TV Talk: M*A*S*H

I thought we would start this new series, and talk about some of the classics of cinema, these are going to be movies or TV Shows that should be part of anyone’s collection. We are going to be doing this like a normal Q&A, if you have a movie and/or questions on a modern classic, let us know. If you want to Join In, let us know as well.

Today’s Show:

MASHMash Movie1. Have you seen the movie, and if so, thoughts? (only question about the movie, the rest are about the SHOW)

John: I saw the film and taped it off the air onto an old VHS cassette.  My thoughts are that it was not all that funny (with some notable exceptions including the “suicide” and “football” segments).  It did, however, go more deeply into the Korean War mentality than other films or TV shows I have seen.

Jane: I saw the movie at the Showcase Cinemas when it first came out. I think I was 18 at the time and invited to go with a co-worker from my first job and her family (hubby, sons, daughters-in-law.) It was the first movie I’d ever seen with nudity in it and I was a little embarrassed by it. Still, it was a good movie, I enjoyed it and now I want to see it again.

Archie: I saw the movie as a double feature when it first came out, the second movie was Vanishing Point. I was at a drive-in theatre in Sparta, NC. I loved it then and I will still watch it now if it shows.

David: I’ve seen the movie maybe twice. I wasn’t that impressed with it, but to be honest with you, I probably was colored by the TV show.

Mash Box set2. How much of the series have you seen?

John: Off and on, in first run and rerun, I have probably managed to see about half of the episodes (perhaps a few more than half when all is said and done).

Jane: I think I’ve seen every episode of the TV series, twice or thrice.

Archie:  All Of It…I mean …ALL of it.

David: I have seen every episode, maybe a half dozen times, and if its one of the later ones- maybe in double digits.

Keep in mind, Amazon has the box set- HINT HINT we have a banner over there ->

Mash Goodbye3. Does the series still hold up?

John: You bet–for the most part.  There are some things which are too topical to span the decades, but it is surprising in retrospect to see how much of it is relevant to our experiences today.  (Adjustments must be made, however, such as remembering to mentally replace a Jeep with a HumVee).

Jane: Yes. I think it’s still as fresh today as the day it first appeared on TV.

Archie: I still watch re-runs every night when I go to bed. We get two episodes at 10:00 and 10:30 and I watch both EVERY every night.

David: Without a doubt. I think a good dry humor never will go out.

Hawkeye4.  Favorite character on the show?

John: Hawkeye Pierce, of course, although there were other standouts such as “Hotlips.”

Jane: For favorite character I’d have to say Klinger. That guy would do anything and everything to get a Section 8 and be sent home.

Archie: This is tough but it has to be Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce. His ad-libs truly helped in making the show the success it was.

David: Charles Emerson Winchester the III. Someone better than Haweye in the operating room, thrown into the dull life of a M*A*S*H hospital, and having to deal with the common people. His character arc is just amazing.

Radar5. Favorite bit character?

John: How could it be anyone except “Radar” O’Reilly?  He could gofer before you even knew that you wanted someone to gofer.

Jane: I’d have to pick Nurse Kelly for favorite bit character. She was always so cheerful and well liked by all and even though the guys looked at her like a little sister, she wanted them to treat her the same as they treated the other nurses….romantically/sexually.

Archie: Has to be Sidney Freedman. I loved his visits to the 4077th.

David: Col Flagg. One of the best bit characters in TV history.

Charles6. Favorite Episode

John: I am unclear on this but half-recall an episode where Hawkeye and some other character(s) got lost in enemy territory.  As I recall, very tight emotionally.

Jane: There were so many episodes that could be listed as favorites but this one stands out the most. One of the main characters (I forget which) orders a portable rubber bathtub. Radar can’t understand why anyone would want to take a bath instead of a shower until the fact that this tub could be filled with cold water was explained to him. Of course, this tub was to remain a secret but everyone in the camp found out about it and everyone wanted a chance to use it. When it was Hot Lips turn, just as she’s relaxing in the tub, here comes Klinger tearing off his fur coat, yelling he can’t stand the heat anymore, removes his wet suit and jumps in the tub. The next thing we hear is Margret screaming and the TV screen fades to black.

Archie:  I am not sure it is my favorite because it is hard to choose just one; however, the 4077th received something like 500,000 tongue depressors due to a supply screw up and Hawkeye build a replica of the Washington memorial and then blew it up for Stars and Stripes.

David: I have two. The first doesn’t count, since its the Finale- where Charles is teaching the Chinese how to play music- then finds out they have been killed. Alan Alda gets a lot of the Finale for his overacting about the bus- but the Charles subplot is my favorite of the episode.
My other favorite is when Flagg and Charles go at it. For once, Hawkeye is on the sidelines and stays there and lets the two masters work.

Can I also throw some love to the “Bug-Out” episode?

Frank7. Do you prefer Trapper/Frank or BJ and Charles? If so, why?

John: Trapper.  Don’t know why.

Jane: I can’t say I have a preference over Frank, BJ or Charles but I didn’t like Trapper in the series.

Archie:  The two best would be Trapper and BJ. Frank of course was the epitome of an ass the others all picked on, but Trapper and BJ was Hawkeyes confidants and they were just as crazy.

David: Frank is a fun character, but Larry was right, his character had run its course, he’s still great- but of course, the second pairing is the better. Trapper is pretty much just a second class Hawkeye, BJ is is own man- married, and wanting to go home to his kid.

Potter8. Blake or Potter?

John: Potter.  It is hard to run an orderly command when events and others in the command won’t cooperate.  Morgan came as close to success as any acting effort I have seen for this kind of situation.

Jane: I’d definitely pick Potter over Blake any day of the week. I think because of his age and experience he brought a sense of stability to a very unstable area.

Archie: Tough, but I will go with Potter. Being an Army retiree, I can relate more to the regular Army type.

David: Potter. He took over the Army Regulations from Frank, but was wise enough to know that he wasn’t in a combat unit anymore. Hawkeye and Trapper could do whatever they wanted with Blake. Potter ended that. Plus a great bit character they brought back.

Klinger9. Yes there have been spin-offs, why do you think they all failed, if you saw any of them?

John: I saw a couple of episodes of “Trapper John.”  It just didn’t have the “feel” of family and friends that the original MASH (film or TV series) had.  The original shows created an atmosphere that none of the spin-offs duplicated.

Jane: If I remember rightly, there were two MASH spinoffs. Trapper John, M.D. and one about Klinger returning home with a Korean bride. The fact that I can’t even remember the name of the sitcom should speak volumes to its failure. Trapper John, M.D. did fairly well mainly because it wasn’t trying to be funny.
I think I’ll check to see if any M*A*S*H episodes or the movie can be streamed from Netflix.

Archie: I saw only 1 episode of 1 spin off and that was all. There are just some shows that just can’t be done in other settings or surroundings. The Korean conflict itself was what brought all those characters together and outside of that, it just would not work.

David: I just don’t think that the show works in an outside world. The whole draw of the show is people trying to stay sane in an insane world- and world that could change with a phone call.

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1 Comment

  1. Glad to see the ad for Amazon is supposed to be there. How about the ad down the bottom of this page for a free video player? Or the ad for the movie? Or the ad for naked actresses?
    Yes, I’m getting paranoid. Doesn’t mean there’s no reason to.

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