Whenever there is a discussion about which are the best TV series, I wonder if miniseries are included in the discussion or not. Because if we include miniseries, then for me, the best TV series ever made is –in my opinion, hands down– HBO’s Band of Brothers.
Released in 2001, this 10 episode series tells the story of the men of the Easy Company, part of the 101st Airborne Division, in World War II, from their training in Toccoa until the end of the War. Realising that today is June 6th (D-Day), made me think of it.
From a formal point of view, the series’ production is closer to cinema than to regular television (which nowadays might seem less impressive, given how television has grown in the last decade, but it was almost unheard of sixteen years ago), with an amazing photography, writing and soundtrack (it was the most expensive miniseries ever those, at the time). It is based on real people, and some of those veterans are interviewed before each episode. I could go on forever, talking about every single episode, the main characters, how every episode is woven around a different person, and so on. But the I would never end.
Other the fact that the series deserves our attention for what it tells and how it tells it, if you are an avid series and movies consumer, you will meet a lot of then unknown actors that were just starting their careers: Damian Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Cudlitz, Neal McDonough have recurrent roles. But you can also spot people like Kirk Acevedo, Marc Warren, David Schwimmer, Jason O’Mara, Jamie Bamber, Jimmy Fallon, Simon Pegg, Andrew Scott, or even a young Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy on one of their first appearances on screen. The series was produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who had worked together in Saving Private Ryan, and it was nominated for 20 Primetime Emmy Awards (it won 7, among them Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Casting) and for 3 Golden Globe Award, winning the Best Miniseries one.