Sunday, July 8, 2012

Harry Morgan & Jamie Farr in AfterMASH (1983)

The wildly successful series M*A*S*H (1972), surprisingly only fostered two official and one unofficial (Trapper John, MD [1979]) spinoffs. This series is the one that made it. (Look for a post on the other one soon). In AfterMASH, we find Col. Potter returning home after the war and somewhat at loose ends. He eventually finds his way to a VA hospital in Missouri, where he's offered the job of Chief of Staff. The job allows him to gather some familiar faces around him, including Klinger (Farr) and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher). The series chronicles the goings on at General Pershing Veterans Hospital.

Though they make a valiant effort with the show, there's a strange flat quality to the acting. It might be a choice to try and represent the regional affect of the midwestern location, but perhaps that's giving it a bit too much credit. It's worth a look especially if you're fond of the original series from which it sprang.

This has been almost totally forgotten. It's not available on DVD and is only known to hard core fans of the original series and people who watched it at the time. Oddly enough, it was very successful in its original run, but failed miserably when put up against the mega-hit The A-Team in its second season. Select episodes are available on YouTube. Above is the pilot, uploaded by TheGorzak.

Obscurity factor: 8 (not on DVD, known to fans of M*A*S*H, otherwise forgotten)


  1. When in college during the early 80s, watching the late-night "MASH" rerun in the co-ed dorm breakroom was a ritual for twenty of us. When this show immediately followed the original series' end, it was somewhat of a shock. The biting sarcasm of the original was replaced with an almost "Walton-esque" style of feel-good homeyness. We lasted only a few episodes.

    FYI - IMDb mistakenly breaks up the seasons. Season 1 ran from fall '83 through spring '84, while Season 2 lasted only through the fall of '84.

  2. Yes, there is a Norman Rockwell quality to the show... It's a strange contrast to the original.

  3. I should clarify, that I am a huge fan of the EARLY years of "The Waltons," when the show was extremely well made. It wasn't until it's final few years, that it turned into a parade of Corabeth prancing around like a deranged shrew, and pointless Aunt Rose spouting one homily after another. The original episodes really nail the pride of the Virginia mountain folks during that period, without a boatload of cliches and insults.

    However, the "M*A*S*H" universe is just too far removed from that style, for the spin-off to diverge so drastically.