Jump to content
Rhondinella

MASH

Recommended Posts

On 4/1/2014 at 2:15 PM, Rhondinella said:

Here's the thread for discussion of the show itself, including specific episodes, contents and themes in general, etc.  I'll start some character threads for specific character discussion.  Feel free to start threads of your own. Unlike TWoP, we don't mind having more than one thread for old shows like this.

Oh, and welcome everyone!

"TWoP"?

Share this post


Link to post

I just saw something I've never noticed before.  In the episode Tuttle, where Hawkeye, Trapper and Radar invent an officer and give all his pay to an orphanage, then kill him off when he jumps from a plane with no shoot, in the closing credits, there's a listing for "Captain Tuttle as Himself."  So funny, but I never noticed before!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

"Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?" was on yesterday.  Alan Fudge, as the title character, plays a bombardier who has a break with reality, and is convinced he's Christ.

His back & forth with Sydney (brought in to examine him) is a scene I've screened in class before, even though I have a tough time getting past the tears to discuss it after.  A beautiful 3-minute dissection on the meaning of faith.

Too lazy to google when the "Featured Actor" Emmy became a category, but this stunning, understated performance by Fudge is an example of why it was created in the first place.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

One of my favorite eps ever on today...the one with Hawkeye temp blinded from the flash fire.  The scene where they trick Frank with the fake baseball game is still hilarious, esp when they mess up the strike haha.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I forgot how much I enjoyed this show.  It stands up pretty well over time.    I don't have a DVR so I missed a couple of episodes during what amounted to an out of order and random marathon.  I am torn about whether I like the Trapper/Burns/Blake years better or the BJ/Charles/Potter years.  Both have merit but I think it comes down to me liking Charles Winchester III over Frank Burns.   I liked that he was able to get one over on Pierce and BJ on occasion.    

There was a particular line I always remembered but could never place where I heard it from and apparently it was from MASH.  It was the epsidode where the bomber guy thought he was Jesus Christ.  Sydney talked to him about the nature of God and eventually he asked him if God answered all prayers.  The kid said "Yes, sometimes the answer is no."   That line stuck with me and still does. 

What I enjoyed about the show was that sometimes the minor and recurring characters got the good lines.  They weren't always reserved for the stars.  Yes the late years did become the Alan Alda show but honestly I don't think the show suffered all that much for it.  

Plus it is always fun to play the "Hey I know that guy" game with some of the guest stars.   My God Ron Howard looked young.  Then again he played a 15 year old who snuck into the army.   Heh!  

Edited by Chaos Theory
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I thought it was interesting that everyone involved with MASH (actors, actresses, directors, producers, etc.) said Larry Linville was a great guy and a complete professional.  No matter how dumb they made Frank look, Larry Linville showed up and gave it his all.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Not a funny quote, but one I liked from Margaret to BJ.  BJ was upset because Peg had gotten a job, Hawkeye had been trying to talk to him about it all day, and BJ just kept drinking.  Margaret thought something really horrible had happened to BJ's family, and when she found out what BJ was upset about she went off on him ending with, "Maybe you do have the most to lose, but that's because you have the most."

I don't know why they had Margaret and Hawkeye hook up.  It was OOC for both of them, but I did love when Margaret was trying to get Hawkeye out of the shack, and she told him, "Of course, they will come in here.  We came in here.  He came in here (wounded enemy soldier).  Everyone comes in here.  Now move it and let's get out of here."

A drunk Margaret to Trapper, "And you're really built."

Margaret about Potter to a Korean woman, "He's a man.  You know how they are."  Korean woman nods her head.  Margaret to Potter, "She knows."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

It's been discussed here how Mrs. Henry Blake's name changed to Lorraine from Mildred.  I noticed this past week another naming oddity.  In the ep where Trapper wants to adopt the little Korean boy who may be an orphan (and they both end up trapped in the minefield), we hear Trapper's voiceover as he writes a letter to his wife about the boy, and her name is Louise. If my memory is correct, this is the only ep where we hear her name. In a strange coincidence, Louise was also the name of Mrs. Frank Burns.    And of course, there was Mildred Potter.  Not to mention the legendary Mildred Feeny, who delivered Adam's Ribs to the airport!

