The television comedy M*A*S*H, based on Robert Altman's hit film of the same title (based, in turn, on Richard Hooker's novel), debuted in 1972. Set during the Korean War, the show revolved around the nurses and doctors at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospit......more
The television comedy M*A*S*H, based on Robert Altman's hit film of the same title (based, in turn, on Richard Hooker's novel), debuted in 1972. Set during the Korean War, the show revolved around the nurses and doctors at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital located precariously close to the war's front lines. The original protagonists of the show were Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (Alan Alda) and Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers), two raffish and rakish surgeons with a healthy disdain for authority and the war in general. This attitude led to numerous stand-offs with hard-line military types Dr. Frank Burns and Senior Nurse Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan. (Eventually, the McIntyre character was replaced by the cleancut family man B.J. Hunnicutt.)
In the process of becoming one of the most successful and beloved programs in TV history, M*A*S*H completely reinvented situation comedies. The show introduced a multi-layered plot model that involved, typically, three interwoven issues per episode. The show also blended serious and lighthearted subjects, creating the much-imitated "dramedy" model. Additionally, M*A*S*H let the characters drive the action, and over the course of its 11 seasons the characters all underwent personal transformations--a major break from the static roles of the past. This release includes the entire final season of the show.
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