Every once in a while, I head over to the library. Not so much to check out books but to peruse the DVDs. They have a pretty healthy selection of movies. Granted, the majority of movies are very old or fairly obscure (they have a lot of Werner Herzog movies,) it’s still fun to pick up movies you’d never dream of renting.

The library has a lot of TV series on hand. I find it odd that the majority of them are British. There are many US series, like The Wire24Battlestar GalacticaStargate Atlantis, and a few others. I would say this is cool, but some of them don’t start with season one! It’s hard for me to pick up 24 when the first disc in the series is Season 3, episode 4.

I usually refrain from getting into TV series mainly because they eat up time. I’ve watched various other series – like The SopranosSmallville, and Firefly – but I always end up spending a lot of time just watching them. I wouldn’t say I get addicted, but I definitely get obsessive about it. Especially when it’s done well.

I saw that they had the first two discs of the HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers. I had heard a lot of good things about this, but had never seen it. My dad is the last one to tell me about it. Apparently he has an uncle (I believe) who was in the 101st Airborne. I guess he wasn’t in Easy Company, because he’s not portrayed in the series, but it does sort of bring home the fact that so many of our men, fathers, sons, uncles, fought in World War II.

I picked up the two discs and soon began to watch them. I originally planned to watch one a day over the next week – each disc has two episodes – and turn it in when I was done. I ended up watching three of the episodes at the first go. I was riveted from the beginning.

If you saw Saving Private Ryan and liked it, then you’ll really enjoy Band of Brothers. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are the executive producers, and the style is very similar to Saving Private Ryan. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not some extended version of the movie, but rather a series shot in an almost recreation documentary style. Not all the info is exact or completely true, but it’s still done nicely. After the intro, we get to see interviews from some of the original Easy Company men – and the interviews usually deal directly with what happens in the episode. The “Bastogne” episode opening was very hard to watch. To see these grandpa-types talk about what it was like to be surrounded by death and to know that you could be critically wounded or killed at any moment was very sad. One of the old men had me almost in tears. I had to look away and think about happy things.

I blew through these four episodes quickly and went to the library to see about the next discs. I was in luck! Discs three and four were there, and in one box. I guess I didn’t understand why they did it like that – seems like they’d put discs one and two together, three and four together, etc… Needless to say, the next four episodes have been watched and I will be searching for the last two episodes soon.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to see this miniseries, please do. There are a few recognizable actors in it, like Donnie Wahlberg, Ron Livingston (from Office Space fame), and Neal McDonough (Desperate Housewives). There are a couple of surprises too – David Schwimmer and Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks’ son) both caught me off guard. Pleasant surprises, actually. It wasn’t hard to lose the “Ross” image, because the two characters are pretty much polar opposites.

I can’t wait to find the last two episodes of this series. One, because I always want more of this, and two, because they reveal the identities of the original Easy Company men in the last episode. I want to know who was who!

I’m very glad that my library had this series on hand. I probably wouldn’t have rented it, and most likely wouldn’t have bought it on DVD. If you haven’t seen this, do yourself a big favor and go grab it – from the library, from the rental store, or just buy it!