(E08) If it seems like forever since 'The Pacific' spent any time with John Basilone, that's because it has been. As Basilone himself said, it's been more than a year since he saw action. Since he couldn't just go back into the heart of the war, he asked for the next best thing: the opportunity to train the next batch of marines who'd be heading out to back up his friends still on the line.
Other than a brief interlude with Sledge, who's back at base camp with a Snafu slipping toward hypochondria, we spent the entire hour with Sgt. Basilone. In doing so, the writers and producers managed to find yet another facet of the war to show us. The emotional struggles of a soldier away from the war, and the conflicting ties that pull him in both directions at once.
The story is described by the people involved as a thriller love story set against the backdrop of a historical disaster. In other words, it's a thematic duplicate of the movie 'Titanic.' The miniseries will be based on the book 'Pompeii' by Robert Harris, which was originally intended to be developed into a film directed by Roman Polanski (who suddenly became unavailable due to his arrest).
When a major historical event has been covered in an episode of 'Doctor Who,' you know it's been overdone. Hopefully Ridley Scott and company can put a unique spin on the tale. Has anybody read the book? Do you think it could be made into a good miniseries?
The more relaxed pace of the episode allowed us to get to know some of our principal cast members more intimately. Particularly Robert Leckie and John Basilone, who had very different experiences in Melbourne. Basilone was the decorated war hero, given the highest honor he could possibly achieve, while Leckie found something even sweeter: a woman.
(E01) Just as Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks collaborated with HBO in 2001 to bring us the European World War II epic 'Band of Brothers,' they've joined forces again to take us to the other side of the war with 'The Pacific.' Another ten-part series, like 'Brothers,' 'Pacific' is based on true military figures and events depicted with some dramatic license, but with attempts to be as accurate as possible.
One of the first things the production team did was establish just how different the Pacific front was from the European one. The image that dominates most dramatic presentations about the fight against the Nazi forces of Germany is the military arrival on the beaches of Normandy; a veritable trip into hell.
In contrast, the 1st Marine Regiment's arrival on the beaches of Guadalcanal is a temporary reprieve from the hell of the naval warfare going on just offshore. Everything about this first episode established the atmosphere, tension, anxiety, beauty and horrors of fighting in a tropical paradise.
It's being put together by Germany's RTL, Austria's ORF and Robert Halmi's RHI. That means it's an RTLORFRHI production, which makes me ROFLMAO. Unfortunately, viewers in the USA are SOL as it currently has no network deal here.
That could change with this big casting news. The $25 million Moby-Dick mini-series has brought William Hurt and Ethan Hawke aboard. They'll be playing the obsessed Captain Ahab and defiant first mate Starbuck, respectively. It looks like there'll be a lot of CGI and effects representing the whale, which is a shame because we could have had a lot of politically incorrect fun casting that role. Maybe SYTYCD's Mary Murphy could be the voice of the whale, which would explain Ahab's obsession to shut it up permanently.
The stars of AMC's mini-series remake of The Prisoner are headed to San Diego's mega-convention. The new Number Six, Jim Caviezel, will join Jamie Campbell-Bower (The Twilight Saga: New Moon) and Lennie James (Jericho) for a panel and preview of the six-part series.
The Prisoner tells the story of a retired spy who finds himself abducted and spirited away to a mysterious Village where nameless authority figures struggle to break his mind and spirit while he battles to escape. The show is known for its moral and existential themes as much as its sharp writing and distinctive art design.
(Part 7 of 7) "Dude, check it out. I wrote U.S.A. with my piss." - Person
All that for nothing. Not much was gained and so much was lost. Over the span of Generation Kill we've all marveled at the ineptitude and idiocy of the people running the show over in First Recon, but not until this episode did it become clear that it wouldn't have made a difference who was in charge - dumb or stupid. This was a losing battle before it even began. Operation Iraqi Freedom? US military PR at it's finest.
(Part 6 of 7) "You know, Iraqis don't really seem good at fighting, but they never really completely surrender either." - Person
And therein lies the difference between the Iraqi Republican Guard forces and the Fist Recon Marines: heart. Guess which side is lacking it?
The point is furthered even more when most of First Recon finds solace and happiness as they realize that their mission is over. M.R.E. milkshakes, Colbert's stash of Chef Boyardee, and an unopened issue of Juggs are the things that make people smile now.
So while everyone is celebrating the end, leave it to Brad to run around with his shirt off, giddy that Godfather is giving First Recon one more mission - one more chance to maybe, just maybe, do something remotely close to what they were trained for.
