General News

Sounds Off!: Is "Band of Brothers" P.C.?

By:
Sep 21, 2001 | 12:15pm EDT

TV shows have been postponed. Potentially offensive films have been delayed indefinitely. Sports coverage has been non-existent.

The effect of the terrorist attacks on the entertainment industry has been total. And delays aside, the sensitivity factor has kept such blockbusters as Independence Day from airing on the tube as a Movie of the Week. It's P.C. all the way for now.

Or is it?

Surprisingly, one war-related production has gone ahead virtually without a hitch: HBO's WWII miniseries Band of Brothers. Why? How did such depictions of American loss make it through all the laser-sharp scrutiny?

Simply, because it had to.

While revisions to CBS' The Agency and alterations to the film Spider-Man make some sense, it would be a disappointment to delay Band of Brothers. Yes, it depicts the horrors of war. True, bombings are common. But nothing will fire up some patriotism like this 10-episode miniseries about a group of American soldiers charging through a foreign land in hopes of conquering a madman.... Sound familiar?

There was a bit of a scare that Band of Brothers would meet the same fate as such delayed projects as the aforementioned Agency or Schwarzenegger's terrorist flick Collateral Damage. After the tragedy, HBO pulled advertising for the miniseries, forcing many to fear the worst. But HBO persevered.

Sure, on the exterior, it's not P.C. for this moment in time. But once viewed as a whole, it will all come together.

Case in point: in August, HBO sent the entire miniseries to just two online media outlets: AOL and Hollywood.com. I was fortunate enough to have viewed all 10 episodes (a few times), and without question, by the time you make it to the final credits of the last installment, it's like "God Bless America" squared.

Perhaps Friday's massive celebrity charity event, shown on every network but the Spice Channel, provided some small-screen healing. Perhaps the songs you heard and the speeches uttered helped out a bit. But on Sundays, remember that a solitary production was left alone, unharmed, in the rush to eradicate offensive material, and ask yourself why the decision was made.

Is it that good? That important? Some much-needed psychological buoyancy? Decide for yourself.

Band of Brothers airs on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST and reruns throughout the week.

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