View Full Version : MASH jumped the shark!!!!


ficlopri
10-15-2003, 06:14 PM
Way over 700 votes (so far) have claimed MASH got worse as it went along. There are under 300 votes (so far) saying it got better or even stayed as good. Alan Alda's excessive moralizing was listed as one of the worst things about the later BJ/Charles MASH eps as oppsosed to the early Trapper/Henry ones. Check it out at MASH at jumptheshark.com.

Mickey
10-20-2003, 08:14 AM
Jump The Shark annoys me for excessive negativity, but there are good points made there sometimes. M*A*S*H* was always watchable, but I'm not bothering with any of the DVDs post S3. It was never as good, IMHO, after Henry and Trapper left. I didn't warm to Potter at all, and BJ was never as funny as Trap. Later on losing Radar didn't matter so much, as his relationship with Potter wasn't so good as it had been with Henry, and losing Radar meant we got more of Father Mulcahy, which was good - but replacing Frank really was the nail in the show's coffin. Meaning no disresepct to David Ogden Stiers, naturally, but nobody could replace Frank. After that Hotlips got boring, Klinger got too ordinary, and Hawkeye got increasingly self-righteous. It's a shame, but everything changes. There were always stand-out episodes though of course.

ficlopri
10-20-2003, 03:23 PM
I agree with you on all MASH points you stated except Hary Morgan was very good as Potter. But Stevenson was a little better as Blake.

As for Jump the Shark it makes good ponts on almost every show it reviews.

Mickey
10-21-2003, 05:19 AM
Harry Morgan was very good as Potter, no denying that. I just didn't take to the character.

hoosierelvisfan
10-21-2003, 12:23 PM
. . . MASH got increasing self-righteous and increasingly "preachy" as the show went on. It became less and less a comedy and more and more an "anti-war" moral play. The early shows were the best. And the cast changes annoy me: Col. Blake was much better than Col. Potter. Trapper was MUCH better than BJ. Frank, IMHO, really helped to make this show. Although nothing against Charles, Frank helped to make the show much funnier.

Signed,
Respectfully,
Dutch

ficlopri
10-21-2003, 02:54 PM
fine Mickey but you didn't outright say Morgan was a very good actor or anything like that. So I had no real way of way knowing you realised that from the beginning.

Mickey
10-21-2003, 04:34 PM
Yes, I didn't comment much on him in my original post. Harry Morgan did so much, and more than proved his worth in other productions. I don't know why I didn't like the character much. Too stiff and conventional perhaps, especially compared to Henry. That's a similiar complaint I'd make against BJ as compared to Trapper, and Charles as compared to Frank. It's never easy to come into a show and take over from somebody else, and I suppose they all did well enough, considering. It's just that, IMHO, BJ was never half as funny as Trapper, and the chemistry with Hawkeye wasn't so good. Potter wasn't as endearing as Henry, and Charles, poor fellow, just wasn't Frank. How could anybody be as good as Frank?! It was so sad when Larry Linville died a few years ago. Good to see him guesting on that episode of Diagnosis Murder though.

So is there anybody out there who prefers the later cast?

hoosierelvisfan
10-22-2003, 08:49 AM
So is there anybody out there who prefers the later cast?

Well, I don't. Personally, for me, the show was basically ruined in the later seasons because instead of trying to be a comedy, it tried to be a series that showed how horrible war is. That's great and everything but if I want to watch something that shows how bad war is, I'll turn on a documentary on the subject, not a comedy. For me, my least fave character was "BJ." He is the most negative out of everyone on the show. Personally, I think they tried to switch the format of the show from strictly comedy to a sort-of quasi drama.

Regarding the real life actors who played Hawkeye and BJ, they really drive me crazy with all their political stuff they try to promote. Personally, I wish that they would just keep their political views to themselves. People are certainly free to hold whatever political views that they want, but these actors/singers that use their celebrity status to shove political causes down the throat of the public just drive me crazy. I used to love Barbara Streisand years ago and had lots of albums from her, but she got to the point where she couldn't do anything without turning it into a political platform. At that point, I just could not bear watching her anymore because, as a result, now I equate Barbara Streisand with her political views. The same is true to a certain degree with Alan Alda and Mike Farrell. Why don't these celebrities just entertain us and keep their political opinions to themselves like it used to be?

