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'Band of Brothers' Follow-Up 'Masters of the Air' Reviews Are Out: Does It Honor the Legendary HBO Series?

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Few shows have enjoyed more critical success from all corners of the ideological spectrum than the seminal HBO 2001 war drama/miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

The series, which was the brainchild of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks when the two worked on 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan,” was largely based on the 1992 non-fiction book of the same name.

The show chronicled the dramatized exploits of the real-world E (“Easy”) Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

The ten episodes of “Band of Brothers” begin with “Easy” Company’s training and follows the group’s adventures through the end of World War II.

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The miniseries has a sterling 9.4 (out of 10) rating on IMDb and an even more impressive 97 percent (96 percent audience score) on Rotten Tomatoes.

But even beyond the critical scores, the series — over two decades after it last aired a new episode — is still randomly brought up in discourse today because of how beloved it is:

Given all that, it’s little surprise that “Band of Brothers” swiftly spawned a companion series in 2010, titled “The Pacific.”

Did you watch "Band of Brothers"?

That miniseries, also an HBO production, focused on a trio of United States Marines within the wider context of the Pacific War, a theater of World War II that was fought in eastern Asia and in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

That series, while not nearly as beloved as the series that spawned it, still garnered rave reviews. It has an 8.3 rating on IMDb and a 91 percent (89 percent audience score) on Rotten Tomatoes.

And now, just barely a full month into 2024, a second companion series — albeit not on HBO — for “Band of Brothers” appears ready to take flight.

“Masters of the Air” debuts on Friday on Apple TV+, and will similarly follow the dramatized tale of the 100th Bomb Group, a B-17 Flying Fortress unit in the Eight Air Force during World War II.

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The Apple TV+ series will drop the first two episodes on Friday, with new episodes dropping weekly until March 15, 2024, and thus far the reviews have been… solid.

Perhaps continuing the trend of diminishing returns after “Band of Brothers” attained such critical success, “Masters of the Air” has come out to positive — albeit not quite glowing — reviews for the first two episodes.

IGN gave the show’s premiere episodes an eight out of 10 score (a “Great” rating), calling it the show “ambitious, respectful, and assembled with meticulous care.”

The Guardian gave the show five stars out of five, and said that the “thrilling series” was well “worth the wait.”

(The show infamously hit some early filming snags in England in 2021 due to COVID-19 lockdowns.)

The Hollywood Reporter was a tad bit more reserved in praising the show, calling the “Band of Brothers” follow-up a show that “frequently soars, occasionally stalls.”

The BBC similarly called the series “gripping” but “creaky.”

You’ll be able to judge for yourself when the show drops on Jan. 26.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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