From 1962 until 1967 we had Combat
From 1963 until 1969 we had Gomer Pyle
From 1965 until 1971 we had Hogan’s Heros
From 1972 until 1983 we had MASH
So what happened to all the army shows? Those shows, made during the a BIG war, were all hits. So why no war shows now? Is it perhaps that the studio execs are all too candy-assed? Certainly Gomer Pyle would be viewed today as insulting of the USMC. MASH would be too insulting too since it was critical of the army and war in general. Hogan’s Heros was about the really old WWII, but would be scandalous since it made a German POW camp a place of laughs. And Combat, well combat was pretty realistic even for the 1960’s and nobody really wants to see a show about soldiers getting hurt in war.
So we get to watch FOX and CNN and their pundits spew crappola about our war. But the self sanitization system built by modern media keeps us a long way away from the men and women at war. They are oddities to be seen walking through airports in their new ACU’s and shaved heads. Off in their own little world, a world and reality we are forcibly kept away from. They are correct to say that the average citizen is ignorant about what it means to be in the military or about what is happening in Iraq. We are ignorant about that stuff like we are ignorant about what happens in a sewage treatment plant. We don’t want to know.
Those old TV shows gave us some connection to that aspect of our culture. The people in those shows were…people. They were not righteous war-gods, but flawed humans that could still crack a joke in the middle of hell. It was not reality TV, but I would take any of the above over the wasteland of TV now.
Check this out. It isn’t Gomer Pyle, but there is laughing.
Of course now the Pentagon wants to keep stuff like this off the air too. I guess the bad guys will view it and refine their skills.