Landing in The Pacific

This past Sunday, the long awaited pseudo-sequel to Band of Brothers finally began. After giving it a couple days to mull it over, I think I’m ready to write down my thoughts.

First of all, I’d like to preface my thoughts on The Pacific by mentioning that I love Band of Brothers.  It’s hands down my favourite WWII film/miniseries, and I rewatch it on average about once a year (in fact, I’m about due for a rewatch, and I’m sure I’ll do so after The Pacific has ended). So, this new series is standing in a damn big shadow.

Okay, so the first thing that struck me was the setup at the beginning of the episode, with Tom Hanks narrating. It felt a little weird, like the producers felt their viewers wouldn’t have any idea what the hell happened in the parts of World War II that didn’t feature Nazis. This was followed by the credits sequence, which wasn’t nearly as iconic as that of BoB, to say nothing of the music (RIP Michael Kamen).

Now, the meat of the show. The Pacific makes a half-hearted attempt to show a scene or two with a handful of Marines before they ship out in order to give the audience characters to empathize with. It certainly isn’t as well constructed as following Easy Company from the formation of the Airborne all the way through their training, ending the first ep with Winters in his plane on the way to the Normandy invasion. One thing I did really like, though was how the characters we got backstory for are split, with the two platoons seeing each other in passing at one point near the end of the episode. The war in the Pacific is a far more general story than what BoB dealt with, so I hope the series will continue to jump back and forth, showing us different objectives and battles.

I also have to mention how shocking it was to see 24’s Chase Edmunds (James Badge Dale) with longer, curly hair. He looks so, so much different with that hair. Now that that’s out of the way, the acting was great across the board. At this point I can’t say as anyone really stands out as much as the members of Easy, but then again they’ve only had one ep so far.

The production values are really amazing (this series must have been far more expensive to make than B0B), some of the jungle scenes are really stunning, and the boats looked quite nice. I think that’s everything I wanted to cover now.

So, what did I think? I’m not as wowed as I was with BoB, but I think most of that is just because The Pacific is a different beast. The only true negative I have is the awkward ways in which we’re introduced to the story and characters, it felt like those parts of the script could have used a little polish. I can’t say if The Pacific will be something I’m rewatching a decade from now like Band of Brothers, but at least I’ll be tuning in this Sunday.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on March 18, 2010.

5 Responses to “Landing in The Pacific”

  1. I thought the acting stood out less because I honestly didn’t recognize anyone and while yes I watched BoB after it’s airing and some people became MORE famous, I did know who some of them were as actors.

    Yes the intro was odd, unless they put it in every ep, And I appreciate the generalness as I know significantly less about this portion of the war.

    I heard somewhere that it was super expensive and got a fraction of the viewers BoB did but that those numbers included repeat airings and old Nielson ratings that have now changed or something. mmhmm

  2. I thought to myself that the kid with the heart murmur reminded me of Joseph Mazzello (Tim from Jurassic Park) and IMDB has since informed me that I was totally right. So that made… 3 actors I knew.

    Wait, you didn’t recognize William Sadler?

  3. You do have to realize that this show is about 2 guys, not an entire squad like in BoB, so its going to be shown differently just with that.

  4. he was the one I did recognize but he wasnt one of the boys so i didnt really count him

  5. It bothered me that the faces of most of the charachters were similar if not only reminicant of the members of Easy company.. you’ve got your Italian, your jew, your definately not white..kinda hispanic looking guy… it struck me as a try hard, although I will tune in every week.

    also.. is it just me or are the episodes significantly shorter?

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