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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by AllanN, Jul 11, 2003.
In 'The Complete Book of MASH' Wayne Rogers states that he left because he wanted Trapper to be an equal partner for Hawkeye but the writers turned him into Hawkeye's sidekick.
He threatened to leave after season two but the writers promised to give him more lines/storylines - when that didn't happen he left after season three.
At least that's the official story.
I may have to look in to that book, it sounds like an interesting read.
From all accounts that I've come across, that cast really didn't get along with each other all that well. Bergoff(sp?) has been described on 1 website as a "hot head" and nobody was "sheading any tears" when he left the show. Just a lot of infighting from what I've heard, but I'm definitely interested in that book.
I got the Season 4 DVDs and have just watched the first two episodes, "Welcome to Korea" and "Change of Command." Even though I just saw parts of those two recently on FX, seeing the DVD was as though I had never seen them before. There are huge sections that are cut out for TV syndication that I have never seen. In fact now certain lines, jokes or references make more sense now that the episodes are restored. I have to give the producers, writers and actors credit. They did an amazing job of writing fresh, new material to cover for the departure of two lead actors. I was excited about the 3rd Season a few months ago, now I can't wait to get thru the 4th Season to see what other long-lost sections I'll discover.
Yeah that's why I like these sets, Mash has been Gouged for Syndication for so long that the last time I saw these uncut was when they originally aired. And you memorize the cut versions so that the longer shows are actually really fresh even thou you've seen them a dozen times. I have'nt cracked my Season 4 yet cause I'm still muddling thru Season 3 but Is the First Episode the original One Hour Version or the Syndicated two Parter?
^^ that question is answered earlier in this thread!
"Welcome to Korea" is 50 minutes long, and does not have the interlude or "story so far" PA announcer inbetween halves. It does have the preview of Potter's first appearance at the end, as the PA announcer gives the "permanently assigned to the 4077th" wrap.
"Change of Command" has a hilarious opening scene that was new to me, with Frank and Hot Lips in the C.O.'s office when Frank says "Ever since I've been in charge you haven't let me do anything!"
Yeah the Endings were usually cut for syndication so alot of Episode Epiologues seem new to me. Glad to hear about the original 50 min ep. Mash I think really outstayed it's welcome the Network insisted it come back and I think after year 8 it really became Weaker and Weaker.
Still those seasons 9-11 are still infinately better than anything else on the Tube now. The thing that kind of bummed me out about the later years is how the chaacters devulged from their beginnings. Hawkeye was always a practical Joker and has done off the wall Crazy things in the early years. In the Finale they:
Lock him up for Stealing a tank. "Stealing a Tank" he did that at least once in earlier episodes, yet the characters all thinks he's whacked for it.
I definately think the show was at it's peak when it was less of a "Dramady"
Yep that's correct, they still though he was crazy after stealing the Tank and that was a very "Hawkeye" thing to do.
I felt that way about the series finale when I first saw it (20 years ago!), but then saw it for the first time since 1983 back on July 4th of this year and it made a little more sense.
Yes, he does funny and weird things earlier in the series, but the point here is that he didn't only do what was mentioned above, but he did lots of other things including putting a patient's life in jeopardy by not letting the gas-passer put the patient to sleep. "You accused him of trying to smother him..." or something is what the psychiatrist said.
Consider that Hawkeye is the only one who does NOT know why he's locked up and what he saw, then it becomes less contradictory.
But I do agree that the later seasons are less interesting than the earlier ones. One thing I've discovered with these DVDs of M*A*S*H is that the first 3 or 4 seasons have layer upon layer of great comedy mixed with drama. It's not that it became more of a "dramady" that bugs me, but that there was no longer a balance of satire and drama. It became one or the other, like "here's the serious tent, now here's the funny tent."
I always attribute the Dramedy to when Charles arrives. With Frank gone there is less and less comedy each season. Charles is just not as much of a comedic actor or character as Frank and was better suited for Drama. And then there is also Alda getting more control of the show as each season went on and wanting to do more "preachy" episodes.
One good resource on MASH I have found is the newsgroup
Larry Gelbart posts in that group and answers questions almost all the time, he posts under "Elsig"
Well, but then again I think some of the best writing on the show was during the character transition episodes. There are some priceless pieces of dialogue when Frank disappears and Charles becomes his replacement.
It's when Radar takes off that things go south.
There are maybe 4 or 5 episodes out of those last 2 or 3 seasons that are the least bit interesting.
...As soon as I figure out how to join a newsgroup...
that's my opinion too.
the Burns character is emblematic of why i'm not that big a fan of the first few seasons. it's very broad humour.
somewhat contrived even.
i don't see Frank as a real person so much as a cartoon/caricature.
Winchester, on the other hand, was an ass-but was allowed to be much more dimensional.
additionally the humour of the first few seasons seems really forced to me-like they are trying soooo hard to show you how 'wacky' these guys are. i see it as an honest attempt to channel the irreverance of the film, but it didn't give the series much room to breathe.
i think all the cast changes (save the deletion of Radar), allowed the series to finally establish its own identity and voice.
there are a few gems sprinkled in first few, but i think once Winchester showed up, there was finally a 'real' foil for the other two.
and the dynamic between Hawkeye and BJ was stronger than with Trapper, because the latter was essentially the same character as Hawkeye.
i may pick up S4 at some point, but the next few are the ones i really want.
Adam, thanks for your help. I'll give that a try!