Scrooge and the Penobscotts

The Fab Five gave me a really cool gift for Mother’s Day!

Even before we watched Turkey play through the Kingdom Hearts video game series, and long before we started planning our trip to to Disney World, I’ve had a fascination with the extended Duck family. Donald and Daisy are my favorites…his temper always cracks me up, and I love her fashion sense. And one day, I was doing some reading about the Ducks, and their associated relatives (including the Goose family), and I realized that Donald Duck’s mother, Hortense, was Scrooge McDuck’s sister. Which means her maiden name, if you will, was also McDuck, and if she had wanted to, she could have hyphenated her name to McDuck-Duck, and that thought made me happy.

But then I thought about it further, and realized that one of Hortense McDuck-Duck’s children could have married a member of the Goose family, and that hyphenated name would have been McDuck-Duck-Goose, and that thought made me practically delirious!

All that to say, I love the Ducks and McDucks. But wait, there’s more! Because Huey, Dewey, and Louie, the Duck triplets, have also become one of my favorite M*A*S*H* jokes. There’s a scene in my favorite episode where Frank Burns is rambling on about Margaret’s fiancé, Donald Penobscott, and he imagines them introducing their children, Huey, Dewey, and Louie Penobscott. It’s probably the funniest thing Frank ever says, and now whenever we talked about Huey, Dewey, and Louie, we always tack “Penobscott” on at the end!

I love how thoughtful my children are in choosing gifts!

Quote of the Day

I think this speech from the first season episode of M*A*S*H, “Sometimes You Hear the Bullet” was Henry Blake’s finest moment:

“I don’t know. If I had the answer, I’d be at the Mayo Clinic. Does this place look like the Mayo Clinic? Look, all I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war. And rule number one is young men die. And rule number two is, doctors can’t change rule number one.” McLean Stevenson as Lt. Colonel Henry Blake on M*A*S*H

Quote of the Day

It’s not quite that cold here…yet. Maybe later this week!

“And closer to home, we can expect a warming trend. Our midday temperatures reaching puberty levels, 13 to 16 degrees.” Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H

“Fallen Idol”

I was thinking recently about an episode of M*A*S*H I don’t really enjoy watching.

It’s not the one single episode out of the eleven seasons of the show that I dislike so much I refuse to watch it (“Dreams”).

It’s not the finale, which is so emotionally draining in the first half that I can’t handle watching it very often at all.

It’s an episode during my favorite time in the series, when Winchester has arrived, and Radar is still at the 4077th. Actually, the episode centers around Radar…and Hawkeye.

The episode I’m talking about is “Fallen Idol,” and I have an oddly visceral reaction every time I watch it. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Radar is injured, and Hawkeye feels guilty about it, because the injury is indirectly the result of some advice the chief surgeon gave to the company clerk. Hawkeye successfully operates on Radar, and then goes out and gets drunk in celebration (which isn’t unusual for the character in any way). The next day, though, Hawkeye is so hungover, he has to leave the OR in the middle of an operation to be sick, which never happens. Radar finds out about it, and is extremely disappointed in Hawkeye, and the two of them end up yelling at each other…and everyone else in the camp gives Hawkeye a piece of their mind, too.

The bottom line is that Radar, who has always idolized Hawkeye, realized that his hero has feet of clay, and no longer views him in the same way. At the same time, Hawkeye comes to realize just how much Radar looks up to him, but also realizes that some of that hero worship has been lost. In the end, they repair their friendship, but you know that they never see each other in quite the same way again, because Radar has lost a bit of his “Iowa naïveté” because of the actions of the chief surgeon.

I guess this episode is so uncomfortable to me because I share Radar’s admiration of Hawkeye. He certainly has his faults…especially in the early seasons, he’s kind of a lothorio, which is the thing I dislike about his character the most. But throughout, he’s always an excellent doctor (except, I guess, those few times he does an unnecessary surgery to prevent someone from returning to action in the war), so I share Radar’s disappointment in him for having to leave his post. Worse than that, though, is the fact that Hawkeye yells at Radar, who is still in many ways an innocent kid, when he’s already down and out. It is so out of character for Hawkeye to become angry with Radar in particular that it’s upsetting to watch…and yet, part of me always sympathizes with Hawkeye, because I can see his point, too, that it’s not fair for Radar to have put him up on a pedestal so high. It’s a very conflicting episode to watch!

