Candy E. (sheltiemom) from THREE RIVERS, MI Reviewed on 1/20/2012...
Hawkeye, Hotlips, and the gang are all back for another season!!
A team that's become a family
T. LeBaron | NH | 10/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of people like to complain about the later years of M*A*S*H, saying it got too "serious" and that Alan Alda was too full of himself and the show got this whole "anti-war" attitude behind it. The original movie was perceived to have that same attitude by many to this day. I don't think I could do the work the characters in this Army hospital did on a daily (and sometimes more often) basis and NOT hate the war. By season three, we'd lost Henry Blake to a plane crash, and Trapper went home. A couple seasons down the road, Frank Burns went AWOL and that was the end of him. During season eight, Radar went home to take care of the family farm. Those are all realities of war, folks. M*A*S*H was a reflection of that. The war was not a funny place to be. The fact that these people could crack wise when they were up to their elbows in wounded soldiers was merely a reflection of how the human spirit can allow us to do things we never expected to be able to do, even in the face of huge adversity. I never found Col. Potter, Capt. Hunnicutt or Major Winchester inferior to Blake, Trapper and Frank in the least. Different, yes, but definitely not any less funny or less vital to the series' development. ER, now in its 13th season (I think), carries on with just about no one from the first season. People come and people go. I thought Season Nine of M*A*S*H was every bit as valid and as vital as the very first season...maybe for different reasons...but the show worked from strength to strength. I felt Col. Potter was a much more believeable than Henry Blake, not to say Blake wasn't funny. He was. But Harry Morgan brought something else to M*A*S*H that I don't think anyone else could have. Even Charles Emerson Winchester, as different as you could ask for form Frank Burns realized this was a family, not just a team of surgeons stuck in Hell's kitchen, and lo and behold, had his moments of downright nobility. Those who stuck with the show through its entire run saw that. M*A*S*H Season Nine will be a welcome addition to my M*A*S*H collection. Every single season of M*A*S*H had classic episodes...not very many series can claim that. The show still fascinates me and makes me laugh 22 years after it departed first-run network TV. I have them all to this point, and I'll gladly buy the rest!"
The first full M*A*S*H since Radar left the show
P. Burgos | Hanford, CA | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season 9 is the first time when we see Corporal Klinger do his duties for the departed O'Reilly back at the beginning of season 8. Anyway the episodes on the DVD with the summary are as follows.
Note: episode guide courtesy of tvtome.com
195. The Best of Enemies First aired: 11/17/1980 On his way to some R&R in Tokyo, Hawkeye is forced by a North Korean soldier to perform an emergency roadside operation on his buddy.
196. Letters First aired: 11/24/1980 Members of the 4077th share their impressions of war in response to letters from fourth graders in Hawkeye's hometown. Margaret writes about how there are some patients she will never forget, whilst the Colonel tells of his days as 'Hoops' Potter. Hawkeye: "Dear Ronnie, it's a shame to let the love you have for your brother turn to hate for others. Hate makes war, and war is what killed Keith. I understand how you feel. Sometimes I hate myself for being here. But sometimes in the midst of all this insanity, the smallest thing can make my being here seems worthwhile. Maybe the best answer I have for you is that you look for good wherever you can find it."
197. Cementing Relationships First aired: 12/1/1980 A jilted Italian soldier, Corpsman Ignazio De Simone, is smitten by Margaret; and Klinger pours a cement floor in the operating room to fight the spread of germs. Charles: "My good man, I have better things to do than listen to someone make no sense in two languages."
198. Father's Day First aired: 12/8/1980 Margaret has trouble pretending she's a chip off the old block when her dad, blood and guts "Howitzer" Al Houlihan, arrives for a visit.
199. Death Takes a Holiday First aired: 12/15/1980 Meanwhile, Winchester fulfills a family Christmas tradition but has trouble maintaining the anonymity required to keep it a truly charitable act. Even Klinger lends a hand. Be sure to stay till the end, there are some great moments in this one.
200. A War for all Seasons First aired: 12/29/1980 On New Year's Eve, the staff looks back on the highlights of 1951: The doctors invent an artificial kidney machine; Mulcahy plants a garden; Margaret takes up knitting; and Klinger and Winchester bet on which baseball team will win the pennant.
201. Your Retention Please First aired: 1/5/1981 Klinger is so depressed by news that his ex-wife plans to remarry, he reenlists for an additional six-year hitch. Meanwhile, a male nurse has a gripe against the army.
202. Tell it To the Marines First aired: 1/12/1981 Winchester takes command during Potter's absence; and B.J. and Hawkeye try to convince the Marines to grant a hardship discharge to an immigrant soldier, Private Jost Van Liter.
