Band of Brothers doesn’t need me to accolade it or approve of it. Band of Brothers is already widely known as not only the best military depiction for entertainment, but also one of the best (if not the best) mini-series ever made.

Band of Brothers is made by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in 2001, after they collaborated on the movie Saving Private Ryan in 1998. It follows the history of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division from their training early on, through D-Day, all the way until the end of the war.

I myself love military movies, shows, and books. I have come back to this show a couple different times and can guarantee I will many times again in the future. I love it for many, many reasons. The fact that the action sequences are gripping and awesome is just the tip of the iceberg, but they really are. Some episodes are more gruesome and focus on the battles than others, but every time they do I find myself holding my breath and staring intently at the screen. The sequences stay realistic and in reality, nothing is over the top but they certainly don’t pull punches. The war was hell and people were lost around every corner and it depicts that throughout the whole run of the show. At any moment a person that you found yourself invested in could die. Knowing that all of it is real makes it that much more emotional.

The characters (though that isn’t an entirely accurate description) are what really hold this together. You follow Easy Company from the very beginning before they have even seen the war. You get to witness a long arc of character development that shows how men are truly effected by everything that happens to them, and the strong bonds they create and what happens when those are severed. Some episodes focus on a specific character, such as the 7th episode, and my favorite, “The Breaking Point”. This episode follows First Sergeant Lipton, a man you get to see from his early days as a SGT before the D-Day drop. We follow him as he holds his company together during the battle of the bulge and we get a closer glimpse of him as he narrates the episode. Many episodes follow this formula and it never feels like cheap exposition dropping, but essential to the story. Almost as if we are reading a soldiers letters home. It would be impossible for me to write why I love every single character in this, even the ones I hate, while keeping this short. But, the fact that I could should tell you something.

I don’t want you to think I am overstating when I say that I have never seen anything in the theater or on television that has impressed me and made me feel more than this has. I could go back and watch Band of Brothers a hundred times over because everything about it is both wonderful and terrible in the best ways. It is truly a benchmark for both war depictions and storytelling itself.