The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Yawningly ordinary “Masters of the Air” shocks viewers with mediocre star talent, Major Glen Cleven’s dump truck

4 min read
Two pilots in leather jackets in what appears to be a military aircraft from WWII.

While the cast’s performance and appearance weren’t up to par, the filming of the aerial dogfighting scenes, as well as the accuracy of aircraft was beautifully handled. @appletv | Instagram


Associate Editor

Apple TV’s latest historical series, “Masters of the Air,” follows the story of the 100th Bomb Group during World War II. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who also produced “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” the series takes to the skies and focuses on the brave missions carried out by the men of the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Force. 

In addition to its impressive historical portrayals, the series has a star-studded cast. Featuring Callum Turner of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Anthony Boyle from “Tetris” and Austin Butler from “Elvis”—with his “Elvis” accent somehow still apparent—the ensemble exudes a certain type of attraction. 

Don’t get me wrong, the historical portrayals are impressive, but it’s hard to focus on the dogfighting scenes when the men piloting the plane are distractingly plain and possess remarkably unremarkable eyes. This is also the case when they have their face masks and silly little helmets on, trying not to get shot down by the enemy. 

And it isn’t only the dogfight scenes; their aimless meandering around the airfield with a manner of walking—one so ordinary it could be replicated by any average Joe—is so mundane and unengaging that you will find yourself having to fast-forward the show due to these boring and unneeded scenes. Why pay for a “star-studded” cast when you can walk outside and pull just about anyone in to accomplish what has been done?

Viewers also took note of this.

“All I could think about when I saw Lieutenant Biddick come on screen was that he looks like a middle-aged Dewey from ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’” said senior international affairs major Nathan Faneuf. “Sawyer Spielberg looks like a skinny Shane Gillis.” 

Personally, my least favorite character in “Masters of the Air” is Harry Crosby, a navigator for the 100th. He’s able to woo the ladies in the show but has quite the questionable appearance, and his overbearing and flagrant attitude is detracting on all accounts—not to mention his unreliability on missions, especially when he throws up in the air, interrupting the crew’s sense of order.

Not to expose myself too much, but I have to admit that, although I didn’t want to, I got engulfed in the “Masters of the Air” craze on TikTok. I have a TikTok account where I use Adobe After Effects to edit shows or movies I enjoy, but I only edited “Masters of the Air” to increase my like count. After all, who would want to edit men who are mediocre at best? 

With these warily made edits came people who would unjustly thirst over the cast members as if they were hand-carved by God—a borderline repulsive dynamic if you ask me. A user on one of my edits commented “im dying why are they so hot,” and on another, “ugh I need him so bad.” Then the most baffling comment of the bunch: “john egan you rock my world.”

I began to question my own perception of the cast after these alarming comments contradicted my own, but I was quickly reassured by other viewers who thought the cast was yawningly ordinary. 

“I was trying to pay attention; the filming and content was beautiful, but I had to look away from the screen anytime any of the actors came on. They hurt my eyes,” said sophomore international affairs major Jillian Vargas.

However, other viewers thought differently and found the actors immensely attractive, even though they were clearly in a state of delusion. 

“In my professional opinion, Major Gale Cleven had an absolute dump truck, but it is nothing in comparison to Croz’s [Harry Crosby’s] stunning mirror scene… that scene made me feel some way,” said sophomore historic preservation major Adam Shinberg.

Aside from the less-than-spectacular cast, audiences were in awe of the impressive historical accuracy and production quality of the show. The attention to detail in the set designs and costumes convincingly recreated the era, which helped viewers feel immersed in the World War II setting. Especially impressive were the B-17 bombers and combat portrayed in the show, which felt very real.

“Although I’m not a ‘master of the air’ and not a part of the 100th bomb group during World War II, I did very much appreciate the accuracy of the planes themselves and the specific missions the 100th flew. Especially when it came to the Tuskegee Airmen and the Red Tails,” said Shinberg. “The show did a fantastic job of portraying those heroic men, but the true authentic accuracy of the show was Major Gale Cleven’s absolute DUMP TRUCK.” 

This story is a part of our April Fool’s edition and is intended to be satirical in nature. All information or quotations are made up and not to be taken seriously. Emma thinks the cast is smokin’ hot, especially Anthony Boyle.