Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Rhondinella

MASH

Recommended Posts

Radar's teddy bear is up in King of the Disparate TV Mountain! Go vote!

 

Thanks for the heads-up. I did vote for the bear, but that was a tough choice.

Share this post


Link to post

When I watch now, I'm struck by how mediocre Mike Farrell's acting is. He's fine when he's being Hawkeye's straight man or even when he's doing his own goofy schtick, but when he tries to do dramatic scenes: pee yew. I can't even watch the two episodes where he's unfaithful to Peg -- the one where he sleeps with the nurse whose husband left her and the one where he falls in love with the journalist played by Susan Saint James (it doesn't help that her acting leaves much to be desired as well). His method of conveying anguish is mostly just closing his eyes and gnashing his teeth. I was going to say, "no wonder he's hardly worked at all since MASH went off the air!" but then I looked at his IMDb page, and actually he's worked quite a lot, although nothing I've seen except for a few stray Desperate Housewives episodes from which I don't remember him at all.

Most actors are good at playing one specific character and don't stretch to other character types well. It's like the old joke about the difference between actors and movie stars: An actor pretends he is a character, while a movie star pretends the character is him.

The vast majority of TV actors would fit the "movie star" description.

Share this post


Link to post
 

Two news stories relevant to M*A*S*H episodes:

 

Korean War babies still searching for G.I. fathers

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/24/me--korea-helps-war-orphans/30630161/

 

On a lighter note, recently I heard a news anchor introduce a story about "Composer Richard Wagner" [pronounced the way Klinger did] immediately followed by the correspondent saying "Composer Richard Wagner" [pronounced the way Winchester did].

 

Share this post


Link to post

I have re-watching these lately. I'm out after Frank's out.  I used to watch this show in it's original run.  I recognized, back then, that the continuity was off.  I never realized, until I started watching them - episode after episode - how bad it really was.  

 

I don't have a lot of complaints about the earlier seasons.  They start to get a little more dramatic after Potter arrives. The one when Blythe Danner, Hawkeye's ex, shows up is a total snooze.

 

I did notice, on an episode I watched today, how well Larry Linville kept himself up.  He was wearing a sleeveless undershirt and his arms looked like he worked out.    

Share this post


Link to post

Watched the episode tonight where Henry, Hawkeye, Trapper, and Radar watch the home move Henry's wife sent. It's his daughter's birthday party, and then they all hold up a sign at the end that says "Miss You." Then after that is another movie with him goofing around with his neighbor, which makes them all laugh. It just struck me how sad that episode is knowing that Henry dies without ever seeing them again.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

This was the second time I saw those particular interviews, and it still gets me that so many of the storylines (such as the horrific one about the baby) and even actual lines ("Does this look like peace to you?") came from real situations and veterans. The episode was powerful enough before I knew that, and that just makes it more powerful.

Share this post


Link to post

I was born about a year after the show ended, and consider it among my favorites. I watched it constantly in syndication. Used to record it on my ye olde VCR and watch episodes after school. I just recently did a binge watch of the entire show, only to turn around and watch the whole thing again. I love those characters fiercely.

 

Thanks for all the fun, Mr. Rogers. I had an absolute blast watching you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Tis a very sad day. Like many I didnt get into the show until long after it went off the air (I mostly watch on Netflix these days) and I just love them all.

 

Goodnight Trapper. Say hello to Henry for us

Share this post


Link to post

I watched Iron Guts Kelly episode in his honor last night..and was struck by how many in that one episode are dead now....Great..funny episode...and for some reason, Rogers' reading of the line "We'll be the ones with the hands on the bible" is my favorite of all the lines...

Of course, he really was built..that son of a gun...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, what sad news. Trapper was always my favorite character.

 

 I can't say he was mine (that was Colonel Potter). However; inasmuch as the character never was righteous (unlike Hawkeye, Frank, BJ or even Charles), he was somewhat refreshing to show his flaws as they were.

