OT: "The Pacific" series. Discuss.

Submitted by Crime Reporter on May 17th, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Last night was the conclusion of the 10-part HBO series "The Pacific," and I can honestly say I'm sad to see it go. What did you guys think?

Personally, I think this series made its mark and stands alone from "Band of Brothers" as an achievement (the two were always going to be compared). The acting was superb.

The producers really took the horrors of war up a notch, along with the toll it takes on these young men.

My favorite character had to be "Snafu." The guy who played him, Rami Malek (sp?), did an outstanding job.

For those of you who didn't see it, do yourself a favor and buy this series when it comes out. I know I will.

Thoughts?

Comments

mstier

May 17th, 2010 at 10:08 AM ^

Part 9 was one of the most moving pieces I've seen in recent memory.  Fantastic work, though I wasn't quite as impressed as I was with Band of Brothers.

Quail2theVict0r

May 17th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

To me that episode was equivalent to the concetration camp episode in Band of Brothers. Seriously moving the way they had her pull the gun to her head so he could shoot her, but instead he put the gun down and held her as she died. You could see how they got to a point where they were just "killing japs" and then that brought him back to reality.

MGoPacquiao

May 17th, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

Agreed.  That episode was amazing, but gave me a visceral reaction at the same time. 

I don't know how to compare it to Band of Brothers as far as quality because they were very different.  Band of Brothers had dozens of characters that you got to know in depth.  This series basically only had 3, but I thought they delved more into their emotional and psychological agony. 

One of the best lines from last night was from Lucky's cab driver who said he had served as well, but was able to liberate places like Paris, whereas "you gyrenes, you got nothing but jungle rot and malaria."

Noahdb

May 17th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

Band of Brothers had a deep emotional impact on me. The "Why We Fight" episode completely wrecked me.

I haven't been able to bring myself to watch The Pacific, though I've been grabbing them for my dad. If it hits the same marks, I'll probably have to work myself up to watching them.

BlueintheLou

May 17th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

I thought the Pacific was great. I've heard a lot of people compare it negatively to Band of Brothers, because Band of Brothers had that continuous story line that the Pacific didn't have. Well, that was how the Pacific Theatre was fought. No story line. Just hump it from island to island and get the job done.

The whole series was fantastic, and I thought the final episode was great, as it truly showed the difficult times these men faced when they returned from battle. I agree wit h the OP, Sanfu was my favorite as well. I'm not sure what it was, I thought I would hate him at first, but his dry humor won me over.

Sad to see the series go.

jaggs

May 17th, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

most of the popular sentiment. Band of Brothers was easier to follow and had a better 'hook' as we could follow the same characters through their arc. For me, this is important. I did like The Pacific as well but another thing I missed out as a personal preference was the lack of war/action scenes. Band of Brothers had action every episode, whereas I found a couple of the episodes to miss the mark ex. on leave in Australia. I would like to to have seen some of the story lines developed their continued, but alas they were only 1 episode. Both had me waiting for Sunday nights every week though.

Blue-Chip

May 17th, 2010 at 10:30 AM ^

I watched the entire run of The Pacific.  Overall I enjoyed it.  I think I was always comparing it to Band of Brothers in the back of my mind which probably didn't help it. 

To me the biggest impact was the final episode.  It really went into what the experience of war did to these men when they were no longer in a combat environment.  That was the one thing I felt lacked in Band of Brothers.

CraigMack

May 17th, 2010 at 10:42 AM ^

Watching the battle field scene when they ran across the airfield gave me chills.  My Grandfather was in the Pacific theater and had his ship hit my a Kamikaze, those men had balls of adamantium.

NomadicBlue

May 17th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

The Pacific was yet another reason why I have a hard time getting into drama seris/miniseries on network channels.  when it comes to these types of shows, HBO cna not be touched.  It was truly a great series and I am sure it will win just about every award out there.  I liked that it was a more discontinuous thatn Band of Brothers.  I think in dong this, they were able to portray a key difference between the war on these two fronts.  I just can't say enough about the series - and I haven't even seen last nights episode yet!  i constantly tell anyone who does not have HBO that they are missing out big time.  Here's another reason why. 

