I watched the first episode of HBO’s The Pacific last night. Same, same…but different, is how I would describe it relative to its sister-series Band of Brothers. The opening format is almost identical, as is the shaky and fast camera directing style and slick production sets. It S/FX have improved, especially in one scene where the marines are observing a night naval action from the slopes of Guadalcanal. The cast initially appears to be smaller, with the story concentrating on just three main enlisted marines (who are not in the same units), rather than a broad cross-section (privates up to majors) of the whole infantry company, as was done in BofB. There are apparently some home-front episodes as well. As only one episode has aired, I’m not sure if each one is going to follow a point-of-view story telling style like BofB.
In contrast to the often grainy, earth-toned feel of BoB, The Pacific is very bright, in view of the unpopulated and unnamed tropical landscapes of the Pacific theatre. I felt BofB focused largely on the heroism, brotherhood and leadership of the unit …and didn’t tackle some of the bigger ticket items like brutality, humanity and loss well into the later half of the series. The Pacific jumps right into those themes in the first episode and completely skips the boot camp story which laid the foundation for the entire BofB series. This possibly reflective of a different war and a different and unknown enemy that fought in a completely unexpected fashion.