 

 Still, considering the origins of his nickname (he got it from not letting a nurse leave a supply room so he could . .  have a tryst with her), I have to wonder if they'd have let him have said nickname if they produced the show today. Also, ironic that everyone up to including Henry, Margaret and even Father Mulcahey just treated it as a joke among friends rather than something disturbing or criminal.

Share this post


Link to post

My favorite Trapper episode is the one with a little Korean boy that appears in camp that's supposedly orphaned. Trapper becomes taken with him and wants to adopt him, talking to his wife back home who says it's okay. There's that great and tense scene where the kid wanders into a landmine and Trapper has to go in there and save him. In the end the boy's real mother, who was frantically searching for him shows him and you're heart breaks for Trapper.

Edited by VCRTracking
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

My favorite Trapper episode is Requiem for a Lightweight, where he agrees to a boxing match with some hulk from another MASH unit, and Hawkeye douses Trapper's glove with chloroform so he can knock the other guy out. The way Trapper comes out of his corner with his arm extended straight out kills me every time.

 

Still, considering the origins of his nickname (he got it from not letting a nurse leave a supply room so he could . .  have a tryst with her), I have to wonder if they'd have let him have said nickname if they produced the show today. Also, ironic that everyone up to including Henry, Margaret and even Father Mulcahey just treated it as a joke among friends rather than something disturbing or criminal.

 

I don't think they ever talked about the origins of his nickname in the show. It was in the book, and maybe it was in the movie (it's been years since I've seen the movie), but I'm almost positive it never came up during the TV series.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think Trapper's nickname was discussed in either the Pilot or the first episode where Hawkeye writes home to his dad, introducing everyone, but I'd have to go back and re-watch (horror!) to be sure.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think the series mentioned the origin of the nickname either. I well recall the Season 3's House Arrest episode where the subject of rape was handled in a very jocular fashion.  I believe I would remember something  as similarly misogynistic.

Share this post


Link to post

Wayne Rogers started MASH think he was co-lead. After, 3 years he knew he was just supporting Alan Alda and left. Mike Farrell came aboard knowing he was co-lead and stuck it out and stayed and seemed happy. I personally only like him in his first season when he was clean shaven and respectful. Once he started looking like a bum I wasn't as big a fan. Which is odd since I wasn't even that old watching (51 now) then. I can't recall much of anything he did after MASH along with rest of the cast except for Alda.

Share this post


Link to post

There isn't supposed to be any continuity about Potter's horse, is there? The first time we see a horse, when Radar gives it to him, Potter refers to it as "he." Later he has a mare named Sophie that is medium brown. But in one episode we see him riding away on a darker horse. Presumably we are just not supposed to notice?

Share this post


Link to post

I watched the first few episodes of S4 recently.  I think they got Hawkeye and BJ to be best buds too quickly, and also got Potter on their side too quickly.  I know it's supposed to be in the service of comedy, but Hawkeye committed several genuine crimes trying to get to Seoul or wherever before Trapper left.  I didn't find that particularly funny.

Share this post


Link to post

I can't even watch the two episodes where he's unfaithful to Peg -- the one where he sleeps with the nurse whose husband left her

 

I just watched that episode, and you're right: his "dramatic" scenes sucked.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I co-sign all of this.  I almost never watch episodes from seasons 1-4 anymore.  I wait for reruns of the later years, mainly for Charles, but also because I liked the transformation in Klinger.  And I LOVE Col. Potter.

 

To each his/her own, but I think you're doing yourself a great disservice.  I recently watched Seasons 1 - 3 online, and aside from a few offensively misogynist lines in the very earlier episodes, I thought these seasons were almost uniformly funny, touching without being cloying, and (perhaps most importantly for me) believable.  Season 3's O.R. is particularly compelling.   During a surgery session while bombing is going on all around, Hawkeye saves a patient though open heart massage

only to find out later that the patient died anyway.

  It was all low-key and natural, but very affecting. 

Share this post


Link to post

The writers and cast were so wonderful with folding Col. Potter, BJ and Charles into the storylines. I think many shows would've brought in the same personalities to continue the dynamics, and MASH brought in entirely new ones.

