M*A*S*H—Season 1

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great writing, great acting

Some might have a tough time with the laughing at war aspect of the plot


Welcome to the 4077!

The 4077 is open for business.  It is the Korean War in 1950, and the mobile army surgical hospital is dealing with the wounded.  John Francis Xavier “Trapper” McIntyre (Wayne Rogers) and Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda) live in the Swamp and are out to make the lives of Franklin Marion “Frank” Burns (Larry Linville) and Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit) miserable.  The unit is under the watchful eye of Henry Braymore Blake (McLean Stevenson) who can’t seem to control anyone and his assistant Walter Eugene “Radar” O’Reilly really keeps things operating.  War might be hell, but it can be fun.

M*A*S*H first aired on September 17, 1972 on CBS and became one of the longest running TV comedies airing for eleven seasons (far outlasting the Korean War in length).  It was the TV version of Robert Altman’s 1970 film and based on the novel MASH:  A Novel about Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker.  This first season found difficulties finding ratings (like many freshmen shows), but fared better in a better timeslot.  This season (like many seasons) was nominated for multiple awards including Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy, Lead Actor (Alan Alda), Supporting Actor (Gary Burghoff), Supporting Actor (McLean Stevenson), and Writing.


The only thing I’m delivering is medical relief!

I didn’t understand M*A*S*H when I was little.  It was on all the time, and I remember the final episode airing.  I avoided M*A*S*H for years not getting the humor from coming from a show where they were operating on people and covered in blood.  I wish I hadn’t because now I have eleven seasons to watch of an enjoyable show that is still relevant today.

One thing that always turned me off about M*A*S*H was the intrusive laugh track that went off over-and-over again.  It was also a point of contention for the shows makers who didn’t want it and CBS wanted it (I guess to remind people that it was a comedy).  It is pretty obnoxious, canned laughter.  One of the best features of the DVD collections is that the laugh track can be turned off and the show becomes even more enjoyable.


It takes a big man to cry, and a bigger man to laugh at that man

The show is actually kind of risqué for the time and pushes the limits with jokes about sexuality and promiscuity.  It almost makes me sad that TV took such a step back from the honesty and darkness of comedies in the ’70s like All in the Family and M*A*S*H that weren’t very politically correct but also not really for “all ages” viewing.  Shows like The Office and cable shows have brought back a little of this less PC shows so that is a good sign that TV might someday revert back to a great time in television.

M*A*S*H is a fun show, but I have to admit, I do sometimes find myself siding with Frank and Hot Lips on Hawkeye (more so than Trapper who seems like a follower).  Frank might be a bully but Hawkeye’s just as a bad of a bully.  I think I would go crazy in the Swamp.  Despite having main characters that I don’t necessarily identify with, M*A*S*H is a great show that has stood the test of time.

M*A*S*H—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1       Pilot Airdate:  09/17/72

Welcome to the 4077.  Hawkeye (Alan Alda) and Trapper John (Wayne Rogers) works to get their houseboy Ho-Jon (Patrick Adiarte) back to school in the United States.  Plans for a raffle go south when Lt. Colonel Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) leaves Major Frank Burns (Larry Linville) in charge.  When the camp sedates Frank, Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit) is on the case to find him and calls in Brigadeer General Charlie Hammond (G. Wood) to stop Hawkeye and Trapper.


“To Market, To Market”

1.2       To Market, To Marker Airdate:  09/24/72

The 4077 is suffering from black market hijackers and Hawkeye and Trapper John are out to get their medical supplies.  When Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff) gets the man that Hawkeye and Trapper need to talk to, it Hawkeye and Trapper are off to Seoul to strike a deal.  When Hawkeye and Trapper promise to trade Colonel Blake’s desk for the medicine, they must find a way to get it out from under Blake, Burns, and Hot Lips’ watchful eyes.


“Requiem for a Lightweight”

1.3       Requiem for a Lightweight Airdate:  10/01/72

Trapper and Hawkeye both have eyes for a new nurse named Margie Cutler (Marcia Strassman), but learn that Hot Lips is transferring her because she’s a distraction.  When Burns reveals that that General Wilson Spaulding Barker (Sorrell Booke) has set-up an inter-camp boxing tournament, Hawkeye trains Trapper for the boxing match to get Cutler back….but Hawkeye’s got a plan.


“Chief Surgeon Who?”

1.4       Chief Surgeon Who? Airdate:  10/08/72

Frank gets fed up with Hawkeye’s control of the operating room and demands charges against him.  When Blake decides he has to appoint a chief surgeon, Blake passes over Frank for Hawkeye.  Hot Lips and Burns call in Barker to clean-up the mess.


“The Moose”

1.5       The Moose Airdate:  10/15/72

Sergeant Baker (Paul Jenkins) arrives with a “moose” (a Korean servant girl that he purchased) named Young-Hi (Virginia Ann Lee) and Hawkeye, Trapper, and the others set out to free her.  When Hawkeye buys Young-Hi’s freedom, Hawkeye finds he’s saddled with a moose.


“Yankee Doodle Doctor”

1.6       Yankee Doodle Doctor Airdate:  10/22/72

A documentary about M*A*S*H units is being shot and the 4077 has been picked for the film.  When the film crew starts to get in the way, Trapper and Hawkeye decide to interfere with the filming.