Signed,
Respectfully,
Dutch

Mickey
10-22-2003, 10:14 AM
"Keep their political opinions to themselves like it used to be?
"?! Celebrities have never done that. Look at the number of Holylwood stars standing behind Martin Luther King when he made some of his speeches, or JFK. Going back even further than that, in the early days of Hollywood they'd stand up for certain issues. They have a voice, and can speak on subjects, and get things done, where ordinary people can't.

I've never heard Alan Alda or Mike Farrell speak on political issues. Wouldn't care if I did. I have huge respect for Martin Sheen and the work he does in that arena. I don't like what Mike Farrell brought to M*A*S*H though! :)

hoosierelvisfan
10-22-2003, 10:53 AM
Certainly, there have always been some celebrities who have voiced their opinions on things through the years. For example, Sinatra did a lot to help get JFK elected. And, yes, SOME stars did appear with MLK (e.g., Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis, Jr.) but I am talking about even earlier than that when the movie stars pretty much kept their opinions to themselves because they wanted to protect their images and not offend people one way or another. Certainly, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What offends me, though, is the thought that certain celebrities think they are somehow more entitled or more enlightened to give their opinions about issues just because they are celebrities. You've never heard Alan Alda or Mike Farrell (espec. Mike Farrell!!!!) give their opinion on political issues??????? Wow!!!! where do YOU live?!?!? LOL! Just kidding!!! Ed Asner is another one that gets all caught up in these political causes and seems to think he is smarter and more qualified simply because he is a celebrity. He's big on defending the cop-killer from Philadelphia. He should just keep his big trap closed and keep his opinion to himself. Listen, I am not denying that people have a right to voice their opinion, but what I'm suggesting is that just because you have a right to voice your opinion doesn't mean that you HAVE to voice your opinion. Elvis Presley was a man of strong convictions but he kept his opinions on issues seperate in his private life. He felt that he shouldn't influence people because he was a celebrity. Obviously, the "Mike Farrel's" and "Ed Asner's" of today believe just the opposite. They believe that they MUST use their celebritiy status to force us to listen to political issues.

Signed,
Respectfully,
Dutch

ficlopri
10-23-2003, 02:33 PM
Mike Farrel was on the now defunct Politically Incorrect series bragging there was no proof that the WTC bombing on 9-11-2001 was caused by the Al Quida (sp?).

Mickey
10-23-2003, 05:09 PM
Technically there isn't. But I think we need a Michael Moore thread for that kind of chat or we'll all end up offending each other.

:)

DickSolomonFan
11-02-2003, 09:17 PM
And I thought I was the only one who got sick of Hawkeye's anti-war sermons. He was a mite hypocrital too, because he was always ready to punch out the lights of anyone he had a beef with. I still liked him most of the time though. He was great when he was just being funny. I loved his Groucho routine.

On jumping the shark, I still liked the show up to the end, but it was less funny after Klinger quit wearing dresses. And Frank was funnier than Winchester, although Charles did have his moments. Blake and Potter were both okay. I liked Potter a little better, but he got on my nerves too sometimes, blowing his top for no reason. I've always liked Harry Morgan though, ever since he played Pete Porter on December Bride (an old
fifties show).

ficlopri
11-03-2003, 11:33 PM
Yeah, in the army film Yankee Doodle Doctor (I think that was it) Hawk was impersonating Groucho Marx throughout most of it. Wish he coulda imitated Groucho more often. he was so good at it.

About Potter. If he yelled quite a bit well he was the army.

DickSolomonFan
11-04-2003, 02:33 AM
Yes, and he did usually cool down pretty quickly and apologize for it. Like I say, I still liked him.

CHUCK T
02-04-2004, 05:28 PM
While I agree MASH jumped the shark I don't think it was due to cast changes. I think McLean Stevenson was wonderful as Col. Blake but if they had brought in another Blake like character that wouldn't have worked. Harry Morgan was brilliant as Col. Potter.

Same thing with Trapper/BJ--both good characters, though Mike Farrell certainly got more to do than Wayne Rogers did.

Burns was a baffoon and a wonderfully funny one--but Charles was more of a match for Hawkeye/BJ.

If it did jump the shark it was when Radar left and Klinger stopped wearing dresses and became company clerk. From that point forward, imo, the show just wasn't as entertaining. They did some fine dramatic stuff, but it was like the humor was gone.

hawaii five-o
02-04-2004, 09:43 PM
It jumped three times...