Share this post


Link to post

I love reading quotes! Here's two of my favorite Margaret ones:

"I'm not as think as you drunk I am!"

and:

"How would you like to be up to your knees in floor?"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎4‎/‎26‎/‎2014 at 6:56 PM, BizBuzz said:

It was a good day when David joined the cast. He was just enough of a misfit, but certainly up to handle the antics of BJ and Hawkeye.

DOS was excellent as Charles Emerson Winchester the third.  It was smart of the producers and writers to go in this direction when LL left.  In and interview LL was asked if he ever thought about making Frank different, and LL said Frank can't be Hawkeye, and Frank can't get a complete personality transplant.

One of my favorite scenes with Charles was in the episode when they were trying to find a home for a mixed-race child.  They kept running into roadblocks with the military, politicians, the government in South Korea, etc.  Finally, after exhausting almost all possibilities, they decide to go further up the chain of command with a more diplomatic approach.  At which point, Potter nominates Winchester as being someone who speaks high pooie floo tooie or something like that.  Charles and Hawkeye are in the guys office, and he keeps taking phone calls, and leaving, interrupting them when they try to tell him what is going on.  Hawkeye is getting annoyed, and Charles tell him to, "Simmer down Pierce.  This is why I'm here.  To talk to this guy, not punch his lights out."  Then Charles gets fed up, goes off on the guy, and Hawkeye ends up having to hold Charles back.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/5/2017 at 0:10 PM, Chaos Theory said:

I forgot how much I enjoyed this show.  It stands up pretty well over time.    I don't have a DVR so I missed a couple of episodes during what amounted to an out of order and random marathon.  I am torn about whether I like the Trapper/Burns/Blake years better or the BJ/Charles/Potter years.  Both have merit but I think it comes down to me liking Charles Winchester III over Frank Burns.   I liked that he was able to get one over on Pierce and BJ on occasion.    

There was a particular line I always remembered but could never place where I heard it from and apparently it was from MASH.  It was the epsidode where the bomber guy thought he was Jesus Christ.  Sydney talked to him about the nature of God and eventually he asked him if God answered all prayers.  The kid said "Yes, sometimes the answer is no."   That line stuck with me and still does. 

What I enjoyed about the show was that sometimes the minor and recurring characters got the good lines.  They weren't always reserved for the stars.  Yes the late years did become the Alan Alda show but honestly I don't think the show suffered all that much for it.  

Plus it is always fun to play the "Hey I know that guy" game with some of the guest stars.   My God Ron Howard looked young.  Then again he played a 15 year old who snuck into the army.   Heh!  

I love Potter well enough, but I like Blake more. I'll take Winchester and BJ though.

Watching random reruns out of order it's clear how much BJ brings to the show that Trapper never did. I blame the writing more than the acting. Most of the time Trapper was there for Hawkeye to bounce jokes off of, while BJ had his own dry wit and a more individual character.

I feel mostly the same way about Winchester vs Burns. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I much prefer Winchester to Burns, because poor Frank was just a sitting duck.  Hawkeye et al could out-think and out-trick Frank with one brain hemisphere tied behind their backs, but Winchester could give as good as he took.  It just seemed a fairer fight.

I wonder if Trapper never stood out as a character because he was so similar to Hawkeye.  BJ was always a much straighter arrow than Hawkeye, right from the beginning.  In the movie (and book), Trapper was so much weirder than in the series and stood out that way.  But in the series, Trapper did indeed rather fade into the background--I don't much blame Wayne Rogers for leaving.

