Any Ideas on BJ

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TimFoust
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Any Ideas on BJ

Post by TimFoust » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:05 pm

I have always wondered why the writers changed BJ from another comedic cut up to one of the whinest behind Nurse Kelly. I loved him in his first 6 episodes but seemed to get more and more for better words whiney. Charles brought a sort of intelligence that Frank lacked. I can see Hawkeyes progression, he has been there the longest and it would bitter a man after a time but really by season 9 BJ's jokes were almost dull and seemed to steal some of the comedy away from the show. I am not sure why the writers wanted this, was it that the show was coming to an end and they were running out of material, I mean the show lasted a whole lot longer than the actual conflict. I started watching the show just a season after the actual pilot and since the release to DVD I have watched at least one disk a night every night since. Most of the episodes I have memorized. I really need a life. lol. Insight into my original question would be appreciated.

Did anyone notice that in Fade in Fade out Col. Bladwin was a full bird but later he was only a Lt.Col. Did he get demoted? or just caught before this show. hehehehehehe

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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:19 pm

I rarely watch Seasons Eight through Eleven, as the show just wasn't the same anymore by then, but just about every M*A*S*Her out there complains about B.J. being a whiney character in general... in his defense, all I can say is B.J. was a very devoted family man, and he was still a young man, I can't imagine he and Peggy were married for a very long time, and Erin was practically just born before he was drafted and shipped out, missing out on her growing up... I mean, if I were in his shoes, and basically taken away from all of that, I'd be rather bitter and unpleasant as well.

Some of it too could be trying to make a bigger and more noticable constrast between him and Hawkeye, he was supposed to be opposite of Hawkeye personality-wise (which is one reason why Trapper didn't fair too well as a character), maybe they got a little too carried away, I don't know... most people actually blame it on the cheesy mustache, lol. :bj2:

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TimFoust
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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by TimFoust » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:38 am

Yeah after season 8 things did very political. The jokes got tiresome. When radar left the show seemed to turn to the worst. I suppose the best joke was the joke that never happened. The last show radar was on I guess its my opinion but radar did look very tired kinda like when Henry was getting to the end of his run with the black circles under his eyes and all. I just wished that if the writers were going to make a contrast like that they could have kept it a little closer.


Oh has anybody tried to GoogleMap Oujijambo (spelling) Korea? I have looked all around Seoul and Looked for Panmoonjamb (another Spelling) I did find Inchon and looked around that but still couldnt find the area that was supposed to be the site.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:05 pm

Well, we did know that Gary Burghoff was ready to move on well after Season Seven, but he was convinced to return for the two-parter good-bye show in Season Eight, so he probably wasn't entirely thrilled over that. Ken Levine has even said on his blog that Gary was somewhat difficult on the set during that particular filmimg: playing Radar in a rather irritable and angry manner, refusing to wear the wool cap, not pitching his voice to make him sound younger, etc. Truth be told though, I don't think even if Radar stayed that would've helped much... yes, losing Radar was a devastating blow to the series, but even before then, you could sense a change in the air... I refer to Season Seven as the "transition" season, because it has a feel all it's own... it's not as comedic as the previous six seasons, yet it's nowhere as dark/preachy/political/dramatic as the next four seasons, if that makes sense. Again, most of what "killed" the show those last four seasons was the overhaul of the production staff, specifically the new writing team, and Alan Alda taking more charge of the series.

Oh, and I believe the spelling is Uijongbu... I tried doing not only Google Maps but Google Earth on it this morning after skimming through your post... hard to believe that it's actually quite a big city now, a LOT has changed in over fifty years.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by Mash4Ever » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:11 pm

I Really Didn't Like BJ He Was Annoying And Always Whinning About Peg He Got On My Neves A Lot Of Times!
From A Big Alan Alda Wayne Rogers Mash Fan Kirsten

RIP Harry Morgan 1915-2011

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TimFoust
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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by TimFoust » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:26 am