Six Zero

May 17th, 2010 at 11:07 AM ^

I've eaten up about half of my ComCast DVR capacity with the series, and have only watched the first 2.  Between the Stanley Cup Finals, yard work and time with the family, I just haven't gotten to them yet.  It also doesn't help that I can't watch 'em with the Mrs. 60.

Wives are such girls when it comes to war, mutilation, and gore.

chg

May 17th, 2010 at 1:50 PM ^

Not all wives are such girls when it comes to this stuff.    I'm a chick and thought there could have been more gore to fully demonstrate the perils that the Marines had gone through, but that might have been influenced by my conversations with a relative who was there.

I did enjoy the series, and liked how they brought the story home at the end... but I really feel like they could have added a bit more in the middle and used episode 9 as the final episode.  I know that with Basilone's early death that it would be hard to build up much about him, but Iwo Jima could have been more than a half hour snippet, easily.

Oscar Goldman

May 17th, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

that should be judged on its own merits.  It had a couple of slower parts, but in the end I loved the series.  Like others, Ep. 9 was my fave - I rarely find myself actually emotionally affected by tv/film, but it was outstanding.  I also thought the characters Snafu and Sledge were very well acted.  Those two guys should win some awards IMO. 

Geoff

May 17th, 2010 at 11:33 AM ^

I very much enjoyed the series. It's not BoB but it isn't meant to be. I thought yesterdays episode, though completely lacking in action, was very solid. It was interesting to see the comparison of what Leckie and Sledge went through after the war was over. I think I am going to run to Border's at lunch and buy both of their books (A Helmet for my Pillow and With the Old Breed).

bluebyyou

May 17th, 2010 at 11:33 AM ^

I thought Pacific was very well done.  It showed the highs and the lows in ways that Band of Brothers didn't;,  Both series and Saving Private Ryan really bring home the horror of war, and the great debt we owe to the poor guys who fought in WWI II.

For me, the landing sequence of Saving Private Ryan and the scene where the chaplain goes to the home to tell the mother three of her sons are dead,also from Private Ryan, were two of the most powerful scenes I have ever seen in movies/TV.

Nieme08

May 17th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

great series. The final episode was fantastic and the ending gave me chills when they showed pictures of all the real people and told their stories. Fun Fact: Sledge is little Timmy from the original Jurassic Park.

the_big_house 500th

May 17th, 2010 at 12:41 PM ^

 

Was an amazing series. It really captured the brutality and in humanity of the Pacific theatre well. My grandfather was a veteran of the Pacific campaign in WWII. My uncle was as well, he fought in Burma during 1943. My grandpa was watching the series too and when part 10 was over I called him to ask what he thought of it. He told me it was very accurate to what went on with the Japanese and Marines attitude and feelings towards them. He believed it was a racist type of battle in that Marines in the Pacific on islands like Tarawa, Guam, Sai Pan, Iwo Jima, etc, had strong racist views at the Japanese soldiers. His friend that was in the beach landings on Sai Pan would say "they have no souls, they aren't human. Kill as many as you can because they don't feel any pain." My grandpa also fell into the racist mentality in the war.

I once asked him why the Japanese couldn’t just surrender. He told me when you’re fighting for something you truly believe in, something that will make you fight no matter how outnumbered you are, nothing will stand between you and your mission to hold onto that belief and save it. When it's yours, you don't let a god damn thing keep you from holding onto it. The Japanese believed that surrender was cowardly and dis honorful. It is a sad fact that resulted in the deaths of millions and the losses of generations. To quote my uncle. "I have seen a lot of horrible things in my life but this war was the most horrible thing that I have ever seen and will ever see."

mtzlblk

May 17th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

I think one of my favorite aspects was the commentary from vets at the beginning of each episode.

You can clearly see the impact that their experiences in the war still have on them to this day and you can hear in their voice that they remember what they are talking about like it was yesterday. Watching the series afterward you get the sense that they aren't exaggerating about what it was like and that is scary. I really don't know how they deal with having gone through that kind of stuff.