1. When Radar went home.

2. When they stopped calling Margaret "Hot Lips" and she stopped being an adversary and became one of the gang.

3.When that ugly fuzzy thing grew on BJ's upper lip.

ficlopri
02-06-2004, 12:02 AM
My own posting at jumptheshark.com on MASH recently appeared there. I say it jumped when Blake and Trap left.

tdf4077
02-03-2006, 04:11 PM
While I respect all of your opinions, I honestly don't think that MASH jumped the shark! I think that it just matured and changed. Maybe the changes were first made when the cast changed, but I think a more likely time would be as Alan Alda started taking on more and more responsibilities with the show...many of his political views were clear, and perhaps this was the point, but I still think that though I perfer the original cast, I do appreciate that MASH was exploring different facets of politics in America!

treky
02-04-2006, 03:23 AM
it jumped the shark when:
Trapper and Col. Blake left
when B.J. and Colonel Potter came
when it became "The Alan Alda show"
when they stopped calling Margret "Hot Lips", she became less of an adversary, and "one of the guys"
when Frank left, and Charles came
when Radar left, and Klinger stopped wearing dresses
when it became "Oh, we're doctors, and we're so good, and we're so this, and we're so that, and death is such a bummer, and war is hell"!

Chocoholic
02-04-2006, 01:36 PM
I think it jumped when Radar left and they started with the more dramatic story lines. The last couple of seasons still have some really funny moments. I think Charles was the only one who truly remained consistantly funny during the post-Radar years.

I actually prefer Potter and Charles to Henry and Frank. Don't get me wrong, I do love Henry and Frank. I just think Potter was better and more realistic as the CO. While no one could do crazy like Frank could, I still like Charles better. I thought he was a much better match for Hawk and Beej. He always gave just as good as he got, unlike Frank who just whined and complained. Charles also allowed his human side to show at times, something I don't think Frank ever did.

I do, however, think that letting Trapper go was a HUGE mistake! He's so funny. I just never could warm up to BJ too much. He became even more insufferable when he grew that ugly mustache.

Dr. Thong
02-11-2006, 08:15 PM
I do, however, think that letting Trapper go was a HUGE mistake! He's so funny. I just never could warm up to BJ too much. He became even more insufferable when he grew that ugly mustache.

Wayne Rogers left the show, he wasn't let go. In fact, there was some kind of lawsuit brought against him by 20th Century Fox for breach of contract, but ultimately, Rogers prevailed.

Not only was BJ's mustache too much, his hair got very...'70s. He looked more believable as an army doctor when he had shorter hair and no mustache.

Jaina
10-13-2006, 09:50 PM
Having watched some of the shows they have on now really go down the drain, I don't think MASH ever really did. I've got the ten seasons that are out so far on DVD, and have watched every episode.

It definitely wasn't the same after Blake and Trapper left, but I do think Charles was a much better character than Frank. Frank just was nowhere believable half of the time, whereas Charles you could see as a real person. Besides, it's way better with someone who can hold their own on the pranks!

However, I do miss Radar, and it isn't the same without Klinger in dresses, though I suppose by the last season that would have eventually gotten old.

Adamantium
11-09-2006, 05:26 PM
The more I think about, the more I'm convinced that it NEVER jumped the shark. Like tdf4077 said, the show just matured and changed. I prefer the early years, mainly for Col. Henry Blake. He's my all-time favorite M*A*S*H character. I also love the Henry/Radar relationship. Those two always cracked me up.

Originally, when I had just the early years on DVD, Frank Burns was my second favorite character (after Henry, of course). However, recently, I've come to like Winchester more. Frank's funnier, but Winchester's a more interesting character to watch.

As for Hawkeye's sidekick, I prefer B.J. Hunnicutt. I loved Trapper when he was there, but I enjoyed Hawkeye and B.J.'s relationship more.

As for Klinger, seeing him wearing a dress was funny one, maybe two times. After that, I pretty much ignored the dresses he wore. So I was fine when he started dressing like a man in the later years.

As for Col. Potter, I like him more than I did, but he'll still be miles behind Col. Blake, to me. As I've said before, if I was at the MASH, I'd feel safer with Potter in charge, but for a television series, I'd much rather have Blake in charge. I'm glad that Potter was different from Blake. I wouldn't want just a Henry Blake clone. That's what was good about this show. They did a good job with the replacements.

