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M*A*S*H... love or hate?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:15 am
@panzade,
It has been many years since I read the novel M*A*S*H, but I seem to recall that the football game is in the book.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:17 am
@joefromchicago,
prolly...I just thought it got played up out of proportion in the film.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:34 am
@joefromchicago,
The football game is indeed in the novel. The most surreal aspect of the novel is the Trapper John as Jesus theme, which Altman either couldn't pull off in the movie, or which ended up on the cutting room floor. I personally thought, though, that the motion picture did a good job with the material from the novel, something at which the television series never succeeded. At first, i was delighted that Gary Burghoff was to reprise his role from the movie, but i felt that they ruined the character by making him unbelievably naive--in the movie his character slyly exploited that image of him; in the television series, they apparently took it seriously.

I was hitchhiking through Iowa once, and was picked up by a guy in his 30s (i'd say) with his two kids. My immediate thought was "this is Radar O'Reilly, ten years later." Iowa is an easy state to hitch in. People pull over right away, and give you a short ride to their exit. You get down, and someone else picks you up right away. I made it from the Mississippi to Council Bluffs in 13 rides, from sunup to just after lunch. "Radar" gave me the longest ride, and we sang children's songs with his sons.
RadAndRandom
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:14 pm
Hmm, today I asked my aunt about the show, thinking that since she is much older, she has seen it. She said she hated it and it was "stupid and annoying". Hmm.
But I will rent at least the first season from the library and come up with my own opinion. Confused
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:16 pm
I'd say it's one of those things where people either loved it or hated it.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:50 pm
@Setanta,
I'm not a big Altman fan, but I loved the movie. His typical employment of overlapping lines of dialog worked well in the operating room scenes.

The first season of the tv series actually had more of the characters from the book/movie than would appear in later seasons, such as Spearchucker Jones and Ugly John. As with many other television shows, the subsidiary characters were jettisoned in order to focus more on the stars. The same thing happened with Barney Miller and LA Law. The first season of M*A*S*H had a realistically crowded operating room full of doctors; by the end, there were only four doctors in the entire unit.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 07:01 pm
@joefromchicago,
The second surgical hospital in which i served was only a 60 bed hospital, very modest. The surgical hospital of the motion picture and the television hospital (i.e., from the novel) was undoubtedly a hundred bed, if not a hundred-fifty bed unit. We had six surgeons, and two internists. All surgical hospitals must be commanded by a surgeon, and surgeons who have completed their residency are promoted Major upon completing their induction training. So our hospital commander was a Major, the executive officer was a Lieutenant Colonel (Medical Service Corps) and the Chief of Nursing Services was a Lieutenant Colonel. In addition, there were, besides the nurses, a detachment commander (Captain) for the medical detachment, a Registrar (usually a Captain, as was the case in that Surg), and warrant officers who were the medivac pilots--we also had a Lieutenant who had been promoted from Warrant Officer and who commanded the air transport platoon. We were, of course, open 24-7, and a surgeon and an internist, or two surgeons, were on duty at all times.

I could go on for pages about how unrealistic the depiction of that hospital was, but i'm not the kind who lets that sort of thing spoil good entertainment for me. The motion picture, however, was a fairly accurate depiction of a surgical hospital in the field, and Altman did a good job with it.

Interestingly, by the time i was first assigned to a surgical hospital, they were no longer designated MASH. They were designated Surgical Hospital (MA), the latter acronym meaning "Mobile Army."
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:36 pm
so did they call them SHMAs?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:43 pm
@MontereyJack,
No, i have already noted how they designated them: i was stationed first at the 25ht Surgical Hospital (MA), after which i was sent to Korea on a levy, and was initially assigned to the 44th Surgical Hospital (MA). Quite a while later, i was assigned to the 11th Evacuation Hospital, by then a station hospital in the port of Pusan. The common way to refer to a Surgical Hospital was by saying "Surge," as in "I'm gonna run down to the 44th Surge and see if i can waste the whole day complaining about back pains."
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 10:41 am
I read the novel and enjoyed it. I have seen the movie several times. I refused to watch the TV series, until it entered the last two or three years. Since then, I have watched all episodes and even have the first 3 seasons on DVD. I disagree with those who maintain that the last seasons were not as good as the first. Eight seasons with no changes would have lost enough viewers to get it canceled, no matter how funny and well presented. I appreciated the Harry Morgan character as much as McClean Stevenson's. I never thought the TV show did justice to Trapper or Spear Chucker. Larry Linville's character had gone as far as it could. Winchester filled his place very ably. The episode in which one soldier declared himself to be Jesus was one of my favorites.
0 Replies
 
Frenchfry
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Sep, 2010 02:52 am
@RadAndRandom,
I love MASH. I am a big fan. I think I have watched every episode.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Sep, 2010 04:06 am
Love it. Mash was so popular that to assist those who were watching reruns (which were on every night BEFORE CABLE) the producers put out a episode guide in the form of a book. I had this book. In it we got all of the plot details, who did what behind the scenes, got a heads up on flubs to watch for (for instance something that was in the scene that had not been invented yet), and we got a heads up when one episode tied to another in some way.
0 Replies
 
 

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