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Favorite Era

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:54 pm
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
I've read that Larry Gelbart, Gene Reynolds, and Burt Metcalfe tend to break up the show into three "eras": Seasons One through Four, Season Five as it's own, and Seasons Six through Eleven; in a way it makes sense, because One through Four is when Larry was in charge, Five was when Gene was in charge, and Six through Eleven was when Burt was in charge.

But among fans, we all know how the eras of the show are broken up: Seasons One through Three, Seasons Four and Five, Seasons Six and Seven, and Seasons Eight through Eleven. We know that...

Seasons One through Three = :hawkeye: :trapper: :henry: :margaret: :frank: :radar: :klinger: :mulcahy:
Seasons Four and Five = :hawkeye: :bj: :potter: :margaret: :frank: :radar: :klinger: :mulcahy:
Seasons Six and Seven = :hawkeye: :bj: (and :bj2:) :potter: :margaret: :charles: :radar: :klinger: :mulcahy:
Seasons Eight through Eleven = :hawkeye: :bj2: :potter: :margaret: :charles: :klinger2: :mulcahy:

Most fans consider the eras as "The Gold" (1-3), "The Silver" (4-5), "The Bronze" (6-7), and "The Copper" (8-11).

IMHO, my favorite era is "The Bronze": to me, the writing and the cast was well-rounded and solid by then, but Charles was such a wonderful addition to the cast, especially after Frank really de-evolved and became such a one-dimensional character, he actually gave Hawkeye and B.J. a challenge; plus comedy was still at the forefront. Closely followed by "The Silver": they took a bold risk replacing two beloved characters, but they did it well, because B.J. and Potter were totally different from Trapper and Henry, but they still were just as appealing and as believable characters as their predesesors, not to mention, by then, they really started to find their voice, writing-wise; less network scrutiny meant doing more of what they wanted to do from day one, which was tackle serious issues underneath the hijinks in this hospital. I also like "The Gold", while the first year certainly had some memorable episodes, I think Season Three was the best season during that era, the characters were set, and the writing was completely solid.

On a personal note though, I have a slightly different interpretation of the eras... to me, I think they should be broken up as Seasons One through Six, Season Seven, Seasons Eight through Eleven: 1-6 was mostly comedic, 8-11 was mostly dramatic, 7 seems to me to be the "transition" season, I think it has a feel of it's own, it's not as comedic as 1-6 were, but it's not as dramatic as 8-11... it was just an unusual season.

And has anyone besides me noticed this: as Season Four progressed, it seemed to become darker and darker with each passing episode (like on DVD, watching an episode from disc 3 is pretty different from an episode on disc 1), but they seemed to do an about-face with Season Five, and it went back to being more light-hearted again?

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:17 pm
by Mash4Ever
My Favorite Era Is Seasons 1 Through 8!

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:20 pm
by Garbage Officer
I'd probably have to save my favourite years are the latter one, Bronze & Copper, although I wouldn;t say I didn;t like any of the era's, just my preference.

The Silver year is what I first really got used to when I would watch repeats on Sky back in the 90's so for a long time, I knew nothing of the rest of the era's. When the DVD's came out and I got Season 1 let me tell you that was a shock to me, lol! So I think because I started with Potter & BJ, they always stuck with me as the people who should be there. It took a long time before I got round to seeing Henry in charge and Trapper as the other bunkie in the Swamp and to me, it never felt right.
I really loved the addition of Charles and was pleased to be rid of Radar as well. They seemed to only be able to take his character so far. But Charles was a great addition because in the early years where you just had Hawkeye as this outstanding surgeon and hero to all, I really liked that later on you had three really good, competative surgeons. Plus, i loved that they had a different dynamic. When Frank was there, they never sided with him, he was *always* the bad guy but when Winchester joined, they had him as the guy to be mean to, but he'd also side with BJ quite often and Hawkeye occasionally and it was nice to see that as Hawkeye & BJ must be sick of one another by that time. ;) Plus the fact that through it all, Charles was generally a good decent fella was much better than Franks character.

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:22 pm
by TrapperJoe
I love the show from beginning to end and how it always managed to reinvent itself. Replacing characters and creating new ones not from the book that became perfect additions, B.J., Potter and especially Klinger and Charles.

If I had to pick I'd have to say The Silver era. Larry Gelbart, Gene Reynolds and Alan Alda did some really special stuff during this time, especially season four. They did special stuff ALL the time, but with episodes like "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler? , "The Late Captain Pierce", "The Bus", "Dear Mildred" and "The Interview", they all seemed to be on their 'A' game. "Welcome to Korea" was a great introduction to a new M*A*S*H, and "Change of Command" is a wonderful little episode, I love the Henry Blake memorial bar :) :cry:

Season five also had some great ones also. "Movie Tonight", "The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan" and giving Sidney Freedman and Father Mulcahy episodes to shine with "Dear Sigmund and "Mulcahy's War", two of my favorites.

Theres so much greatness in all eras....really my favorite era is everything from the M*A*S*H novels to AfterMASH and W*A*L*T*E*R :D

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:48 pm
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
You know, Seasons Four and Five really seem to be rather interchangable, don't you think? I mean, there's less of a noticable difference between those two than, say, Seasons Six and Seven (and I don't just mean the B.J. 'stache).

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:45 pm
by JocularityGirl
My favorite era is 4-6, from when Trap leaves B.J arrives to when Frank leaves and Winchester comes in, no offense meant towards the late Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Stiers, though! :)

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:48 pm
by Captain Tuttle
My favorite era is Seasons 1- 3 "The Gold" followed by Seasons 4 - 5 "The Silver". I just really loved the early hijinks. There was still serious moments too. I feel that Hawkeye and Trapper were better friends than him an BJ. Hawkeye and Trapper seemed to get along much better. I also really like Frank and Margaret(when she was Hotlips). She would get angry with him at times but they always came back to each other. My favorite episode of the whole series is Tuttle. This episode was so crazy but it really worked for me.

Welcome To Korea is another one of my favorite episodes. I feel it's the best introduction of a new character on a show. BJ is introduced and thrust into an 'adventure' of sorts with Hawkeye which ends with them getting drunk. By the next episode it was believable that they were good friends. Change Of Command is another great episode. Potter is seen as being more serious but towards the end he lets his guard down and shows he can be as goofy as the rest.

Heck I love all of MASH. I slightly favor the first 5 seasons but not by much. It's such an amazing show and it stayed fresh by growing and changing over the years.

Re: Favorite Era

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:12 am
by BeccaLeo1972
Seasons 1 thru 8 are my favorite era of the series. There was a balance with the comedy and drama in those years. I enjoy Trapper and B.J. equally though i do feel Hawkeye's friendship with B.J. was the more significant one.