9 best shows like 'Masters of the Air' on Netflix, Max, Paramount Plus and more

Callum Turner and Austin Butler in Masters of the Air
(Image credit: Apple Studios)

"Masters of the Air" has definitely been one of the biggest shows of the year. Has it been one of the best? That's up for debate. I loved the first two episodes but since then things have been rocky and I'm worried the show will ultimately crash and burn. Having seen the last episode on Apple TV Plus for myself ... well, I'll let you watch and decide for yourself..

But whether you loved the follow-up to "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" or, like me, found it leaving something to be desired, now that "Masters of the Air" is over you need a show to watch next. Lucky for you, there are more than a few good war TV shows to watch once you've finished Apple TV Plus's nine-part miniseries.

So without further ado, here are the nine best shows like 'Masters of the Air' to watch on the best streaming services, including Netflix, Max, Paramount Plus and more.

'Band of Brothers'

Whether you like "Masters of the Air" or feel it hasn't quite lived up to its potential, there's no denying it just can't match the original thing. "Band of Brothers," is an iconic HBO miniseries that tells the tale of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne. It was so successful that it would go on to spawn two follow-up miniseries: "The Pacific" on HBO (more on that later) and "Masters of the Air."

This 10-part limited series focuses primarily on Major Dick Winters (Damian Lewis) and Captain Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston). It follows them and the men of Easy Company as they go through the D-Day landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Siege of Bastogne, the invasion of Germany, the liberation of the Kaufering concentration camp, the taking of the Eagle's Nest (Hitler's alpine refuge) and the allied occupation of Germany. It's incredible television and a must-watch for anyone.

Seasons: 1
Episodes: 10
Stream now on Netflix or Max

'The Pacific'

Once you've wrapped up "Band of Brothers" you need to watch "The Pacific." The 2010 follow-up turns its attention from the U.S. Army in Europe to the U.S. Marines and the Pacific Theater of World War II. 

Like its predecessor, the show features a large ensemble cast that includes Rami Malek as Cpl. Merriell "Snafu" Shelton in a star-making performance and Jon Bernthal as Sgt. Manuel "Manny" Rodriguez. But unlike its predecessor — and more like "Masters of the Air" — it focuses on a few different stories rather than honing in on a main character. While it doesn't quite measure up to the original, this copy is still well worth watching.

Seasons: 1
Episodes: 10

Stream now on Netflix or Max

'M*A*S*H*'

When people talk about the greatest TV shows of all time, this show is certainly in the conversation. Starring Alan Alda as Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce and Loreta Swit as Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan, this sitcom told the tales of key personnel in a 4077th United States Army Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in the Korean War. 

While a comedy, the show doesn't shy away from the darkness of war. In fact, it doesn't shy away from much. With 256 episodes, each episode covers just a few days of real time and many of the stories in the early seasons are based on interviews with real MASH surgeons. The series finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" is the most-watched TV broadcast in U.S. history that wasn't either a Super Bowl or Moon landing, so start watching now and in a few years you'll finally get to see it for yourself.

Seasons: 11
Episodes: 256
Stream now on Hulu 

'Hogan's Heroes'

Again, spoilers for "Masters of the Air," but much of the latter half of the show takes place at Stalag Luft III, a Nazi German prisoner-of-war camp run by the Nazi Luftwaffe and containing Allied airmen as its prisoners. 

In the Apple TV Plus miniseries, this is unequivocally a dark chapter of the story. But in "Hogan's Heroes," set in the fictionalized Stalag 13, things are more lighthearted. The sitcom stars Bob Crane as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, who is running a covert special operation with the camp's other prisoners. The prison camp is overseen by Colonel Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer) and his sergeant-of-the-guard, Hans Schultz (John Banner). If you want a good laugh as a break from the horror of war, you can watch the acclaimed series in its entirety — for free.

