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PBS: The War
Old 09-24-2007, 08:40 PM   #1
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PBS: The War

Anyone watching Ken Burns' "The War" on PBS?
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:54 PM   #2
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Wouldn't miss it. I thought it started out slowly last night, but it picked up toward the end. Looking forward to the whole series.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:55 PM   #3
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I've watched parts of it so far, but I'm really looking forward to the segments on D-Day and some of the battles in Western Europe. My father is 85 years old now and he experienced all of that in real time and he's asked me to watch the shows with him. I'm hoping that he will be willing to talk about some of his experiences after we watch it together. He's been reluctant to do much of that up to now.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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Like Caroline, I thought the first segment was slow. Actually I though it was dull and mundane. But the second segment tonight was better.

I found Burns' series on the Civil War fascinating. That plus all the hype about The War had built some high expectations regarding the series. So far I'd have to say I'm disappointed. Maybe it will get better.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:37 PM   #5
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PBS sure has pounded the advertising for this one into our heads. If Ken Burns was going to ER I suspect he'd be able to do it after this one.

We're videotaping and we're going to be a few days behind, so don't spoil the ending for us...
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:58 PM   #6
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We're videotaping and we're going to be a few days behind, so don't spoil the ending for us...
Sorry Nords.....but I just gotta spoil it for ya.....

The Germans and Japanese win this time. They're planning a rematch for next year - WWII - 2.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:01 AM   #7
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Like Caroline, I thought the first segment was slow. Actually I though it was dull and mundane. But the second segment tonight was better.

I found Burns' series on the Civil War fascinating. That plus all the hype about The War had built some high expectations regarding the series. So far I'd have to say I'm disappointed. Maybe it will get better.
Same feelings here. Lots and lots of hype. But so far it's only delivered film clips, so-so narration and some reasonably interesting interviews.
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:25 AM   #8
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Sorry Nords.....but I just gotta spoil it for ya.....

The Germans and Japanese win this time. They're planning a rematch for next year - WWII - 2.
Do you know of any alternative history novels where one or both win? I know Philip K. Dick wrote one - I didn't like it.

There is a book (Guns of the South - I think) where the South wins the Civil War - OK
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:50 AM   #9
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I thought maybe it was just me. I found it a little slow also. I hope the D-Day episode is good. I don't know if I'll sit throught it tonight. I was falling asleep last night watching it.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:49 PM   #10
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A little slow??

I really like the interviews. What the folks were doing, how the families felt as thier boys went off to the war. Really brings it home for me. We are watching with our 11 y/o. To give him a taste of what it was like. He is a pretty big history buff. Likes the History channel.

I had not known that there was major cheating on the ration stamps. Show said 25% of transactions. Course my mom never said nutin bout that. They had a farm. So I'm sure there was some barter going on.

The internment camps for the Japanese Americans was an eye opener too. 8 days to get your chit and go. That's bad.

We are taping on VHS. LOL Does anyone still use VHS? We'll probably buy the DVD
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:01 PM   #11
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I don't hate it or anything like that but I do have some criticism. I think I've seen most of it on the History channel already. Plus the music during the narration made it hard to make out the words clearly. Otherwise, it was OK.

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Old 09-25-2007, 04:20 PM   #12
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I'm enjoying it so far, but I don't find it nearly as compelling as Burn's Civil War series. I think this is because I knew a lot less about the Civil War.

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Old 09-25-2007, 05:21 PM   #13
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think this is much weaker than his other series and I have seen them all and this is one that is the closest in time to the viewers--we had parents and grandparents who fought or lived through WWII and yet this one just seems like he is going through the motions--the prologue says they are seeing it through the eyes of 4 towns but there are other people's stories given--
I wonder how old some of these people are--I think many of these narrators seem too young to have been in the war doing what they are telling about...

I am kind of disappointed--I loved the Baseball series and of course the Civil War but I am not getting the goose bumps that I did watching them...maybe because I have seen programs on history channel and other documentaries...
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:02 PM   #14
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Tryin' . Got a real "meh" thing goin' on right now about it, though, even on second pass. And, usually I like documentaries, including Burns. Go figure. This one feels like way too much of single narrator and too much preachy lesson-eering.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:10 PM   #15
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The dog and I fell asleep in the wing chair last night watching it. (4:30 comes real early) Good thing I was recording the whole series. The thing I liked about the War of Northern Aggression Civil War series was the personal narration played against the still-life pictures. It somehow personalized the whole thing, made me feel I was living through the whole, horrible mess. Somehow, the moving picture films of The War don't have nearly the same impact.

That said, I will still watch it end-to-end. My dad was in it from Omaha Beach, The Bulge and to the end in Germany. All I ever got from him were brief stories of events that he experienced, but not nearly what must have occurred over the twelve-month experience. (Not to mention the pre-invasion period in England.) It was impossible to dig much out of him on his experiences, now he's gone. I thinks Burns is right to try to get something documented from personal interviews while there is still time.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:20 PM   #16
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:55 PM   #17
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The internment camps for the Japanese Americans was an eye opener too. 8 days to get your chit and go. That's bad.
A few years ago I was sitting in our kid's elementary-school cafeteria with the rest of the families for some evening event. As we were waiting, I could overhear a grandfather explaining to his grandson how he'd been interned as a child of the age that the grandson was then. Yikes.

Just about every resident on the island can tell you of a parent, a relative, or a neighbor who went through that.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:43 AM   #18
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The internment camps for the Japanese Americans was an eye opener too. 8 days to get your chit and go. That's bad.
It got worse for some. Sadeo Munemori won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Italy, as described below:

"... in one of the war's most magnificent assaults upon an enemy stronghold, the 100/442 scaled the mountain heights of the Gothic Line in the early morning hours of April 5...

The following is Pfc. Shishido's eyewitness account of the ongoing fight: "We advanced nearer the objective until another machine gun opened up right there. Pvt. Oda and I scrambled into a shell crater and Pfc. Munemori crawled back and joined us. The Germans began hurling grenades again. Ten or 12 landed near our crater but we were unhurt by the explosions."

Munemori crawled out of the hole, then made a one-man frontal attack on two machine gun nests, knocking off both with hand grenades. But as he crawled back into the crater, a grenade bounced off his helmet and rolled into the hole. Pfc. Munemori threw his body over the grenade and smothered it by bending his head over his chest and hunching his shoulders so that the blast would not leak out. He was killed instantly. The other two suffered concussions and partial deafness but were unhurt otherwise."


His family learned about his death while interned at Manzanar, CA.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:16 PM   #19
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Tonight's segment was the best yet, by far: D-Day, Saipan, Battle of the Philippine Sea, the liberation of Paris. The personal accounts of staggering losses on both sides were compelling and definitely commanded my attention. Too bad it's taken three days to get to this level, but I'm glad I can give a big thumbs up to at least one segment of the series. Yeah, this was a good one...
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:35 AM   #20
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DW's uncle is 92 and a Texas Aggie. I knew that both he and my FIL served in WWII. I ask my wife what her Uncle did. She said, 'you know, he never talked about it.... I think a Washington job like my dad.' So, next time I saw Uncle Dick, I ask him. He said...'Oh, not much we didn't land on Normandy until five or six hours after the initial push'. Still did not elaborate on it, however, needless to say he was not in Washington.
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