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Old 09-05-2005, 10:21 PM
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Little Irritating Things About Little House on the Prairie


I got sucked into the Nick at Night Landon-o-thon at my neighbors' house tonight during dinner. I don't mind Michael Landon. I think of I Was a Teenage Werewolf and giggle a bit whenever I see him, but he was a decent actor and very easy on the eyes. But this thread isn't about Michael Landon the Actor.

An episode of "Little House" came on, specifically "The Family Tree" where Little Albert/Alfred/some kid who wasn't in the books gets adopted or something. I left halfway through because the show was pissing me off. Particularly one scene. Caroline and Charles go to the county courthouse to get the ball rolling on Little Made Up For The Show's adoption. Caroline is nicely decked out in sunbonnet, gloves, and Sunday-go-to-meeting dress. Charles is wearing the same shirt and pants he's been running around the farm in. His collar and cuffs were even unbuttoned, fer cryin' out in the blazin' buckets! At this point, I had to leave. It was a minor thing, but I just couldn't believe that Charles Ingalls would ever walk into a county courthouse in his shirtsleeves.

Am I the only one bothered by these things? Has anyone else ever been supremely bugged by a little tiny, almost unnoticable thing about this show? No wonder I never watched it as a kid.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:18 PM
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I'm only bothered by the big hugely noticeable things about the show, like its existence and continued presence on television.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:44 PM
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Snow. I was born roughly near there and the only reason I can imagine for the near total lack of snow on that show was because nobody up there did anything on the farm during the winter except shoot their families then themselves. (Read Wisconsin Death Trip (it's now a MOVIE!) and note, in the LaCrosse, Eau Claire, and Black River Falls areas, the TOTAL LACK of murders or commissions of or by ANYBODY from my family, despite our record of congenital insanity.)

Ma and her bonnets. I swear, but that trip to Mankato was the ONLY time she wore one and the Caroline of the book, like any lady who cared about her skin, ALWAYS wore a bonnet out of doors. And Caroline, despite her reduced circumstances, was a LADY.

And Charles on TV dressed like a bum. Mr Edwards would never have gone to town dressed like that, much less Charles Ingalls.

The more recent miniseries? They lost me when a timber wolves attacked a GROWN MAN on HORSEBACK! Not a chance; they'd starve first. Too likely half of the pack would die in the effort.

Otto, are you new to the Upper Midwest or do you have family going way back, or as way back as white folk do around there? We have to fight for an accurate representation of our ancestors on TV.
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:23 AM
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MY ex wife used to hate this show for two reasons:

!.) They were always using thing that weren't supposed to be invented yet.

2.) the utter sappyness of the whole show.

I'm ashamed to admit, I was always a sucker for the sappy parts. MY eyes would always glaze over when I whatched the show; meanwhile my wifes eyes would be doing this---> nuber, here.
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:03 AM
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The way Laura continued teaching AFTER her marriage.

And I used to really wish someone would slap Mrs. Oleson upside her head.

And Pa needed a haircut.

I spent most weekends with my grandparents when I was a kid, and they were ADDICTED to this show. And Hee-Haw. I have Hee-Haw songs burned into my brain that only sweet death will obliterate.

where, oh where, are you tonight...why did you leave me here all alooooone...
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
And Pa needed a haircut.
And WHISKERS!!
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:01 AM
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Two words: clown rape.
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
Two words: clown rape.
I'm sorry... what?!?!?!



Did I miss an episode somewhere?
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
Two words: clown rape.
I think I may have missed that episode.
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:41 AM
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I hated when it was supposed to be the dead of winter but all the trees were full of leaves. It was painfully obvious it was filmed in southern California when they were setting off for school or town and pretending it was cold, but the sky was bright blue with puffy white clouds and all the trees had leaves. Yeah, right.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:03 AM
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As a native prarie-area Minnesotan, you'd think the most awful thing about LHotP is the mountains on the background, but no, my mother (who was born in 1925) said the most inaccurate thing is the number of trees. She said even when she was growing up there were practically NO trees, just some along rivers (oops, creeks) and a few scraggly ones homesteaders planted around their farms. In that part of the country you could see the grass (and later, farm fields) for miles.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:12 AM
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During the open credits, when the youngest child, Carrie falls down, or any time she is in a scene! The twins who played here were never great actreesses!
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
I think I may have missed that episode.
You should be happy you did.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinastasia
Two words: clown rape.
The one where the girl gets raped by a guy in a clown suit becomes pregnant with Bozo's clown child and Albert decides to marry her to "do right by her?" Wasn't he at one point during that episode get accused of the rape?

