Rewatch Reviews

One of my summer projects is rewatching every episode of M*A*S*H and put my opions on them here. I haven't watched M*A*S*H in it's entirety since my first watch through, so this will be a fun experience. If you disagree with any of what I say here make sure to head over to my about page and use one of the platforms listed there to contact me and let me know exactly why I'm wrong. I love nothing better than to argue. Anywho, the reviews are in order of episode, and sorted by season for your convenience.

Season 1
Episode 1: Pilot

Date rewatched: 11.12.2023

Summary from IMDB:

The Swamp's Korean houseboy, Ho-Jon, is accepted to attend school at Hawkeye's alma mater. The camp raises money to send Ho-Jon to Maine by raffling a weekend in Tokyo with a nurse, much to the chagrin of Hot Lips and Burns.

My rating: 6.9/10

My thoughts:
This was pretty enjoyable to rewatch, though of course, there is quite a bit of early instalment weirdness. The writers clearly hadn't fully figured out the the finer details of the characters, Klinger isn't there, Henry's more military, Father Mulcahy is played by a different actor and isn't a very good priest, and Margaret has not even begun her character arc. Also the early seasons are objectively more misogynistic than the rest of the series, and that comes out pretty strongly here. Another thing that just squicked me out personally, but I feel like what they did to Frank in this episode sort of crossed a line.

However, despite all this it's still a pretty solid first episode. It's a lot of fun to see the orignal cast, especially the characters that were cut after season 1, and there's some iconic lines and scenes. So while it's definitely not the best episode of M*A*S*H, it's a pretty fun watch, and it was a good start to the show. Also, as a sidenote, I think that having the text "Korea, 1950, a hundred years ago." was sort of a genius choice.

Episode 2: To Market, to Market

Date rewatched: 12.12.2023

Summary from IMDB:

After losing vital medical supplies to black marketeers, Hawkeye and Trapper attempt to make a deal to get them back. Henry gets a new antique oak desk.

My rating: 8.2/10

My thoughts:
This is a classic episode. It really showcases what made the early seasons good, lighthearted comedy and hijinks, absurd and improbable plots, and a strong anti-military undercurrent, while the worse parts of the early season are kept to a minimum. The only actually misogyny in the episode really comes from how Margaret's characterisation in the early seasons was inherently misogynistic. In my opinion this would have made a better pilot episode than the actual pilot. All in all, fantastic episode, definitely worth the rewatch.

Episode 3: Requiem for a Lightweight

Date rewatched: 14.12.2023

Summary from IMDB:

Trapper enters the inter-camp boxing tournament.

My rating: 6.1/10

My thoughts:
This is a pretty forgettable episode in my opinion, it's not terrible, but the plot is mostly mediocre and there's not munch to make it stand out. It does have a few redeeming qualities thought. For one thing it is the first appearance of Father Mulcahy as played by William Christopher, a character which I love, the physical comedy is pretty good and there are some funny lines. Also this is both a point for it and a point against it, but it also has the first appearance of the gay jokes/vaguely conceiled flirting with other men that will be prevalent for the rest of the series. I personally think it's funny and enjoy a queer reading of the show, but it may leave a bad tast in the mouth for others.

Episode 4: Chief Surgeon Who?

Date rewatched: 14.12.2023

Summary from IMDB:

When Hawkeye is appointed Chief Surgeon over Frank Burns, Burns and Houlihan go over Col. Blake's head to a general to protest the decision.

My rating: 7.8/10

My thoughts:
This was a very funny episode. I think Henry was great in this episode, he's such a fun kind of silly character and it was especially true here. I really like how it sort of showed us a little bit of what happens outside of Hawkeye and Trapper's antics. Also very excitingly it was the firt appearance of Klinger, a character who I really like. Generally a fun and silly episode that's worth watching. Also the first episode in the series with any sort of relevance for future episodes, seeing as Hawkeye being chief surgeon is mentioned occasionally.

Episode 5: The Moose

Date rewatched: 15.12.2023

Summary from IMDB:

Hawkeye is outraged when a visiting sergeant brings his 'moose' to camp - a young Korean woman he has bought to keep as his personal servant.

My rating: 6.6/10

My thoughts:
This is a weird episode. It's the first episode that attempts to tackle a more serious topic, specifically one related to race, which predictably is handled in some odd and uncomfortable ways. On one hand it's a product of it's time, and that's a reason to judge it a little less harshly. Some parts do even age well, like the bit towards the beginning of episode where Hawkeye tells off the ivsiting sergeant for his use of a racial slur when refering to Koreans. On the other hand they probably could have known better, and maybe consulted some Koreans when writing the episode (thought that could be said about the whole show). Overall it's an okay episode, but I don't think I'd rewatch it again.

Episode 6: Yankee Doodle Doctor

Date rewatched: 16.12.2023

Summary from IMDB:

The 4077th is chosen as the site for a documentary featuring 'false heroics' about MASH units in Korea. After destroying the film, Hawkeye and Trapper make their own movie as a replacement.

My rating: 7.5/10

My thoughts:
This episode is very funny, it feels like an earlier, different sort of take on the season 4 episode 'The Interview'. The running anti-military theme is very strong in this episode, which is always nice to see. It's fun to watch Hawkeye/Alan Alda speak directly to the audience at the end, and what he says is still quite relevant. The only thing I'd say is the some of the humor in the in-universe short film is a bit dated and it's hard to tell if that's purposeful cause of the show taking place in the 50s or if it's just that M*A*S*H was made in the 70s, either way it can;t really be helped. Very fun episode, great for introducing people to the earlier seasons of M*A*S*H.

Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
Season 8
Season 9
Season 10
Season 11