Something I just thought of: most series, when they replace a character, tend to replace them with someone just like the original character, as if we won't realize the original person had gone (and let's not get into recasting the same character!).  MASH went in very different directions: Trapper/BJ, Blake/Potter, and Frank/Charles are in many ways polar opposites.  Maybe that's why it worked?  I don't know; most TV shows I like tend to be cancelled long before actors are ready to leave.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
On 2017-03-13 at 0:33 AM, ae2 said:

Watching random reruns out of order it's clear how much BJ brings to the show that Trapper never did. I blame the writing more than the acting. Most of the time Trapper was there for Hawkeye to bounce jokes off of, while BJ had his own dry wit and a more individual character.

There's a great example of that towards the end of the show. In an early episode, Hawkeye and Trapper met a reckless colonel, and faked appendicitis in order to remove him from the front lines. (Because apparently, removing your appendix means you can't serve in the active military. Or something.) In a later season, Hawk and BJ run into another colonel who's more worried about capturing a small strip of land than the number of men who are killed trying to gain that patch of dirt. Hawkeye fakes appendicitis, says he has to operate, and BJ is absolutely horrified at the idea.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I thought it was Hawkeye and Trapper making a colonel (Leslie Nielsen?) believe he was crazy to take him off the front lines. They had the guy believing Frank was gay and was hitting on him, Henry was a drunk, and Hot Lips was Henry's lady and had the hots for the colonel. Hawkeye and Radar got Henry drunk, goes to the tent where Frank, Hawkeye and the colonel was in, and Henry brought out his firearm because he was suppose to go to the shooting range that day.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, bigskygirl said:

I thought it was Hawkeye and Trapper making a colonel (Leslie Nielsen?) believe he was crazy to take him off the front lines. They had the guy believing Frank was gay and was hitting on him, Henry was a drunk, and Hot Lips was Henry's lady and had the hots for the colonel. Hawkeye and Radar got Henry drunk, goes to the tent where Frank, Hawkeye and the colonel was in, and Henry brought out his firearm because he was suppose to go to the shooting range that day.

Oh, that happened, too. The appendix thing was another episode.

Share this post


Link to post

Was this episode in Season 3 with Colonel Flagg when Trapper and Hawkeye make him sick enough to be operated on by taking out his appendix so Flagg could not steal penicillin? Amazing I can remember this, but I cannot remember what I need to pick up at the store.

Share this post


Link to post

It's weird that I am a huge fan. But, haven't ever seen too much of Season 11.

Watching "As Time Goes By" for the first time now. And, was surprised to find out how Klinger met Soon-Li. And, her tossing the food on him...whoa. Not that I blame her. Cause, I understand why she was so ticked off.

 

Kinda mad that Sundance didn't air Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen in their marathon block. The only channel I know that does air it is METV. And, I can't DVR that. Meh. I need DVD money.

Edited by Ryan Chamberlain

Share this post


Link to post

Haha. About his name...I've always told myself it was Billy Joel. Just cause, that's one of my favorite singers and BJ is my second favorite character on MASH (after Mulcahy) So....why not. LMAO.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Watching the late seasons I realized why I like them sometimes more then I do the early ones.  The main group act like a weird kind of family and not like two enemy camps.  One of the things I disliked about the Frank years was the the sole lead female character was often portrayed as a humorless shrew in the early seasons.  That was less so in the late seasons.  Hell she was part of the group towards the end participating in their antics.    I also really liked that Winchester despite his upperclass upbringing was also part of the group and quite capable of giving as good as he got.    Frank was too easy prey and that got old quick.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Frank was very one-dimensional and I rarely watch his episodes anymore.

Alan Alda got increasingly preachy in the later ones but had enough humor to offset it.

Share this post


Link to post

Watching "The Party", which was such a lovely ep.  And it featured one of my favorite codas:

Charles (responding to the possibility that Radar's family might visit his at Cape Cod): "I shan't be there.  I'm turning myself in to the Chinese!"

