Bizarre things are happening in the streaming-verse when the best show to watch on Max this month is a series on loan from AMC. And it gets even stranger because the single best show to watch on Netflix in September is an HBO original miniseries called Band of Brothers. On September 15, as part of a deal with HBO’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, all 10 episodes of Band of Brothers will arrive on Netflix just in time for a new generation of viewers to discover it. And while Band of Brothers has been readily available to stream on Max, Netflix has a tendency to expand the reach of classic shows and movies simply because it has the most subscribers worldwide. In other words, get ready for a Band of Brothers resurgence 22 years after its premiere.
The miniseries was inspired by Stephen E. Ambrose’s nonfiction novel of the same name, which was based on the exploits of Easy Company, a Parachute Infantry Regiment that was part of the U.S. Army during many of the major moments in World War II. This series was developed and created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg as they were coming off of Saving Private Ryan, which was one of the all-time great WWII movies. HBO and BBC put their full weight behind Band of Brothers, which was the most expensive TV series of its era. The result was an unforgettable masterpiece that feels like a 10-hour movie.
Band of Brothers is going to be the event of the month for TV fans on Netflix. And now we’re sharing three reasons why you should watch Band of Brothers when it arrives on September 15.
One of the reasons why Saving Private Ryan was so acclaimed is that it didn’t sugarcoat the gruesome realities of war. Band of Brothers amplified that to the next level with a large cast of characters in and around Easy Company. The show does take some dramatic liberties with real events, but it conveys a harsh truth: People die in war. That includes the people you hate and even the ones you like.
Unlike a typical Hollywood war movie, Band of Brothers doesn’t have anyone who was so famous that their character couldn’t be killed off in battle. That worked to the miniseries’ advantage as the audience was invited to see the intimate moments of Easy Company and feel empathy for the men before some of them suffer grievous injuries or even die in the ongoing conflict. War is hell, after all, and you’ve got a front row seat on this show.
Most of Band of Brothers‘ cast members were not widely known when the show premiered, although Friends star David Schwimmer has a brief, but memorable role as Captain Herbert Sobel, a commanding officer whom Easy Company comes to despise. Future Homeland and Billions star Damian Lewis had a large role in this miniseries as Major Richard “Dick” Winters, and so did Office Space‘s Ron Livingston as Captain Lewis Nixon. Other actors in the main cast who went on to greater stardom include Michael Cudlitz, Kirk Acevedo, Neal McDonough, Donnie Wahlberg, Colin Hanks, and Ross McCall.
Even minor characters are played by performers who turned out to be future movie stars, including Michael Fassbender, Dominic Cooper, Simon Pegg, James McAvoy, and Andrew Scott. And if you watch closely, you’ll see even more familiar faces.
One of the reasons why Easy Company’s exploits were ideal for Band of Brothers is that its members were present for many of the major battles of WWII, including the invasion of Normandy, the siege of Bastogne, and even the invasion of Germany itself. The miniseries begins in 1942 with the men in training, and wraps up just as Easy Company prepares for a deployment in Japan that will never come.
Through it all, Band of Brothers never lets the viewer lose sight of the high cost of war and the lives that were lost on the way to victory. It can be harrowing to watch at times, but it remains a gripping story that deserves to be experienced again.
Watch Band of Brothers on Netflix on September 15.
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