My Cultural Diet

429 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
Masters of the Air

Apple’s Masters of the Air is an ambitious and stirring series about the 100th Bomb Group and the dangerous missions they flew over Germany. Depicting the brutality of World War II in graphic detail, Masters of the Air doesn’t shy away from the costs paid by those men, which only highlights their bravery. In hindsight, though, it might’ve been too ambitious, trying to cram too much story into just nine episodes. Certain elements — e.g., war’s psychological toll, the Tuskegee Airmen, the dangers faced by pilots shot down behind enemy lines and those helping them, the horrors of the Holocaust — get unfortunately shortchanged and end up feeling tangential. Also, the series’ relatively large cast and steady turnover of “main” characters occasionally makes it difficult to know who to follow, or whose story is actually being told. On the one hand, that makes historical sense; the daytime bombing raids were a meat grinder and the series never diminishes the constant loss of life. On the other hand, that storytelling decision sometimes causes the series to meander — which again, makes me wish there’d been a few more episodes to give it more room to breathe. Even so, Masters of the Air remains worth watching, thanks to solid performances from Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Barry Keoghan, and Nate Mann; impressive visuals and production values; and Blake Neely’s score.


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