Kish and I have enjoyed The Pacific, the new drama series on HBO. It is extremely well done, and I particularly like the idea of using interviews with actual World War II veterans about the battle that will be portrayed to provide the introduction and framework for each episode. With The Pacific, as with any realistic “war movie,” I am shocked and amazed by the violence, the bloodshed, the hours of boredom alternating with the long adrenalin-drenched minutes of freakish horror, and ultimately the simple heroism of the American boys — and boys they were — who were shipped to unknown overseas lands to fight and die in the most brutal conditions imaginable.
The Pacific theatre of World War II is interesting on many levels, not the least of which is the clash of two cultures that really didn’t understand each other. One of the only drawbacks to The Pacific I have noted (and we’ve only watched the first two episodes so far) is that there is no representation of the Japanese point of view. That is too bad, because the Japanese perspective on the war truly is fascinating. If you want to get a good sense of how and why the Japanese fought, and what their culture was like leading up to and including the war years, read The Rising Sun by John Toland, which is one of my favorite books.