Discuss February 2014’s Poll

Last month’s poll wasn’t very popular, only receiving only 118 votes. It asked readers “Who was the better foil for Hawkeye and Trapper/B.J.?” For a while, the results were evenly split but in the end Frank squeaked out a win. Here are the full results:

Frank (53%, 62 Votes)

Charles (47%, 56 Votes)

This was a tough one for me. I ultimately voted Charles because he was on equal footing with Hawkeye and B.J. while Frank was always out of his league against Hawkeye and Trapper and to a lesser extent Hawkeye and B.J. So Charles was definitely the better foil. I doubt very much the show would have been as amusing had Hawkeye and Trapper gone up against Charles.

Preview March’s Poll:

This month’s poll asks “Do you own any books about M*A*S*H?” and the answers are either yes or no.


  • I pretty much agree about Charles, and that’s why I voted for him as well. He not only was on an equal footing as Hawkeye and B.J., but also, he actually proved himself to be a worthy advesary, because he could really hold his own, and sometimes even fight back, providing Hawkeye and B.J. with a challenge that they always were willing to pick up, thus, it kept things interesting. Frank, however, was a wimp, and brought everything he got on himself, so he was more or less always the victim.

  • TWoods says:

    Agreed. Same exact reasons why I voted for Charles.

  • Crabapple Cove says:

    This was a difficult question and it makes sense that the vote was narrowly divided. I find both characters bring much to the show in their own way. Charles was definitely more of a worthy adversary and could go toe-to-toe with Hawkeye and BJ. However, I voted for Frank because he far exceeds Charles in the number of laugh out loud moments for me. Even though Frank is one-dimensional, he is delightfully so. His ridiculous laugh, his smarminess, and his sniveling all are capable of giving me belly laughs. Larry Linville was wise in perceiving that Frank Burns was used up after 5 seasons. I don’t see how his character would have been able to change as Margaret’s did and 6 more seasons of doing the same thing would have quickly become dull.

    Here are just three examples in which Frank still cracks me up everytime (even though I have watched them dozens of times):
    — Mail Call (Hawkeye dupes Frank into buying Pioneer Aviation stock)
    — Five O’clock Charlie (Hawk & Trapper wreak havoc with Frank’s anti-aircraft gun)
    — Out of Sight, Out of Mind (Hawk and BJ trick Frank by faking a baseball broadcast)

  • Crabapple Cove says:

    I have a poll suggestion (if it has not been done before)…

    Which character’s development did you enjoy more through the run of the series?

    — Margaret Houlihan

    — Cpl. Klinger

    I think this would be a worthy question, since both of their characters changed so much over 11 seasons.

    • RJ says:

      You might just see that ask the poll next month, considering I am always struggling to come up with fresh questions. I may include Radar as well, as his character did change quite a bit as well (although some would argue he devolved rather than evolved as a character).

  • Mark O'Neill says:

    This is a tricky question, and my answer is layered. For me, there is no question that the original set of dynamics, regarding the cast, was the best. Hawkeye and Trapper vs Frank and Margaret was fantastic. In those first 3 years, Frank had “some” authority. So, he mattered. By seasons 4 and certainly 5, Frank had been reduced to a nut. Charles was a better foil vs season 5 Frank. I very much enjoyed Charles, but he wasn’t a true foil, in the sense that first 3 seasons Frank was an actual threat.

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