Oh my god. I think I've seen every episode.

It always bugged the piss out of my how Pa would cry at some point in every frickin' episode. I mean really. I doubt men back then were just so open with their feelings. Pa was such a martyr too. "I've been exposed to typhoid! Ya'll just go on without me!" or "I have broken ribs! But hey, rather than ask for help, I'm going to be the martyr and try to load these bags of oats all by myself with my shattered ribs! The crops didn't sell so well and I had to take this shit job to support the family!" Of course the family shows up to help him lift the heavy bags of oats and Pa is so touched that guess what he does? He cries.

Oooh I hated the episode where Albert developed the morphine addiction. But it was nice of Pa to let Albert puke all over him when going through withdrawal.

I need to get a life.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:31 AM
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I started reading the books when I was 9. When I complained to my teacher that the tv show didn't follow the books and Albert didn't exist, my teacher pointed out that there weren't enough books for the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterabbit
You should be happy you did.
I agree. I saw that episode after school and was scared to death. Of course, I didn't know what happened to the girl, but I knew something bad had happened. I was already scared of clowns and this didn't help. Another episode that scared me was the one were Laura stole the music box from Nelly.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:36 AM
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I personally was always bothered by the fact that Caroline's hair was always squeaky clean, like she maybe washed it every two or three days. In reality (or so I've been told), she'd have bathed, at most, once a month during warm months, and not at all throughout the winter.
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:46 AM
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Laura Ingalls sporting braces on her "I-could-eat-corn-on-the-cob-through-a- picket-fence" teeth.



Worst anachronism....ever.
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Old 09-06-2005, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by norinew
I personally was always bothered by the fact that Caroline's hair was always squeaky clean, like she maybe washed it every two or three days. In reality (or so I've been told), she'd have bathed, at most, once a month during warm months, and not at all throughout the winter.
Really? In the books, they bathed every Saturday night. It seems to me that our ancestors were vastly cleaner than everyone is giving them credit for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
The way Laura continued teaching AFTER her marriage.
I've never really watched the show, because of the aforementioned sappiness and historical inaccuracies, but I have to ask. Did Laura marry Almanzo or did they create someone else for her to marry? If she didn't marry Manny, I'm going to be upset.
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Miss Purl McKnittington
Really? In the books, they bathed every Saturday night. It seems to me that our ancestors were vastly cleaner than everyone is giving them credit for.
Hair wasn't washed that frequently. In the winter time, many women didn't wash their hair at all out of fear of getting sick. (Often, they combed cornmeal through it to absorb as much oil as possible.)

Quote:
I've never really watched the show, because of the aforementioned sappiness and historical inaccuracies, but I have to ask. Did Laura marry Almanzo or did they create someone else for her to marry? If she didn't marry Manny, I'm going to be upset.
Yes, Laura married Almonzo Wilder.
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Purl McKnittington
Really? In the books, they bathed every Saturday night. It seems to me that our ancestors were vastly cleaner than everyone is giving them credit for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissa
Hair wasn't washed that frequently. In the winter time, many women didn't wash their hair at all out of fear of getting sick. (Often, they combed cornmeal through it to absorb as much oil as possible.)
Perhaps it was the rarity of hair-washing that I remembered; or perhaps I was just wrong (I have two teenagers; I'm used to having it pointed out to me when I'm wrong )

In addition to the cornmeal, they also wore caps and such almost all the time, to avoid getting dust in their hair. Still, Caroline's hair was always shiny just-washed clean. As was the hair of her girls, some of whom were the right age for hair to look dirty a mere 12 hours after it's washed!
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:14 AM
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When I read "clown rape", I thought- "No, that's Chicago with Gacy. Wisconsin is known for its cannibal/necrophile/ghoul killers." THEN the explanation came- I do not remember the rapist having a clown suit- now, wasn't he & the girl both killed in a fall when he came back to do it again?

