Band Of Brothers is an iconic series. It has great action, compelling story arcs, and, most importantly, all-American characters fighting a morally justified war. Yes, bad things happen, and it isn't all sunshine, but the prevailing sentiment of the show can perhaps best be described as "inspired."As in: It often inspires people to contact their nearest U.S. Army recruiter.
The Pacific, on the other hand, has no such effect. Quite the opposite, really. Which is why it's a more important and all around better series. Just hear me out.
While Band Of Brothers tends to leave viewers awash in a glowing aura of American exceptionalism, its spiritual sequel evokes more complicated feelings. The war depicted in The Pacific is downright hellish, replete with deep emotional trauma and random acts of brutality, sometimes carried out by the protagonists themselves.
In Band of Brothers, the best mankind has to offer is on display. In The Pacific, the worst takes center stage. Like the scene of Pfc. Shelton (Rami Malek) tossing rocks into a half-destroyed human skull, for example. Audiences might find that a bit less uplifting than, say, French soldiers executing German prisoners.
Rami Malek was amazing as 'Snafu'HBO
Major differences in how the war was fought and experienced by American troops in the two theaters may have a lot to do with it.
Unlike in Europe, the traditional laws of armed conflict were very rarely adhered to in the Pacific. That isn’t to say that atrocities weren't committed by both Axis and Allied troops on the battlefields of Europe, it's just that in the Pacific theater, war crimes seemed the norm — at least according to The Pacific, which reminds us of war's dehumanizing effects early and often.
When a Japanese soldier is toyed with by machine gun fire after a failed assault on Marine positions and then unceremoniously executed, the point gets nailed home that this isn’t going to be a trip to Disneyland. The show’s very soul is dark, and the crawl towards greater meaning is much slower than in Band of Brothers. That is probably why it had a significantly smaller audience share during its premiere run on HBO compared to the original Tom Hanks-led juggernaut.
Ultimately, The Pacific achieves a momentum that its more popular companion piece never achieves, even during the much-beloved Bastogne episode. Despite The Pacific's accomplishments, it appears that this 250 million dollar production became a footnote in military history. Just like some of the island battles it depicts.
Jungle warfare never looked and sounded so good.HBO
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.