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Talentville Bar & Grill : Television Writers' Lounge
M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, Amen. Best TV episode ever?

Melvin Johnson
Posted November 15, 2011 12:40 PM
I am not a TV writer, but some shows just deserve praise. The final episode of M*A*S*H is still the highest rated TV episode of all time. There are very few shows/movies where men are "allowed" to cry (Brian's Song is one). I was a big fan of M*A*S*H when I was younger and still watch some in syndication. The other day Goodbye, Farewell, Amen came on TV and I missed the beginning but still hit record on my DVR. The writing on that show was nothing short of incredible. Even people who weren't fans of the show find themselves drawn in. The relationships between the characters were IMO the best feature. For a show of its kind, it was original. A comedy that touched on serious issues without becoming preachy.

I watched it today and found myself fighting back tears. Maybe it's because I'm a veteran who lived thorough combat and had relationships/friendships like those on the show, who knows? When I thought back about it, I found it was the powerful writing that did it for me. I hope one day to have the skill to evoke such strong emotions with my writing.

By the way, I kept (most of) the tears back until the very end where Hawkeye saw the message BJ left for him. After that, cue the waterworks.

I'd like to hear what others who saw the show think. Now, where are my Kleenex...

Bryan Reeves
Posted November 15, 2011 4:26 PM
Several of the episodes were affective. One of my favorites include a Christmas show in which Fr. Mulcahy arranges for presents from home, including this line: "You reached down into the depths of my despair, and you brought me up. You saved me." Or something like that, from "Dear, Sis".

I heard some great advice from one of the re-union type shows and several producers, writers and actors were discussing the development. It was said that they created characters and put them into situations they absolutely hated.

Good writing tips.