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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Week Seven

M*A*S*H* vs. Scrubs

As a youngster I never really grasped the slap stick humor or the much of the story line of the television show M*A*S*H*. I always hated when my parents or even my older brothers would turn it on. But, as I grew older I also grew tired of some of the smut that’s on TV now days. One afternoon I stopped my channel surfing on the dreaded old show, so I thought I would watch for a few minutes. After, watching for a couple weeks as it played on a syndicated time slot I really enjoyed the the silly antics of Hawkeye Peirce and Trapper Macintyre. The adolescent pranks on Frank Burns and Margret “Hot Lips” Houlihan were timeless and just plain fun. The show offered to me at first, something funny to watch and not be concerned if my young son walked in. As I watched I began to see the show progress along with the characters. The story lines were really deep sometimes as the told about the horrors of war and the challenges of being a doctor.

One of the new shows I watch on occasion is the comedy Scrubs. I know this isn’t some new show on TV, be who has time to watch much TV. Scrubs is a silly comedy about young doctors who are in their internship and later become staff at Mercy General Hospital. The main characters J.D. and Turk are best friends through college and have what they call a “bro-mance”. There is always some kind of crazy plot to the show, but, like Mash the more you watch it you see some of the same challenges. There is normally a moral question or a test to their personality that creates a better person or doctor.

One of the biggest things I have noticed in both shows is race. Turk, one of the lead characters in Scrubs is an African American. In Mash, however there were only two African American characters in the show. The first season of Mash had a doctor and a nurse. The doctor’s name was Jones, but what always got me was his nickname “Spear Chucker”. That is as racist as it gets in my opinion. Needless to say that character was very short lived but was never replaced. Obliviously, the difference in the time and settings between the two shows where extremely different. Mash is set during the Korean Conflict and Scrubs in a modern urban hospital. The jokes and pranks though different styles and era were almost the same basis. The treatment towards women and sexual innuendos are different. Mash has a more child-like nature to their sexual jokes, and Scrubs gets a little deeper into theirs. Both are a true reflection of their times and the attitude of the American public.

Both of these shows are light hearted comedies that I personally enjoy. Laugh if you want I actually own several seasons of M*A*S*H*. So to find material for this was as easy as opening my DVD cabinet. However you can find information for show times and short clips for Mash at TV Land.com http://www.tvland.com/. I normally find Scrubs on Comedy Central http://www.comedycentral.com/ or Hulu.com http://www.hulu.com/. If you haven’t already seen these shows you may want to check them out, especially Mash. My finance is twenty three and just got it the show; she loves little Radar the company clerk. Happy Viewing!


  1. Thank you for doing something different. I am a big fan of M.A.S.H and debated on this one myself. I hope no one laughs at you for having DVD's of one of the most classic shows that has ever been on television. I just did not have the gumption to do a comparison of one of my all time favorite shows. I feel the "light hearted" comedy as you put it was terrific. Your description of M.A.S.H. is exemplary of an individual who knows how to enjoy a great television show. I never watched SCRUBS but your description of the show is enticing. Enjoyed the post keep them coming!

  2. I truly felt this was a great choice the depictions may be different but the same medical comedy applies with a certian witty and comedic presence of the characters that played those roles. An the differences were so broad as far as the Vietnam setting and the actual hospital setting for one versus the other. Man! I wish I had thought of this! Haha! It really does either way capture the assignment so boldy and gives a great representation to what was asked to be reflected within the assignment. Good Job! I liked that.

  3. Jason,
    I was just like you in the beginning. My dad and sister used to watch MASH religiously. Anytime it was on, I usually would leave the room. As I got older, maybe I started to understand it better and I really enjoyed it. You did well with describing how in the beginning it was so light hearted and towards the end, so dark. I've never seen Scrubs, but have seen the ads for it. I think you did a great job comparing the two shows!

  4. Thank all of you for your comments. Yes I am a hugh M*A*S*H* fan. As a soldier I find the life sytle of the characters in M*A*S*H* a lot like mind during my deployments. We always did anything we could to have a laugh like when I put a "stay off grass" sign in the sand for the Sergeant Major's inspection, among so many other silly stuff. Thank You!