Wednesday, March 07, 2007

DAY 7: Ah! Bach!

March 7,2007
19:53 hours.

“Love Story” - Airdate: January 7, 1973
PLOT: Radar is despondent after receiving a “Dear John recording” from home, but immediately falls in love with new nurse Lt. Anderson. Burns and Houlihan plot to break up the romance, as Radar struggles to impress the sophisticated nurse.
FRANK BURNS ABUSE:
-Tricked into groping Pierce’s knee.
-Says Pierce and McIntyre sewed him into his blanket.
-Chloroformed,
-Sexually starved by Margaret.
WEIRDNESS:
-High angle shots in the Swamp.
-“Romantic” arrangement of “Suicide is Paineless”
OVERSTATED PRAISE FOR PIERCE: “You know, Hawkeye, you’re a very famous local character!”

Points to Ponder:
One! --- Rrrr. “Love Story” is either the first great Radar-centric episode, or a near miss. The A plot, in which high school dropout and lovable idiot Radar tries to find common ground with brainiac Lt. Anderson is terrific character stuff, buoyed by our natural affection for Radar, and exploring new territory. It finds useful, logical work for Hawk and Trap as secondary characters, tutoring Radar on how to feign sophistication. But the second half of the episode gets overwhelmed with a B plot about Frank and Margaret trying to bust up the relationship, and Pierce and McIntyre giving them a taste of their own medicine. There’s nothing wrong with this silly B plot by itself, and I enjoy when Frank is spurred to official action by nothing more than jealousy, but this is Radar’s story.

Two! ---- Radar has a fiancé? Okay. I’ll buy that Radar has a fiancé he’s never mentioned. What I will not accept is that the ridiculous Southern accents we hear on his 45 rpm Dear John note are the voices of Iowans. Look, I’m an Iowan, and I love that Radar’s a positive, believable Iowan. Radar’s not just Capt. James Kirk namedropping a random home state. You want to know what an Iowan accent sounds like, listen to Gary Burghoff.

Three! ---- Pierce and McIntire lay out rules you need to bluff in intellectual conversation (even if you are an idiot who has never heard of War and Peace, true now as they were in 1951:
a) “That’s highly significant.”
b) “I consider that horse and buggy thinking”
c) “Ah! Bach!”
d) look bored.
e) “Well, I’m partial to the fugue!”
That’s all you need.

3 comments:

jacek said...

Was Frank Burns not consistently in a state of sexual starvation? The show came on much too late for my child self to watch routinely, and I suppose I was too young to understand that which I now take for granted the ability to understand, but I remember him seeming either lonely or frustrated or both. I remember that. Aso: Alan Alda.

Chris Stangl said...

Because he's got a steady extramarital affair with Hot Lips Houlihan, Frank Burns actually has less difficulty getting lucky than almost anyone at the 4077th!

Anonymous said...

That's one of my fav. MASH episodes. I'm partial to the fugue! :-D