Monday, 10 January 2011

Band of Brothers

There's clearly more than a dozen there...
The Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced TV miniseries Band of Brothers is regarded as one of the greatest pieces of television ever, as well as one of the finest pieces of work on WWII. Unsurprisingly it didn't take long to find some contrary reviews on amazon...:

Apart from the brilliant start (All seems fine so far...), this series just turns into the Dirty Dozen (I spoke too soon...), with hundreds of Germans just dropping dead like cannon fodder lol (People who get shot in wars tend to die if I'm honest...), hardly any American casualties (Well, yeah that's true. No, wait, it's bullshit. Quite a few characters are killed with still more paratroopers picking up permanent injuries), if this was real life the war would've been over after the first week of D-Day... lame. (This was based on the accounts of the men who served in Easy Company so there is very much a basis of fact. However, this series is entertainment. Thus it will not be perfectly accurate and will have been sexed up a little. But a 'little' is where it seems to stop with this series, according to veterans of WWII, as well as more recent wars, and historians. So naff off.)
We'll start off our inevitable journey to America to this reviewer with a reasonable point. Just a shame the way they argue their point is utterly ridiculous really:

Just bought this product and the wife and I started watching this HBO product and find it has no closed captioning in English (This, you'll notice is the reasonable point. So you'll know what's coming up next...), it only has Spanish! This is discriminatory against all Americans (What? No it isn't. It's discriminatory against those with hearing difficulties, but not everyone. Not unless every American is deaf, anyway. It would be discriminating against every American if there was only Spanish audio as well.), and, especially, all people with a hearing handicap! (Not 'especially'. Only. Though this is still pretty awful I'll agree.) WTF, how many Mexicans buy this series about Americans fighting in WWII? (Wow. That is pretty generalising. There might well be millions. WWII didn't just affect America you know. In fact, it affected most other countries involved in the war an awful lot more than it did you. Britain was there from the start and lost 450,000 people, nearly 1% of our population. And we got off lucky, Poland lost almost 6,000,000 (3,000,000 from the holocaust alone) while Russia lost a horrifying 24,000,000. And all that is ignoring the damage to towns, cities and infrastructure that the European countries had to cope with afterwards. So maybe other countries will want to watch a programme about US troops, eh?)
Well, after the rather depressing end to that, lets move quickly on to the next review:
This is a show that combines WWII melodrama with modern teen-TV dramas (No it doesn't. It brings sometimes harrowing WWII drama to the small screen) to create a horrid mixture of bad acting (The cast was incredibly strong. As everybody else in the world seems to have realised) and war-glorification (Yup, there's nothing like dead friends to glorify war...). It makes war look like a paid vacation with your buddies (With bullets, explosions, injury and death. I'm forced to ask: What kind of holidays do you go on?). Also: it waaay overglorifies American soldiers, who were far from being the best soldiers in the war (The series doesn't say they were the best. Just that these men believed they were. Every man believed that the unit they belonged to was the best. As this was told from the Easy Company's perspective it was inevitable that Easy Company would be portrayed this way) None of these characters/soldiers would have held up for 24 hrs. on the eastern front. (And yet they held up for days surrounded by German soldiers. And anyway, the Russians couldn't survive a day on the Eastern Front either, hence their massive losses. It's pretty hard to survive in cold like that, against that number of enemy)
I was never given any reason to care about any of the characters (Yes you were. Maybe you're just a psychopath - in the true meaning of the word). Some were so cuddly "terry bear" ish that it was sickning (How dare those people be likable! Bunch of pricks, dying for their country...). This is a perfect example of America's isolation for the realities of the rest of the world and of war in general. (Well, yes, but all other country's are the same though aren't they? British films about the war are about how we won the war, same with the French and everyone else)
There is no real pathos or drama here (It's there by the bucket load), only blood and gut scenes and melodrama(much much more melodrama than B&Gs). The story is very poorly written and tries to deal "sensitively" with too many different characters. (It's excellently written and manages to deal with the many characters making each different and recognisable.)
Makes you feel like war is something the Beverly Hills 90210 teens did on their spring break. (No it doesn't you ignorant bastard. It makes it seem like a pretty horrible thing.)
I really hate people you know...


  1. Pretty clever idea you've got here, I love it! And you'll never run out of material, that's for sure.

  2. Thanks, tell your friends!

    Don't really. It would be awkward to fit our blog into a conversation. I'm sorry we put such pressure on you, when you were only trying to be nice.

    I can't speak the rest of the team, but I'm going to speak for all of us here and profess of having warm feelings regarding your blog and our innards.


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