Friday, August 21, 2015

M*A*S*H: The First Episode (1972)

Here is the first episode of M*A*S*H, an American TV comedy based on the 1970 film of the same name, which itself was based on the 1968 novel, MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Hooker. The series is set in South Korea during the Korean War (1950–53). In many ways, it was about the Vietnam War and the deleterious effects, in general, of war. It humanized the participants of war, who were caught in the trap of decisions made by their nation’s leaders.

This show, created by Larry Gelbart, was part of my formative childhood years, and as Wikipedia notes, eventually become popular:
The series premiered in the U.S. on September 17, 1972, and ended February 28, 1983, with the finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", becoming the most-watched and highest-rated single television episode in U.S. television history at the time, with a record-breaking 125 million viewers (60.2 rating and 77 share),[1] according to the New York Times.[2] It had struggled in its first season and was at risk of being cancelled.[3]
Season two of M*A*S*H placed it in a better time slot (airing after the popular All in the Family); the show became one of the top-ten programs of the year and stayed in the top-20 programs for the rest of its run.[3] It is still broadcast in syndication on various television stations. The series, which depicted events occurring during a three-year military conflict, spanned 256 episodes and lasted 11 seasons.
Many of the stories in the early seasons are based on tales told by real MASH surgeons who were interviewed by the production team. Like the movie, the series was as much an allegory about the Vietnam War (still in progress when the show began) as it was about the Korean War.[4]
Although this show was considered a situation comedy, it would also be classified as a dark comedy. But, then again, this is what one would expect from such a subject.

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