For example, I liked Frank leaving. He was a bad man and a poor surgeon, and I hated thinking he was causing people to die or have less-than-best outcomes. Charles was obnoxious, but he was an excellent surgeon with insight and moments of genuine personal growth. There was still conflict, but class warfare was better than skill warfare.

Share this post


Link to post

Charles was a well-drawn character and David Ogden Stiers did a wonderful job portraying him, but I really don't like the overall direction the show took in season 6 (which started a bit in seasons 4 and 5, but escalated in 6).

 

I wonder how much people's views of M*A*S*H are affected by when they started watching it.  I can clearly remember watching the series debut in Sept. 1972, when I was a sophomore in high school.  It was unlike anything else on TV and captivated me immediately.  I didn't see the movie until some years later, but in hindsight, it's quite remarkable how true to the film's energy and style the early seasons were.  I understand that the characters and the kinds of stories portrayed had to change over time to avoid repetition, and I don't begrudge anyone for enjoying the later seasons.  But for me, the show stopped being the M*A*S*H I loved pretty much entirely after season 5.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I was born in 1972, so my earliest memories of the show are from the later seasons, and there isn't a shadow of a doubt that that's probably why I prefer the later ones. In fact, the first one I clearly remember watching is the one where David Ogden Stires joined the cast.

Share this post


Link to post

I was a HS senior when the show left the air so I grew up with it. Our family watched reruns every afternoon and the new episode every week so I was exposed to the early and late seasons simultaneously. There are certainly some gems in the early seasons, but I definitely prefer the later ones. When I finally had a chance to watch the movie, I thought it was horrible. The book was marginally better. Always interesting to see how different people react to the same show.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm rewatching before it disappears off Netflix and...season 8 seems to have a really noticeable drop in quality. Why is Potter yelling all the time?

Weirdly I guess Radar really was the heart of the show.

Not loving the bland Major Houlihan either.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm rewatching before it disappears off Netflix and...season 8 seems to have a really noticeable drop in quality. Why is Potter yelling all the time?

Weirdly I guess Radar really was the heart of the show.

Not loving the bland Major Houlihan either.

 

Yes, yes! I came here to debrief since I'm just starting season 11 on Netflix. Season 8 is exactly when I noticed a precipitous decline. Your complaints are almost exactly things I've complained to to my husband. "Colonel Potter was such a great character. Now he just barks all the time." "Major Houlihan isn't funny at all...no personality anymore. She's not even the least bit boy crazy." "OMG...why did they take Klinger out of the dresses? He's not funny either!" "Hawkeye is being mean for laughs. He's not mean!" "Why are they ALL oohing and ahhing over a baby that showed up in camp? Surely they wouldn't all have the exact same reaction." (I really hated that episode.)

I will say, it did get a little better, I think. At least Colonel Potter's barking did. And I started enjoying the show a bit again. I almost just gave up on it and stopped watching in Season 8.

I do think they did a great job with the character of Winchester...and we wouldn't have gotten that without the later seasons. I also love that Nurse Kelly gets featured in the early season 11 episode I watched last night. The continuity from season one through eleven with the secondary characters is really nice (nurse Kelly, the food serving guy, Rizzo, Sidney Friedman).

I've looked over this page of the thread, but want to go back and read the rest. But already I can see some prefer the later seasons. To each his own, I guess. Seasons 1-3 were the way I'll prefer to remember MASH...wacky hijinks with lots of heart. Then in my memories I'll throw in some Colonel Potter and the interesting moments with Winchester. But I'll always remember Klinger in a dress. :)

Edited to add....sorry, I seem to be having trouble quoting properly.

Share this post


Link to post

To each his own, I guess. Seasons 1-3 were the way I'll prefer to remember MASH...wacky hijinks with lots of heart. Then in my memories I'll throw in some Colonel Potter and the interesting moments with Winchester. But I'll always remember Klinger in a dress. :)

 

Agree (as you might suspect from my comments above), though I strongly dislike the Nurse Kelly episode. 