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Yay! "The Incubator"! featuring Captain Sloan , the walking definition of "humorless", who also appeared in an early poker game ep.  Always a welcome addition.   I can testify that the Captain, Major, and Colonel involved still exist -- in government, in academia, in corporate America.  That's one of the things that made this series so genius.

Loved that Colonel, who totally nailed the difference between Hawkeye & Trapper, when he said the latter had a "nasty streak of morality".  This is what caused the price of the incubator he offered them to go up. ("...plus 10 percent for tolerance!" -- a line I sprinkle into convo to this day)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Been missing this show since they took it off Netflix a year ago this month.  They had given me just enough time to watch the whole series once.  I really wanted a rewatch.  Well, wait until Christmas for DVDs I thought.   The DVD price on Amazon skyrocketed over the holidays.  It recently got down to $90 for all 11 seasons plus the movie so I ordered today.  Thought I'd share here.  

Share this post


Link to post

Agreeing that I too was missing M*A*S*H... can't explain why.. I think it is on now 7 days a week b/w Sundance, WGN, and A&E.

too many episodes to say which is my favorite.. I think a close would be the "nurse/doctor-to-be" episode when Potter said to Hawkeye, Houlihan and Father Mc , after his speech (which was hysterical in itself): "You stop talking about her, you stop hating her, and you stop dating her".. The 3 didn't know what to say to that !!

I also like the episode when they do a full year (1951-1952), as a New Years eve - the cook creamed the newly harvested corn on the 4th, Winchester lost $$ betting on the world series, the pot holder, that became a sweater, and the infamous Sears catalogue shopping. Radar and Henry leaving was sad, but I still enjoy re-seeing . I like the "bug out" when BJ planned/organized a party for family members back home. The practical jokes they played on each other when the visiting General came (who was a plant by Potter) - Margret tent covering was gone...

Sad to say my least fav is the pilot. And I think a couple of others during the first season.

I wonder if the rerun networks are going to show "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"..

Edited by sATL
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

MeTV runs it Mon-Fri at 7-8 pm ET. I think the last time they showed the Finale was on Veterans Day.

Edited by chessiegal

Share this post


Link to post

Now for the snark... Just what happened to Margaret's hair and hair color (I'm guessing via a bottle/box) as the series progressed ? It was too light, stringy and looked just unhealthy. And a couple of scenes on different episodes she worn stockings that gave her legs an odd shine . one episode she was running out of the shower when a local young man was trying to escape from being taken as soldier, barged in on her. I'm thinking if she was supposed to be in the shower, and her neckline was bare, she was wrapped in a towel, why the hideous hose ? And about the same time in the series, she had makeup-foundation and lipstick that just didn't look right.

Edited by sATL

Share this post


Link to post

And I remember reading that by the end he couldn't even bear to watch the scene itself.  Someone would watch the dailies and let him know if he was good, which they said he always was.

Share this post


Link to post

"Rally 'Round the Flagg, Boys!" was on today, reminding me of another great Flagg episode that was also one of the best from Charles.

The Colonel blackmailed Winchester into finding evidence that Hawkeye was a Commie ("You took a yellow Red in front of a white American.  That's pretty pinko!" Hawkeye: "You're even boring in Technicolor."), but Charles found a way to set him up instead.  But good.

Flagg's "Caramba! Mr Big himself!" is a greeting my brother & I used, often.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Saw one of my favorite episodes yesterday, the one where Col. Potter arrives.  I love how Hawkeye and BJ become his allies, much to the dismay of Frank and Margaret.  I laugh every time when he tells Klinger, "Nice outfit."  The look on Frank's face is priceless.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, camom said:

Saw one of my favorite episodes yesterday, the one where Col. Potter arrives.  I love how Hawkeye and BJ become his allies, much to the dismay of Frank and Margaret.  I laugh every time when he tells Klinger, "Nice outfit."  The look on Frank's face is priceless.