(Part 5 of 7) "You think givin' them some rice and a chocolate bar is gonna fix things?" - Espera
This was by far the best installment Of Generation Kill we've seen yet. Burns and Simon stayed 100% true to Wright's account. I remember reading about the battle on the bridge at Muwafaqiyah and wondering what all that insanity must have looked like. To be so scared that, as Trombley put it, the adrenaline rush is so intense that it messes up your blood flow and some Marines achieve happenstance erections.
It wasn't just the bridge battle that made this one such a memorable episode though. Along with the continuing escalation of stupidity by all those with higher rank, there were some great scenes where we saw Colbert, Fick, Hasser, and even Encino Man evolve. Clichéd as it may sound, war changes people and we're bearing witness to some pretty screwed up transformations.
(Part 4 of 7) "Well sir, it's just that you're incompetent, sir." - Doc Bryan
I've asked before, and I'll ask again: why aren't more of the good guys dying? When CIA-trained Iraqi friendlies get waxed by Saddam's Republican Guard because they don't have a clue? When leadership like Encino Man are floored to hear that they're stupid? When men like Captain America don't understand how using enemy weapons could cause harm? Why aren't more of the good guys dying?
It's because of the bottom on the totem pole players. The Colberts. The Persons. The Ficks. The Esperas. It's because of them that we're getting to see their story as a humorous account on HBO and not as some sappy, tears in your eyes Ken Burns PBS documentary.
(Part 3 of 7) "Yeah... these guys waving at us are probably the same ones who tried to kill us yesterday." - Cpl. Josh Ray Person
On the road again. More banter. More offensive jokes. And lots more stupidity. Honestly, the fact that no one has uttered the word "mutiny" is mind-boggling. To the contrary, everyone has fallen in line. I'm not sure if you caught it, but Sixta's constant harping about the grooming standard finally worked. All moustaches were gone.
I'm serious about the mutiny thing though... honestly, this is like having Michael Scott (from The Office) as your commanding officer, only with extra idiocy and far less humor.
(Part 1 of 7) "Marines! Kill on three! One! Two! Threeeeee....!" - Sgt. Maj. John Sixta
HBO doesn't have much going on right now. They're lacking hits. There are some new favorites out there that have wowed critics, but lack viewers, like In Treatment, Flight of the Conchords, and Tell Me You Love Me. The ruling days of Tony Soprano, Nate Fisher, Carrie Bradshaw, and Al Swearengen are done. Once the fall season starts off, the veteran Entourage will make a welcome return and HBO is also putting a lot of faith in Alan Ball's new drama, True Blood - a vampire saga that is, if you ask me, almost doomed to fail. HBO doesn't exactly have a stellar track record with specialized dramas that demand niche audiences. Regardless, it hasn't slowed them down. HBO Films' last effort John Adams was well received and now comes Generation Kill, based on the book of the same name by Rolling Stone's Evan Wright. I've read it, twice, and it's a damn shame this is only a mini-series because it's the best thing on TV this summer.
That President, Nina Tassler, posted an update to all of the fans on the Jericho Wiki over the weekend. You can read the full statement at the CBS site. In a nutshell, she says it was a hard decision, thanks the fans for their support, and teases that in the coming weeks they hope to develop a way to provide closure to the Jericho story.
That's the sticky wicket right there. "Develop" seems to imply the possibility of a tv movie, or maybe even a mini-series, to wrap things up. But we have been down this road before, where the closure came in the form of notes from the producers regarding what was planned. I think a movie or mini-series could work really well. There is already a built in audience, and it couldn't do any worse than whatever touchy-feely Hallmark movie event starring Valerie Bertinelli is already on the drawing board. Obviously, bringing the series back is the main goal for the fans, but what would you settle for?
[ thanks Jonathon ]
Quick! Everyone stock up on duct-tape, plastic wrap, and whatever else we were told to buy! OK, I jest... you don't really need to buy all that stuff. But Showtime's outstanding mini-series Sleeper Cell is back, so you should at least make sure you own a comfortable couch or recliner because we've all got eight great nights of TV ahead of us. As I reported back in June, Showtime picked up the show for a second series but no dates were set at the time. Now we have them. Series two will have eight episodes (the first series had ten) and the premiere will be on Sunday, December 10 at 9PM on Showtime. But don't forget that Showtime bills this show as a mini-series. So the remaining seven episodes will air one at a time on the next seven nights in that same 9PM time-slot. For the die-hard fans like myself, the entire series will be available On-Demand after the premiere airs. Michael Ealy, Oded Fehr, Henri Lubatti, and Melissa Sagemiller are all back to reprise their roles. In the meantime, you can check out a special preview here. So get excited... I am. And I'm serious about that couch thing.
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