Earlier this month, Rolling Stone published a list of the 100 Best TV Sitcoms of All Time. Compiled by Alan Sepinwall & Maria Fontoura amp; David Fear amp; Rob Sheffield, the list finds M*A*S*H ranked fifth behind All in the Family, I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, and Cheers.
Here’s the entry for M*A*S*H:
M*A*S*H spent 11 seasons covering the Korean War, a conflict that lasted only a fraction of that time. That lifespan allowed the series to essentially have three separate runs under one title: as an anti-establishment farce in the spirit of the Robert Altman film that inspired it, then a more warmhearted and experimental sitcom (remember that black-and-white documentary episode?), and finally an earnest dramedy about the toll the war had on Army medical personnel like Hawkeye (Alan Alda), Margaret (Loretta Swit), Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan), and the rest. It was in that last guise that M*A*S*H gave us its tear-jerking, epic-length series finale, which remains the most-watched single episode of television nearly 40 years later. But the lines often blurred, with those screwball early episodes making room for tragedy, while Hawkeye occasionally busted out his Groucho Marx impression, even near the more sentimental end. A.S.
What do you think? Should M*A*S*H have ranked higher? Lower? Is Cheers the best TV sitcom of all time?