One of my favorite scenes of the entire series is the shot from outside the Swamp, when Potter, Hawk and B.J. are singing. It's beautiful and poignant and so atmospheric.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

I am torn about whether I like the Trapper/Burns/Blake years better or the BJ/Charles/Potter years.  Both have merit but I think it comes down to me liking Charles Winchester III over Frank Burns.   I liked that he was able to get one over on Pierce and BJ on occasion.    

For me it's not so much one cast vs another as it is middle years vs first and last. With sitcoms often the first year is a settling in period for the characters. There are good laughs, but also some clunky moments while they figure out the rhythms and beats of the characters and writing. Then they settle into really good stuff for the next few years, as happened here, and then often wind up in the last year or two suddenly getting super serious about things which I definitely thought happened with MASH which got a little preachy towards the end. Still good stuff, but really the best was from about year 2.5 - 10.5. Not to say there weren't really great episodes in years 1 and and 11, just that it didn't always work for me then.

Other sitcoms follow the pattern as well, clunky and broader comedy at the beginning and then trying to be too dramatic by series end. 

My favorite MASH moments, oh so many. But I always love the Sidney Freedman episodes. Second time when he appears, he's come to attend a conference (which is really a marathon poker game). Colonel Flagg is in this episode too and even sits in on the poker game for a while. All sorts of madness is happening throughout the camp as the game goes on and it's all just so well-timed and well written.

Adams Ribs, one of my all time favs. And the later one when Margaret's dad is visiting and the guys have gotten hold of a side of beef - they've "purloined some sirloin" according to Charles. 

Oh and one other continuity error for the series - in early episodes Hawkeye has a sister, but later he's an only child. 

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/18/2017 at 6:02 PM, rubaco said:

One of my favorite scenes of the entire series is the shot from outside the Swamp, when Potter, Hawk and B.J. are singing. It's beautiful and poignant and so atmospheric.

"There's a Long, Long Trail" = a ditty from WWl that Potter would have learned as a young man ("...had big thighs for a boy.")

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Yeah, every once in awhile, you'd get a glimpse of what his life was like beyond the 4077th, and it was pretty sad. 

Like when he's talking to his mother on the phone shortly after Hot Lips' engagement and he tells her, "I had a friend. But she was just pretending to be my friend. Like dad."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

LOVED the marathon on Sundance Channel. Fell asleep to episodes, woke up to episodes.

That being said, I dvr'd a few, including "Tuttle" from early on that had such clever writing as well as Henry's finale (not as funny as I remember and waaayyy ore touching (especially when he called his wife and wanted to walk into the country club and watch everyone's jaw drop), and still a gut punch even all these years later). I also got BJ showing up, which was so well played out as an introduction for him to the hell he was facing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Henry's leaving, and BJ's and Potter's arrivals are four of my favorite episodes.

Edited by Browncoat
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I had forgotten how many lines I stole from Hawkeye, particularly "You drive like I spit", which he says to Radar as they try to catch up with Trapper. I use that line a lot and had forgotten where I stole it from!

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Henry's finale (not as funny as I remember and waaayyy more touching (especially when he called his wife and wanted to walk into the country club and watch everyone's jaw drop), and still a gut punch even all these years later.

I agree. I watched "Abyssinia, Henry" two weeks ago and sat and cried almost as hard as I did the first time I saw it.

I'm watching Winchester's first episodes now and I am so glad that he and Margaret did not become a couple. She really had horrible taste in men. Donald was a serial womanizer and I always thought she was too strong a character to take him back after confirming that he had been with a newly arrived nurse to the 4077th.

On the subject of Hot Lips, I think one of her funniest scenes is the one where she gets that whip and tries out her skills in front of Radar. He looked genuinely scared!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Henry's finale (not as funny as I remember and waaayyy more touching (especially when he called his wife and wanted to walk into the country club and watch everyone's jaw drop), and still a gut punch even all these years later.

