3 years ago
Friday, August 1, 2008
Welcome to Walnut Grove
Oh, little Laura Ingalls! How I loved you! When I was younger, all I wanted were long braids and to be able to run really fast anywhere I wanted to go, with my arms and legs flailing everywhere. During my elementary years, my parents taped Little House repeats every night, so that every weekend I would have a crapload of episodes to keep me entertained (and probably, like, away from them, but let's not get into motive).
I've seen every episode over and over again, I refer to those years when the Superstation played two episodes back-to-back every morning as "the golden age of my life", and I started collecting the series DVDs as soon as they hit store shelves.
As much as I love the show, I also realize that it's a goldmine of ridiculity. Some episodes are so awkward and bizarre, they're begging to be hated on. Episode where Carrie and her identical imaginary friend go to wonderland and battle a giant spider, I'm looking at you. There were so many blind people, there could never be that many blind people, I don't care what year it is. Where the hell did Mr. Edwards go for, like, those 4 years he disappeared without a mention or a goodbye? Of course, we know that random people just showed up needing to be Helped By An Ingalls, then were never seen again. Because once you've been Helped, nothing can go wrong for you again... ever. And my personal favourite oddity, Laura and Almanzo's wedding happening smack in the middle of an Eliza Jane story arc, in some random building, with some random minister. No Reverend Alden, no citizens of Walnut Grove, just a disappointing and strange wedding that should have been a bigger deal since it was kind of the point of the show during the Laura-growing-up years.
People have always made fun of Little House for being sappy and sweet (and I do cry while watching regularly enough to kinda agree with that), but there were deranged episodes, too. The one where Sylvia, Albert's new crush, gets raped by a guy in a Nip/Tuck Carver mask. Mary's baby being used to break a window in the blind school during a fire, then catatonic Mary cradling the charred corpse while singing lullabies under a tree can give normal people nightmares. Lesserly, that one where Laura's school chum for a day drowns and the mother kidnaps Laura and holds her hostage in the basement, thinking it's her own dead daughter. And what about Mary? She is easily the most cursed character in the history of television. How cruel was Michael Landon to keep writing, directing, and approving scripts where more and more terrible shit kept happening to Mary? Spread it around some, come on.
And, all of that other stuff aside, Little House has actual humour. The dynamic between Mr. and Mrs. Oleson was the funniest stuff on the show. Nellie Oleson - where do I even start? I can't say anything new about her. She's just evilly awesome. Others may not agree, but I thought that the adoption of Nancy Oleson was good, great, and wonderful. That wail: "He haaaaaaates me!!!" gets me. I love it.
Episode after episode, year after year; let's make the journey through history and Hero Township together.