Sometimes, my brain needs a break. Lately, to give it that break, I’ve been rewatching M*A*S*H. All things considered, it is probably my all-time favorite TV show. The show first aired the year I was born, and I remember watching it (and its reruns) as youngster. Hearing the theme song bring a kind of comforting feeling to me that no other show manages to achieve.
Watching M*A*S*H as a kid, and as an adult, are two very different experiences. I laughed at the physical comedy as a kid. I still laugh at that, but I also laugh at all of the jokes that I didn’t get when I was 8, 9, 10 years old.
I’ve been watching an episode or two each night. The last few nights I’ve watched a few more as an anodyne to the pain from my wisdom tooth extraction. It relaxes me, puts my mind at ease, and give me laughs.
This evening, I will likely watch the final episode of Season 3, “Abyssinia, Henry.” And while I’ve seen that episode countless times, I always get a little anxiety as I approach it. Of course, it’s a remarkable episode, but I don’t think I realized just why it hit me so hard until this current pass through the series. I always thought that my favorite character was Hawkeye (Alan Alda), but I’ve recently decided that the character that makes me laugh the most, is Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson). No one on the show comes close to his physical comedy. He was a genius as a physical comedian. But he also has impeccable comic timing. He delivers his Henryisms perfectly. He is, by far, the most likable character on the show, at least for me.
Then, too, the end of Season 3 marks the end of the pure genius episodes of M*A*S*H. Seasons 4 and 5 are still exceptionally good. After season 5, while I still enjoy the show, it is clear that it is not what it was in its early days.
In any case, I’m having a blast watching the show. My brain is getting needed rest. For the longest time, I never owned Season 11, but this week, I corrected that. Along with it, I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I got myself a M*A*S*H t-shirt.