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The best shows like Masters of the Air you can watch right now

If you want to see more shows like Masters of the Air, check out our picks!

Austin Butler in Masters of the Air.
Apple Studios

There’s something about World War II that keeps bringing Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks back together for event miniseries like Masters of the Air. Nearly eight decades after the conflict came to an end, WWII remains an endless source of material for Hollywood, although there are a lot fewer stories that explore the horrific toll of the war in the way that Spielberg and Hanks’ 1998 film, Saving Private Ryan, did. Masters of the Air and other shows like it serve as a reminder that real people fought in this conflict, and they’re the ones who paid the price.

Now that Masters of the Air has finished its nine-episode run, we’re putting the spotlight on the best shows like it that you can stream right now. Not all of our choices cover World War II, but there are certain aspects of war that remain true in every armed conflict. And those stories can be just as compelling as Masters of the Air.

68 Whiskey

The cast of 68 Whiskey.
Paramount Network

68 Whiskey isn’t the second coming of M*A*S*H or even Hogan’s Heroes, but it is one of the few shows about modern war that even attempts to mine some dark comedy from the grim reality of armed conflict. Sam Keeley and Jeremy Tardy star as Cooper Roback and Mekhi Davis, a pair of army medics in Afghanistan whose lives are divided by their dangerous missions in the field and their mundane life at a NATO base.

Roback and Davis also run a number of underground schemes on the base to secure a fast score while casting a wary eye on their well-funded allies in the private military group SeeCorp. Aspects of this show are farcical at times, especially when Roback and Davis’ get-rich-quick schemes are over-the-top. But there’s always an undercurrent of danger as their lives and those of the soldiers around them could end during any given mission.

World on Fire

The cast of World on Fire.

World on Fire is one of the more recent World War II dramas on this list, and it had a two-season run before being cancelled last month. This series stood out from shows like Masters of the Air by expanding its focus to include ordinary people outside of the military whose lives were upended when Europe descended into war.

Because World on Fire ended prematurely, it only covered two years of WWII. But it did touch on some of the major events of that time, including the evacuation of the Allied soldiers from Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, and the rise of resistance in occupied France. This show would have been better served if it had completed its journey through the war, but the stories it tells are still worth watching.

Band of Brothers

The cast of Band of Brothers.

This list would have been incomplete without Hanks and Spielberg’s Band of Brothers, the epic World War II miniseries that helped redefine prestige TV for the 21st century. It’s based upon the true stories of the men who served in Easy Company, a Parachute Infantry Regiment who fought in some of Europe’s deadliest battles during the war, including a mission behind enemy lines during D-Day.

Almost all of the major characters were real soldiers who served in the war, as played by a stellar cast that includes Damian Lewis, Neal McDonough, Michael Cudlitz, Donnie Wahlberg, and more. When those men are injured or killed in action, it’s unsettling because the show has already given viewers a glimpse of who they were and why their loss is often deeply felt.

The cast of The Pacific.

The Pacific

Nearly a decade after collaborating on Band of Brothers, Hanks and Spielberg teamed up again to produce The Pacific. Unlike their previous WWII drama, The Pacific shifted the focus from the war in Europe to the conflict in the east with Japan that played out across the Pacific Theater.

There’s a large cast of characters who are serving in the Marines for this conflict, including John Basilone (Jon Seda), Eugene Sledge (Joseph Mazzello), and Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale). As before, Hanks and Spielberg focused on true stories about real people, not all lucky enough to live through the war.

The cast of Das Boot.
Sky Studios

Das Boot

Das Boot is the only World War II series on our list that takes place from the German point of view. However, the show takes great pains to point out that not all of the main characters are Nazis. The series is a sequel to Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 movie of the same name, as Captain Klaus Hoffmann (Rick Okon) and the crew of U-boat U-612 embark on a mission to America.

Tensions run hot on this crew, as Hoffmann’s decisions may lead to a mutiny against him. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, only the first season of Das Boot is available to stream in the U.S. But the show is ongoing, and there have been four seasons.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell is a freelance writer for The Manual, Digital Trends, Fandom, Yahoo Entertainment, and more!
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