So in conclusion, the show never jumped. I think seasons 4 and 5 were down from seasons 1-3, but once Winchester came, he sort of brought the show back up. When Radar left, there was a bit where it went down, but not too much. I kind of wished someone new had replaced Radar, but I know that he would be probably the hardest to replace (other than Hawkeye).

wayman
11-10-2006, 01:03 AM
I thought it was distracting when Margaret's hair began looking like it had been done at a beauty salon.

Dr. Thong
11-10-2006, 10:02 AM
I thought it was distracting when Margaret's hair began looking like it had been done at a beauty salon.

It looked as though she had an '80s perm in a '50s war zone.

Lvanett
01-01-2007, 02:28 PM
So is there anybody out there who prefers the later cast?

been lurking for a short time...did want to put in my 2 cents' worth for anyone interested....

I prefer the later cast. I realize I'm in the minority but I enjoyed Charles, BJ and Potter. Trapper wasn't bad. Never cared for Frank or Henry. I absolutely loved Harry Morgan. He showed Potter could be strictly military, but also could show his soft side too. Shortly after his arrival, the scene with he, Hawkeye & BJ drinking it up is funny. I feel Harry Morgan did some fine acting in that series.

I do feel the series became less funny and too serious in its last 2 or 3 years.

back to lurking.

JoeP
01-06-2007, 03:47 PM
am talking about even earlier than that when the movie stars pretty much kept their opinions to themselves because they wanted to protect their images and not offend people one way or another. Certainly, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

In that era, actors were owned by the old studio system. Very little was in the actor's control.

MASH is a special show. Like All in the Family, it was not merely a sitcom. If one wants mindless humor constantly there are many choices, but to have great dramatic comedy requires better writing and acting and makes for many great moments... many might be slapstick, and some in more serious moments... but the inherent drama was part of the show.

tdf4077
01-06-2007, 06:57 PM
In that era, actors were owned by the old studio system. Very little was in the actor's control.

MASH is a special show. Like All in the Family, it was not merely a sitcom. If one wants mindless humor constantly there are many choices, but to have great dramatic comedy requires better writing and acting and makes for many great moments... many might be slapstick, and some in more serious moments... but the inherent drama was part of the show.

I completely agree about what makes this show unique. I was watching the 30th Reunion Special, and I find it interesting that not a single person involved with the show referred to it as a sitcom...

Steele
02-28-2007, 01:58 AM
Hey everyody! :)

In my opinion, M*A*S*H not only became better after season six, it reached a balance between comedy and drama that made it stand out more as a tv series. The first five seasons are delightfully wacky, but like the early Marx Brothers films, the wackyness is so excessive that the whole thing rather drowns itself out.

I think the more dramatic elements of the later seasons played beautifully against the moments of comedy (Hawkeye never once failed to get a laugh out of me in even the most dire episodes). Although I agree that the show got a little preachy, it helped drive the simple point home that war is hell. While the show became more anti-war, it didn't exactly become a leftist vehicle in my opinion (it was never anti-American, portrayed South Korea in a sympathetic light and acknowleged the evils of communism).

Also, what I call the "family effect" developed in the later seasons. The characters eventually developed a deep bond that transcended the pranks they pulled on eachother, the fights, the ego clashes, and most of all the horror of their surroundings. And this overall gave the show more meaning, especially by the epic final episode.

Brad
03-01-2007, 03:26 AM
I like all eras of the show, personally. There's room for all eleven seasons to co-exist. Seasons 1-3 were the "zanier" seasons, seasons 7-11 were the more serious ones, and seasons 4-6 were in between. But so what? If the show never changed, I don't think it would have lasted eleven years.

A lot of people say the show got "preachy" toward the end when Alan Alda became more involved creatively; even resorting to calling it "The Alan Alda Show." My take: the show's message was always "war is hell." Those who don't see it in the earlier seasons aren't paying close enough attention.

Best Man
03-02-2007, 05:22 PM
It was never the Alan Alda Show in any way. Alda never had so many more lines than every else or anything like that (except in the ep he was in the people's hut). But honestly it could have ended right when Margaret marries (it had already won tons of emmies by then) and the entire Winchester era could have been avoided and we still just may have been watching the show today on rerun (five years is long enough to feasibly have remained a massive hit in rerun). The last six years were certainly very good or at least solidly good but they are all at least slightly inferior to the first four seasons especially and even to the fifth.

tdf4077
03-02-2007, 06:30 PM
I think that the later seasons dealt with weightier issues, though.

