As a child, the earliest memories of a TV show that made the most impact on me was MASH . Alan Alda's character "Hawkeye" shaped my views about violence and our responsisbility to "do the right thing" more than any superheroes that I read about in comic books. He planted the seeds of feminism in me when he gave an interview (early 1970s) in which he said that he would give up acting to work in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. All this as I was growing up in a very conservative household where my father was a policeman and minister. What cultural or mass market figure did that for you?
The character Hawkeye from Mash was a womanizer, surgeon, and always looking for a good time. The actor Alan Alda is a liberal in real life, understands feminism, and probably most of the liberal issues of the day. I like Alec Baldwin, politically we are in sync. He does all kinds of work for the Democratic party volunteers time and money.
Hawkeye was one of my first crushes!!! I absolutely adore him and Alan Alda. I can't remember a pop culture figure off the top of my head, but I read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle in my 30s, and it helped me realize I wasn't really a conservative like I thought I was. It planted the seeds of progressivism that I came to embrace.
I liked MASH too. What inpacted me the most was watching the movie To Kill A Mocking bird. Also just being rasied in the 60's with the civil right movement going on. I'm sure that was when I started thinking about things a lot different. And Bob Dylan helped out too.
It's interesting that you posted that picture because that's when Alan Alda and Loretta Swit found their stride. Before then it was strictly a comedy and whether it was the writers or the fans - it was hard to break that mold. However, after Gary Burghoff, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson left the show, there was a noticeable evolution. While three of the actors in that picture have since passed on - the writers created an opportunity for each to face their demons, find their true selves, come to terms with the horrors their characters had seen and rise above it in order to not lose site of what had motivated them all along to choose their professions, the relationships they had or the opinions they had before enlisting (be it by choice or draft) but were never allowed to express. I'm not as eloquent as some on this forum, but in my humble opinion it's part two of MASH that really made us think more than giggle.
I. Loved. MASH. I loved Hawkeye. I loved BJ. And I loved Klinger. Alan Alda was my hero. He was a gentle man and peaceful advocate for women and other causes. The show was funny, sad, scary, and addressed topics that weren't really talked about elsewhere like sexuality, cross dressing, the insanity of war. Many of my long term beliefs and opinions were formed watching this show. It wasn't the only influence, but definitely had an impact. I cried when the show ended.
Strangely, I was drawn to the Marx Brothers. (Strangely b/c they were before my time). I learned to appreciate really good set up for jokes and amazing timing. It was when I started to differentiate between slapstick and well-crafted slapstick; jokes and well-crafted jokes.
I can’t think of an equivalent for me, but I was thinking about M.A.S.H. just the other day. I think it was ahead of its time; I want to rewatch it. It would jump from classic, corny sitcom comedy to genuinely acted, tragic, emotional scenes in a way that reminds me of the style in How I Met Your Mother.
Loads of them - mostly the musicians of the era, events like Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival along with satirical news/current affairs progframmes that showed you could challenge the staus quo.
Probably the biggest influence was David Bowie for me.
I love MASH for all of the reasons that you outlined, but more than that I like Alan Alda. He was great on scientific American frontiers. He knew how to ask the questions that we would be asking.
As far as the characters that had an impact on me growing up, I'd have to say Spiderman and Batman. Especially Spiderman. Spiderman has a very "doing the right thing despite its impact on you" feeling. Peter Parker's life is constantly suffering because of his work being Spiderman. But he continues because he believes the power that he's been given dictates our responsibility to do good. I believe you can derive that responsibility despite the power.
Mash was good but my childhood TV memories go back a lot further than that. I sat and watched a test pattern on TV and then Howdy Doody came on. I grew up to find later that we are all puppets and you just have to look for who might be pulling the strings.
Phil Donahue! I grew up in an authoritarian Southern Baptist household, and never felt safe or comfortable in our home. When my mother returned to work, I became a latchkey kid and learned tolerance for others watching Donahue in the afternoons, before she got home.
I used to watch MASH until the last few episodes directed by Alan Alda. I was so horrified and traumatized I never watched it again, and likely never will.
I didn't realize I was a partial transmale most of my life, so looked to males as role models, and found them mostly disgusting, as the female judgmental part of me kicked in.
I liked Wonder Woman for the wrong reasons..I thought her figure was gorgeous and perfect. I'm panromantic (can fall in love with anything), but as a demisexual, lack sexual attraction for anyone.
I might say Angelia Jolie, but again, it's her beauty that likely attracted me, then I admired her wild, reckless male side and her devotion to helping others.
I don't understand why I am not allowed to respond to comments directly and so this is the only way to do it.
Actually, it was McLean Stevenson that wanted to leave MASH - he felt that he was more popular than what he was and so he made unreasonable demands and they cut him out of the show. In hindsight - he admitted it was a dumb decision as he quickly realized that he wasn't the most popular. Had he not done that - he would have continued with the series.