“The Pacific” isn’t as vast as you might think. The 10-part miniseries, from executive producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, is a more personalized follow-up to “Band of Brothers,” which chronicled War World II in Europe through a close-knit group of American soldiers.
“The Pacific” (debuting at 6 p.m. EDT today, HBO) looks at that theater of operations through the perspective of three Marines.
The story depicts the real-life experiences of Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda).
With the shock and anger over the bombing of Pearl Harbor still fresh, the Marines were eager to get into battle.
“The Japanese are in the process of taking half the world, and they mean to keep it,” the Marines are told before being deployed.
As epic as “The Pacific” must be, the story also maintains a humanity that brings the events and the people down to Earth.
“The Pacific” is the perfect way to tell a war story -- it gets down in the trenches, rarely holds back on the terror of battle and still manages to peel away the men in uniform to show us their heart.
Other highlights for the week of March 14 to 20 (listings subject to change; check local listings):
SUNDAY: “Celebrity Apprentice” (8 p.m., NBC). Cyndi Lauper and Sharon Osbourne are among this season’s contestants working for Donald Trump’s approval and their favorite charities.
• “Sons of Tucson” (8:30 p.m., Fox). A family of boys gets a slacker for a substitute father. Their real one is in prison.
MONDAY: “Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty” (10 p.m., VH1). Simpson returns to reality TV as she and her friends examine what constitutes “beauty” around the world.
WEDNESDAY: “South Park” (10 p.m., Comedy Central). The students who need their mouths washed out with soap are back for another season of political satire.
• “Ugly Americans” (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central). In this animated comedy, the world is populated by vampires, werewolves and other creatures living very human lives in the big city.
FRIDAY: “The Best of Breaking Bad” (8 p.m., AMC). A marathon recaps hallmark episodes to usher in the new season.