Video: War As Family Entertainment

Two Viet Nam shows tackle the issues but avoid the politics

War, being a pretty depressing human endeavor, has never been a favorite subject for network entertainment. The Viet Nam War, being pretty depressing even as wars go, would seem to be nearly untouchable. Not only was there too much R-rated action (drug abuse, massacres of civilians) but the story had an unhappy ending. Such recent movies as Platoon and Full Metal Jacket could immerse their audience in the muck and moral quicksand for a couple of hours and then let go. But TV series must keep viewers coming back week after week, adhering to standards of "family entertainment" along the way.


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