Henry to Lorraine:  I'm a 34 waist now.  You won't know me stripped. [winks at the guys]

Hawkeye (or Trapper?):  Wear your dog tags.

Share this post


Link to post

I've known Robert Altman, the director of the original movie hated the series but I never saw the DVD commentary track where he specifically says why. From an article:
 

Quote

 

Sparked by the appearance of Gary Burghoff (who played Radar in both the movie and the series) at Painless' coffin during the mock-suicide scene, Altman suddenly decides to let listeners know that "I didn't like the series because that series to me was the opposite of my main reason for making this film — and this was to talk about a foreign war, an Asian war, that was going on at the time. And to perpetuate that every Sunday night for 12 years — and no matter what platitudes they say about their little messages and everything — the basic image and message is that the brown people with the narrow eyes are the enemy.

"And so I think that series was quite a racist thing. I didn't approve of it, I don't like it, and I thought it was the antithesis of what we were trying to do. But most people don't even know this movie exists. If you poll the world, they'd say, 'Oh, that was that series with Alan Albert,' or whatever his name was."

 

Thoughts? I'm an Altman fan but he was definitely offbase in his opinions and I  think was more chaffed that the series was better known around the world than his movie. Was the series perfect? No, but it had a better anti-war message than the movie which seemed to be more about a bunch of sexist assholes. Donald Sutherland Hawkeye got to go home after two hours of randy misadventures, no worse for wear. Alan Alda Hawkeye finally went home after 12 seasons of living in a miserable situation and traumatized for life because he was responsible for a baby's death!

Edited by VCRTracking
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I have to agree. Altman does come across as more jealous than actually offended by the series. Now it has been a while since I've seen the movie but i don't ever remember getting a strong moral commentary on racism. Maybe it was there but not to the degree that the series was. I always thought the movie was much more "hijinks in a war zone" than "we will hold a mirror up to the moral and social failings of our time".

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, Mr. Altman. Bitter much? He probably knew Alan Alda starred in the series. He was just being a curmudgeon.

Got a question for you "M*A*S*H" experts: are we to understand that Margaret and Hawkeye had sexual relations when they were stranded in the bombed-out house while on their way to another MASH unit? Or was there just some heavy petting involved?

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Got a question for you "M*A*S*H" experts: are we to understand that Margaret and Hawkeye had sexual relations when they were stranded in the bombed-out house while on their way to another MASH unit? Or was there just some heavy petting involved?

Great question-I am not sure that we are to understand it at all-I think they intentionally left it ambiguous on how far they went. Clearly it lead to a level of closeness that they had not shared before, but they wanted us to keep guess-my guess is that they did, but knew it was a 1 time thing. It was funny watching Hawkeye's treatment of her improve over time, which ties out to what happened in the movie, where Hot Lips ended up sleeping with Duke Forrest and spending more time with the boys after Frank got sent home (in a straight jacket).

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

Was the series perfect? No, but it had a better anti-war message than the movie which seemed to be more about a bunch of sexist assholes.

Very well-put, and I agree. Altman does sound bitter with those remarks. I can't even watch his movie, to be honest.

2 hours ago, mmecorday said:

are we to understand that Margaret and Hawkeye had sexual relations when they were stranded in the bombed-out house while on their way to another MASH unit? Or was there just some heavy petting involved?

IMO, they definitely had sex. For a "sitcom" in the 1970s, it was S.O.P. to only imply sex, usually with a fade to commercial like in this episode. There was never any question in my mind that they did the deed.

Share this post


Link to post

I always thought they didn't, but then that might be influenced by the fact that I first watched this when I was very little. I think I may have been  5 or so, it wouldn't even occurred to me that they had sex. Now I can see they were implying it though. 

I was never a huge Margaret fan and that episode is very indicative of why. She just went so OOC to me when a guy was involved. I think it did get worse as time went on. She never seemed as crazy/obsessive with Frank as they had her be with Donald or even Hawkeye (for 1 episode). 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×