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BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
7/12/2015 5:05:46 PM

Do you think....

Do you think the series would've lasted if the original cast had stayed on? Trapper, Henry, and Frank all staying?

Hazel

Posted:
7/13/2015 1:34:05 AM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Do you think the series would've lasted if the original cast had stayed on? Trapper, Henry, and Frank all staying?

I think it would have. It is very interesting to ponder if the writers, over seasons 4-11 for Trapper and Henry and seasons 6-11 for Frank, would have developed their characters like they did for Margaret, Hawkeye, Klinger and others, who stayed the entire 11 seasons. Would they have made Trapper and Henry more serious? I'm not sure I like that. Would they have made Frank more sensitive and able to get along with people? Hmm...

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
7/13/2015 4:41:27 PM

As I mentioned many times before, Henry actually started to show signs of growth and evolution his final season. Again, look at "Aid Station", he's actually dead-dog serious about the situation at hand, and actually acts like a commanding officer - even barking at Hawkeye for messing around in the personnel files. You can tell he was finally beginning to grow into his job, so I think had he stayed longer, he probably would have proven himself to be a more competent commander than he used to be, and perhaps Frank and Margaret would be going over his head less and less.

Had Trapper stayed, he and Hawkeye may have stayed the same for a lot longer. I think losing Trapper and getting the more serious B.J. as his bunky took away some of Hawkeye's reasoning to behave the way he did in earlier seasons. As I've said, Hawkeye and Trapper's friendship really seemed to be out of convenience, because they seemed to share common goals: booze their brains out, chase nurses, and torment Frank. Beej drank too, and he also enjoyed tormenting Frank, but he wasn't about chasing nurses, so with Hawkeye having to go solo, that probably took some of the fun out of it for him; I believe keeping Trapper would have prolonged both his and Hawkeye's childish behavior.

Frank clearly already deevolved into a one-dimensional character his last seasons due to losing Margaret and spending almost the entire season either sleeping in the Swamp or trying to win her back. There really was nothing more that could be done for Frank, so had they not replaced any of the original characters on the show, I don't believe it would have survived past a fifth or sixth season.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
7/14/2015 1:49:15 AM

Henry began to evolve as a commander and a person in Season 3 and to have him stay on to further that would have been great to watch. Trapper didn't progress much as a character so there was nothing more to expect from him. I do find it sad as Trapper had the potential for significant growth. The series I doubt would've gone more than 5 or 6 Seasons with the original cast as the character changes allowed for fresh storylines/new pairings.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
7/14/2015 1:54:38 AM

Frank de-evolved so much from who he was in Season 1 that the writers had to let him go or spend a lot of time redeeming him. Season 6 alone could've taken much of its storyline to turning Frank into a good human being. I can't picture it for all the effort having to go into that.

hossFREE hec

Posted:
7/16/2015 7:15:29 PM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Frank de-evolved so much from who he was in Season 1 that the writers had to let him go or spend a lot of time redeeming him. Season 6 alone could've taken much of its storyline to turning Frank into a good human being. I can't picture it for all the effort having to go into that.

AMEN. Actually, every time I see the TZ episode "Nervous Man in a $4 Room" it reminds me of the shadow that used to be Frank Burns - hey, THERE'S an idea for a fanfic: "Nervous Major in a $4 Tent"?

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
8/4/2015 11:30:31 PM

I wonder if losing two of the top three characters after season three and the fifth most important character after season five forced the show to change to keep it fresh. Having the same cast could have kept the show staff from exploring different stories, making the series stale and lasting 7 or 8 seasons (still a really good run!).

Ruptured Brook

Posted:
8/6/2015 1:59:41 PM

I agree with that, Finest--

Cheers changed once Diane left, and the show moved toward Woody & Kirstie's characters (for better or worse). Roseanne and All in the Family never really had anyone leave, and those shows both became relatively stagnant (though it should be noted that there wasn't anywhere else to go but down for those two!).

wdm1219inpenna

Posted:
8/19/2015 8:59:52 PM

Ruptured Brook wrote:
I agree with that, Finest--

Cheers changed once Diane left, and the show moved toward Woody & Kirstie's characters (for better or worse). Roseanne and All in the Family never really had anyone leave, and those shows both became relatively stagnant (though it should be noted that there wasn't anywhere else to go but down for those two!).


