One of the longest running and most successful television sitcoms came to an end on February 28th 1983. It was an event to end all events. Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen was perhaps the greatest series finale in television history. It was certainly the most watched. Night workers called in sick. Some businesses either suspended work or offered sets for workers to see this long anticipated conclusion. What a fitting end it was. Each character was given what amounted to the best moments in the run. More serious than fun…y, this 90 minute movie explored the end of the Korean War and the effect it had on this family of people who spent eleven long years away from home. Of course, the actual war lasted only a fraction of that time. Still, this collection is worthy of owning, if only for that single episode..
Not that there wasn’t a wonderful collection of MASH moments to be had in the final year leading up to this dramatic conclusion. Trick or Treatment was a hilarious Halloween show. Paranoia sets in when BJ announces the greatest practical joke of all time will be played in just a day’s time in The Joker Is Wild. An Enemy Mine relationship develops in Give and Take. Everyone involved knew from the first episode of the season that MASH was going to end in the spring. Rather than go through the motions as too many “lame duck” series have done, MASH never let up for a second. It was the professionalism from the writers to the actors that allowed the team eleven years on the air and the chance to go out in style. Mission accomplished.
Each episode of MASH is presented in its original broadcast full frame aspect ratio. Again, we’re talking about a vintage sitcom. The picture is generally in fair condition. There will be both grain and print specks to contend with; however, the transfer is certainly watchable at all times. There’s a lot of Army green to be seen, and it does show up in the drab palette the producers were probably intending. Since most of even the outdoor shots were filmed on set, lighting is often a little unnatural and perhaps too even.
This is an old sitcom, and therefore we can’t expect anything more than the Dolby Digital 2 track mono mix provided. What’s important is that the sound is clean and free of any distracting distortion.
Packaging is exactly like all the previous years. Unfortunately there are no extras. This is my only disappointment in the DVD releases. The series deserved more.
It seems that even after all of these years have passed a new sadness sets in as I realize there will be no more MASH DVD’s coming in the months and years ahead. Yeah, the package sucks. There never were any extras to speak of, and the video and sound could have all been just a little better. Still, this was a landmark series. And now all that’s left to say is “goodbye”.
Special Features List
- Option to watch episodes with or without laughtrack