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Series / After M*A*S*H

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A long long time ago — After M*A*S*H but before AfterMASH....
Family Guy (the opening crawl to "It's a Trap!")

AfterMASH was a short-lived follow-up to M*A*S*H that premiered on CBS in September 1983, just months after its parent series ended. AfterMASH followed Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan), Klinger (Jamie Farr), and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) to a Veterans Administration hospital in Missouri, and picked up where M*A*S*H left off there. The show managed to entice Larry Gelbart, the original developer and head writer of M*A*S*H, to return to the franchise to create the new series.

The show aired for two seasons, but after failing to catch on with viewers even after a second-season Retool it was cancelled in 1983; the last episode was never aired.

Another attempt at continuing the M*A*S*H storyline, called W*A*L*T*E*R and focusing on Walter "Radar" O'Reilly joining the St. Louis police force after he loses his family's farm, had its pilot aired in-between seasons of this show before sinking without a trace. The pilot was the only episode produced for the show and has fallen into obscurity.

Counts as a Sequel Series and a Spin-Off, but also as the Trope Namer for After Show.

AfterMASH provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Father Mulcahy became one of these after returning home, which is why he moves to Missouri to make a fresh start with his old pals from Korea.
  • Christmas Episode: "All About Christmas Eve"
  • Cliffhanger: The first season ended with Klinger put in jail just as his wife, Soon-Lee, is going into labor.
  • Courtroom Episode: Season 2's "Trials", which sees Klinger defending himself on assault charges (and old "friend" Col. Flagg brought in as a witness for the prosecution).
  • Disguised in Drag: Klinger dons a nurse's uniform to elude the cops in one episode.
  • Dr. Jerk: Subverted with Boyer, who's initially rather caustic to staff and patients alike but soon softens considerably.
  • Expy: Several of the supporting characters were these for former M*A*S*H regulars.
    • Gene Pfeiffer/Dr. Boyer = Hawkeye/Trapper/BJ
    • Mike D'Angelo = Henry Blake
    • Wally Wainwright = Frank Burns
    • Alma Cox = Early-seasons version of Margaret Houlihan
  • Fish out of Water: Soon-Lee, who has a lot of cultural adjustment to get through as an immigrant in middle-class middle-America. (Example: Invited over to the Potters for dinner, Soon-Lee offers to wash the dishes after. When Mildred says there's no need as they have a dishwasher, she responds, "Oh, I would like to meet her!")
  • From the Ashes: Despite the incredible resolution of the final episode of M*A*S*H, it still managed to spawn a follow-up the very next season, starring Colonel Potter, Klinger, and Father Mulcahy. This happened after a vote from the main cast of the former show voted not to continue for another season - these three actors voted in the minority to continue on. The new show took place in a veteran's hospital and attempted to mimic the dramatic turns of the later seasons of M*A*S*H while also bringing back some of the lighter comedy of the early seasons. It lasted for two seasons, never getting high ratings in its first season and being pitted against the intensely popular The A-Team in its second, which effectively slaughtered it.
  • 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.
  • Photo Montage: Used for the opening credits in season 1.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Mike D'Angelo, the hospital administrator 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. The former actually disappears without explanation, though he was as good as fired in his last appearance, while the latter is transferred to a different hospital in Montana.
  • Repetitive Name: Potter works at Gen. Pershing Veterans Hospital, familiarly known as "General General".
  • Retool: 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.
  • Running Gag: The hospital sits beside a railroad, so trains are frequently heard rumbling past.
  • Sequel Series: Heavily promoted as a continuation of M*A*S*H as that show was ending.
    TV Announcer: Coming soon to Monday nights, where it belongs...
  • Shoot the Television: On the episode "All About Christmas Eve", Father Mulcahy gets a TV so that the long-term patients at the Missouri Veteran's Hospital can have it for Christmas and beyond. However, the airing of a soap opera with a story about a cheating wife infuriates a vet who fears that his wife is running around on him, and he summarily shoots the TV. Some vets are still staring through the hole in the set when all is done.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Alma Cox, although the "sugar" side is mainly reserved for her unrequited crush D'Angelo.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Thanksgiving of '53"
  • Wrap It Up: The three main characters seen from the parent show come back and get resolution for their greatest troubles:
    • Soon-Lee finds her parents, allowing Klinger to finally go back to America with his wife and in-laws in tow.
    • Father Mulcahy has struggled with depression after losing his hearing, but Potter helps him go in for surgery that will fix it.
    • Potter has a long-awaited reunion with his beloved wife.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Klinger finally returns to Toledo, but his family and friends reject him for marrying a Korean.