In the highly anticipated series “Masters of the Air,” the Spielberg-Hanks partnership takes on the untold story of the Eighth Air Force in World War II. While the show promises to continue the success of its predecessors like “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” early reviews suggest it falls short of the high bar set by its forerunners.
The new series largely follows the established blueprint of its predecessors, recounting war stories and battles. However, critics argue that it lacks the psychological depth that made “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” stand out. Notably absent is the introspection and exploration of human complexity that characterized episodes like “Crossroads” and the entire narrative of “The Pacific.”
One particular episode directed by Dee Rees, featuring the Tuskegee Airmen, stands out for introducing a layer of complexity by questioning how Black soldiers could fight for a country that denied them rights. This exploration of identity and allegiance is seen as a welcome addition, yet some critics wish the entire series could focus on such thought-provoking perspectives.
Despite the criticism, “Masters of the Air” is not outright labeled as bad. It is deemed an average war drama with thrilling sequences, offering some insight into historical events with solid period detail and costuming. However, the absence of the psychological depth that characterized its predecessors leaves the series falling short of the lofty expectations set by Spielberg and Hanks.
“Masters of the Air” is set to premiere on Apple TV+ on January 26th.