Newest Review: ... it is hugely engrossing, and the care that the audience feels for the men who risked their lives for all of us is enormous. One can only i... more
Band Of Brothers
Member Name: jj1977
Band Of Brothers
Advantages: Story, Cast, Direction, too many too mention
Disadvantages: only 10 episodes
When ever I've sat down to think of my favourite TV programmes this always comes out on top. Now i've watched a lot of TV, some might say too much, but this program is flawless. So many other series have an inevitable lull, think of series 5 of the Wire, season3 of Battlestar Galactica or even season 5 of the West Wing. Here there is no lull, no pause for breath and certainly no jumping the shark.
The series is an adaptation of historian Stephen Ambrose' bestselling book. Produced by Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks following their 1998 blockbuster 'Saving Private Ryan', the story centres on the exploits of Easy company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. Indeed it was Hanks who had been reading the book in between shoots on Ryan, who brought the book to Spielberg's attention.
The story begins on the Day before Operation: Overlord or D-Day is set to begin. The first episode tells of the tough training regiment that the men of Easy company had to endure while preparing for the 'Day of Days' It is here that we are intoduced to Lt. Richard Winters, played by Damien Lewis and the man who would become his friend of many year, Lewsi Nixon, as played by Ron Livingston. The ten episodes go through training to France and follows the Allied campaign in Europe until the end of the European Campaign.
One of the big draws of this was that at the time many of the actors involved were not major household names, so with no prior knowledge of Easy company, you had no clue as to their eventual fates. Time spent on developing characters meant nothing as personal favourites would leave, often in truly heartbreaking fashion. The episode titled 'The Breaking Point' is particularly harrowing. The storyline, performances and special fx immerse in a situation few of us have ever thankfully experienced.
As the episodes pass by, you will be sad to see the end approaching, but this series is one of those boxsets that you can take something new from each new viewing. I didn't notice that Simon Pegg and Jimmy Kimmell appear in two episodes until the third viewing. It is an essential part of everybody's viewing history.
A friend of mine who teaches GCSE History recently showed the episode titled 'Why we fight', which deals with the discovery of the first of the Nazi concentration and those who survived the holocaust. A classroom full of energetic kids was quickly reduced to stunned silence by the emotional power of the story.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, most TV today is pointless crap such as talent shows, but when it's done right it can't be beaten.
Summary: The finest example of modern storytelling