Btw, I thought sure the rapist would turn out to be her uptight over-protective Dad. Kinda relieved that at least the show didn't go in that direction.
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Old 09-06-2005, 11:42 AM
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My Dad watches at least an hour of LHotP a day. The show makes me gag. Stoic endurance, courage, self-sacrifice? No, no, that's boring. Let's do melodrama and sappy emotion! And really bad 70's dresses! And dress Pa worse than a bum!


There was a rape? in the series? Oh, God. And morphine addiction?

I have vague memories that while Laura did marry Manly, she almost didn't because of family opposition. Which is ridiculous, because his family were mostly the hell over in New York State, and he wouldn't have listened, anyway.
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Old 09-06-2005, 11:50 AM
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For me, it was the episode where a son was born, and Laura got jealous. The baby died, and she ran away, thinking she had killed the baby because she didn't pray for him during his sickness.

She ends up on a mountain and Charles is so happy when he finally finds her. For me, I would have whipped her butt for being so selfish and putting the family through that just after they lost a child.
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:27 PM
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It really chapped my ass when Charles and Caroline adopted TWO MORE kids. Jason Bateman played the boy and I have no idea who the girl was. Their parents had been killed when their wagon crashed.
It was already shark jumpin' before that.
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:31 PM
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Didn't they have a huge continuity error with the morphine addiction? Albert got hooked, got cleaned up and then in a VO at the end, Laura talked about how he went on to become a doctor when he grew up. But in a later episode, didn't he die of (?) scarlet fever?
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:32 PM
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I was channel surfing last night and just saw the wagon crash. What timing, eh?
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:36 PM
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In Farmer Boy, Almanzo baths every Saturday night in prepartion for Sunday church. He was living on a prospeous farm, with heating stoves in every room.

I doubt that the Ingalls, living through Minnesota winters with only a fireplace for warmth, placed any value on bathing on a regular basis.
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:51 PM
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All about the Clown Rape episode.

I used to watch it when I was a kid, and I'll occassionally watch reruns (it's fun to spot some of the guest stars, and let's face it-Alison Arngram kicks serious prairie ass). What I found amusing was that the kid who played Albert used to play "young Pa" in flashback episodes before he became Albert.

Plus, didn't the real Charles Ingles have a beard? And Mary wasn't a tomboy like Laura, she was more of a girly-girl, starched dresses, perfect curls, etc.
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Old 09-06-2005, 12:52 PM
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Charles INGALLS. Dammit.
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:16 PM
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Well, somehow when I was growing up, Mary losing her eyesight while reading by the light of an oil lamp had a profound impact on my mother.

As a result, we kids were no longer allowed to read books at night to ourselves before bedtime, in fear of acquiring "Ingalls Nighlite Blindness Syndrome (TM)".

It wasn't until late high-school that our mother reluctantly embraced her TV-induced idiocy and allowed us to read at night again.

I call that annoying
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiblioCat
Didn't they have a huge continuity error with the morphine addiction? Albert got hooked, got cleaned up and then in a VO at the end, Laura talked about how he went on to become a doctor when he grew up. But in a later episode, didn't he die of (?) scarlet fever?
Yeah, I thought he died too. Leukemia or something. Remember, he kept getting those nose bleeds?
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiblioCat
Didn't they have a huge continuity error with the morphine addiction? Albert got hooked, got cleaned up and then in a VO at the end, Laura talked about how he went on to become a doctor when he grew up. But in a later episode, didn't he die of (?) scarlet fever?
Yep, I believe you're right. Didn't Charles take Albert to the ocean because he'd never been before and it was his dying wish? Or was that another poor ailing child?

My personal favorite annoyance is the episode in which the School for the Blind caught fire and Alice Garvey used a baby as a battering ram to shatter a window (she had it in her arm and used the outside of her arm to hit the window, but still--babies are not blunt objects!). I thought for years that I'd imagined that scene but I ran across several references to it on sites like Television Without Pity and Jump the Shark that proved I wasn't the only one who'd noticed that.

There's another episode that messed with my head too. I remember a young girl who decided to drown herself and walked into the creek until the water was over her head. I think she was pulled to safety though. Or maybe not.

When Laura's horse Bunny had to be shot because he got tangled in barbed wire was quite traumatizing too. I cried for hours after watching that episode when I was a kid.