I know there aren't many (any, hopefully) on this board that wouldn't, but as a reminder, say thanks to a vet every chance you get. WWII, Vietnam, Korea, anywhere, and don't let the lack of media coverage lull you into thinking that our military people involved in current conflicts have it any different. Sure it is a different type of war and may not have the massive assaults/battles of wars past, but they see and experience the same type of carnage just in a different way. Whenever I see military personnel in the airport or elsewhere I make a point of telling them "thanks and good luck" and shaking their hand, or having my 5 year old son do so (which they get a real kick out of). It may not seem like much, but it makes a difference.

I am glad that as Americans, we have evolved to the point were we can separate our feelings about the politics behind a war and the soldiers that go to fight them, at least most of us. My comments above go doubly so for Vietnam vets, many of whom I had the good fortune to work with for several months on a project while at UM. If there was one common theme among all of them, it was that most of them had never been thanked for their sacrifice, quite the opposite, in fact.

To any veterans or military personnel on this board, thanks and good luck.

slipknot

May 17th, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

Sorry to go against the group, but I did not enjoy the series as much as I thought I would.  There is simply to much material to cover in ten short episodes.  I would have liked to seen more to do with the dropping of the atomic bombs, and the fire bombing of Tokyo.  It seemed like all of a sudden guess what...the war is over!

ijohnb

May 17th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

for a moment at the end of Part 9, but I think that the soldiers lack of interest/involvment in the overall direction of the war was, in some ways, the point.  Sure there was a beginning and end to the war and a winner and a loser, but essentially what war is is people killing people, the complete abadonment of virtue, and the complete devastation of the people involved, even those that survived.  I thought the overall disregard for the big picture was purposeful, and very effective.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

May 18th, 2010 at 12:15 AM ^

I liked it, but agree that it seemed too short.  After spending so many episodes on Peleliu, I felt they breezed through Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

FYI, Sledge didn't get to go home right away after the war - he got sent to China and didn't get back home till March '46.  (I'm halfway through his "China Marine:  An Infantryman's Life After World War II.")

GoPackGo

May 19th, 2010 at 10:22 PM ^

to Marines like Sledge and Snafu who had spent the better part of 4 years enduring the horrors of jungle warfare, the surrender of the Japanese was a "gee, now its over, what am i supposed to do?" moment.  This was what these Marines knew and it was just over.  This series focused much more on the emotional and psychological effects of the totality of war.  It affects every aspect of life, and it IS life....Band of Brothers focused more on the history and action of war....

ijohnb

May 17th, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

but I have it on DVR and am watching it tonight.  I have several thoughts on the series. 

First, the five minutes with Sledge in the bunker with the baby/women in Part Nine may have been the most captivating and emotionally devastating five minutes I have ever seen on TV.  That was a truly remarkable scene.

The battle scenes set a new standard for war movies/series.  The beach scene at Peleliu actually left me speechless, and the camera work in the bunkers there and in the Okinowa scenes were an absolute acheivement standing alone.  I also think that the character development was very impressive given the chaos transpiring around the characters. 

Negative commentary.  While I do not doubt its accuracy, I think that some of the depictions of violence were a little gratuitous.  While the "jap-gold" scene may have been effective and necessary for the development of the characters, returning to it time and time again was unnecessary, and made me feel like it was trying to one-up itself. 

All in all, one of the best mini-series that I have ever seen. 

GoPackGo

May 17th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

I loved this show...more than Band of Brothers, though I can't quite put my finger on why...Could be just how well it displayed the emotional toll and psychological impact this type of fighting had on the soldiers...Also loved the story of John Basilone; the man exempliefies what an American soldier/Marine should be...Tom Hanks has done a wonderful job bringing attention to not only what these heroes did, but what they had to go through to accomplish it...

 

On a different note, I recently found out Peleliu was an island of Palau...The CBS show survivor filmed part of a season on Peleliu...Does anyone else find that borderline disrespectful?  I guess I may be a little oversensitive here, but bringing a reality show to a place where tens of thousands American and Japanese men fought and died for their countries seems kind of wrong...

NomadicBlue

May 17th, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

Actually I find anything related to Survivor to be offensive.  maybe if they use that island again, sledge can drop some shells on it so they can learn what it is really like to survive.  The contestants are not and never will be survivors of anything except their own self-importance.