Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Alan Alda. Yeah.

Drummer Boy visited me yesterday, as he did on Sunday and Monday, because I'm about to leave town for five days and apparently we're that couple.

Not quite there yet. But give us a bit.

Anyway, I took a break from our snuggling to take a shower (I have to shower at night, because I have a teenage daughter who uses 158% of the hot water every morning), and when I returned to the sofa, my sweetheart had found MeTV on my cable.

You guys. I didn't know my cable had MeTV. I've been missing reruns of "The Monkees" and whatnot because I never found this channel on my own.

I've been missing reruns of "The Monkees," you guys.

So we watched some "Hogan's Heroes" and some "Carol Burnett Show" and some "Perry Mason," and it was really, really cool. And tonight I'm on my own - no Drummer Boy visit, and Precocious Daughter is with her dad. So I fired up the laptop and turned on the TV. And of course it was still tuned to MeTV. (Tuned? Remember when we did that?)

And "M*A*S*H" was on.

OMG, "M*A*S*H."

Right now, depending on your age, you're either all "OMG 'M*A*S*H'" or you're all "WTF is 'M*A*S*H' lol." And I get it. You watched this show, or you didn't. And if you did...yeah, you're old or well on your way.

You either have fond memories of Jamie Farr in a dress,
or you don't.

Anyway, the episode I watched was from 1978 or 1979. BJ Hunnicutt, Col. Potter, Maj. Winchester, and Hot Lips was married to Col. Donald Penobscot. But more importantly, this was a time when I had a MASSIVE crush on Alan Alda. Like, at my grade-school carnival I played some game and won a poster of Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce, and I hung that mofo in my room for a couple of years.

I'm a tad bit disappointed that Google didn't find
the exact poster. But this is pretty close.

Anyway, of course I watched the episode. Because "M*A*S*H." In this particular episode, there was a subplot about a new nurse being transferred to the 4077th and Hot Lips becoming insanely jealous because she suspects the nurse had a fling with her Col. Penobscot in Tokyo. 

And in the main plot, Hawkeye falls in love with a beautiful, educated Korean woman whose mother has contracted pneumonia. Of course it ends sadly, because otherwise Alan Alda wouldn't get to ACT and EMOTE and BE SENSITIVE. 

Holy crap, for a cultural icon and a beloved actor, Alan Alda was freaking insufferable in the late 1970s.

For those of you who don't know..."M*A*S*H" premiered in 1972 as a black comedy that satirized war in general and Vietnam in particular in the guise of the Korean War of the early 1950s. It in turn was based on a move that was an even blacker comedy, which in turn was based on a novel that was a barely fictionalized account of the Vietnam experience.

And then it devolved into a sappy, self-righteous commentary on 1970s-early 1980s liberal backlash.

Le sigh.

I really love this show, you guys.

But I watch it now through different eyes. Older, less idealistic eyes.

Guess what? It was a brilliantly written, acted, and directed show.

But JEEBUS. Alan Alda needed some kind of elf or gnome or sprite to bitch-slap him and say, "WE GET IT WAR IS BAD AND YOU DON'T LIKE IT."

Anyway, I really enjoyed watching "M*A*S*H." And all the other shows on MeTV. Especially "The Twilight Zone."

And "The Andy Griffith Show."

I love Aunt Bee.

If you have Frontier FIOS, it's channel 464.

Love you guys.


  1. We watch a ton of ME TV, and yes, I was a huge M*A*S*H* fan - though, I caught it all in syndication. I loved the Henry Blake years, but prefer Charles to Frank. And Sydney. He was always fun. I remember reading a Mad Magazine send up of it where they made fun of Margaret's totally anachronistic hair. I liked Kellye, too. Once, she laid into Hawkeye for hitting on every woman in camp but her.

    1. Everyone had anachronistic hair. Happy Days evolved that way too (started off in the 50s, and then suddenly everyone but Fonzie was in the 70s).

  2. Oh, also - I went to Tony Packo's in Toledo just because Klinger mentioned it a lot. The hot dogs were killer.

    1. A co-worker traveled to Toldeo recently, and I basically forced him to get me a Toledo Mudhens t-shirt. Because Klinger.

  3. If I had known I would have mentioned MeTV to you sooner, but we're a few states apart and apparently on different cable systems.
    Also I thought MeTV might be a strictly local thing, like a UHF station. Remember those glorious dumping grounds of Americana, barely a step up from public access?
    They received a well-deserved apotheosis from Weird Al, but that's another story.
    Watching M*A*S*H now is like watching the original Star Trek and even The Twilight Zone now. All the preachy episodes I thought were so good when I was a kid now seem trite and dated and the ones that focused on the characters without pushing a message are so much better.
    Since ae mentioned Klinger here's a fun fact: Jamie Farr was the only member of the main cast who really served in Korea.
    I could keep going but I think it's best here to take the advice of Barney Fife and nip it in the bud.

  4. You know what, television only really arrived in India in...wait for it...1982. Before that it was restricted to Delhi, and even then a few hours of black and white programming a day. Modern, multi-channel television arrived in India in...1991.


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