The long-awaited mini-series Masters Of The Air, about the air war In Europe during The Last Gentile Uprising (just kidding), has finally started to air over at Apple TV. Not HBO this time for some reason that has to do with money.

It has some pretty big shoes to fill. Band of Brothers was a massive hit, and about ten years later The Pacific told the story of that brutal part of the war. Now we are back to the ETO with the air war.  World War II is always in vogue, it helps remind (indoctrinate) the hoi polloi about the great US Military War Machine and how we are always the moral good guys in every single case forever and ever amen. Nothing does that better than a good old yarn about that time we smashed the bad guys in the Big One.


Like Band Of Brothers, they wisely dropped the first two episodes on the same day. Unlike Band Of Brothers we don’t have to sit through an hour of training montage. Unfortunately this also means we don’t get to know much about the main figures involved, all real life men, all of these fellows died long before production was underway.

This makes it hard to get advice or personal stories from them for those personal moments. A lot of Easy Company was still alive during the making of Band Of Brothers and their insight really helped that one. It’s a sad fact of life that we all die and probably all but a very few members of the World War II generation have gone to their reward.

That lack of development really kneecaps things and two episodes in and we still don’t know much about these guys. This is made worse by the combat gear and masks worn during missions. It’s sometimes hard to tell who you are watching. When a bomber goes down, it makes it hard to tell just who in the hell just bought the farm. Was it one of the main cast we are following?

Doesn’t matter. Is it good?


There is unfortunately a lot of CGI. How can you complain? Not many working real B-17s out there to shoot down for verisimilitude. They look OK. Not the kind of quality you are used to from the HBO series but pretty good. Maybe it’s just knowing that nothing you see in the air missions is real that makes it stand out more. The Browning M2 machine guns used by the B17s do not sound right or have the correct cyclic rate either. This bugs me bigly, but I am sure few would care.

Despite the absolutely terrifying nature of the air war in the ETO and the staggering losses suffered by the Eighth Airforce (The Mighty Eighth) I am just middling engaged. I will finish it because it is a war movie and I love war movies, but so far I see nothing more exciting than The Memphis Bell. I better start seeing some real excitement or gore  or this is not even going to rate mediocre.

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