Everything the M*A*S*H series tackled had to be done with particular care. First of all, they thrived on real war experiences, the Vietnam War was still going on and things there weren’t unraveling as planned. Unsurprisingly, people can become extra sensitive to issues that surround a war where many young soldiers are dying.
The TV series took a hit when some critics misunderstood their message as being anti-army. People were passionate about the war, so going against the armed forces wouldn’t have been a sound idea. But the makers of M*A*S*H had every intention of backing the fighting men and women of America, it just criticized all forms of incompetence. If anything, it was anti-bureaucratic.
The Reappearing Dress
After surviving the initial phase of early discharge, Klinger’s character grew stronger than ever. Viewer’s loved him for his zany attitude and crazy schemes. He could always be relied on to break the monotony by coming up with outlandish ideas. The wedding dress was a product of Klinger’s popularity.
The dress ended up being used three times in the series, starting off with Klinger’s marriage to Laverne Esposito. Margaret Houlihan got a hand on it too when she married Lt. Col. Donald Penobscot. Lastly, Soon Lee got a chance to wear it when she married the delightfully infamous Klinger.
It's An American Thing
The creators of M*A*S*H had big dreams for the show. Being a huge hit in America, they planned on making it expand to the UK, a staunch ally of the US during the war, where political sentiments are easily shared. Then there was the possibility of making it a universal success afterward, or so they thought.
The TV series flopped overseas. Perhaps its humor was too topical to Americans alone. One interesting guess offered for its failure was the use of a laugh track, which is common in the US but considered poor form by the Brits. This may have been a major turn off to UK viewers who don’t like to be instructed on when they should laugh.
Where The Magic Happened
For a TV series that has reached a certain legendary status for its tenure and strong viewership, it is quite interesting to note that M*A*S*H had only two places to shoot their scenes.
Neither of these sets was ever used for any other purposes at first, so the one that was nestled in the mountains near Malibu in California was used exclusively for M*A*S*H’s outdoor and tent scenes. This meant heavy use, especially for the first few seasons. For indoor shooting, they had to bunk up in Fox Studios. Eventually, Fox Studios was given a makeover, allowing the show to shoot its outdoor scenes there as well.
Not only did the writers of M*A*S*H come up with names cherry-picked from people they knew personally, but they also enjoyed injecting their own relatable experiences into the lives of the characters in the program.
Lenny Bruce was given a dishonorable discharge while serving the Navy, and he wanted a similar circumstance applied to Klinger, whose zany personality fit the shoe. So the latter was made to crossdress in an attempt to get thrown out of the organization.