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Captain Tuttle

Posted:
1/28/2020 3:01:11 PM

I get it now

After many years of watching the shows, I understand why Wayne and MClean left. Alda was a complete overbearing actor. He forced himself to take a lot of the credit while shunning the others. Don't get me wrong, I think Alda is a brilliant actor but he overacted every scene and try to steal the spotlight from others. I can see it in Wayne's and McClean's eyes towards the end, they couldn't stand Alda. Even Mike Farrel changed his way of acting be becoming more dramatic to compete with Alda. The episode where he wrecked his jeep and was rescued by that Korean family was one big monologue and the worst episode of the entire show. It was self-absorbing and none of the other members were allowed in it. I also noticed that he directed the "Comrade in Arms" where he and hotlips had a fling. Again, it's only my opinion, but after watching these shows again and again on Primestreams, I'm seeing things I've never noticed.

FinestKindinTN

Email: ryvan@aol.com

Posted:
2/2/2020 9:10:09 PM

Please don't hold back

Tell us how you really feel. :)

I don't really know whether it was Alan pushing himself into every scene or the show's creators. Neither would surprise me. I've watched a few interviews on YouTube, but I don't get a sense of Alan pushing himself; however, I can't help but see what you see - Hawkeye in the spotlight whether it makes sense or not.

I get why the "Hawkeye-centeredness" would motivate Wayne to leave; McLean, not so much. There were a lot of gags or lines that could have been given to Wayne/Trapper, but more often than not ended up with Alan/Hawkeye.

I don't know, but do you see that being less of an issue in the later seasons?

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
2/5/2020 4:47:20 AM

Alan really had nothing to do with their departures.

For Wayne, it was because Trapper was being reduced to a little more than a glorified sidekick, when he was initially told at the beginning of the show's production that Trapper and Hawkeye would be interchangeable lead characters who could carry the show.

For McLean, it was a combination of the dreadful working conditions the actors had to suffer through - both in the studio, and out at the Fox Ranch - and wanting to be the star of his own show.

sparky58

Posted:
2/10/2020 11:10:42 PM

Capt Tuttle does have points

I think Cpt. Tuttle has some points as I too have wondered the same thing. True, there were other reasons why Wayne and Stevenson wanted to leave, but overacting Alda might have part of it too. I think Alda is a good actor, better than most, but he doesn't have much range, his acting is about the same every time. Much of it is overacting. The solo "Hawkeye" episode isn't that bad to me as The Sneezing episode or the fake crying he does in it. Plus the "Crackers"? episode where Hawk stays up for like a week?? AND still operates?? In the end, Alda is Hawk and Hawk is Alda, but sometimes the overacting and Alda's ego is too much. Don't get me started on the "Preaching" episodes, (War is bad, killing is wrong, etc) shows. Some of the movies Alda did are okay, but are also some that he's just playing another version of Hawkeye in my eyes. On MASH, I think his head got big too.

FinestKindinTN

Email: ryvan@aol.com

Posted:
2/12/2020 3:21:45 PM

If you're interested

Go to YouTube, type in "Wayne Rogers leaving mash" as a search. Likely one of the results is a long form interview (5 parts) with Wayne I think between 2010 and his death. In the interview, he speaks of no beef between he and Alan; he does speak of one with the studio, though. It was contract-related. I really do not get the sense that he had any issues with Alan, then or now.

Could he have then, but after 40 years things are patched up between he and Alan? Sure, but I can only go on what he said and maybe my lousy interpretation of body language and non-verbal cues.

Ruptured Brook

Posted:
2/16/2020 12:08:33 PM

I wouldn't say that Alda was overacting every scene, but it sure was a lot of them. However, that was not too unusual for the early 70s in comedy TV, was it? The show changed along with its times, in more ways than one, and some of the dialogue is delivered like it's an episode of Laugh In.

I have to also take exception to the criticism of Hawkeye, as for its quality. As for not "allowing" others in, that doesn't sound right...is there some interview indicating that others tried to get into it and were refused?

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
2/16/2020 4:23:34 PM

The "Hawkeye" episode was an experiment on Larry Gelbart's part: he wanted to see if just one actor could carry the bulk of the show by himself.

Unfortunately, Alan Alda was a poor choice. Yes, Alan was very good at everything he did: acting, writing, directing, etc. BUT, the thing of it is, Hawkeye was already the "unofficial star" of the show, so to choose him to carry that entire episode was kind of senseless . . . it'd be like doing an episode of CHEERS with only Sam, or an episode of SEINFELD with only Jerry.

If anything, that episode should have either given some of the lower characters a chance to shine, like, say, Radar or Klinger use their respective kind of smarts (Radar being clever and resourceful, or Klinger being street-smart) to figure a way out of their predicament; or allow us to get better acquainted with either of the new kids on the block, like B.J. or Potter. But Hawkeye? That was a mistake.

FinestKindinTN

Email: ryvan@aol.com

Posted:
3/6/2020 10:41:57 AM

Where There's a Will, There's a War

I just rewatched this episode. At least in the later seasons, you see how Hawkeye values the relationships with the other characters. Again, the original post was primarily for the earlier seasons. At least in the later seasons, although Hawkeye was still the lead, the other actors got time in the spotlight.

wdm1219inpenna

Posted:
3/29/2020 1:14:55 AM

My understanding too was that Wayne was dissatisfied about the Trapper character. In the MASH book I own he discussed about how they made Hawkeye the chief surgeon in the series, yet in the movie, Trapper I think was chief surgeon, either that or Trap was supposed to be the chest expert and the TV show took Trapper's credentials away. McLean was dissatisfied with working ocnditions and also I think he wanted to be the star. They initially considered him for Hawkeye on the series too surprisingly.

FinestKindinTN

Email: ryvan@aol.com

Posted:
3/29/2020 9:15:52 PM

wdm1219inpenna wrote:
My understanding too was that Wayne was dissatisfied about the Trapper character. In the MASH book I own he discussed about how they made Hawkeye the chief surgeon in the series, yet in the movie, Trapper I think was chief surgeon, either that or Trap was supposed to be the chest expert and the TV show took Trapper's credentials away. McLean was dissatisfied with working ocnditions and also I think he wanted to be the star. They initially considered him for Hawkeye on the series too surprisingly.

My memory may be lacking, but in both the book and the movie, Trapper was both the chest-cutter and ultimately the chief surgeon. In the movie, though, even Trapper had the titles, Hawkeye was still the lead. In the book Trapper and Hawkeye knew each other in college a little (they played football against each other).

I never knew McLean was considered for Hawkeye, as the character was supposed to be much younger (28 in the book, if I recall).

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