The Pacific would have been much better had they just followed one character and kept it at that. Of the three, I found Sledge's story to be the most compelling. Here you have an innocent young boy who wants so badly to go to war but an ambiguous heart condition and overbearing parents keep him away from the fight for a while. When he finally enlists, as he is about to leave for boot camp, his father tells him exactly why he was so reluctant to give his blessing to join up and fight. He was afraid his youngest son would have his soul torn out and that the man who left would not be the man who returned. Tragically…this is exactly what happened to the young Sledge.
They should have kept the focus on him through boot camp, showing us how this boy transformed himself into a man. We should have stayed with his company for the duration of the miniseries and watched his relationship develop with the cajun Snafu. We should have seen more of his rapport with his company commander, Ack-Ack. Had we seen that the death of Ack-Ack on Peleliu would have been far more powerful and emotional.
We should have stayed with Sledge all throughout so as to better see his transition from innocence into cold-blooded killer. That would have made his return home all the more powerful as the very thing his father feared came to pass. Sledge was forever scarred by his experiences. Gone was the bright innocence of Eugene Sledge from episode one. In that boy's place now stood a broken and disillusioned man. A man whose soul had been ripped apart by a year and a half of war, a man who questioned religion and questioned his place in the world.
It could have been the ultimate anti-war miniseries but alas they watered it down with three stories instead of focusing in on just one.
This post was edited on 2/17 at 10:45 am