“Bananas, Crackers and Nuts”

1.7       Bananas, Crackers and Nuts Airdate:  11/05/72

Tensions are high after a long run of patients.  When Henry takes without granting any leaves, Hawkeye pretends to be crazy to get a pass to Tokyo.  When Hawkeye is too good at his roleplaying, Hot Lips calls in a psychiatrist to evaluate him.



1.8       Cowboy Airdate:  11/12/72

Cowboy (Billy Green Bush) comes in with an injury, and Hawkeye realizes Cowboy needs to get home to save his marriage.  When Henry refuses to release Cowboy, bad things start happening to Henry.


“Henry, Please Come Home”

1.9       Henry, Please Come Home Airdate;  11/19/72

When the 4077 receives an efficiency award, Henry is moved to a new camp.  Burns replaces Henry, and the camp tries to find a way to get Henry back.


“I Hate a Mystery”

1.10     I Hate a Mystery Airdate:  11/26/72

The 4077 is plagued with thefts, everyone in the cabin searches for the thief.  When Hawkeye is found with the stolen goods, he must prove himself innocent.


“Germ Warfare”

1.11     Germ Warfare Airdate:  12/10/72

Hawkeye finds himself at battle with Henry and Burns over a North Korean patient when Hawkeye demands more time for the patient to heal.  When Hawkeye tries to find a match for the man’s blood type, the only person who is eligible is Burns.  When Burns’ stolen blood has a strange reaction, Hawkeye and Trapper must get Burns secretly tested.


“Dear Dad”

1.12     Dear Dad  Airdate:  12/17/72

Hawkeye writes home to his father about events at the 4077 as Christmas comes to Korea.  As the holiday gets closer, Hawkeye tells him about the people with whom he works.  When Clinger (Jamie Farr) gets in a fight with Burns, Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) is forced to talk Clinger down.  Trapper and Hawkeye play a trick on Hot Lips and Frank.  A troop is pinned down, and Pierce is forced to make a rescue dressed as Santa Claus.



1.13     Edwina Airdate:  12/24/72

It is the birthday of Nurse Edwina “Eddie” Ferguson (Arlene Golonka), and Edwina realizes she’s never had any luck with men.  When the girls decide they need Nurse Eddie to get a boyfriend, they cut off the men until Eddie gets a date.


“Love Story”

1.14     Love Story Airdate:  01/07/73

When Radar’s fiancé back home dumps him, Hawkeye and Pierce try to hook him up with a new nurse, but Hot Lips and her rules get in the way.



1.15     Tuttle Airdate:  01/14/73

When Hawkeye invents a “Captain Tuttle” to get supplies to a nun, Tuttle’s existence begins to run rampant in the camp.  When Tuttle is cited for an award, Hawkeye must make Tuttle appear.


“The Ringbanger”

1.16     The Ringbanger Airdate:  01/21/73

A war-monger named Colonel Buzz Brighton (Leslie Nielsen) is in the hospital, and Hawkeye and Trapper decide he has to be taken off command since he is a risk to soldiers.


“Sometimes You Hear the Bullet”

1.17     Sometimes You Hear the Bullet Airdate:  01/28/73

Frank’s back goes out and now he’s a patient.  Hawkeye’s friend Cpl. Tommy Gillis (James T. Callahan) visits the camp and reveals he’s written a book about the real battle for soldiers.  A young patient (Ron Howard) comes in to surgery and Hawkeye questions the war.


“Dear Dad, Again”

1.18     Dear Dad, Again Airdate:  02/04/73

Hawkeye writes home again and tells him the latest events at the 4077.  A new doctor comes to the unit and reveals he isn’t really a doctor.  Radar tries to pass his correspondence class, and when Hot Lips rejects Frank, Frank reveals his brother’s nickname for him when he gets drunk.


“The Longjohn Flap”

1.19     The Longjohn Flap Airdate:  02/18/73

The weather in Korea takes a turn for the worse, and everyone in the 4077 wants Hawkeye’s long underwear.


“The Army-Navy Game”

1.20     The Army-Navy Game Airdate:  02/25/73

It’s the day of the Army-Navy game and the 4077 is pinned down by enemies.  When a bomb falls on the camp and doesn’t detonate, it is up to the camp to defuse it.


“Sticky Wicket”

1.21     Sticky Wicket Airdate:  03/04/73

When Hawkeye is critical of Frank, tensions run high, but when Hawkeye’s patient begins to go south, Hawkeye wonders if he did something wrong.


“Major Fred C. Dobbs”

1.22     Major Fred C. Dobbs Airdate:  03/11/73

Frank decides he’s had enough of Hawkeye and Trapper and demands a transfer.  When Burns and Hot Lips get permission to transfer after a prank, Hawkeye and Trapper have to find a way to get Hot Lips and Frank back to appease Henry.  Their plans take the form of a gold rush.



1.23     Ceasefire Airdate:  03/18/73

When a ceasefire is eminent, the camp celebrates, but the plans to go home might be too soon as the camp begins to say their goodbyes.



1.24     Showtime Airdate:  03/25/73

The USO comes to entertain the troops, but the troops have other things on their minds.  Trapper deals with problems in the operating room while Frank decides to turn the table on Hawkeye’s pranks.  Henry waits for his wife to have a baby.

Related Links:

M*A*S*H—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

MASH (1970)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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