I caught the first two episodes of HBO’s The Pacific.
I’ve seen a lot of folks that are talking down the show, mostly based on a couple of foolish comments made by Tom Hanks just before the premiere. Me? I’m liking it. I greatly enjoyed, and was deeply moved and influenced by the two main source works that inspired the series, Helmet for My Pillow, by Robert Leckie, and With the Old Breed, by Eugene Sledge.
Some people are arguing that the series has an antiwar slant. Well, duh. The primary campaigns covered, Guadalcanal, Peleliu, and Okinawa, are amongst the most trying battles fought by our nation. There was a level of savagery in the Pacific that the European theater, for all its wholesale carnage, never achieved. And while our troops weren’t motivated by a genocidal imperative as some might think, it is undeniable that there was a racial component that was almost entirely absent in the European theater. Let’s face it, we were a country that wouldn’t even allow blacks to fight- how do you think our troops felt about the Japanese, who were not only different looking, but culturally almost incomprehensible to us?
Episodes One and Two are already available *, and Episode Three should be available later tonight or early tomorrow.
Looks like they pulled episodes 1 & 2. Hopefully, 3 will still show up later tonight at the link.