I’ve chosen today to go with an oldie, but a goodie. I mentioned in my post about Fiddler on the Roof that I really appreciate the quirky but wonderful characters in the film, and it is my love for such unique and cleverly written and performed characters that has meant there could only be one choice for me for my favourite television show – M*A*S*H
Set in the Korean War, this brilliant show follows the people working at the #4077 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. But the crew of the 4077 are not your average bunch of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff. The primary cast include, in my opinion, some of the best TV characters ever, all of whom are quirky and funny but also go through heartache, troubles and grief that evoke great sympathy and make them incredibly relatable.
Alan Alda, who also wrote and directed many episodes of the show, plays Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, Chief Surgeon of the MASH unit and, whilst there is no ‘main’ character in the show, the closest thing to a protagonist. An alcoholic and a heavily sarcastic man, Hawkeye is one of the few characters that stay throughout the entire eleven seasons of the show. But don’t get me wrong, despite all his short comings, Captain Pierce is witty, thoughtful and deeply devoted to his morals. He is just one example of the wonderful figures that make M*A*S*H the great show that it is.
Others include Corporal Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly, the mildly telepathic company clerk with a small stature but an enormous heart; Corporal Maxwell Q Clinger, the Toledo-born involuntary conscript who dresses in drag in an attempt to obtain a ‘Section 8’ Psychological Discharge to get out of the army; Major Frank Burns who is unaffectionately referred to as ‘Ferret Face’; and Lieutenant Father Francis Mulcahey, the company Chaplain who boxes in his spare time.
You wouldn’t expect it from a show with a theme song called ‘Suicide is Painless’, but M*A*S*H is a hilariously funny but also heartwarming show that I can watch for hours – laughing and crying along with the characters who swiftly and easily find a place in my heart.