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Amazon Selling All 11 Seasons of M*A*S*H for $60

For today only, Amazon.com is offering all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H–plus the 1970 movie MASH–for just $59.99. The special “Deal of the Day” is NOT the Martinis & Medicine Collection from 2006 but rather a bundle of the individual season sets and the movie. Specifically, these are the 2008 repackaged season sets that were slimmer and greener than the original sets released between 2002 and 2006.

The two DVDs of bonus features included in the Martinis & Medicine Collection are not part of this bundle. Those were released separately alongside “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” back in 2007. The Martinis & Medicine Collection has been out of print for years. It is currently only available through a third-party seller at Amazon.com for $160.

It’s likely Amazon has too many copies of the repackaged season sets and is hoping to get rid of some of its inventory with this special deal.

Amazon Deal of the Day

M*A*S*H on DVD is an Amazon Deal of the Day (Courtesy of Amazon.com)

According to the listing, anyone buying this bundle will save $118.95 (or 66%) off the regular price of $178.94. However, based on my calculations, the individual season sets are selling for a combined $140.82 at the moment–and the movie can be purchased for just $5–so the savings aren’t quite as impressive.

Still, at just $60 the bundle averages out to $5.45 per season or roughly 24 cents per episode. I’m seriously considering purchasing the bundle as a backup for my Martinis & Medicine Collection. I’ve been considering buying a backup copy for years because I’ve noticed multiple episodes skipping on my DVDs.

The “Deal of the Day” price ends at midnight Pacific Time or 3AM Eastern; it only applies to Amazon.com and not any of its intentional websites.

(via Twitter: @classictvdb)

Name That Episode III #195

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Father Angus, who correctly identified “Preventive Medicine” from Season 7.

Name That Episode

Episode Spotlight: Margaret’s Engagement

Every Monday, I spotlight a random episode of M*A*S*H, providing a brief review and asking readers to offer their thoughts.

“Margaret’s Engagement” (#98, 05×02)
Originally Broadcast: Tuesday, September 28th, 1976
Written by Gary Markowitz
Directed by Alan Alda

Capsule Summary: Margaret calls from Tokyo with great big news but refuses to tell anyone what is until she’s back at the 4077th: she’s engaged. Frank reacts badly to the news.

This episode brought some big changes to M*A*S*H. Margaret and Frank’s on-again, off-again relationship was off for good once she got engaged to Donald Penobscott. It wasn’t just their physical relationship that was over. No longer would the two team up against Hawkeye and B.J. or be the butt of their jokes. More importantly, the engagement really began her the transition from Hot Lips to Margaret, which was hinted at as far back as “Hot Lips and Empty Arms” during Season 2.

I wish there was a little more tension at the start of the episode as those back at the 4077th wondered what it was Margaret had to tell them. B.J. hopes for news about peace talks while Frank thinks he’s getting a promotion. But there’s no real sense of urgency for her to return, no worry about what she may have to say. Perhaps that’s because she was drunk when she called.

Larry Linville does a superb job in this episode. There are so many wonderful scenes: Frank congratulating Margaret on her engagement and tearing down the mess tent doors; Frank telling Radar he did a good job and then offering him a job; Frank pulling the grenade pin out with his teeth and struggling to put it back in; Frank on the phone with his mommy.

I wish Frank hadn’t fallen to pieces in Margaret’s tent, because he’s just too pathetic cowering on her bed after she hits him. That scene wasn’t necessary. We know Frank lusted after Margaret. We know he was obsessed with her. It did include the following exchange, which is both hilarious and insightful:

Margaret: “Let me go! I’m an engaged person!”
Frank: “Now we can cheat together!”

Frank talking on the phone with his mother is likewise insightful but also painful:

Oh, I’m fine, Mom. No, I’m not. Well, nobody likes me here, you know, as usual. I don’t want to talk about it. Well, you see, I had this friend and this friend, um, well, just pretended to like me, you know? The way Dad used to.

He then starts crying, although thankfully we don’t see it on screen. Exhausted, he falls asleep and is carried back to the Swamp by Hawkeye and B.J.

Margaret is oblivious throughout the episode, first at the tepid reaction to her engagement and later at how she’s hurting Frank by constantly talking about Donald. When Hawkeye calls her on it, she reveals her true feelings about Frank. Frank gets the last laugh, though, with a dig at her age.

Still from the M*A*S*H episode Margaret's Engagement showing Frank and B.J. in the Mess Tent
Frank shares a laugh with B.J. and Hawkeye.

Permanently splitting up Margaret and Frank meant everyone at the 4077th was now united in their dislike of Frank. Margaret was his only ally, his only confidante, and his only friend. He became an increasingly pathetic character. It’s no wonder Larry Linville decided to leave the series after Season 5.

Could Frank have grown and evolved? I don’t think so. Him becoming friends with Hawkeye wouldn’t be realistic. Aside from the occasional moment of kindness, Hawkeye at best pitied Frank and at worst despised him. There wasn’t much room for Frank to grow at the 4077th. Frank likewise couldn’t become a better surgeon, because that wouldn’t be realistic. He couldn’t start hanging out with enlisted personnel, because that wouldn’t be realistic. There just wasn’t much room for growth.

Is the picture that Margaret shows Colonel Potter of Donald with another woman–his cousin, Margaret thinks–a bit of foreshadowing? Did he really give his fiancee a picture of him with another woman?

Frank eventually does his get promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, as revealed in “Fade Out, Fade In” at the start of Season 6.

