Friday, January 14, 2005

M*A*S*H* Musings

I grew up on MASH, as many of us did, or can still do, since you can find it somewhere on cable TV at almost any time of day. This show really shaped me (maybe even more than Tommy Boy). From my anti-war stance to the name of my blankie, MASH has always been at the center of who I am (along with Tommy Boy, my religion, family, and a few movies, like "Tommy," "Xanadu," and "Tootsie.")

Let's begin with Hawkeye--you may know him as Benjamin Franklin Pierce. Pierce was the first man I ever loved. I mean, who could resist him? I used to try to be the resident Hawkeye at girl's camp: I wore a tattered bathrobe, didn't always follow the rules, always had good contraband (like a walkman and face cards, not necessarily a still to make my own martinis), and enjoyed a good practical joke or two.

Hotlips. You always want her to break up with Frank and get together with Hawkeye, but when they do finally get together, she acts so cheesy that it is literally PAINFUL to watch. All you want is for her to shut up and just keep on kissing him. But, in the last episode when he kisses her....that's a good end.

Ahhh, the great Trapper vs. Honeycut debate! I've been battling myself for years over who I like better, and the fact is, there's no choosing. Trapper is more attractive and fun-spirited. But Honeycut, well, he's more of a down-to-earth family man. I love it when he talks to Peg on the phone. It boils down to my Lennon/McCartney philosophy: I would date Trapper but would probably rather marry B.J. Honeycut--and then only if Hawkeye were already taken.

Another great debate: Colonel Potter or Henry Blake? I feel strongly in favor of Colonel Potter as a leader, an example, yet someone who knows how to have fun. He's a father figure for me. However, I have a v. soft place in my heart for Henry and felt absolutely appalled when they killed him in a plane crash for no reason. He was leaving the show, yes, but all they had to do was send him home, which they were doing. That added death was unnecessarily sad, which is against my policy when it comes to movies and TV. Henry, in my mind you made it home to your wife and kids. And I always loved how Colonel Potter rode a horse.

What can I say about Frank Burns? I loved to hate him, and all through my childhood I was able to find a little Frank Burns in all of my enemies--or sometimes some of my siblings. Frank Burns was a true villain, unlike

Major Winchester, who I considered a poor replacement for Frank. Winchester, as pompous, fastidious fool was easy to dislike, but there were times when he was likeable, times when he joined forces with Hawkeye and Honeycut. I like my villains uncomplicated. No shades of gray for me, particularly in the realm of TV.

But my absolute favorite character on MASH has always been

Radar. I named my blanket after him when I was very little--so little, in fact, that I couldn't even pronounce his name. "Rehar" has been with me until very recently, when Mike finally forced me to throw it away. I mean, it really was just a few shreds of fabric, but it was still hard to let go. I know Radar is a little naive, a little simple, but he's so SWEET. That really resonated with me as a two-year-old.

As a side note. Can you believe that my very own Opie appeared in one of the episodes?

Hubba, hubba. Who can blame me for dating his look-alike?

And, do we like Klinger better when he's dressed as a woman or as a man? I gotta say, it is a little upsetting for me to see him in man clothes.

Incidentally, one of my very good friends was not allowed to watch MASH when she was little. I always wondered why. Was it the anti-war sentiment? The adult issues, in general? The fact that Hawkeye was a bit of a mimbo? Was it Klinger in drag? Perhaps I'll never know. I always thought it was quite conservative, considering

the presence of this man. He always kept the show grounded, I thought. But I got a little sick of that soft, lilting voice.

Ahh, me. I love putting pictures on my blog.


  1. You are very good at this. I love your new pics. And I've been wanting to have a really thoruough MASH disussion for a while.

  2. Carly, I asked my mom recently why I wasn't allowed to watch MASH and she really coulnd't pinpoint any specific reason.. It was probably a little of all of the reasons you suggested put together. My parents were very strict in my early years.. I was allowed to choose 1 hour of TV a day and I chose the 20 minute workout and I Love Lucy. ahh, how things have changed.

    You also have to consider I wasn't even allowed to watch Sesame Street because they taught you to read thru memorization and not phonics.

  3. Beautiful photo essay! Very nice.

    My parents let me watch MASH, but not Sesame Street (the puppets just annoyed my mother), or the Simpsons.

    I can't believe Mike made you throw Rehar away. Unfeeling, I tell you.

  4. If Dave made me throw away my blankie it would be grounds for divorce. You are a very strong woman.

  5. I love this post. I need to learn how to add pictures to my own.

    I think I've seen ever MASH episode. My older brother used to record them religiously. His goal was to have every single episode on VHS (AH! The 80'S!) We would pop in one of his tapes just about every day...hours and hours of MASH. I must be really smart.

    Have they come out of DVD yet? That would be the ultimate gift for my brother, I think.

  6. I had an argument with a missionary companion on whether the scar on her neck was from a "tracheotemy" or a "tracheostemy". She was the one with the blasted scar from the procedure but I instisted that I knew what it was called because I had seen Hawkeye preform one with a pen in an emergency.

    Best episode EVER: the prank one where they dig a pit outside of the tent and fill it with water and shout "AIR RAID" and Frank comes out shouting hysterically and falls in...i rewound that part like 90 times...

  7. yeah, I am pretty hot there.