M*A*S*H Iraq

How long will it take for us to see this show? It took nineteen years from the Korean armistice to the M*A*S*H premiere.  (Hogan’s Heroes took twenty, which reinforces the evidently unofficial timeline.)   With Hollywood doing more recycling (of ideas, since it has no new ones) these days than your typical granola Oregonian, it is just a matter of time.

If it’s the 1990-1991 Gulf War, the necessary time has elapsed, yet the problem there is you have months of buildup followed by about three minutes of blowing the other side to hell followed by a decade of periodic bombing–difficult to structure a show around, unlike Korea, a war whose stalemates, steady casualties and periodic cease-fires made actual dating of events in the show rather nebulous. We are, of course, well overdue for a Vietnam sitcom.  My guess is that the networks are too chicken there.  I think they don’t give Vietnam vets enough credit.  They have had, after all, thirty-five years to think about it.  Who thinks they have not done some processing?

If it’s the 2003-2009 Gulf War/occupation, of course, the necessary 19 years for society to accept comedy mixed with its tragedy have barely gotten a start.

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