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These are the adventures of the misfit crew of PT-73 during World War II. They're one of the best fighting crews in the Navy, but break regulations when it suits them. Their commander, LCDR McHale, is at times as roguish as his crew, but he puts his foot down when things go too far. They are assigned an XO, Ensign Parker, who is by-the-book, but too much of a klutz to command too much respect. They have a house-boy Fuji, who deserted the Japanese Navy, who wears a POW outfit just in case he's caught so he won't be shot at. Their nemesis is CAPT Binghamton and his aide LT Carpenter. They're initially stationed in the South Pacific, but move to Italy in the last season. Written by
"McHale's Navy" manages to present THE PERFECT take on "War-Time Comedy", (eclipsed only by "M*A*S*H"). Some may point to "Hogan's Heroes" as being superior, but while I enjoyed that as a kid, nowadays I cannot get past "Hogan's Heroes"' simple-minded take on The Nazis and sugar-coated fantasy prison camp setting. The Nazis were NOT simple-minded, easily-fooled buffoons, and "Hogan's Heroes" is an insult to the ordeals endured by every Allied POW in WW2.
McHale's Navy" on the other hand,never insults the intelligence of The Viewer by taking too many broad liberties with history. The Japanese in Mchale's Navy are a serious enemy,(save for the harmless "Fuji" the escaped POW given shelter by McHale and Crew).
In "McHale's Navy", The REAL Enemy is..... THE BRASS!
That's where honest War-Time Comedy is meant to derive from,and where it is at it's best. When you spotlight the overly- officious asininity of The Higher Ranks, you get Genuine Comedy. It's a Truth that Ernie Pyle, Bill Mauldin, Floyd Gibbons and Richard Hooker understood; and that Truth is showcased no where better than in "McHale's Navy".
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