardun—a vibrant young couple who met, became engaged on Valentine’s Day, married on February 20th, and then Jason was deployed for a year overseas. Watching the two of them show so much genuine affection for “Army Wives,” the cast, and one another in true LeBlanc fashion made the experience so memorable for me.
Brigid Brannagh was moved to tears just trying to find the words to explain the impact the day had on her, not just at that moment, but on her life. Lines wrapped around the room for soldiers and their wives (and husbands) to meet the characters they’ve grown so fond of over these two seasons of “Army Wives.” What a day!
On a not-so-serious note, I do have some great gossip and photos to share with you from the event!
Check back tomorrow for some behind-the-scenes pictures, and the story of how I saved Brigid from going home sweaterless!