203. Taking the Fifth First aired: 1/19/1981 Hawkeye uses a bottle of vintage wine to lure unsuspecting nurses into his den; and Potter tries to secure a different sort of anesthetic when the army threatens to ban a painkiller.
204. Operation Friendship First aired: 1/26/1981 Klinger saves Winchester's life when an explosion rocks the operating room; and B.J. is reluctant to reveal the extent of his injuries after the blast. Hawkeye: Charles is fine, but Klinger has damage to over fifty percent of his body. His nose is broken.
205. No Sweat First aired: 2/2/1981 Margaret develops a case of prickly heat, Charles does his tax returns, and Klinger takes the P.A. apart - just some of the events, which occur during another unendurably, hot night at the 4077th.
206. Depressing News First aired: 2/9/1981 Klinger's army newspaper reports on Hawkeye's monument to military stupidity; a giant tower made from a half million erroneously shipped tongue depressors.
207. No Laughing Matter First aired: 2/16/1981 Hawkeye wagers that he can go a full day without a wisecrack, and Winchester finally confronts the major who exiled him to the 4077th. Charles: "I will not, even for a return to that pearl of the Orient, Tokyo, lie to protect you while destroying a friend's career."
208. Oh, How We Danced First aired: 2/23/1981 Winchester is sent to inspect sanitary conditions on the frontlines, while the rest of the camp plans a surprise anniversary party for B.J.
209. Bottoms Up First aired: 3/2/1981 One of Margaret's nurses tries to hide her severe drinking problem, and Hawkeye is scorned after a practical joke he plays on Winchester backfires.
210. The Red/White Blues First aired: 3/9/1981 Colonel Potter nearly blows his stack when his well-intentioned colleagues mollycoddle him in order to lower his blood pressure.
211. Bless You, Hawkeye First aired: 3/16/1981 When Hawkeye can't stop a sneezing fit that has no apparent cause, psychiatrist Sidney Freedman digs into the surgeon's past for a clue to this unusual malady.
212. Blood Brothers First aired: 4/6/1981 Hawkeye is overcome by the devotion of a terminally ill G.I., who has leukemia, for his critically wounded buddy, but he has trouble coming to terms with the fact that he can't cure the man. Meanwhile, Father Mulcahy is worried about the impending visit of a Cardinal.
213. The Foresight Saga First aired: 4/13/1981 The 4077th is given a gift of fresh-grown vegetables by a grateful Korean; and Potter questions the veracity of an upbeat letter from Radar.
214. The Life You Save First aired: 5/4/1981 After Charles is nearly felled by a sniper's bullet, he develops a philosophical obsession with death. Meanwhile, the officers have all been assigned new responsibilities.
Still Pleasing afer all these years.
Randall Banks | Lansing, MI USA | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season 9 didn't disappoint. Yet another great set of episodes. This is certainly one of the greatest ninth seasons of any show in history. not one weak episode. This didn't hurt the series at all.
Just a few:
Best Of Enemies - Not only do we get to see Hawkeye forced to operate under severe emotional strain, we also get to see Bridge played With Marquis De Sade rules. Colonel Potter gets a letter with a winning bridge hand that his wife, Mildred, won with. This gets the whole camp going for a bridge match. Ends up with Potter, Charles, Margaret, and B.J playing in numerous line-ups, and the good Father winning a bet on who wins.
Father's Day. Hawkeye is working on a patient whose face is seriously damaged, but he's glad to be alive. In return he sends Hawkeye an entire side of beef. This leads to serious problems as Margaret's ultra-military father comes to visit. Classic episode.
War For All Seasons - This episode covers one entire year. Included is Father Mulcahy showing off his green thumb. There's the project of B.J and Hawkeye's that takes a while to build a piece of equipment. Then, finally, there's the baseball bet made between Klinger and Potter, which gets Charles interested, and then the whole camp.
Your Retention Please - A duplicious retention officer comes in just as Klinger gets bad news about his ex getting re-married. A male nurse, who's not an officer, takes issue with the retention officer. This is where we get to see Klinger as Lady Godiva on Potter's horse Sophie. He thought that he'd just re-inlisted for six more years when the retention officer tricked him. Potter made him read off an oath. Fortunately, for Klinger, it was the oath for President of the U.S. Of A!
No Sweat - it's a hot hot night. Margaret has a rash in an embarassing spot, leading to comedic actions in the O.R. Klinger takes the P.A system apart. Charles has tax issue. Potter can't get any sleep because Margaret needs some meds for her rash. Charles needs carbon paper, and such. Great ending, everyone gets a good laugh.
