#3: Band of Brothers (Mini-Series)
The HBO miniseries Band of Brothers recounts the story of Easy Company, part of the 101st Airbourne division, illustrating the triumphs and struggles of this group of men as they display unparalleled valor in the United States’ European WWII campaign. From the first episodes, the show does a remarkable job capturing the emotions of this group as they transform from naïve young men into experienced soldiers united by unimaginable camaraderie and loyalty to one another as well as their country. The true brilliance of this series lies in its believability and realistic nature. The action is not glorified and episodes do not rely on Michael Bay type explosions to keep you watching. Rather, each character has unique struggles throughout the war and deals with the struggles and pain of battle in their own ways – some better than others. After each episode, you are not left thinking about some great action sequence but rather in awe of the soldiers’ remarkable bravery, sense of duty, and strength in the hardest of times.
Each episode of Band of Brothers tends to focus on just a certain character and their story and role in Easy Company. Most prominent and memorable is Captain Richard Winters, the true leader among the men of Easy Company and one of the most inspiring characters in any television series, historical or fictional (the real Richard Winters unfortunately died this past January). However, each character is terrifically cast (with the exception of David Schwimmer as Herbert Sobel – pretty hard to take seriously) and provides unique insight into the harsh nature of the challenges faced by soldiers in World War II and the paramount magnificence of their accomplishments. In the end, Band of Brothers will leave you in admiration for those who served America in one of our country’s greatest struggles and humbled by the fact that what these men sacrificed and accomplished for our country during those years will be unmatched in magnitude by anything most of us will ever achieve in a lifetime.