Dr. Thong
03-03-2007, 01:04 PM
I think the major reason for the shift in tone was the departure of Larry Gelbart, the show's original head writer and co-producer. It was Gelbart who adapted the movie into a half hour format and who's guiding hand was responsible for the satirical, dry-witted tone of the first four years.

Once Gelbart left, the producers were faced with either trying to shamelessly replicate Gelbart's style or going off in a different direction. Wisely, they chose to simply take these well-crafted and well-drawn characters and do their own thing with them.

There were times when Alda did go a bit overboard with the moralizing, but overall, I liked the later years. I think the show matured a bit yet was still funny and became more of a social satire than anything else.

Best Man
03-10-2007, 05:06 PM
I think the major reason for the shift in tone was the departure of Larry Gelbart, the show's original head writer and co-producer. It was Gelbart who adapted the movie into a half hour format and who's guiding hand was responsible for the satirical, dry-witted tone of the first four years.

Once Gelbart left, the producers were faced with either trying to shamelessly replicate Gelbart's style or going off in a different direction. Wisely, they chose to simply take these well-crafted and well-drawn characters and do their own thing with them.

There were times when Alda did go a bit overboard with the moralizing, but overall, I liked the later years. I think the show matured a bit yet was still funny and became more of a social satire than anything else.

The last season (even second last season)
was so dreadfully serious it could not be a satire at all.

Best Man
03-10-2007, 05:07 PM
I think the major reason for the shift in tone was the departure of Larry Gelbart, the show's original head writer and co-producer. It was Gelbart who adapted the movie into a half hour format and who's guiding hand was responsible for the satirical, dry-witted tone of the first four years.

Once Gelbart left, the producers were faced with either trying to shamelessly replicate Gelbart's style or going off in a different direction. Wisely, they chose to simply take these well-crafted and well-drawn characters and do their own thing with them.

There were times when Alda did go a bit overboard with the moralizing, but overall, I liked the later years. I think the show matured a bit yet was still funny and became more of a social satire than anything else.


Season five they tried to imitate Gelbart's style and they fairly stunk at it.

ercjncpr
03-11-2007, 09:09 PM
MASH was the only show to jump the shark when it first began. Shoulda started with Col Potter, NOT Henry. The final season was pathetic as well. It was only decent between seasons 4 through 10

Best Man
03-12-2007, 04:22 PM
MASH was the only show to jump the shark when it first began. Shoulda started with Col Potter, NOT Henry. The final season was pathetic as well. It was only decent between seasons 4 through 10

Season 10 was as pathetic as season 11, 10 was no funnier or lively then 11. I love the first three years. The cast was the best, the camp had more people than at any other time like an army medical camp should, and the humour was very good along with messages (though sometimes were too left-wingish). All the replacements were inferior or just no better.

Best Man
03-12-2007, 04:25 PM
Jumptheshark.com recently changed its look and horribly took off hundreds of the mash postings they had. But if you go to webarchive.org you can view practically all the old mash postings at jumptheshark.com (among other things). Please spread the word around mash boards about where you can locate the old jumptheshark.com mash postings (around 1000 of them!).

Chris Billings
03-15-2007, 02:46 AM
I agree with alot of you. The original cast was the best and the show did slow down in the later episodes.

tdf4077
03-17-2007, 05:46 PM
Times change....so did the show.

I think it's just natural that everyone like different aspects of the show.

Best Man
03-18-2007, 05:52 PM
Times change....so did the show.

I think it's just natural that everyone like different aspects of the show.

Who could deny the show was slower in the last few seasons than the first few? Definitely a downer is that one!

TJAMES03
05-01-2007, 06:54 AM
Well, I think that M*A*S*H held up much better than most shows did as they went farther into their run (though I do think that M*A*S*H could have ended at Season 09 or 10).

The heavy-handed political theme was a bit much at times, but even at it's worst, M*A*S*H was a very good show.

Best Man
05-01-2007, 11:57 AM
Well, I think that M*A*S*H held up much better than most shows did as they went farther into their run (though I do think that M*A*S*H could have ended at Season 09 or 10).

