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  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  Subtitles
    English, French
  Extras

    M*A*S*H - Season Two (MASH)

    20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 600 mins . PG . PAL

      Feature
    Contract

    After the M*A*S*H movie came the TV series. After the success of Season One of M*A*S*H came Season Two, (and a further six, but that’s for another day) and this is now available on DVD.

    Season One consisted of 24 25-minute episodes and Season Two is the same. Most of the same characters played by the same actors are back (although some inaccuracies such as the black doctor have gone), and many of the crew also return. Interestingly however, the cast began to have more input into the show both behind the camera and in the writing stages, proving that they really were a talented bunch.

    The episodes within a season are not sequential and can be watched in any order, but most will probably watch them in the order they are listed over the three discs. Many of the same themes are explored, though much of the more meaningful stuff remains slightly buried behind the witty one-liners and the visual, almost slapstick comedy routines.

    If anything, the chasm between the goofy, silly episodes and the more meaningful, reflective episodes is even more evident. Some of the episodes in Season Two are bordering on over the top rubbish, such as Five O’clock Charlie, but the very next episode Radar's Report deals with quite serious issues such as extreme racism and sexism. This is sometimes a little hard to fathom, as the nurses on the show are often portrayed as sex-starved strumpets who put out for the doctors at the drop of a hat, and all are quite good looking and well-groomed (in army greens, admittedly).

    There is no significant character development between the two seasons and this is a good thing. Hawkeye, Trapper, Radar, Hot Lips, Frank, Henry, Klinger and Father Mulcahy offer up plenty more of the same tomfoolery and hijinks that endeared them to television watchers for eight seasons.

    Season Two is sharper and more amusing than Season One and is a fine mix of comedy and social commentary, and unmistakably carries the familiar message that war is stupid, foolish, pointless and destructive. It’s hard to argue with that.

      Video
    Contract

    This is a fairly modest full frame presentation, but it looks as good as it ever has. Being a ‘70s television show there is a modest amount of overall quality, and while not razor sharp, still looks quite good. Colours are pretty earthy, being mostly khaki green, but there are regular bursts of colour that are generally solid and even with minimal interference from noise. Black levels are mostly acceptable, and the infrequent darker scenes offer acceptable shadow detail.

    The number of artefacts seems to vary from scene to scene and certainly from episode to episode. There are no absolute clangers and while grain is a constant, it should not trouble most.

    Each disc contains eight episodes and there are some compression issues, the most noticeable being some irregular but minor aliasing and shimmer. This is bordering on nitpicking as this really does look as good as it ever did and probably as good as it ever will.

      Audio
    Contract

    Like the first season already available on DVD, this offers three audio tracks being a Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, the same again minus the laugh track (yes!) and a Dolby Digital French 2.0 mono, monsieur. Again the audio is a bit on the soft side and I found I had to give the volume control a real kick. Sadly, the audio is very average at best. There are no problems with clarity, generally, and audio-synch is likewise fine, but there is a genuine lack of spark.

    There is no panning or separation of sound and the few loud explosions and such sounds lack any real punch. The low-level sounds are quite wussy really, and the top end sounds a little clipped, but fortunately, this is a comedy show based more on characters and dialogue and thus it works well enough. After listening to the show without the laugh track, I can accept just about anything. It actually makes the show even more enjoyable.

      Extras
    Contract

    Sorry, the extra features seem to be AWOL.

      Overall  
    Contract

    M*A*S*H has withstood the test of time and has been rated amongst the top TV shows of all time. The mix of comedy and social issues was its most admirable trait. There are laughs and genuine drama mixed with slapstick and pathos, all wrapped up in 25-minute packages. Enjoy!


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      And I quote...
    "More military and medical hijinks from the 4077th..."
    - Terry Kemp
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Akai
    • TV:
          TEAC CT-F803 80cm Super Flat Screen
    • Receiver:
          Pioneer VSX-D409
    • Speakers:
          Wellings
    • Centre Speaker:
          Wellings
    • Surrounds:
          Wellings
    • Subwoofer:
          Sherwood SP 210W
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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