M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H

Groundbreaking, era-defining, and culturally significant in its time. Also hateful, sexist, racist, and endlessly pleased with the protagonists for their bad-boy behavior of bullying the entire military (and especially, endlessly, women) and getting away with it. I hated the whole experience of watching this, in spite of the incredible cast, the haunting opening song, and the chance to see Robert Altman developing his voice. Roger Ebert's 1970 review said the film is "true to the unadmitted sadist in all of us… it is the flat-out, poker-faced hatred in MASH that makes it work. Most comedies want us to laugh at things that aren't really funny; in this one we laugh precisely because they're not funny." I just can't find the hatred here funny, given how often it's aimed at easy victims in really cruel ways.

It made for a pretty conflict-heavy episode of our film podcast The Next Picture Show, though. Obviously, Scott and I disagreed about it. A lot.

Part one of the podcast, largely about M*A*S*H.

Part two of the podcast, comparing M*A*S*H to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and discussing how each film handles comedy, professionalism, and women in a war zone.

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