The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is stuck in the middle of the Korean war. With little help from the circumstances they find themselves in, they are forced to make their own fun. Fond of practical jokes and revenge, the doctors, nurses, administrators, and soldiers often find ways of making wartime life bearable. Nevertheless, the war goes on, Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Throughout the run of the series, any "generic" nurses (nurse characters who had a line or two, but were minor supporting characters otherwise) were generally given the names "Nurse Able", "Nurse Baker", or "Nurse Charlie". These names stem from the phonetic alphabet used by the military and HAM operators at the time. During the time period of the Korean War, the letters A, B, and C in the phonetic alphabet were Able, Baker, and Charlie (since then, the standard has been updated, and A and B are now Alpha and Bravo). In later seasons, it became more common for a real character name to be created, especially as several of the nurse actors became semi-regulars. For example, Kellye Nakahara played both "Able" and "Charlie" characters in season three before becoming the semi-regular "Nurse Kellye"; on the other hand, Judy Farrell (then Mrs. Mike Farrell) played Nurse Able in eight episodes, including the series finale. See more »
Many of the characters' backgrounds i.e. family changes from episode to episode. See more »
I've found many of the comments about this series to be quite amusing, particularly the ones bashing it for "shoving" a liberal agenda down viewers throats. Given it's success for 11 years, I don't think the audience seemed to agree with that assessment. Quite simply, the show was one of the best written, best acted, and most entertaining shows in television history. Yes, it wore out its welcome in the end; but, it is a masterpiece that later shows rarely measured up to.
I have no great preference for one season's cast over another. Each character was unique and had something to contribute. When we lost the bumbling, but loveable Henry Blake, we got the stern but loving Sherman Potter. Both were the C.O., but each was a different person, a smart move by the creators. The same is true for Frank Burns and Charles Emerson Winchester III. Burns was a neurotic, vindictive, childish fool; while Winchester was an arrogant blowhard, but one who could hold his own with Hawkeye. Burns was incompetent, while Winchester was an outstanding surgeon; just ask him. Characters were missed when they left; but, they were not replaced with doppelgangers. That is part of the reason this show lasted so long.
The show did take on a more serious tone in the later seasons, but not entirely. There are plenty of laughs right up to the end. Those serious shows were often some of the most memorable, and they kept the series from becoming stale. With that said, they did tend to resort to Hawkeye's mental problems a bit too much, especially in the farewell. You can argue that a character like Hawkeye, with his passion for preserving life, was ripe for mental breakdowns; but, in reality, he probably would have been shipped home by the second breakdown.
The show is not perfect (it lasted 8 years longer than the actual war) but it comes far closer than most. It seems to be fashionable to bash popular shows and movies after their days is over. Part of this is a new generation trying to establish their own identity and dominance. Well, I didn't like my parent's movies, shows and music when I was younger; until I actually watched them and listened to them. Some of it turned out to be quite good, some not. Real quality stands the test of time. MASH will be around far longer than most of what I see on tv today.
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