Depressing News - I.Corp. sends the 4077th 50K tongue depressors by mistake. Hawkeye creates a tower with them. He lists every patient that ever went through the unit on the tongue depressors.
Bottoms up - Practical jokes get out of hand, which lands Hawkeye in hot water.
The Red/White Blues - A routine check-up by Hawkeye finds that Potter's blood pressure is just too high. Everyone babies him, and Klinger's actions are totally mis-construed.
The Foresght Saga - A happy letter from Radar is belied when Potter, with the whole gang in the office, calls Ottumwa and finds things are rough. This leads B.J, and the rest to solve the problem with a Korean who gives them vegetables.
The Life You Save - With the camp being peppered with sniper fire during Pre-op, Charles takes a whole new look at life, and death. Hawkeye takes over the kitchen, Mulcahy is the garabage officer, and so forth. Sadness, and light comedy highlight his episode. This is where Charles really becomes a much more down-to earth person. He becomes more humane, and caring after this episode. He's also not as fast to jump on others for things that happen.
In the end the loss of Radar may have hurt the show a bit. However, MASH recovered. It went on for another 4 seasons. It still won awards, triggered emotions, and tugged at heart strings. No other show in history can claim that kind of endurance, while losing key stars throughout it's run."
War is Funny!
M. Fields | Brooklyn, New York USA | 10/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MASH has been rated one of the funniest shows of all time. It's a gem in an otherwise sea of boredom. Granted that some seasons are funnier than others but that's par for the course. Some say that Alan Alda was full of himself by the time the 9th season rolled around. Truth is he may have been but he knew what he was doing. Alda had become fond and protective of his character and rightly so. He and the rest of the cast had invested a great deal in the show. Alda's Groucho Marx approach to comedy added a lot lof laugh's to an already kooky show. Somtimes serious, reflective, unbelieveable, and reverent. MASH achieved something that is hard to achieve in television. Mixing pathos and humor is very difficult at best but there are a handful of shows that mastered this art. Namely: All in the Family, Night Court, Soap, Maude and The Golden Girls just to name a few. All votes being counted All in the Family was probably the best at it.
MASH wasn't just funny, it was insane. If you pay close attention you will notice that Hawkeye's verbal exhanges with Trapper John and B.J. are identical. The lines are different but the rapid fire, timing and delivery are the same. I believe that Alda didn't want to sacrfice the comedy by switching things too drastically. The cast change was change enough. The departure of Frank Burns was a necessity after awhile because people like Frank Burns don't change too often. In a sitcom a character must show some growth or maturation otherwise the character stagnates and the overall tone of the show succumbs. Case in point: Corporal Klinger finally starts to grow up and quits the crossdressing dodge. He takes over the company clerk spot after Radar gets sent home. He had to change and mature. The audience would have grown weary of his antics.
MASH is one of those shows in which you should collect all in the series because all though every show may not be funny to you, there are very funny shows from every season. Watch them all. If you don't you may not discover a few things that I did when I watched them. Harry Morgan (Col. Potter) has a lovely bass singing voice. Loretta Swit (Hot Lips) is very good at making herself shed tears. William Christopher is a good dramatic actor as well as the tender hearted boxing priest, etc.
Finally, I don't know about you guys but I find that some of the best shows are the ones where the cast really like each other and get along well. That shows up on the small screen.
If you've never seen MASH get it now. See why war is heck!!!
Still powerful in its ninth season
Mike | San Jose, CA | 04/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The secret to understanding and appreciating season 9 of M*A*S*H can be found in this statement from Amazon's review: "In M*A*S*H's ninth season, tears flow almost as freely as the blood and laughter, affording the decorated ensemble (Alan Alda, Harry Morgan. Loretta Swit, and David Ogden Stiers were all nominated for Emmys) ample dramatic license." In short, the series was neither searching for an identity not struggling for an audience...it had both. M*A*S*H had re-invented itself successfully in the wake of departures from Larry Linville, McLean Stevenson, Wayne Rogers & Gary Burghoff. The cast members that would see the series to its end in Season 11 were fully formed in Season 9...no longer the "new guys." The best example of how "tears flow almost as freely as the blood and laughter," as Amazon puts it, can be found in "Death Takes A Holiday." I won't offer spoilers here, but let's just say that it's the combination of 1). The Christmas Eve activity of Hawkeye, Hot Lips and B.J., 2). Winchester's "traditional" act, 3). The statement that Klinger makes when he brings dinner to Winchester, and 4). Potter's reaction to all of the above. This is a solid, powerful season. The creative team behind M*A*S*H knew when it was time to call it a day. Season 9 was not that time. They still had something to say, and they said it eloquently."