Archives for 5 August 2015

M*A*S*H: A landing page!

A while back, my good friend, esteemed colleague, and boss at Abyss & Apex, Wendy S. Delmater, began badgering me to put up a landing page where my essays on M*A*S*H would be collected for easy reference. I shirked this task as long as I decently could; but this evening (not finding myself up to more productive work) I slogged through the Byzantine maze of WordPress menus and editing windows, and came up with a simple page as a starting point for the series.

Ecce paginam!

The keen of eye will notice that the cryptic legend ‘M*A*S*H’ has been added to the navigation menu above the masthead. Clicking on that will take you there, too.

‘Ferret Face’

M*A*S*H: A writer’s view. #7 in the series.

When McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers left M*A*S*H, as I have discussed, they broke up two of the three double acts that made up the original cast. At the same time, quite unintentionally, they sealed the fate of the third. Frank Burns and ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan were still partners in crime after the departure of Henry and Trapper, but their crimes were never the same again. The arrival of Col. Potter started a process that led to Frank’s complete disintegration as a character, so that there was no option but to release Larry Linville from the show when his contract was up. This did not arise from any shortcoming of Linville’s as a performer. The decline and fall of Frank Burns was purely a matter of errors in writing; and for this reason I want to examine it in some detail.
[Read more…]