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M*A*S*H Memories

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Wildest cat from montana, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    Location:
    Iowa
    My wife hates that one as well. Though it's not a personal favorite of mine, I do like how they were all willing to take risks with the show & explore different ideas. I think I enjoyed that episode more when it was originally on. Over time, subsequent viewings tended to make it less interesting to me. Much like the one where Klinger is feverish & the only one who can "hear" & "see" the dead soldier.

    Two of my favorite different types of episodes are opposites to each other, the one shet in real time & the one that compresses an entire year into 30 minutes, with multiple storylines.
     
  2. Nipper

    Nipper His Master's Voice

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    From my favorite "regular" episode, Deal Me Out. Guest appearances by Pat Morita (Sam Pak), Allan Arbus (Sidney Freedman), Edward Winter (Captain Halloran [Col. Flagg]), and John Ritter (Pvt. Carter, who takes Frank hostage).


    My 1A favorite "regular" episode, also from Season 2, Mail Call (featuring 'Pioneer Aviation' in addition to Klinger's best visit to Col. Blake).

    Also have to put in props for Springtime, featuring Alex "You Can't Twirl An Officer" Karras. It's got, you know ... slaking in it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  3. John54

    John54 Senior Member

    Location:
    Burlington, ON
    Yes, Mail Call is near if not at the top of my list, and Springtime isn't far behind! But almost all of Season 3 was great.
     
    Nipper likes this.
  4. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I disagree. I would posit the opposite in fact... that part of what kept people watching was familiarity. Characters changed, but the main characters (Alda and the Korean War) were there the entire time, and the overall premise did not change. Since I'm of the mind that the writing got worse over time (particularly from season 7 onward) I would tend to think people were watching in spite of the decline in writing rather than because of it. The goodwill generated by the quality of the show in the first five years in particular gave them momentum which they were able to coast upon for quite awhile after. I think the show would have lasted just as long with its original cast, or with less turnover. And I think it would have done just as well if the writing had not changed in both quality and focus. It would have been more like Cheers... that show had only two cast changes while its tone and the quality of writing remained consistent throughout its run.

    It's interesting that you view the show as shifting away from being anti war, because I've never perceived it that way. The focus of the book was anti-authority rather than anti-war, and the early years of the series (with the original cast) reflected that to a large degree. The arrival of Potter really undercut their ability to do that, since he was an authority figure who was not incompetent, hapless, or malevolent. When he arrived it felt to me like the show shifted from being anti-authority and more towards being anti-war.
     
    polchik, BNell and Grand_Ennui like this.
  5. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    I always liked Arbus and the character of Dr. Freedman. I think his decision to be a recurring character was wise. I can't imagine there would have been room for him as a full time character.
     
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  6. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Location:
    Daejeon
    a customer and smilin ed like this.
  7. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    Frank Burns: "I can handle a gun with the best of 'em."

    Immediately thereafter inadvertently shoots out the light in the Swamp.

    :laugh:
     
  8. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    I don't "hate" Flagg, but I'm not overly fond of him either. My biggest problem with him is that in the context of tbe show, he's just a bit too over-the-top to be believable. I do find him funny though, for the most part.
     
    a customer likes this.
  9. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham
    I enjoyed his earlier appearances (including the one where he wasn't Flagg), but less so later on.
     
    a customer and KevinP like this.
  10. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Location:
    WI
    They should have given the company clerk job to Sgt. Zale or Igor ;)
     
  11. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Location:
    WI
    You and me both...

    Another I don't like is the one where they have a "reunion" for all of their family members back home in the USA... Or the one when Radar goes home and BJ's baby calls Radar "daddy" and BJ has an ever-lovin' fit for the entire episode... And yet another one I don't like is the one where Hawkeye is going on about how he hates the army green he's surrounded by on a daily basis and then when he gets back to camp, everyone is wearing red and dyed their hair red, etc...
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  12. Grand_Ennui

    Grand_Ennui Forum Resident

    Location:
    WI

    I'd agree, definitely... Early on, as you point out, it was anti-army/anti-authority, but as the series went on, and it became (as others have called it) the "Alan Alda show" it seemed like we were getting slapped in the face with the "war is hell" message in almost every episode... I know that's a bit of an exaggeration but it became highly "anti-war" in tone and message...
     
