Back when I was a kid growing up in the 1980′s, M*A*S*H was in syndication and was on the FOX affiliate every night during dinner time. Since we didn’t have cable in the kitchen, our choices were limited to either this or the news, so my brother and I invariably chose M*A*S*H despite not being particularly interested in the Korean War and not getting much of the adult humor on the show.
As I grew up, I learned that M*A*S*H was one of the most popular television shows of all-time and that the 106 million viewers who turned in to see the finale is still the record, beating out even the Seinfeld finale. That’s one of the reasons I decided to watch the series from beginning to end. I just had to wait for the box set to come down to a reasonable price in order to do it. When the box set hit $99 on Amazon last week, I made my move.
Anyway, I watched the first four eps over the course of two days — and frankly, I haven’t been that impressed. I figured M*A*S*H would be the type of show to stand the test of time, but maybe that won’t be the case. Certainly it’s too early to tell for sure, but my enthusiasm has been dampened quite a bit.
The eps I watched were “Pilot”, “To Market, To Market”, “Requiem for a Lightweight”, and “Chief Surgeon Who?”. The weakest was definitely 1×03, but none of them were really that funny. I guess they were just setting up the character dynamics at the beginning there. Interestingly enough, the characters are exactly how I remember them, with Hawkeye being the smartass, Hot Lips and Burns being the wet blankets, Henry being the clueless leader, and Radar anticipating everything that his commanding officer needs. It’s kind of odd that the characters were like that right from the beginning, though, and makes me wonder if there’s any development at all.
Anyway, I’m still planning to watch all the DVDs, despite the rather inauspicious start. I won’t be recapping my thoughts very often, but might pop in with a M*A*S*H post every once in a while if I don’t have a movie review ready to go!