It’s a good episode. I don’t skip it when it comes up in the rotation when I’m watching through M*A*S*H. But it always leaves me feeling uncomfortable and disappointed in Hawkeye, which I really don’t like. And that’s why it’s probably one of the best episodes of the series, because it really makes you feel something, and good writing always elicits a response in the reader/viewer.

The Top Five–TV Shows (Revised)

My “Top Five” lists are never met to be set in stone, and in the six years since I first came up with a list of my five favorite TV shows, my favorites have changed a bit.

  • I Love Lucy–This has been my favorite TV show for a long time. I’ve watched every episode more times than I can count, and yet I never get sick of it. Are there elements of the show that haven’t aged well? Sure. But there are also funny jokes, moments of great physical comedy, fantastic guest stars, and outstanding fashion and interior design!
  • M*A*S*HScrubs used to appear on this list, but I basically swapped one medical show with another. The boys and I watch a few episodes every night before bed, and when we get to the end, we just start all over again, and we never grow tired of it. It’s a funny show, but it was also way ahead of its time in how it addressed social and political issues, and I’ve really come to appreciate that.
  • Downton Abbey–The glamour and intrigue of this show never grows old. I love watching the lives of those who live upstairs and those who live downstairs, and how those lives intersect. Plus, did I mention the glamour?
  • Rick Steves’ Europe–After planning an entire summer school around this show, I guess it should be no shock that it’s one of my favorites. I love asking “where should we go today?” and then turning on an episode. I always feel like I’m learning something when I watch, too, so it’s not just mindless TV!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic–The show is a bit of a wild card, but Bunny, Chickadee, and I are just finishing watching through the run of the show, and I find that I really love it. It’s so relatable, and each one of us has a pony whom we particularly identify with. It may be a children’s show, but it’s a lot of fun for me as an adult to watch, and I think I’ll look back and cherish this time that my youngest daughter, oldest daughter, and I had so much fun together!

I thought I’d feel bad about kicking Friends off the list, but while I do still enjoy watching it from time to time, I’m not as into it as I once was. I do feel a little guilty about removing Deep Space Nine, though…it is still my favorite Star Trek show, however!

Quote of the Day

Hawkeye is me anytime I try to play a card game more sophisticated than Uno!

“I’m reminded of a story. You’ve probably heard it. The, uh, King and Queen of this country were playing golf with five clubs, when their son, Jack, remarked how strange it was they had only two hearts between them. Just then, Deucey and her little dog, Trey, started singing ‘Four Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’ Whereupon the entire family beat her to death and buried her with two spades. Did you get it?…Well, I didn’t. What do I bid?” Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H

The Top Five–Episodes of M*A*S*H (Seasons One Through Three)

In the past, I’ve shared a list of my top five favorite episodes of M*A*S*H. That list didn’t contain any episodes from seasons one through three, though, because I’m more of a fan of the Potter/Hunnicutt years. Recently, I’ve come to appreciate the Blake and McIntyre years a little bit more, so I thought I’d come up with a “top five” (ok, six…you’re shocked, I know), list that covers the first three seasons. Not included are any “Dear Dad” or “Mail Call” episodes, because no matter what season they’re in, they’re always excellent, and it’s just not fair to compare anything else to them!

  • “Tuttle” (season one)–Hawkeye and Trapper invent a captain and give all of his money to a local orphanage. This episode is a little disturbing, though, because you actually get to see Radar’s phone pal, Sparky!
  • “The Long-John Flap” (season one)–I think this episode, in which a pair of long-johns make the rounds through the whole camp, is my favorite from the first three seasons.
  • “5 O’Clock Charlie” (season two)–I don’t know what’s funnier…the fact that an inept North Korean bomber keeps missing his target near the camp, or that the equally inept Frank Burns thinks he can rectify the situation!
  • “The Sniper” (season two)–I really like this episode because it hits the balance between funny and serious perfectly. In the end, we’re reminded of not only what a good doctor Hawkeye is, but also what a good person.
  • “Deal Me Out”–Everything about this episode is gold, from the appearances of Dr. Sidney Freedman and the character that would become Colonel Flagg, to Pat Morita as a guest star, to the line “Is this a little guy about five-foot nothing, anywhere between 50 and 200 years old?”
  • “Adam’s Ribs” (season three)–I have to admit, a big part of what I love about this episode is the fact that Hawkeye is trying to get ribs from Chicago shipped to the 4077th. I also love his “river of liver” rant, too, though!

I’m not sure that I like any of these episodes enough to include them in my overall M*A*S*H top five list, but they’re all fun to watch!