The heavy-handed political theme was a bit much at times, but even at it's worst, M*A*S*H was a very good show.
Agreed TJames. But Mash was great when it began. It was only very good when it ended.

catsrule
08-24-2007, 09:32 PM
M*A*S*H never jumped the shark. There were off episodes, but no off seasons. Every cast member was a good actor. I would say William Christopher was the weakest but he's still better than a lot of the actors on other shows.

Mikado
08-24-2007, 09:47 PM
For me, the show "hopped the guppy" ( my own term ) when Radar left, but, really jumped the shark in season 10. The cast felt the same way, and had to be convinced to do a short season 11 , which apparently featured some scripts that had been previously rejected like the TERRIBLE bowling episode (simply the very worst M*A*S*H episode EVER!)
As for the show getting too preachy or too serious, I think this was a natural progression, and besides, I cant think of ANY season that didnt have at least some of the best laughs ever to come out of an army camp.

treky
08-25-2007, 01:29 AM
M*A*S*H never jumped the shark. There were off episodes, but no off seasons. Every cast member was a good actor. I would say William Christopher was the weakest but he's still better than a lot of the actors on other shows.
you're entitled to your opinion of course; but A LOT of people would disagree with you.

treky
08-25-2007, 01:35 AM
For me, the show "hopped the guppy" ( my own term ) when Radar left, but, really jumped the shark in season 10. The cast felt the same way, and had to be convinced to do a short season 11 , which apparently featured some scripts that had been previously rejected like the TERRIBLE bowling episode (simply the very worst M*A*S*H episode EVER!)
As for the show getting too preachy or too serious, I think this was a natural progression, and besides, I cant think of ANY season that didnt have at least some of the best laughs ever to come out of an army camp.
that's not what I heard about why they did a shortened last season. I heard that after the 10th season they took a vote among the cast; asking who thought they should do another season and half the cast wanted to and half thought the 10th should be the last season. So they compromised and only did a shortened last season.

Best Man
08-28-2007, 01:58 PM
that's not what I heard about why they did a shortened last season. I heard that after the 10th season they took a vote among the cast; asking who thought they should do another season and half the cast wanted to and half thought the 10th should be the last season. So they compromised and only did a shortened last season.

Morgan, Farr, and Christopher were the ones, I believe, who voted to continue Mash beyond season 11 but the larger amount of other cast members decided to make season 11 the last.

senor boogie woogi
09-06-2007, 05:38 AM
I just bought all 11 seasons of MASH.

I think the show just went on way too long. Way, way too long. You can physically see the age change, especially in Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, and Jamie Farr. Shows about a specific period of time or high schools are difficult to do, because of the restraints of time.

I sometimes think of MASH as a bizarro universe where the Korean War lasted 11 years instead of 2 1/2. I am interested how many Christmas and holiday shows they had, since if you spent the whole war there, could only be three. Tv shows pre-internet were very casual about character development (like Col. Blake's wife being named Mildred before it was Lorraine for example).

Mike Farell with that goofy mustache was a little over the top and 70s. Loretta Swit (who I didn't like and could of left the show early) with her featherback hairdoo. 70s styles impersonating 50s people.

Senor

Dr. Thong
09-06-2007, 09:58 AM
Mike Farell with that goofy mustache was a little over the top and 70s. Loretta Swit (who I didn't like and could of left the show early) with her featherback hairdoo. 70s styles impersonating 50s people.

Senor

In 1981, Loretta Swit played Cagney in the TV movie Cagney and Lacey. When the network decided to pick it up as a series, Swit wanted to leave M*A*S*H to star in the show, but the network and the studio vetoed it.

I think Swit's absence would have hurt the show, leaving Alan Alda as the sole remaining original cast member. But I do agree that her feathered hair was a bit of a distraction in regards to the period detail.

tdf4077
09-08-2007, 07:49 PM
In 1981, Loretta Swit played Cagney in the TV movie Cagney and Lacey. When the network decided to pick it up as a series, Swit wanted to leave M*A*S*H to star in the show, but the network and the studio vetoed it.

I think Swit's absence would have hurt the show, leaving Alan Alda as the sole remaining original cast member. But I do agree that her feathered hair was a bit of a distraction in regards to the period detail.

I would have to agree that without Margaret, the show would have probably been done...