I loved the show and purchased the DVDs as soon as they were released and have thought long and hard about what kind of rating to give this series. I finally decided that, unlike some of the other reviewers, I simply could NOT give it 5 stars for one simple reason - am I the only one who got sick of, or even noticed, the use of some of the same graphics over and over again!?!?
For the time and care they spent/used correctly identifying the different classes of ships, both USN and IJN, and then generating the different graphics representing each different class of ship/type of plane, it is almost unforgivable that they often used the wrong one when it came time to produce each individual episode!
The most glaring example that comes to mind was the repeated use of the Hornet and Enterprise sailing together during the Doolittle raid sequence. I saw it several more times in later episodes, when every self-respecting Navy and/or military history buff knows that the Enterprise was the ONLY Yorktown class carrier left after Guadalcanal. But there it was in later episodes, those supposedly depicting 1944, another Yorktown class carrier sailing right next to "The Lucky E" - big as day!
Almost as bad was, during the battle of Savo island sequence, they showed the correct profile for the Vincennes (Chicago class) but, during the action scenes, they repeatedly used the graphic for the Indianapolis class, with its huge observation tower over the forward superstructure. Another glaring example, also during the first Guadalcanal episode was when they showed the same graphic for the Fleet carrier Shokaku and the Light carrier Ryujo (which didn't even have a super structure)!
I also saw several different sequences where they called, by name, another class of IJN battleship (Nagato, Fuso, etc) but always showed the Kirishima graphic from Guadalcanal, and also confused American battleship classes as well. And there were several instances, American and Japanese where they used the incorrect type of ship (and aircraft) entirely! They would mention a battleship but the graphic would be a heavy cruiser, etc.
I would say all this was simply skimping on the budget except for the fact that all the proper graphics HAD ALREADY BEEN CREATED!! So it was simply a combination of lack of respect for the subject matter and/or the (so-called) technical advisor(s) were asleep at the wheel and did not double check their reference materials before finalizing the visuals. Heck, I'm nothing more than a naval history buff but I can tell the difference between the Akagi and Kaga on sight, to say nothing of the North Carolina and the South Dakota classes!! And even my son knows the difference between a battleship and a heavy cruiser. I would have done a better job for free!!
And how many times did we have to listen to the narrator say "The Enterprise and her sister ship Saratoga" or "The Enterprise and her sister ship Wasp"?!? Every Navy buff knows they were NOT sister ships!
While this may seem nit-picking to some (and don't get me wrong, I still LOVE the series and can't wait to see next season), after the care they took building the graphics in the first place, and hyping up "the respect and dedication of the men and women of Enterprise rent-a-car", how hard could it have been to ensure the correct graphic was being used? Once again - where were the so-called "technical advisors"? Would the extra expense really have broken the budget?
While certainly not as bad as some movies depicting WWII Naval battles (a Korean war era Essex class with angled bow and Jets at Midway with the graphic "USS Yorktown", a WWII Essex class with the graphic "IJN Akagi"?!?!? Yes the movie Midway is pretty awful if you are a history buff), it did lessen my enjoyment of the show a little.
Another thing that really got annoying after 4 or 5 episodes was the narration. After the 300th time hearing "PULLED THE TRIGGER FILLING HIS COCKPIT WITH 50cal HOT LEAD" I began to wonder just what it was this narrator thought he was reading for; a serious historical documentary or a videogame?
It was at this moment that I suddenly realized that this program might not even have been produced for Navy and/or history buffs!! While it was assumed we would probably tune in, I think this program was really created for the younger generation of first-person shooter videogame junkies!! The ones who think Pearl Harbor happened during the Civil war and D-Day was on July 4th. The kind that might play "Medal of honor" or "Pacific Theater Of Operations" or "Battleship" and get momentarily distracted by the graphics of this show while flipping through the channels on their way to the latest MTV produced sleaze-fest or wrestling program, and linger for a minute thinking it's an advertisement for a new videogame!
But I must say that these gripes did not significantly diminish my enjoyment of the show, it's still a pretty cool concept and I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the second season. It only diminished it enough to take away one star because, with more respect to the accuracy of the graphics and the narration, this would be a true 5-star product and one of the best shows ever made about the war in the Pacific during WWII.