The good, the bad…

The good: the M*A*S*H finale. For those who didn’t know, M*A*S*H was a TV series that ran from 1972-1983, spun off a 1970 movie of the same name. It stands for “Mobile Army Surgical Hospital”, and the series (and the film) is a satirical take on the Vietnam war, set, appropriately enough, during the Korean war.

Struggling through a mediocre first few series, the characters and storylines matured into genuinely profound reflections on war, wartime morality, and how individual characters struggled with the lunacy of their situation. As with all good things, though, it came to an end in 1983 with a two and a half hour special, outlining the end of the war, the main character (Alan Alda, playing Captain ‘Hawkeye’ Piers) having a nervous breakdown, and each of the other major members of the cast dealing with their own drama.

I started watching M*A*S*H on my Dad’s inspiration a couple of years ago, the repeats obligingly running on Paramount Comedy twice daily and Tivo carefully picking them up for me, and have been moved by various episodes. It’s truly well written at times, and absolutely brilliant in general. The finale was no exception; watched on its original screening in 1983 by 106 million people, no sitcom has, in the intervening time, got close to those numbers, not even the up-and-coming Friends finale. I think they’re starting to release MASH on DVD now; if you haven’t seen it, you should really try to get hold of some.

Oddly, I hadn’t seen the finale at the time I had my dream about it. Peculiar.

The bad: Secret Window, Johnny Depp and Stephen King’s new film. Utterly mediocre, despite a decent performance from Mr Depp as a heartbroken novelist, the twist was genuinely completely predictable (and I normally don’t get these at all), and not really entertaining in any real way. Unless you want to see Mr Depp put on a Mississipi accent and wear a funny hat….

[Listening to: Miami – Will Smith – Big Willie Style [UK] (03:18)]