Share this post


Link to post

I liked the Nurse Kellye episode in theory because it was more or less done as a tribute to Kellye Nakahara, who'd been on the show since the first or second season, usually uncredited since she had no lines most of the time. In a few early episodes, she was referred to as one of the Nurse Ables or Nurse Bakers that were always in the background, but eventually she became Lieutenant Kellye and a minor character in her own right. But "in theory" is about as much as I can like the episode because she was not a very good actress. Very sweet and cute as a button, but that's about it. As I recall, she had a more substantial role in another army show right after MASH ended, but it didn't last even a full season.

Share this post


Link to post

Exactly, fishcakes. I liked the idea of giving this always in the background character a chance to shine. Didn't love the episode, didn't hate it. I did kind of like when she stormed out of the room after listing her good qualities to Hawkeye, yelling, "and I'm cute as hell!" Cuz, hey, she is.

Share this post


Link to post

I watched "Hey, Look Me Over" last night for the first time in ages, and it didn't grate as much as I had remembered.  I mostly hate what they did to Hawkeye in the later seasons.  He seemed much more perceptive in the early years.

Share this post


Link to post

Well I'm just now into season 9. I don't think I'm gonna finish before Friday. I can feel it get a little better but I'm still a little bored. I really think the show suffers with Klinger in Radar's role and out of dresses. I can totally understand why Jamie Farr pushed them to change up Klinger but...eh.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Though a war for all seasons aka the year in an episode was really good

That's one of my favorite episodes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Though a war for all seasons aka the year in an episode was really good

 

It's my absolute favorite episode!  I've seen it literally hundreds of times.  It's great when you're feeling down or sick and just want "comfort TV."

Share this post


Link to post

I remember almost word-for-word the passage in the book that explained the nickname.

He was intro'd as Capt McIntyre, but Hawkeye had a nagging feeling he knew him from somewhere. Then one day-- IIRC, they're throwing a football around, and it hits him. "Jesus to Jesus and eight hands around!....This is the famous Trapper John." (So called because a train conductor caught him & his Winter Carnival date in the bathroom, and she yelled, "He trapped me!")

"Officer of the Day" is my favorite -- most hilarious lines per minute, plus the famous "I will not carry a gun!" speech. And any ep featuring Col Flagg deserves its own category.

Share this post


Link to post

And any ep featuring Col Flagg deserves its own category.

 

I like the one where the wind broke its leg (or maybe arm).

Share this post


Link to post

No matter how many times I see it, it makes me laugh when Colonel Flagg tries to get Winchester to spy on Hawkeye for him by promising to send Winchester back to Boston where he can have dinner every night with his mother, father, and sister Honoria, which he mispronounces to rhyme with diarrhea.

Edited by fishcakes
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

OMG... I'm in the middle of watching "The Abduction of Margret Houlihan" and came across this gem by Col. Flagg:

Colonel Flagg: “There’s only one flaw in that theory.”
Hawkeye: “Only one?”
Colonel Flagg: “They don’t do three shows Saturday night at the Sands.”
Hawkeye: “How do you know?”
Colonel Flagg: “I was a showgirl for six weeks.”

Eeep O_O. Just pictured that and cracked up XD.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

The problem with quoting Colonel Flagg is that almost everything he says is quoteworthy, IF you "hear" it in Edward Winter's voice.  That man was brilliant at deadpan.

"You took a yellow Red before a White American, and that's pretty pinko!"

"I've trained myself not to laugh or smile. I watched a hundred hours of the Three Stooges; every time I felt like smiling or laughing, I jabbed myself in the stomach with a cattle prod."

"You think you're real smart. But you're not smart; you're dumb. Very dumb. But you've met your match in me."

I mean, these read kind of amusing.  But put them in Flagg's voice, and I'm rolling on the floor.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

The show did a good job with adding new characters to replace departing ones. And while it was still funny in later, man it could be extremely mawkish as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size