Monday, May 08, 2006

Maybe Just A Tiny Little Addiction, Barely Noticeable and I Can Quit Any Time. But I Don't Want To.

First of all, I am NOT obsessed with or addicted to MASH. It's true that it was the last program I ever watched faithfully. It's also true that since February 28, 1983, there has been no program I was interested enough in to watch even twice in a row. I haven't kept track or anything, though.

I do own all the dvd's of MASH. I pre-order them from Amazon so I'll get them the moment they're released for sale. Lots of people do that. It's not obsession.

Several times a year I will watch every one of the dvd's in some kind of order, usually consecutive. Right now I am watching them in reverse order, but what's so obsessive about that?

There are many episodes that I know by heart. Big deal. In our family, we often memorize things we especially like. When the kids were little, we memorized a rock opera or musical every summer, while riding in the car. Doesn't everybody? My kids knew every word and piece of stage business in the librettos of 'Cats,' 'Evita,' 'Phantom of the Opera,' 'Into The Woods,' 'Les Miserables,' 'Miss Saigon,' 'Aspects of Love,' 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,' 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' 'Godspell,' 'Sweeney Todd,' ' Kismet,' 'Peter Pan,' 'Oklahoma,' 'Carousel,' and others, before they were in junior high. I am a firm believer in Arthur Shopenhauer's quotation "Not to go to the theatre is like making one's toilet without a mirror." I still am, even though we are no longer able to go many places or do many things. They all cost money, imagine. Party poopers.

We also did the Comedian Harmonists up right and proper in the car. The Overture to The Barber of Seveille remains our favorite. The King's Singers had nothing on us.

Ahem. We were discussing MASH.

Some shows are ruined when a cast member bolts or is replaced. Not MASH. Every character was a gem. I actually liked Colonel Potter more than I liked Henry Blake. And I LOVED Major Winchester. Yes, like that. Ok, ok, triple ick. But I could have changed him, I just know it.

Most long-running shows eventually jump the shark. Not MASH. It just got better and better.

Remember those few episodes that featured Captain Spalding playing his guitar and summing up the plot with a song? Do you know who that WAS? That was Louden Wainwright III, cool seventies singer and father of Rufus Wainwright. The show featured lots of new actors who later hit it big. Not as many as The Twilight Zone, of course, but a lot. Patrick Swayze. Ron Howard. John Ritter. Lawrence Fishburne. Andrew Dice Clay. Blythe Danner. Joan Van Ark. Linda Kelsey. Leslie Nielson. Shelly Long. Mary Kay Place. More. I really can't remember. I don't pay that much attention.

I don't really keep track of MASH trivia. Things like Col. Blake's wife's name changing, or Col. Potter's age changing, or Hawkeye's having a sister for a few episodes and then suddenly becoming an only child, or Radar having a deformed left hand so he's always holding something or standing with his hand hidden somehow, are unimportant and I don't even think about them.
I don't get mad at the writers for thinking we viewers won't notice. However, we do. Take heed.

I don't want to see another reunion special. I don't like to think of these actors looking different. I know they do; I saw Alan Alda in "What Women Want" and I'm still traumatized. But I don't want to see their MASH characters looking old. Sometimes reunions are fun, and sometimes they're horrible. I mean, think of Mary Travers. I adore her but I can't look.

Okay, now I'm going back to the kitchen to finish the episode I started an hour or so ago. Major Winchester has just found out that he's staying, and I can't wait to see his reaction.


Radar's teddy bear is in the Smithsonian but you didn't hear it from me, because I don't pay attention to details like that.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:20 PM | |


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