I did not watch "Cheers" very much, but I did watch "All in the Family", even have all 9 seasons on DVD, in addition to all 11 MASH seasons :)

I agree with your point about Roseanne & AITF becoming somewhat stale. I didn't watch Roseanne after the first 4 or 5 seasons, when the kids were younger. Big Bang Theory is another example. The novelty of the "nerd meets girl, nerd loves girl, nerd wins girl" schtick has gotten rather old for me and I stopped watching it regularly after about the 5th season.

All in the Family I tend to watch the first 5 seasons, before Mike and Gloria moved next door. The last season they were not on as they moved to California, and that's when Edith's little niece Stephanie entered the Bunkers' lives. Indeed AITF became rather stale after the 5th season.

That MASH had so many shake-ups in the cast over 11 seasons I believe helped keep it somewhat fresh. Let's face it though, after season 8 (the first year after Radar's departure) MASH began becoming somewhat stale too. Figure half of the original cast left and were replaced within the first 5 years. From season 6 on, the only cast change was Radar leaving.

Three's Company had a good long run too due to three major cast departures and the addition of Don Knotts, although I thought Don and his talents were underused on the show. The cast changes though did keep the show and the premise somewhat fresh at least.

Cartoonistguy

Posted:
9/30/2015 2:09:28 AM

...I've pondered many a scenario about MASH, over the years, and basically came to the conclusion that the "glue", for me, was Gelbart and Reynolds. For instance, I used to wish Rogers, at least, had stayed on. But, I wouldn't have wanted that if Gelbart and Reynolds weren't at the helm. Ideally, I'd want G&R to be at the helm for as many seasons as MASH would have remained. Henry could leave halfway (and get home), not because Morgan was better by any means. But, he was good as Potter for a few seasons. Same thing with Linville and Stiers. Personally, when McLean wanted out, I think it would have been great if he agreed to do a few eps each season, and have Morgan as Potter and Mary Wickes as Col. Reese fill in as commanders in between. I think Klinger should have remained section-8 Klinger, and maybe Igor fill in for Radar (all under the helm of Gelbart and Reynolds, as stated).

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
10/2/2015 4:57:10 PM

Do you think that Hawkeye and Margaret really belonged together?

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
10/2/2015 6:36:33 PM

Nah. That was shiptease at best. Sure, there was clearly a mutual attraction to each other (though I think Margaret was really more attracted to Trapper and B.J.), and even though they eventually let their walls come down and develop more of a mutual respect and friendship for each other (the tag of "Inga" had a nice moment between them, considering it's an otherwise "meh" episode), I think their overall personalities in general would continue to clash, and they'd probably argue and bicker with each other in a regular basis. Hawkeye, while dedicated to his work, was otherwise still the laid-back, wise-cracking, nurse-chasing boozer; Margaret, while she could let her guard down on occasion, was still a strict military brat who demanded respect, satisfaction, and did not tolerate anything less. Not particularly a good match.

I honestly believe that with the exception of Carlye Walton (nee Breslin) that Hawkeye could never be a faithful man to whomever he's with: he's a wanderer, and always will be.

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
10/2/2015 9:11:05 PM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Do you think that Hawkeye and Margaret really belonged together?

The Hawkeye/Margaret romantic pairing always seemed forced to me, like they had to because that's the way TV shows were supposed to be. I despise the Comrade-in-Arms episode and the kiss in the final episode.
I thought they were a superb pair in non-romantic interactions. The earlier seasons had them working side-by-side during the flu epidemic and with Klinger at the aid station. Hawkeye helped her when the dog she was feeding was killed. They both helped each other when the points were changed and Donald got himself transferred to San Francisco. She assisted Hawkeye on many tough operations, like the aorta surgery that had to be done in 20 minutes.
I don't know that either one of them were meant to marry anyone. Their work was their purpose and I'm not sure there was room for anyone else.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
10/4/2015 1:49:10 AM

Hawkeye and Margaret couldn't accept each other as is romantically. The relationship was best in staying friends. Bigelow is the woman i can see Hawkeye marrying/starting a family with as neither expected the other to change or be something they were not. I wish the writers had explored that pairing instead of the back and forth with Margaret.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
10/16/2015 4:42:52 PM

Besides B.J. stumbling once and then having an emotional affair with the lady journalist and Potter having the one night stand early on his marriage.... do you think the series should've portrayed at least one married man who stayed completely faithful to his wife?

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
10/16/2015 6:41:36 PM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Besides B.J. stumbling once and then having an emotional affair with the lady journalist and Potter having the one night stand early on his marriage.... do you think the series should've portrayed at least one married man who stayed completely faithful to his wife?

