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‘Masters of the Air’ takes a nosedive into a story we’ve heard before

Senior Staff Writer Abbey Elizondo was underwhelmed by “Masters of the Air.”
Senior Staff Writer Abbey Elizondo was underwhelmed by “Masters of the Air.”

For any fans of World War II stories of war and triumph, a detailed backstory and characters to root for, I would not recommend the “Masters of the Air” series on Apple TV. 

I wish I could say more about this series, but it’s blended into the many other novels and movies I’ve consumed about the WWII period. 

Once I found out that this series is supposed to be connected to two other series — “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific:” —  it made me like the show even less. There’s no way a show with little introduction to the main characters can compete with TV shows developed by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. 

I came into the show with high hopes, especially since Austin Butler plays one of the main airmen, nicknamed “Buck.” Those hopes were quickly dashed after an hour of exposition and scenery in the first episode. I remember thinking: “That was it?”

There are so many WWII narratives out there that directors need a unique angle to tell particular stories. A great example of this is the adaptation of the book “All the Light we Cannot See” two main characters we can root for, questions of morality during war, amazing soundtrack and beautiful scenery. 

The reason that series works so much better than “Masters of the Air” is because it slowly builds the plot while keeping the imminent threat of war in the background. I wish I was joking when I say that I checked out after the first ten minutes of the show because there was nothing for me to grasp onto amidst the chaos of the pilot station in Great Britain . 

When it comes to historical moments, stories that are personal and hidden from the rest of the world are better portrayed through documentaries. 

The directors of “Masters of the Air” said they didn’t have the luxury of including personal interview clips from veterans like those in “Band of Brothers.” Many of the airmen from the group referred to in the show have since passed away. 

I remember my grandfather telling me stories of when he was stationed in Morocco during the 1960s. It didn’t matter what story he told — what mattered was  the way he told it, with nostalgia and melancholy. 

I’m aware that the men in “Masters of the Air”  have yet to experience those feelings. Even if they told the stories in this show to their family, I don’t think there would be much emotion behind them.

Skip this show, unless you want to watch it for a specific actor. Watch a documentary with interview clips from veterans or arguably one of the most impactful music compositions about WWII, “Different Trains.”

Rating: 2/10

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