M*A*S*H - Show Time Vs. Real Time
Everyone knows the old joke about M*A*S*H
; the show ran 8 years longer than the actual Korean War. This blog aims to track the observable passing of time on the show (day/night periods) and compare that to the actual length of the real-life Korean War. Follow the journey as my partner and I slog our way through 11 seasons of the show on DVD.
I will, for the most part, avoid assumptions. In other words, I will only say two days have passed when there is an observable day period, followed by scenes set at night, followed by another day period. In episodes where a character is writing a letter, a plot set up that happens frequently in the show (there are two such episodes during the first season alone), I will only count how much time is observed to have passed in the period of time that the letter is being written by the character. In other words, the 'flashbacks' to what is being written about in the letter will not be included in the day count, only because such flashbacks usually detail the happenings of various characters over several undefined periods of time. This should ensure that the day count remains observable and should be more accurate.
The only assumption I am making is that the 4077 has been operating for at least a month before the pilot episode. This is based on the view that established character relationships, like Hawkeye and Trapper's friendship and everyone's mutual dislike of Frank and Hot Lips, is well established by the pilot episode, so obviously some time has passed, and a month feels about right, especially given that in the pilot Hawkeye and Trapper aren't sure what to make of Henry and don't yet know Margaret's nickname of 'Hot Lips'. Therefore it is being assumed that the first episode takes place on July 25, 1950.
Each post will account for a seasons worth of day counts (so this blog shouldn't run for more than 13 posts, including the initial introductory post and then probably a conclusion). So join me over the course of the next few months as I work my way through 11 seasons of M*A*S*H, and then compare that to how much time passed in the real life Korean War.