Seasons: 6
Episodes: 168
Stream now on Freevee and Prime Video

'Catch-22'

Spoiler alert for those who have yet to see "Masters of the Air: There's definitely some "Catch-22" DNA in the Apple TV Plus miniseries. Based on the novel of the same name, this Hulu miniseries stars Christopher Abbott as Capt. John Yossarian, a United States Army Air Forces bombardier in World War II who tries to get out of combat but is thrown into more missions the more he tries to get out. 

That core concept from "Catch-22" definitely pops up in "Masters of the Air" which is sort of harrowing to think about given that the former is a dark comedy work of fiction and the latter is a dramatization of historical fact. But if you want a more comedic examination of the horror of using U.S. airmen as cannon fodder then this show is for you. Abbott in particular is great as Yossarian, and you get an equally great performance from George Clooney as Scheisskopf, an officer who is promoted constantly despite being possibly one of the worst men for the job.

Seasons: 1
Episodes: 6
Stream now on Hulu 

'Das Boot' (2018)

This TV show is a sequel to the revered 1981 movie of the same name. Produced by Bavaria Fiction for Sky One, this show tells the horrors of World War II from the other side. Specifically, it follows a group of men on U-boat U-612 as they engage in a special mission in the North Atlantic. These men are led by Captain Klaus Hoffmann (Rick Okon), but not all are sympathetic to the Nazi cause.

That's a shared theme with its 1981 predecessor and there are claims that historically the U-boat navy was the least pro-Nazi branch of the German military in WWII. The show is entirely in German and only the first season is available to watch in the U.S., but that season is relatively self-contained. When it comes to a unique perspective on the war it's tough to beat 2018's "Das Boot" and that's why it merits inclusion on this list.

Seasons: 4 (only season 1 is available in the U.S.)
Episodes: 32
Stream now on Hulu 

'World on Fire'

"Masters of the Air" follows the tale of the 100th Bomb Group of the U.S. Air Force, stationed at RAF Thorpe Abbots in east England. Because of that setting, the show does run into the reality of a war-torn, constantly bombarded England. And as men start having to bail out of their airplanes in missions over Europe, they're forced to see the damage the war has wrought on the continent. This BBC-produced TV show focuses on that aspect of the war, following the lives of ordinary civilians across Europe caught up in the death and destruction of World War II. 

"World on Fire" stars Jonah Hauer-King as Harry Chase, an interpreter at the British embassy in Warsaw, Helen Hunt as Nancy Campbell, an American journalist in Berlin and Sean Bean as Douglas Bennett, a bus conductor suffering from PTSD contracted from the First World War. Like "Masters of the Air" it features a large ensemble cast and covers many events of the war, including the defense of the Polish Post Office in Danzig, the Battle of the River Plate, the Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain.

Seasons: 2
Episodes: 13
Stream now on Prime Video (with PBS Masterpiece subscription) 

'Valley of Tears'

World War II is probably the most covered war when it comes to Hollywood. There's no shortage of shows and movies, though particularly the latter. However, while Max is home to two of the greatest war TV shows ever, it's not the only war that has a Max miniseries to its name.

"Valley of Tears" tells the story of the 1973 Yom Kippur War (Ramadan War, October War, 1973 Arab–Israeli War, or the Fourth Arab–Israeli War) which was fought between Israel and a group of Arab nations led by Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula and Syria in the Golan Heights. Each side of the conflict was backed by a Cold War superpower, making this one of several proxy wars in that protracted conflict. If you want a well-produced miniseries about a lesser-known war, this is the show for you.

Seasons: 1
Episodes: 10
Stream now on Max

'SEAL Team'

This show definitely fits more in the police procedural drama category. It's by no means a historical war drama (or comedy) like the others on this list. But if you want to branch out into a more modern genre while keeping some of the military motifs, then "SEAL Team" is a good choice.

This CBS TV show follows the lives of an elite Navy SEAL team led by Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz). They are constantly on some of the most dangerous missions possible. The show not only takes us into those missions but also examines the toll of them on the team's personal lives. The show's seventh and final season is coming in August, so start watching now to catch up.

Seasons: 6
Episodes: 104
Stream now on Paramount Plus

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.


Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.