The Pacific is an epic 10-part miniseries that delivers a realistic portrait of WWII’s Pacific Theatre as seen through the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines – Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. The viewer will be immersed in combat through the intimate perspective of this diverse, relatable group of men pushed to the limit in battle both physically and psychologically against a relentless enemy unlike any encountered before. – HBO
9 out of 10
Well it’s DVR time, folks. HBO is airing all ten episodes of the award-winning and critically acclaimed World War II mini-series, The Pacific on today, Veteran’s Day starting at 11:00 a.m., and it is in your best interest to record it if you haven’t seen it already.
Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, The Pacific is without a doubt one of the top five events ever aired on television. The number one event would be the Spielberg/Hanks companion World War II mini-series from 2001, Band of Brothers.
The problem I had when I first watched The Pacific is that I expected it to be exactly like Band of Brothers and although, like Band of Brothers, it is extremely combat-heavy and the special effects are amazing and cinema-quality (by the way, this series was MADE for Blu-Ray), it is a much different series.
Whereas Band of Brothers focuses on the men of E-Z company as an ensemble but no one specifically, The Pacific focuses on the 1st Marines Division in the aggregate but more specifically on the stories of the three major characters as noted in the description, Eugene Sledge, Robert Leckie and the most famous of all, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, John Basilone, who is one of my personal heroes. That alone distinguishes it from Band of Brothers but as significant is the focus on the non-combat aspects of the lives of these three men and the Marines in The Pacific theater. There are two complete episodes that literally have no combat in them whatsoever, focusing on the personal aspects of the character’s lives and their struggles after returning home.
The whole series is magnificently done from beginning to end and as an American who appreciates the history associated with this era, personally having several family members who served in the Pacific Theater, I applaud Spielberg and Hanks for bringing to life the stories of these men.
Over the years, within the media and popular culture, the Pacific Theater, in my opinion, has been woefully ignored in favor of the stories surrounding the European Theater. By saying this, I don’t mean denigrate the sacrifices made by those brave men and women who served in the European Theater against Hitler’s war machine, but rather, I simply want to highlight that both theaters were equally as important in the scope of the war effort and we should never forget that. Spielberg and Hanks have not.
If I were to have one complaint about The Pacific it would be that it does take a little while for the story to pick up (about four episodes) but when it does, the series is damned near perfect.
BONUS: I FOUND A ‘MAKING OF’ VIDEO: