Will tv ever again have military comedies?

I’m thinking tv shows set in a military setting like “McHale’s Navy”, Hogan’s Heroes", or “F-Troop”.

Will we ever see those types again?

A couple of years back, Fox tried with Enlisted.

Not a very successful attempt, though.

You must have missed Enlisted when it was on for 13 episodes on Fox in 2014. One thing that impressed was that after a pilot that was filled with ridiculous mistakes that had every vet throwing things at the tv, they listened to the critics and made a big effort to get everything right. They courted the military community through social media. I think it could have turned into a decent show but it never had the ratings.

You can’t cause they’re all heroes and anything less than on screen worship will be seen as disrespecting “the troops.”

Yea, I think mainstream military comedies were a lot more common back when WWII/Korea/Vietnam meant that a much larger chunk of the population could relate (via family members and acquaintances, if not directly). Also, conscription during those wars meant that people more or less randomly found themselves stuck in a gigantic beaucracy, which leant itself a lot more to absurdest type comedy then does today’s volunteer military.

JAG was kinda funny now and then. It certainly wasn’t a comedy…but they did experiment with occasional comedic writing and situations.

A similar show – military lawyers – could be done in a kind of “Night Court” tone. It could be charming!

A TV treatment of “The Haunted Tank” could be jolly good fun!

Never bet against Show Biz!

If the “Dad’s Army” remake does well at the box office, then I would expect TV execs to have a go at it.

But it wouldn’t be set in contemporary times. On the other hand, there has been:

Bluestone 42


They’ve just released a film of Dad’s Army.

British tv has recently had ‘Gary: Tank Commander’, which featured Iraq and Afghanistan. Though I believe it mixed both deployment and home.

I’ve also got to throw in ‘Kaboul Kitchen’, which is a French comedy series about the contractors, aid workers, politics and the Taliban. Not quite military, not safe for work, but fairly funny.

The funniest thing about Haunted Tank was how they went around blowing up Tigers with single shots from a 37mm cannon.

I quit buying the comic when they switched from a Stuart to a Sherman. :frowning:

“Chuck” clicked well enough to stick around for a decent number of seasons, and got nominated for a number of ‘comedy’ awards – and probably would’ve still worked if the sidearm-toting professionals reluctantly cooperating with the hapless civilian had been, say, Military Intelligence instead of being a CIA-NSA operation. (Come to think of it, the eye-rolling Casey might still have been USMC.)

Don’t forget Major Dad! :slight_smile:

Just recently HBO had “The Brink.” While it was more of a political humor show, one of the main plot lines was about a pilot on an aircraft carrier.

Most service comedies in the US (Gomer Pyle, No Time for Sergeants, Ensign O’Toole) took place in peacetime (or the Cold War, which was pretty much peaceful). It’s hard to do one now, since the military has been at war for so long. It certainly wouldn’t be contemporary.

I assume that it must be tougher to make a comedy about the military post 9-11 though to me it seems like an untapped area. It seems to be easier to make shows about government agencies like Chuck, as The Other Waldo Pepper mentioned, or Homeland or Legends. I guess it’s easier to have the “shadowy government agency that you can’t quite trust” in these shows but that trope is well-worn by now.

I think I gave Enlisted half a try and didn’t stick with it. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Phil Silvers or MASH type show.

They’d almost certainly have to make it a stateside/Europe comedy, or otherwise set it in some kind of situation where there’s no actual combat or anything too dire going on, or else you’d get a huge righteous backlash among the pro-military crowd about making light of the situations our troops are in. It’s much like a religious comedy; there’s a certain segment of the population who tends to think that comedy involving religion is OFF LIMITS for much the same reason.

That said, I always wondered why there hasn’t been a show set in either Iraq or Afghanistan cut broadly in the MASH mold (although not necessarily medical-oriented), and that mostly pokes fun at Frank Burns types, has a Henry Blake type, or the everyday absurdities inherent in the military, and some of the surreal oddness present when deployed. There’s no reason to treat the servicemen and women on the whole as anything but competent and dedicated, except for the Burns types, and even there, show him as at least competent or dedicated.

Having heard Army tales of Iraq from a couple of guys who deployed together in the same unit (one officer, one enlisted who happened to become friends and keep up after they got out), there’s a LOT of fertile ground for comedy there. Those guys had some riotously funny stories, and they weren’t even really that dirty or profane.

I’m thinking there hasn’t been a successful military comedy series since the Vietnam War, and news coverage of same, hit the U.S. public in the face with the gravitas of war. The goofball attitude common to that type of sitcom just wouldn’t fly anymore.

Someone already mentioned MAJOR DAD.

TV execs can no longer count on a shared experience among Americans of military life. Until Vietnam, almost every able-bodied man did a tour in the military. During WWII, young women the right age, without children did also, and something like 20% of women continued to volunteer, also right up until Vietnam. If you count military spouses among people who would get the “in” jokes, you widen the scope of the potential audience even more.

MAS*H was the last military show (aside from police procedurals that happen to involve military law enforcement), because it wasn’t meant to appeal to people who had been in the military, and laughed at “Yeah, it was just that fucked up!” but rather to nonmilitary people who liked to imagine the military was a certain way-- specifically, that it was comprised mainly of assholes who wanted to be there, and nice guys who were drafted, practically at gunpoint.

That fact of the matter is, that while shows like Gomer Pyle and McHale’s Navy take things to an absurd extreme, and are full of stupid people who wouldn’t make it through Basic, they actually reflect military life better than MASH did. MASH was a pacifist’s fantasy Army.