Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Favorite MASH

With the upcoming M*A*S*H-Cast, I've been thinking of my favorite era of the show. I mainly saw M*A*S*H in reruns on Channel 29, but we would occasionally watch it live. I know we were among the millions that tuned in for the finale.

In any case, my favorite time of the show was from where Winchester joined (Season 6's “Fade Out, Fade In (Part 1)”) to when Radar left (Season 8's "Good-Bye Radar: Part 2"). This is for a couple of reasons, and they are entirely personal, so your mileage may vary.

First, I never liked how Frank Burns was treated as a character. The Frank from the original movie was an army surgeon who was, perhaps, a bit over-zealous in his religious views. He became the enemy of Hawkeye and Duke simply because he was there and they didn't agree with him. That escalated to the point where Hawkeye pushed Frank so far that Frank attacked him. Still, Frank was a good surgeon and did his job.

Not so much in the TV show. Here, Frank is a bumbling dullard who is more akin to a child than a doctor. While I disagree with how the character was treated in the movie, I am outraged by how he's treated in the show. There are times when Hawkeye, Trapper, or BJ show even a slight interest in being his friend which makes Frank become a puppy-dog. They then squash this possibility, crushing him. It's like having the cool kids pick on a special needs child just because it amuses them, and I never liked it.

Replacing Frank with Charles was brilliant, in my opinion. Now you had someone who could give as good as he got, plus he was able to team up with Hawkeye or BJ against the other. That made for a much more interesting dynamic on the show and, also in my opinion, raised it on an intellectual level.

While Charles added something the show needed, the departure of Radar had it lose something. The innocence that Gary Burghoff imbues Radar with is sorely missed in the rest of the show. Not that I dislike Klinger, but his cynical take on being company clerk is just like everyone else's cynicism. There's no wide-eyed amazement at anything anymore, and that's a detriment to the stories.

Still, it's going to be interesting hearing Rob Kelly's take on each episode, along with his guests. Maybe they can change my mind on the Frank situation, but I doubt it.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

I'm Not Mad, Just Disappointed

It might be an aspect of getting older, but I've found that I just can't get worked up about entertainment anymore. There was a time where I would have gone off on a rant about Todd McFarlane giving Spider-Man mask eyes the size of his head, but not anymore.

Why, yes, my eyes do go from above my eyebrows to below my cheekbones.
Part of it could be that I'm just not going out of my way to watch stuff. I'm not current on any of the Marvel or DC TV shows. I pick and choose the movies that we go to see. I don't read any current comic books. Even so, if I do see/read something, I just can't get mad about it. I either think it's OK, or that it's not for me and move on.

I suppose this is why I just don't get the "This is the greatest/worst movie/TV Show/comic book EVER and if you don't agree with me, it's because you're not smart enough to understand!" I've heard that WAY too much, especially with regard to any DC movies starting with the Nolan Batman stuff. Look, it's great that you feel so passionately about something, but there are all kinds of tastes out there. Just because you think this is the best depiction of your concept of Batman doesn't mean someone who doesn't even like Batman has to agree with you, even if you accuse them of being stupid for not doing so.

There's enough entertainment that I know I like, or that I think I'll like but haven't watched/read yet, that I really don't need to seek out any of the stuff that I'm pretty sure I won't like.

Now get off my lawn!

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Communication Problems

Over the holidays, we went and saw The Last Jedi. My overall impression was that it was an OK film with some really good scenes. However, there was one major underlying problem that I had with the film, and that is communication, or lack there of. Be warned, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you might want to skip this post as it does contain spoilers.

Still with me? OK, here we go.

The film opens with the Rebels/Resistance/whatever-you-want-to-call-them fleeing their base in three ships. The First Order jumps in with four star destroyers and one dreadnought. Here is where the lack of communication, as well as military incompetence, starts to show.

Poe spearheads an attack on the dreadnought's defenses, which apparently doesn't have defenses against small, one-man fighters. He knocks them all out and calls in the bombers. (I won't get into my problems with them as ships here.) Leia calls Poe and tells him to call off the attack. Poe ignores here and switches off his comm.

Leia then decides to NOT order the bombers to stop and return to the transports. Let me state that again, the GENERAL in charge DID NOT order the bombers to return. All of the bombers are then destroyed in the attack, for the which Leia blames Poe! Yes, he refused her order to return and he should be punished for that, but SHE could have called the bombers back, and DIDN'T! It's Leia's fault all those people died and the rebels lost those "valuable" ships.

Next, there's Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. She takes command when Leia is incapacitated and decides not to tell Poe what her plan is. Again, no problem here. He has shown himself to be a hot-head and has ignored orders in this very film. However, she seemingly doesn't tell ANYONE what her plan is. I understand the reveal they were going for, the "we're not giving up, we're fleeing to a base" thing, but there are some of the crew that helped Poe in his mutiny that should have known what was really going on.

There's playing close to the vest and then there's keeping people who need to know out of the loop. Would anything have changed with Fin, Poe, and Rose? Maybe, maybe not. At the very least, it would have given the characters information they should have had. They might have even worked WITH Holdo to make the plan a success rather than the string of failures that it was.

I don't hate the film, but these were some of the things that my brain could get around while watching.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

A More Laid Back Vacation

Where we'll be staying on this vacation - The Red Caboose Motel
Last year we went back to Orlando for our vacation. This year we're staying a little closer to home and going to Lancaster, PA (with side trips to Hershey and Gettysburg). Since this isn't as planning intense a trip, I have made a decision (not a resolution, a decision). This year I'll gather information but, aside from booking our hotel, I will not pre-plan or pre-purchase* anything. We'll be able to do what we want on a particular day and not be beholden to my schedule.

Let's see how long this lasts.

* Mainly because I CAN"T. Unlike WDW, the attractions in PA don't seem to think that people plan for their trips months in advance.

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