M*A*S*H 1980-1983

This wraps up the Mash posts…This is my least favorite period of Mash but I’m not knocking it. It was still better than some other shows at the time. Not many shows can go on this long without some lag. The episodes were hit and miss. The show had to grow up and the characters had to change to continue this long. Mash was an ensemble-based show but now more than ever the focus was on Hawkeye than the rest of the cast.

The biggest change was the atmosphere compared to the beginning. The desperate feeling from being 3 miles from the frontline seems to have disappeared. The characters seem comfortable…maybe too comfortable being there. The dirt of the earlier episodes is washed clean now.

Characters from the from years 9-11.

Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce – Alan Alda – This is a period when a friend of mine called Alan Alda a Chatty Cathy doll. Pull the string and the puns would come out over and over. Hawkeye goes from a wisecracking skirt chaser to a sensitive person in these years. You see Hawkeye go through a mental breakdown in the last episode.

Captain B.J. Hunnicutt – Mike Farrell – BJ stays faithful to his wife and is known to be a practical joker. Like the other characters, we get to know BJ more in these seasons. Mash was really good at fleshing out the characters. 

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III – David Ogden Stiers – By the end Charles was bearable.  Winchester is often adversarial with Hawkeye and B.J. but joins forces with them if it is justified. He has a dry sense of humor and enjoys practical jokes as well as the occasional prank to get revenge on his bunkmates for something they did or for his own amusement.

Colonel Sherman T Potter – Henry Morgan – Sherman Potter became the father figure of the camp. He was their unquestionable leader. Henry Morgan did a great job with the role.

Major Margaret Hot Lips” Houlihan – Loretta Swit – Of all the characters Margaret goes through the biggest change. She is now one of the gang and even defiant at authority at times. She is someone by now that you would love to know. She is still tough but far from the by the book person she was at one time.

Francis John Patrick Mulcahy – William Christopher – Mulcahy understands that many of his “flock” are non-religious or have other faiths, and does not overly preach at them. Rather than lecturing at people, he seeks to teach by example, or by helping someone see the error of their ways

Maxwell Klinger – Jamie Farr – Corporal Klinger who once tried to eat a jeep bolt by bolt just to get out of the army now seems happy to serve. When he took over Radar’s job he seemed quite content.

Stand out Episodes

Dreams – After long hours operating the episode gets into the subconscious of the 4077. Each cast member is shown dreaming.

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen – The last episode of Mash. The show was so strongly anticipated that commercial blocks were sold higher than for the Superbowl that year… from Wiki…  It still stands as the most-watched finale of any television series, as well as the most-watched episode

Klinger: Rosie, I need a favor.
Rosie: Five dollars.
Klinger: I just wanna talk.
Rosie: OK, three dollars.

BJ: Do you know how to make a cow say “ah”?
Hawkeye: Not without getting emotionally involved.

PA System Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, five minutes ago, at 10:01 this morning, the truce was signed in Panmunjon. The hostilities will end twelve hours from now at ten o’clock. THE WAR IS OVER!

Hawkeye: Look, I know how tough it is for you to say goodbye, so I’ll say it. Maybe you’re right. Maybe we will see each other again. But just in case we don’t, I want you to know how much you’ve meant to me. I’ll never be able to shake you. Whenever I see a pair of big feet or a cheesy mustache, I’ll think of you.
B. J.: Whenever I smell month-old socks, I’ll think of you.
Hawkeye: Or the next time somebody nails my shoe to the floor…
B. J.: Or when somebody gives me a martini that tastes like lighter fluid.
Hawkeye: I’ll miss you.
B. J.: I’ll miss you, a lot. I can’t imagine what this place would’ve been like if I hadn’t found you here. [The two men hug, then Hawkeye boards the helicopter while B. J. mounts his motorcycle, where he shouts over the helicopter] I’ll see you back in the States—I promise! But just in case, I left you a note!
Hawkeye: What?![B. J. rides off. Hawkeye gives the pilot the thumbs-up to take off. As the helicopter ascends, Hawkeye looks down and smiles as he sees a message spelled in stones: GOODBYE]

Image result for Mash goodbye

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

10 thoughts on “M*A*S*H 1980-1983”

  1. one of th alltime great endings to a show. What stands out to me, and something I miss, is how it was what I call ” common cultural currency” — I mean, that last episode was watched by something like 125 million Americans? When the population was barely over 200 million. It was something people had in common and could “unite” them a little, whehter rich or poor, Black, White, rural , urban… nowadays something like “Game of Thrones” is considered a blockbuster smash if it can draw in 10 million viewers. I think that’s a wee part of why the country is so divided these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It also helps when you only have three channels & PBS. Nothing else to watch…

      GOT had to compete with 200+ channels on cable/satellite/IPTV plus streaming stuff like Netflix. Or, a night on the couch with DVDs. Whole different world…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Quite correct as to the reasons the viewing numbers keep dropping, no question at all. what I’m saying though is it’s a shame because used to be it gave everyone (more or less) something in common, something to talk about to feel connected. that’s largely gone now with all the choices we have.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Speaking of choices… I started to rant the other day in a store… You can’t just get peanut butter any more…you have 50 different styles… in EVERYTHING… New and improved, classic, etc…

        We have too many choices no doubt. That is why there will be no more Elvis, Beatles… because everything is so spread out.
        I will step down off my soapbox.


  2. This was one of the first series finales I ever watched. I knew it was a big deal. I was only 12 or 13 when it aired. Even as a kid, I connected with the characters. I remember thinking how weird it was to get emotional over a TV show!

    The finale still stands as one of the best in my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think everyone watched the finale… it was a great finale..my favorite finale was probably Newhart where Bob wakes up in bed with his wife from the Bob Newhart show.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that was a good ending. I sort of hoped Big Bang Theory would end like that – with Newhart waking up in bed saying “Oh man, I just had the weirdest nightmare… there were all these geeky men…” -since he had a recurring role on the show ,LOL

        Liked by 1 person

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