I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Season Two: 1973-74
1973-74: THE SECOND SEASON
Year-End Rating: 25.7 (4th place)
The comedy's ratings skyrocket after CBS sandwiches it between All
in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show on their Saturday-evening
lineup, and the show swiftly rises to the challenge set by such sterling
company. Hawkeye continues to anchor the comic drama, but other characters
also emerge as distinct and complex personalities in second-year scripts
that reveal unexpected depth of feeling in Trapper John, Colonel Blake,
and, perhaps most surprising of all, Hot Lips.
Producer Gene Reynolds is officially joined by Larry Gelbart as co-producer.
Gelbart also continues to write or polish every script, along with the
equally prolific story editor, Laurence Marks. Together and separately,
the pair write the majority of the season's episodes, most of which
are directed by Jackie Cooper, William Wiard, Don Weis, or Gene Reynolds.
The personnel of the 4077th are on their best behavior when they're
visited by an Army observer intent on reassigning the unit.
Gelbart and Reynolds designed this first episode of the new season
to serve as an unofficial second pilot; the idea was to reintroduce
the show's major characters for the benefit of all the new viewers who
would presumably be joining the series in its improved time slot.
Frank is not amused when the camp starts placing bets on a bumbling
enemy pilot's attempts to bomb an ammunitions facility near the 4077th.
Director Norman Tokar had previously helmed Leave It to Beaver
from 1957 to 1963.
There's a raving POW loose in the O.R., and an Army psychiatrist tries
to determine whether or not Klinger is certifiably nuts.
This is Allan Arbus's first appearance as Army psychiatrist Major
Freedman, who would be a frequent guest at the 4077th over the next
After the Army accidentally bombs a local village, Hawkeye and Trapper
buck heads with a general when they refuse to cooperate in the military
Hawkeye's behavior is unrestrained, even by his standards, when
he refuses to slow his pace after a three-day marathon in the O.R.
Trapper John decides to adopt an orphaned Korean refugee.
The doctors resort to blackmail to persuade a stubborn official who
refuses to okay a young GI's marriage to a South Korean woman.
The hijinks of the 4077th fall under scrutiny when Colonel Blake faces
a military hearing to determine whether he's fit for command.
Flashback sequences depict the 4077th in the throes of near-bacchanalian
abandon that serve as a reminder of what a randy bunch the doctors and
nurses of the 4077th were in the show's early years, when their libidinous
shenanigans afforded them a temporary refuge from the grim realities
all around. It's a pity that the medics' carnal urges were tamed as
the series developed--their earthier desires often provided the setting
for some of the crew's funniest, and most authentic, wartime escapades.
In another letter home, Hawkeye describes his efforts to remove a live
grenade from a wounded soldier's chest; and the staff gathers for an
impromptu screening of Henry's home movies.
A masterful piece of storytelling begins when the doctors assemble
in Blake's office, all prepared to snicker at his quaint home movies.
We're encouraged to laugh along with the wisecracking doctors as we
watch Henry onscreen--a Midwestern rube posturing and clowning for the
Then we see the screen through Henry Blake's eyes. We see the clumsy
shadows of a child's birthday celebration as he does--a sweet and poignant
vision of a simple time that suddenly seems so far away.
Blake fights back a tear, as do we. He's come to realize, as we have,
that the carefree man dancing up there on the screen is already dead,
an early casualty of war. In this short, elegiac sequence, writers Gelbart
and Marks eloquently describe the worst war crime of all--the Army's
dreadful capacity to smother a man's spirit . . . very, very slowly.
The sanctuary of the compound is threatened when the 4077th is besieged
by a lone sniper.
Film actress Teri Garr has a pre-stardom role as one of the nurses
in this episode.
Hawkeye and Hot Lips are the only medical personnel left standing after
a flu epidemic hits the hospital.
The shortage of qualified doctors requires the head nurse to perform
surgical duties far beyond her training or abilities, all of which she
tackles with patience and stamina. Before the day is done, she has saved
a boy's life with her own hands--and gained the first shreds of self-respect
that would soon spur major changes for Hot Lips Houlihan.
Hawkeye and Trapper follow the military chain of command to the very
top in their determination to secure an incubator for the compound.
Frank tries to prevent the doctors from operating on a wounded military
intelligence officer for fear that he'll leak classified information
while under sedation.
Edward Winter plays Captain Halloran, a prototype for Colonel Flagg,
the malevolent patriot who would be a frequent visitor to the 4077th
throughout the first five seasons.
Fed up with the limited horizons of her life at the 4077th, Hot Lips
requests a transfer to another unit.
Gelbart and Reynolds commissioned a pair of twenty-five-year-old novice
writers to script what they'd slated as "Loretta's show." Linda Bloodworth
and Mary Kay Place interviewed Loretta Swit for hours before they finally
wrote a story that sees Margaret questioning her life, her career, and
perhaps most of all, her barren relationship with Frank Burns. By the
end of the episode, the first stage of Margaret's evolution is complete.
The strident, two-dimensional Army strumpet of the early shows has grown
into a thinking, feeling, independent-minded woman.
Mary Kay Place would become better known as an actress, though Linda
Bloodworth continued as a scripter for M*A*S*H and other television
comedies. In 1986, as Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the writer would create
and write Designing Women for CBS, a series that bore distinct
echoes of her work on this early script.
Trapper and Hawkeye disagree with General Mitchell's restricted admissions
policy for the new officer's club he's opened at the 4077th.
Henry returns from Tokyo smitten by a cheerleader half his age, convinced
that it's the real thing.
Hawkeye exchanges favors with everyone in camp in his efforts to get
a new pair of boots.
A classic episode that shows the 4077th as one big, happy family--except
that in this clan, everyone's out for himself. The supply sergeant wants
his teeth fixed in exchange for the precious boots; the dentist demands
a weekend pass for his services; and Radar barters his cooperation for
a night with Nurse Murphy! Obviously, this episode occurred before
Radar became a virgin. The refreshing lack of sentiment in this cynical
roundelay typifies the sardonic humor that informed much of the show's
comedy in the early seasons.
Hawkeye and Trapper enlist the aid of an Army plastic surgeon to perform
a nose job on a deserving GI.
A Korean family tries to reclaim the land under the 4077th as their
own; and a young woman from the village declares Radar the father of
The doctors agree to treat Frank's hernia during a lull in the action,
only to face a new deluge of wounded while Burns lies incapacitated
Tempers flare when the 4077th faces a supply shortage of food and fuel
during a frigid cold spell.
Hawkeye and Trapper scheme to prevent Frank from having a homosexual
private drummed out of the corps.
Hawkeye can't resist teasing Frank with bogus stock-market tips after
the major brags about his keen investments.
It's spy versus spy when the CIA's Colonel Flagg decides to get the
goods on an Army intelligence agent who's been snooping around the 4077th.