Klinger and Father Mulcahy do not appear in this episode.

A War for All Seasons Promo (Syndication)

Here’s a 30-second promotional spot for “A War for All Seasons” in syndication. Specifically, this spot aired on WTXX-TV (Channel 20) in Connecticut during May 1986.

“A War for All Seasons” is a tough episode to summarize quickly, which explains why the spot makes it seem like the episode is only about Klinger and Charles betting on baseball games.

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TV stations across the country that purchased M*A*S*H in syndication were sent promos like this one for every episode by 20th Century Fox. They then added their own “tag” at the end with local graphics and voice over informing viewers when to watch.

I originally included this spot in my M*A*S*H In Syndication article but nobody was seeing it there so I decided to move it to the blog.

Name That Episode III #194

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Seoul City Sue, who correctly identified “The Most Unforgettable Characters” from Season 5.

Name That Episode

Name That Episode III #193

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

Note: I will not be able to confirm the episode or offer any hints until tomorrow night. Good luck!

And the Winner Is: Crabapple Cove, who correctly identified “5 O’Clock Charlie” from Season 2.

Name That Episode

Episode Spotlight: Bombed

Every Monday, I spotlight a random episode of M*A*S*H, providing a brief review and asking readers to offer their thoughts.

“Bombed” (#63, 03×15)
Originally Broadcast: Tuesday, January 7th, 1975
Written by Jim Fritzell & Everett Greenbaum
Directed by Hy Averback

Capsule Summary: The 4077th is being shelled. Colonel Blake and Father Mulcahy are nearly blown up in the latrine while Trapper and Margaret find themselves trapped in the supply room.

There are quite a few impressive–and at times fiery–explosions in this episode. Yet despite all the shelling, none of the tents or buildings appear to be directly hit. According to Radar, during thirty minutes of shelling the 4077th did sustain some damage: a generator was knocked out, the water tank was smashed, and three people were wounded. That’s not too bad considering how intense the bombardment was at times.

It takes a while for this episode to get going but once Trapper and Margaret are trapped in the supply room things start to pick up. Trapper makes his intentions perfectly clear but Margaret, despite being attracted to Trapper (she admits this in “Hot Lips and Empty Arms” during Season 2), refuses to get physical with him.

Nevertheless, Frank becomes incredibly jealous after finding Trapper and Margaret huddled together under a blanket. He even proposes but quickly tries to take it back. He’s so concerned he can’t operate. Hawkeye, in a rare moment of kindness aimed at Frank, assures him that nothing happened between Trapper and Margaret.

Aside from the Trapper/Margaret/Frank storyline, this episode feels really disjointed at times. There are numerous plot points but no other storylines. Maybe that was intentional. The bombing continues because this is war. War doesn’t get wrapped up nicely. Costa Rican Nurse Sanchez reminds viewers that it was the United Nations and not the United States striving to beat back North Korea, even if she otherwise adds nothing to the episode.

I’m not sure what to make of Bob Hope’s USO show, Seoul City Sue’s propaganda broadcast, or Radar reading his mother’s letter. These likewise add nothing to the episode in terms of story but prove once again that life at the 4077th continues no matter what. Even being shelled by their own side won’t stop the doctors and nurses from doing everything they can to save lives.

My favorite line of the episode has to be Margaret’s “Well, if I’m going out, I’m going out with a clean scalp.”

Still from the M*A*S*H episode Bombed showing Margaret and Trapper under a blanket.
Margaret and Trapper huddle for warmth.

Director Hy Averback provides the voice of the radio announcer for Bob Hope’s USO show:

From Seoul in South Korea, it’s been “The Bob Hope Show,” with Marilyn Maxwell, Jerry Colonna, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, and yours truly, Hy Averback.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Averback was a radio announcer.

Does anyone know what Nurse Sanchez is saying at various times in the OR? She’s said to be from Costa Rica so presumably she’s speaking Spanish.

Watch closely as Trapper and Hawkeye are walking out of the supply room. Trapper says “Evacuate to where?” and then we see his lips move but don’t hear anything. Hawkeye then says “Now the book of the month club will never find me.” It’s hard to tell but it doesn’t look like Wayne Rogers is saying “Evacuate to where?”

Incomplete McLean Stevenson CHCP Commercial

Here’s a very incomplete commercial for Community Health Care Plan (CHCP) featuring McLean Stevenson, from November 1986. CHCP was a health maintenance organization (HMO) based out of New Haven, CT that operated from 1971 to 1996.

I originally posted this commercial fragment back in February 2009 but later took it down for reasons I can no longer remember. I likely assumed it was pointless to have it on the blog because it’s only the first five seconds of a longer commercial that ran 20 or 30 seconds.

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Even incomplete, I think it’s an interesting curio for M*A*S*H fans. Notice that McLean is wearing a sweater with CHCP written on it, much like the University of Illinois sweaters Henry Blake often wore on M*A*S*H. His hat is likewise reminiscent of the hat Henry wore, although it doesn’t have any fishing lures on it.

Clearly, CHCP wanted viewers and potential patients to associate McLean with Henry Blake–unless that’s just how McLean liked to dress in 1986.

For the record, this commercial was taped from WTXX-TV (Channel 20) in Connecticut.

Name That Episode III #192

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Seoul City Sue, who correctly identified “Too Many Cooks” from Season 8.

Name That Episode

Name That Episode III #191

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: BDOR, who correctly identified “The Gun” from Season 4.

Name That Episode