A long long time ago - After M*A*S*H but before After M*A*S*H....
This follow-up to M*A*S*H
is one of the most infamous Spinoffs
of all time.
What do you do after you've spent the last
three years serving at an army hospital in The Korean War
? Come back to the U.S. and restage the whole shebang in a veterans hospital, of course! With the show's least interesting characters and Expies
of the ones whose actors refused to come back! How could it fail?
Fail it did. The three M*A*S*H
regulars to return were Potter, Klinger and Mulcahy, although Radar and Flagg dropped by as Special Guests
. What, you say? But didn't Klinger Choose To Stay
in the Grand Finale
? Well, don't worry - that was Hand Waved
away in the pilot
. Oh, and Mulcahy got his hearing back because we can't have deaf people on television. Anyway, the result is essentially the same show as M*A*S*H
except without the war. Too bad the war was the dramatic driving force behind the whole thing.
Premiering on CBS
in the fall of 1983, AfterMASH
after two seasons. The last episode never aired.
- After Show: Trope Namer.
- Cliff Hanger: The first season ended with Klinger put in jail just as his wife, Soon-Lee, is going into labor.
- Disguised in Drag: Klinger dons a nurse's uniform to elude the cops in one episode.
- Dr. Jerk: Wainwright
- Mike D'Angelo, in season 1, sort of vacillated between being this and a Pointy-Haired Boss.
- Executive Meddling: Resulting in the below mentioned retool.
- Expy: Essential M*A*S*H regulars who refused to return got replaced with these:
- Mike D'Angelo/Wally Wainwright = Frank Burns
- Alma Cox = Earlier seasons version of Margaret Houlihan
- Gene Pfeffier/Dr. Boyer = Hawkeye/Trapper/B.J.-type character
- The Fifties
- Good Shepherd: Father Mulcahy, natch.
- Laugh Track
- Local Hangout: A bar is conveniently across the street from the hospital.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: A pair of these are the main source of conflict now that the war's over.
- The Other Darrin: Barbara Townsend and Anne Pitoniak as Mildred Potter.
- Photo Montage: Used for the opening credits in season 1.
- Pun-Based Title: AfterMASH! It sounds like "aftermath"!
- Put on a Bus: Neither Pfeiffer nor D'Angelo made it past the first season.
- Reset Button: Pounded on in the pilot.
- Re Tool: The second season. Season one went quite well. The show recognized its limits, and ended up placing 15th—great for a brand new show—unless you happen to be CBS, which wanted the numbers its predecessor always pulled (In later seasons—early on, it too took a while). So Klinger went back into drag, Soon-Lee became a caricature, and Barbara Townsend's sturdy competent Mildred Potter was replaced by Anne Pitoniak's shrewish airhead, meant to make her 'more like Gracie Allen'. S1 had 22 eps and placed 15th; S2 had 8-10 eps and placed 90th. Executive Meddling, much?
- Screwed by the Network: Aside from what was mentioned in Re Tool, CBS dealt the series a mortal blow by placing it against The A-Team for Season 2.
- What really made it sting was that when CBS announced the scheduling change, they launched a marketing campaign featuring illustrations by Sanford Kossin of Klinger in a nurse's uniform, shaving off Mr. T's signature mohawk, theorizing that After MASH would take a large portion of The A-Team's audience. The theory, of course, was proven wrong. The exact opposite occurred, as After MASH's ratings plummeted to near the bottom of the television rankings and the show was canceled nine episodes into its second season, while The A-Team continued until 1986, with 97 episodes under its belt.