I really apprieciate the spelling. I will relook to see how the area has changed. I would love to take a trip someday and visit the area where the show is supposed to have taken place. I wonder if they have some sort of monument that tells of how the show may have helped the area or if they have anything at all.
I have noticed that during the last couple of seasons how not only Alan directed but Harry directed some of the shows. I wonder if some of these director changes were from necessaty because the main directors were off doing other things and just had to have a director or since the show was in its final days they allowed people that would never get the chance to have an oppertunity to try their hand.
I really love the forums here because there are a lot of people like me that absolutly love the show and the characters complex back storys. Its really amazing how many fans of the show know more than most avid trekies. This show is one of the reasons I joined the military and when I had to write a essay on a fictional or non fictional character as an entrance exam in college I choose Capt. Ben Franklin Peirce and why I would pattern my life after his. Even though most thought of him as a prima donna and basically took over the show his character showed that military personel could show compasion toward the enemy.
In the unit I was in during my time I knew of several men that cherished their wives and children more than what BJ portraited but never whined as much as he did and they spent just as much time away from their family as he did. They talked about their family as much as BJ did and missed their family just as much but when they got a letter from their wives about cleaning out the gutters they wouldnt worry about it like BJ did. I know its petty but after awhile it did get old.

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TimFoust
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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by TimFoust » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:53 am

I looked at the map this morning. I wonder if the Chopper Pads were out where the airport is now located, lol. In many of the episodes they did say they were close to Uijongbu, not actually in the city. Its the Hoboken of the orienat. Again thanks for the information so I could look up the site.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by MASHGuy » Fri May 25, 2012 7:39 am

I was OK with BJ until this happened... :bj2:!

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by BigT112 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:19 pm

MASHGuy wrote:I was OK with BJ until this happened... :bj2:!
Which was Alan Alda's idea to help viewers distinguish the to characters apparently.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by prc1966 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:36 pm

I very much agree with this post. BJ was a very likable character in the first 3 seasons he was on the show. He started out as a an easy going punster, more level headed than Hawkeye. In fact, there is a line in the 5th Season episode Dear Sigmund" in which Sidney admires BJ for "going calmly on" in the face of the war's insanity.

During the couorse of Season 7, a lot of friction was written into the relationship between BJ and Hawkeye, and BJ's character became much more edgy and cranky. I did not care for that change, but I think it was done because in the final few seasons, the show tried to make more social and political points, and I think they wanted to use BJ's separation anxiety as statement against the way in which wars interfere with the family lives of the soldiers and their loved ones. MASH was becoming less of a comedy and more of a drama by that time, and BJ's character changes were part of that.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by Chuck » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:03 pm

I would rather see Trapper over BJ. Well, BJ was fine for the first few seasons, but as some of you stated, he seemed to get a little whiney. The episode where he's upset because he's away from home bothers me a bit. In fact, a lot of times I'll just pass that one over. Being in the Air Force for 20 years, I know all too well what it's like to leave your family for extended periods of time. One thing you don't do while you are deployed is complain about it to others. Like Margaret said, at least he's got family to miss. Many times, there's people who are far worse off. It must be the mustache...As soon as he started growing that stupid thing he changed. Then again, do we blame the writers and directors?

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by TimFoust » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:05 pm

I personally blame them both, the writers and directors. It seemed that when Alan Alda began to direct it got more political in nature. The first one that began the downward spiral was "Hawkeye" when he had the accident and the whole thing was him trying to stay awake with that Korean family, there really wasnt any of that one I found funny, now I just skip over it. There are quite a lot in season 9 and 10 I just skip over because its mostly BJ whinning about everything he is missing. I've been deployed overseas many times, and I never remembered anyone that would sit a wollow in self pitty about being away from home as much as BJ did. I understand he was a draftee but not many during that conflict went the full distance, most were only there for a couple of years, by show standards he only stayed over there just under 2 years but to hear him say Aaron would have been grown when he got home.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by theprofromdover » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:36 pm

Completely agree. BJ was very likeable at the beginning but became so full of self-pity it was ridiculous. Also, the rapport between him and Hawkeye changed considerably. They became, at times, very short with each other. I sort of understand this, as you will naturally change the longer you're in that situation, but it took away from the character.

The one that always bugged me the most was the way Radar almost DEVOLVED. When we first meet Radar, he comes across as pretty savvy and street smart. Took a peek in the women's shower whenever he got the chance, could and would take a drink, quit but in a sort of sneaky way. For whatever reason, he became the total opposite over time. Never made a bit of sense to me.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by RJ » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:06 pm

You can read Gary Burghoff's explanation of the (de)evolution of Radar at Ken Levine's blog.

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Re: Any Ideas on BJ

Post by theprofromdover » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:49 am

Thanks for that link, RJ. Pretty interesting read. Still don't like the changes because, well, it still doesn't make sense how you go from street smart to naive, but I still love Radar. The "AAH BACH!" episode is one of my favorites.

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