I first saw Band of Brothers this past semester. In one of my classes we watched pieces of it in honor of veterans day. I had heard of it before. It was on the vague “someday” list of things I’d like to see, but had no way to watch. In looking it up I was surprised to discover that it’s just over a decade old, premiering in the fall to 2001.
Band of Brothers is an HBO mini-series about the 101st airborne division of the United States Army during World War II. A historical, action drama about those who fought together from D-day to the end of the war and the things lost and gained along the way.
The show is ripe with historical facts and remembrances as each episode begins with interviews from the remaining living veterans of Easy Company, the platoon we follow throughout the story. While it is certain that aspects of the show are fictionalized, I am not here to determine truth from fiction, only to see to the show as it is.
And what it is, is a case study of fantastic television Band of Brothers succeeds on every level. It is climatically beautiful and thematically brilliant. Each episode has a message and follows a smaller story within the larger span. As a bit of a history nerd, I appreciated the realism (sometimes strikingly so) as well as the individual aspect of each episode.
My only two “complaints” as they were, are nearly unavoidable in a story of this nature. I had a terrible time of keeping track of all the characters. I might be able to name three. The other comment is a warning: graphic violence. I hardly consider either a complaint though, but more of a facet of the type of storytelling that Band of Brothers is.
Overall, Band of Brothers is a fantastic show chronicling the battles — both military and personal — of a group of soldiers. It can be hard to find, but it is well worth the time.