  13. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham
    Funny. I thought the more effective anti-war episodes were in the better, earlier series (Sometimes You hear the Bullet, Rainbow Bridge, Aid Station, The Late Captain Pierce, The Interview, The Ringbanger, Five O'Clock Charlie, The Trial of Henry Blake - even daft episodes like The Army Navy Game; although there are some good ones later, there's nothing as strong as Hawkeye's "I will not carry a gun" speech. I think the 'message' was diluted later on, especially in the last three or four series, which seemed more character driven. Unfortunately, by then, that occasionally meant people acting out of character and shouting at each other, including the supporting cast like Rizzo.
     
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  14. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader Thread Starter

    Ha!
    Maybe this thread should have been titled : MASH Bad Memories.
    I'll throw in another one I don' t like-- the episode where Hawkeye hares this wealthy Korean woman because she has so much while so many others have so little. But then falls in love with her.
     
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  15. evillouie

    evillouie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toledo
    Actually they were considering Rizzo , but Alan Alda convinced them to make Klinger the company clerk.
     
  16. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    Location:
    Iowa
    I understand where you're coming from in referencing Cheers, as both were long running sitcoms with large ensemble casts, but the premises are different enough to skew the comparison.

    In a neighborhood bar, you expect to see regulars there all the time, just like in real life, even among the day players & background extras, thus a stable cast is going to help a show based on that last longer. The stories & humor arise from that concept. Though the did utilize different sets, the majority of the show was based & set in the bar, making it somewhat like a stage play viewed through the proscenium. Think about it; when you visualize Cheers, your first image is most likely the wide shot of the bar.

    Anything long running set in something like a war zone however, benefits from cast members changing, as that's what happens in real life there. People rotate in & out of the unit. Heck, I was in the Air Force for four years active duty during peace time, & I served on two different bases in those four years, & saw a lot of people rotating. With a situation like M*A*S*H was set up to be, that enhances the "reality" of it. They had the Fox Ranch & all the room to do different things, even with the close confines of the basic idea. There was a bigger canvas to work on there.

    And, looking at the Burns & Blake characters especially, & to a lesser extent Trapper, those three seemed the least likely to grow like the rest did. Part of that could of course be my familiarity with seeing them as they were those three seasons, (& five for Burns), trapped in amber, so to speak. But again, they had five seasons to develop Frank Burns beyond what he was, & they never tried to, He's one example of a character for whom any change or growth would have been almost impossible. Blake too, albeit possibly to a lesser extent. The show might have lasted as long with the original cast, but again, if it had, how much would it have grown?
     
  17. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    Period.
     
  18. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader Thread Starter

    Not a BJ fan , I take it ?
     
  19. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    Location:
    Iowa
    To me not being a BJ or Potter fan means one's not really a M*A*S*H fan, simply because they were there for eight of the eleven seasons, & had greater continuity with the series than Trapper or Blake did, no matter how much one may prefer the earlier characters from the first three seasons.
     
  20. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    I am a huge fan of MASH I

    I don't care for MASH: The Last Surgeon
     
  21. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    Location:
    Iowa
    I'm sorry, but I literally have no idea what you're trying to say with that.
     
  22. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader Thread Starter

    Which episode is this?
     
  23. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    It was a silly reference to The Last Jedi and many SW fans hating it
     
  24. Bluesman Mark

    Bluesman Mark But I'm innocent! Swan stole my music & framed me!

    Location:
    Iowa
    Now it makes sense, no matter if I agree with it or not, thanks!
     
  25. Kyle B

    Kyle B Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    There were multiple episodes where BJ goes around in a snit for the entire episode because he’s upset about not being at home. It didn’t exactly endear the character to me. I love it when Hot Lips lets him have it at the end of one of those shows.

    I’m old enough to remember the last half of the show in primetime, so I do like the BJ/Potter years better. I recognize that the Trapper/Henry era is creatively better, but they are not the characters I grew up with. However, I like the show a lot less around the time Radar leaves and BJ has the shaggy hair and big mustache. I’ll take seasons 4-6 as my favorites.
     
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