Not much really... at least not as far as I can tell.
They haven't revealed too much in the previews other than the basic concept that seems to be a modern ("War on Terror") version of "China Beach" or maybe a modern dramatic version of M*A*S*H.
So, why have I drawn your attention to it? Well, because the preview alone has already offended my sensibility and demonstrated such ridiculous stupidity... and I happen to like snakes.
Here's the dialogue and action from the preview that annoys me:
Xavier Marks (experienced male combat surgeon): "Don't anybody move." (draws his sidearm and fires at a snake slithering on the operating room floor)
Rebecca Gordon (newbie female combat surgeon): "That wasn't in the manual."Why do I care? Because this is the kind of media generated garbage that perpetuates fear and idiotic "control" practices such as firing a bullet at a concrete floor in a crowded building. On top of that demonstration of stupidity, the snake that plays the role of an Afghani native serpent is a North American Pine Snake of the genus Pituophis. It's a bit difficult for me to identify it beyond that level because it only appears for about one second, and it is most certainly a captive bred snake supplied by a Hollywood animal provider. It has superficial characteristics of a Louisiana Pine Snake (P. ruthveni) as well as a good ol' Bullsnake (P. catenifer sayi). If I had to guess, it's probably some sort of Pine Snake hybrid.
I find it very interesting that the celebrity snake superficially appears to be a Louisiana Pine Snake (P. ruthveni). Louisiana Pines are one of the most endangered species of snake in the North America, and certainly don't need anybody getting the wrong impression about them. I sincerely hope nobody "learns" any snake I.D. from this show.
This is by no means the first time I've observed this sort of thing in entertainment media. It happens all the time actually. Couldn't they at least find a snake that comes from the appropriate continent? The only movie that I can think of that actually used authentic and geographically accurate snakes (both venomous and non-venomous) during filming was I Dreamed of Africa starring Kim Basinger.
I am fully aware that it would be inappropriate and downright dangerous to throw a McMahon's Desert Viper (Eristicophis macmahoni) on the floor of a TV studio set just for the sake of authenticity, and I wouldn't suggest anybody do so, but is it responsible to use a snake that, if not actually a Louisiana Pine, superficially resembles one of the rarest snakes in the U.S.?
I think not.
But far worse is simply villainizing a snake (just for being a snake) and having a highly educated, seemingly intelligent, character (a surgeon) fire a gun at a concrete floor inside a building which would likely injure someone or worse. Can we say "ricochet"? Unfortunately, a lot of people faced with a similar real life situation would make the same sort of irrational decision.
It reminds me of the
Why am I so confident that it wasn't a Rattlesnake? First, the snake was in a tree, and Rattlesnakes aren't really known for their arboreal abilities. Rat Snakes, on the other hand, are expert tree climbers and even have special adaptations for climbing. Second, the snake was raiding a birdhouse- Rat Snakes are well known for this predatory behavior while Rattlesnakes don't typically eat birds and especially not their eggs. Rat Snakes become bird nest specialists during the nesting season and will eat hatchlings as well as eggs. Third, see my first and second points.
Even if it was a Rattlesnake (which it wasn't), it should have just been left alone. All snakes, even the venomous species, have their place in nature, and trying to kill snakes is often how people get hurt.
Sadly, the human victim of stupid snake slaughtering behavior isn't always the idiot attempting to kill the snake. Additionally, it's not in the job description of a police officer to wantonly shoot at wildlife. They should have called the proper wildlife officer or animal control to handle the situation... or just left it alone. The two officers involved were charged with manslaughter, but (to my knowledge) never served any time in prison.
When it comes to snakes... just leave them alone. It really is the safest option... and don't try to learn anything about snakes (or how to kill them) from Hollywood? Got it?