Horrible packaging..but M*A*S*H* is still awesome
James Badger | Tempe, AZ United States | 01/26/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When I ordered this set, I ordered it in full knowledge that I would not be getting any bonus features or added footage not included in the individually sold seasons 1-4. What I did expect, however was some kind of box for the cases to make it look like at least a semi-official box set. The DVD's come in individually wrapped cases that are exactly the same as the individually sold seasons.
When I opened the cellophane on the individual DVD's, I found a few things that really annoyed me. First, the DVD's come in these bulky double-sided clam cases. Most TV shows on DVD with multiple discs per season come in some sort of nifty cardboard folding case with nice art work (i.e. The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. all released by Fox DVD, who released M*A*S*H* as well.) The other thing that got to me was the fact that the plastic covers on two of the clam cases were warped.
Finally, as I was peeling the ever-so-annoying DVD security tape off the case for season 4, the plastic cover ripped. Upon closer examination of the case and its cover, I have concluded that these DVD's have the worst packaging of any DVD's in my collection.
That being said, M*A*S*H* is one of the best TV shows ever. I am glad to have it on DVD in any form. The DVD's themselves play just fine, so I can't complain about that.
One last rant however, is that the DVD's include no commentaries, no behind-the-scenes, no bloopers, no deleted scenes, basically..they don't have anything other than the episodes themselves. Come on Fox, you can do better than this. Every other Fox DVD has tons of special features. I know that M*A*S*H*, being one of the greatest shows of all time, should at least have some archives that would make suitable bonus material. Give us anything. Also, please at least put season 6 in decent packaging.
For fans of the show, order this set if you want to get the first four seasons all at once and want to save a little cash on the side. But order it with the knowledge that you will be getting a great show in crappy packaging with no bonus material."
M*A*S*H*'s Origin...It Was A Situation Comedy!
L. Shirley | 07/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The very early episodes of M*A*S*H* are interesting because the show started out as a situation comedy (which eventually turned into a dramedy series). The characters of Hawkeye Pierce(Alan Alda) and Trapper John(Wayne Rogers)were clownish and the early storylines were more of an "Animal House" mentality. The most interesting aspect is the early incarnation of the character "Radar O'Reilly" (Gary Burghoff) who is basically the same as everyone else (as he is played in the film version- - Burghoff was in the film version also). Radar actually drinks and is behind some of juvenile pranks early-on. As M*A*S*H* found its voice and matured into a part-time drama series, Radar metamorphosed into a naive, innocent, grape Nee-Hi drinking, Iowa farm boy...totally different from his origin. This was necessary to keep the character going because other minor one-note characters simply disappear as the show progessed (i.e. Spearchucker and Ugly John). Probably for the purposes of a half-hour sit-com there was too many people sharing "The Swamp" living quarters. However, the characters of Klinger (Jamie Farr) and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) were expanded. This reviewer thinks the early episodes are the best ones because the show is what it is intended to be; and that it is a comedy series. Many situation comedies these days will get an EMMY for a particular episode for "comedy" when the story is of a dramatic type plot. People lose site that it is a situation comedy. People can thank the later incarnation M*A*S*H* for that one. However, the show is great in both its incarnations from situation comedy to dramedy. The dramedy episodes is what most people will remember the show by and it is what put the show on the map. However, the early episodes are by far some of the funniest in terms of straight comedy."
Attention: Incoming Laughs
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to M*A*S*H Seasons 1-4 Collector's Edition(DVD 20th Cent Fox)
It doesn't matter how often you have viewed these vintage episodes or how much time has passed since it's beginnings in 1972, M*A*S*H is a series that never gets old. It's a serio-comic look(based on the movie M*A*S*H) at the medical personel of a medical unit during the Korean War. The program was phenomenal, and may very well be the best TV has ever had to offer. The subjects was serious, and the atrocities of war were never taken lightly, but the writers used laughter as the best medicine, to honor those who were a part of it.
Meet the gang of the 4077th M*A*S*H("Best Care Anywhere"). Hawkeye and Trapper perform "meatball" surgery, save lives and patch up the wounded soldiers and still have time to make life miserable for the ever miserable Frank Burns. Col Henry Blake, Maj. Maragert Houlihan, "Radar" O'Reilly" will all have you laughing at their antics as well. Klinger makes only a few brief appearances at first, but eventually becomes very much a part of the story, as he bucks for a section 8 in woman's clothes..and what a wardrobe. Just to see him trying to go AWOL by flying out of the camp on homemade wings, in his pink peignoir and fuzzy slippers will have you laughing so hard, you'll cry. Col. Potter and BJ arrive in the 4th season. During these first four season, you can watch the characters growing and bonding(of course Frank is a lost cause), even Margaret starts to warm up a little.
The one liners and gags are at times, non stop, and if you are a big fan, there are times you'll crack-up even before the punchline. When the guys drugged Frank and wrapped him up in gauze, I was already laughing before Hawkeye even said "eeewww, the mummy!" There are poignant moments as well. Col. Blake finally gets to go home, only to have his plane shot down, Hawkeye, Margaret, and Klinger learn to respect each other as they patch up some wounded at an aid station, and when Trapper tries to adopt a little Korean boy, after saving him in a mine field it may even bring a tear or two.
The men and women had to endure much. Working just three miles from the front, they were often being shelled. The weather extremes from very hot to very cold. Lack of medical supplies, fresh food, warm clothes are all looked at. Some of my favorite episodes are when the trades begin. Everyone making bargains, just to get a pair of long underwear or some other coveted item, and of course, everything usually goes wrong. Other favorites are the recurring appearance by the paranoid CIA agent, who drives everyone nuts. Great guest stars to look for are Terri Garr, Pat Morita, Ron Howard, Blythe Danner and Robert Alda, just to name a few. And let's not forget all the great P.A. announcements.."Hear Ye, Hear Ye. It's oh-seven-hundred and all is hell. Incoming wounded folks"
I could go on and on about all the great episodes, characters and storylines, but I suspect if you are here, you probably know them all by heart by now. So the questions is whether to buy the set of 4 seasons or purchase separatley? The set is the best way to go. First of all, the price at this time, is much better then buying one at a time. I think it's like getting one for free. The only way it wouldn't be a bargain is if you've already started purchasing them. Of course, you could always use the new ones as gifts, any fan would be thrilled. Secondly, you will NOT want to wait for the next season to arrive, you'll have them all there when ready. I only wish the next seasons were sold in a package deal as well.
The DVDs are great. Each season in it's own case, has 3 discs. There are 8 episodes on each disc. The picture looks great for this over 30 year old TV series. The DVDs give you the option of playing it with or without the laugh track. There are scene selection(about 8- 10 stops, not bad for a 25 minute program), captions, it may be viewed in Spanish or French and has subtitles in Spanish as well. There are no special features(this would have been really nice), but each season comes with a booklet, some notes and lists each episode of each disc, including when it was aired, the writer and director. And of course...NO commercials!
This is a series that will provide hours and hours of first class writing, acting, and entertainment. It's beats most anything on all those 100's of channels we get now. Go for it and enjoy...Laurie"