Well, B.J. was intended to be such a character, but Mike Farrell felt that B.J. should be shown that even he isn't above temptation (one of the main reasons "Hanky Panky" was written, then later he wrote and directed "War Corespondant").

Margaret was faithful to Donald. This was an interesting transformation, going from an army bimbo who not only willingly slept around with Frank, but just about every general the show had to offer in the earlier seasons; but once she got engaged and married to Donald, all that seemed to change -- and I think all of the implications of him cheating on her seemed to also open her eyes to see what it feels like for your significant other to sway away from you with others.

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
10/17/2015 2:07:23 AM

I know he wasn't married, but I consider Father Mulcahy faithful to his calling throughout the series. I do not recall him ever neglecting his spiritual duties. He never was really "off-duty," so I admire the stamina and persistence he demonstrated.

wdm1219inpenna

Posted:
12/6/2015 11:52:45 PM

I never could accept that Potter cheated on Mildred. That seemed so very contrived with that episode with his son-in-law visiting the camp. Plus earlier on Potter had a son, not a daughter. Stuff like that is irritating to me.

Potter and Lil made a great couple, though he gently rejected her advances. Potter and Brandy Doyle were good together too. I think she would have had her way with Potter had he not fallen asleep due to drinking as much as he had. Even if she did have his way with him, it would have been due to his being intoxicated.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
12/23/2015 8:09:57 PM

Potter and Henry. Father/son like relationship or good friends? If they'd met and gotten to know each other.

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
12/30/2015 1:10:58 PM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Potter and Henry. Father/son like relationship or good friends? If they'd met and gotten to know each other.

More like friends, as much due to age as anything else, although I was never really sure how old Henry was supposed to be. Appearance, demeanor, and rank, he looked to be at least in his mid 40s. His family situation would lead you to believe he was 10 years younger.
Potter respected medical proficiency more than military protocol. Henry and Potter would have got along fine.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
1/15/2016 6:18:19 PM

A Potter, Hawkeye, Trapper combination would've worked or Potter, Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. set up with Frank still around in either scenario?

Cartoonistguy

Posted:
1/15/2016 10:22:46 PM

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
A Potter, Hawkeye, Trapper combination would've worked or Potter, Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. set up with Frank still around in either scenario?

...in whatever paperback book I used to have (All About MASH?), it was written after Stevenson left but before Rogers decided to. So, the assumption was that Rogers would be back, meaning a Potter, Hawkeye, Trapper scenario. It would have been interesting, certainly. At 50, I still go through "if only's" and "what ifs" with MASH, all the time. If I were 50 back in the 70's, I'd have begged Gelbart and Reynolds to stay longer.

FinestKindinTN

Posted:
1/19/2016 12:33:46 AM

One "if" scenario this topic got me considering: would changing another character (I mean a complete swap) or two in the later seasons (8-11) freshened up the series? I have come to appreciate the later seasons as I rewatch them, but the characters were comfortable in their roles and perhaps the series lost its edge. What if Potter retired or the paper BJ and Charles wrote got them noticed and transferred to a more prestigious job or Margaret promoted to Lt Colonel and moved to HQ in Seoul?

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
3/28/2016 2:31:13 AM

FinestKindinTN wrote:
One "if" scenario this topic got me considering: would changing another character (I mean a complete swap) or two in the later seasons (8-11) freshened up the series? I have come to appreciate the later seasons as I rewatch them, but the characters were comfortable in their roles and perhaps the series lost its edge. What if Potter retired or the paper BJ and Charles wrote got them noticed and transferred to a more prestigious job or Margaret promoted to Lt Colonel and moved to HQ in Seoul?

A new character in the later years may have given the series that needed change. I could see Hawkeye going home or Potter leaving to finish out his service in Hawaii. Charles finally getting that coveted transfer back to Tokyo or Margaret being promoted to Lt.Col, like you suggested, and being stationed in the U.S.

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
3/28/2016 3:04:24 AM

FinestKindinTN wrote:
One "if" scenario this topic got me considering: would changing another character (I mean a complete swap) or two in the later seasons (8-11) freshened up the series? I have come to appreciate the later seasons as I rewatch them, but the characters were comfortable in their roles and perhaps the series lost its edge. What if Potter retired or the paper BJ and Charles wrote got them noticed and transferred to a more prestigious job or Margaret promoted to Lt Colonel and moved to HQ in Seoul?

Well, Rizzo replaced Zale.

Actually, Rizzo was going to replace Radar, but I think the writers and producers realized Radar was irreplaceable, and decided to promote Klinger to company clerk, and have Rizzo replace Zale instead.

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