Come to think of it, a lot of Little House traumatized me...
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:35 PM
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Come to think of it, a lot of Little House traumatized me...
Me too. The ep that sticks out in my mind the most, well certain parts of it anyway, was the one with Patricia Neal titled "Remember Me" She plays a dying mother trying to find someone to take care of her kids after she goes. The opening scene was horrible. A man trying to get rid of unwanted puppies shoves them into a sack with rocks then tosses them into the water. I don't remember who grabbed them out, Laura or maybe one of Patricia Neal's kids but I think only a few pups survived. The whole episode, what with a mother dying and leaving young children behind and the bit with the puppies sent me over the edge. I cried uncontrollably during that episode. Christ. It's no wonder I ended up in therapy later in life.
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by The Chao Goes Mu
The opening scene was horrible. A man trying to get rid of unwanted puppies shoves them into a sack with rocks then tosses them into the water. I don't remember who grabbed them out, Laura or maybe one of Patricia Neal's kids but I think only a few pups survived.
I remember that one! Laura waded in and got the sack out and Mary pulled the puppies out one by one- then there was just one left and it was not moving. She reached in and pulled it out, and it was the rock. You're right, it was very traumatizing. Why do I still remember that after all these years? I need help....

IIRC, all the puppies lived and they found homes for all of them. Same for the kids, (they found homes for all of them), but they didn't want to break them up, so Mr. French and whats-her-name got married so the kids could stay together.
: cue sappy music :
Awwww!
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:51 PM
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I was always bothered by the episode where the Ingalls' get a phone.

Anachronistic or not, it bugged me.

I was also bothered that we never got a "Witness-esque" washtub bathing scene with Caroline, but that's just me.
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:53 PM
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The series has probably given Laura Ingalls Wilder lots of exercise. I'm sure she rotates rapidly in her grave every time it plays.
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:54 PM
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A phone? It was the frigging 1880's! In a prairie settlement! Gahh!
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Old 09-06-2005, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
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I remember that one! Laura waded in and got the sack out and Mary pulled the puppies out one by one- then there was just one left and it was not moving. She reached in and pulled it out, and it was the rock. You're right, it was very traumatizing. Why do I still remember that after all these years? I need help....

IIRC, all the puppies lived and they found homes for all of them. Same for the kids, (they found homes for all of them), but they didn't want to break them up, so Mr. French and whats-her-name got married so the kids could stay together.
: cue sappy music :
Awwww!
And I'd bet my right breast that as Mr. French and Company were walking off into the sunset of familial bliss, Pa Ingalls had tears streaming down his face. (Must be a Michael Landon thing, he used to do it on Highway to Heaven, which I did not, BTW, watch, my mom liked it.)
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photopat
I was always bothered by the episode where the Ingalls' get a phone.

Anachronistic or not, it bugged me.

I was also bothered that we never got a "Witness-esque" washtub bathing scene with Caroline, but that's just me.
Nope. Not just you.
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnGalt
As a native prarie-area Minnesotan, you'd think the most awful thing about LHotP is the mountains on the background, but no, my mother (who was born in 1925) said the most inaccurate thing is the number of trees. She said even when she was growing up there were practically NO trees, just some along rivers (oops, creeks) and a few scraggly ones homesteaders planted around their farms. In that part of the country you could see the grass (and later, farm fields) for miles.

Yeah, that bugged me to. I didn't realize there were so many mountains in South Dakota until Television Taught Me Otherwise.

And now, because I can, a MST3K quote: "Ah, the Eastern Europe region of Southern California."
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt
As a native prarie-area Minnesotan, you'd think the most awful thing about LHotP is the mountains on the background, but no, my mother (who was born in 1925) said the most inaccurate thing is the number of trees. She said even when she was growing up there were practically NO trees, just some along rivers (oops, creeks) and a few scraggly ones homesteaders planted around their farms. In that part of the country you could see the grass (and later, farm fields) for miles.
Ditto to that. What part of "prairie" didn't they understand?
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:59 PM
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Remember the one when Laura found out Nellie was faking being paralyzed – the episode with Bunny the horse – and she pushed her runaway train style while in her wheelchair down the hillside landing Nellie in the pond? I forgot just how brutal those kids were. If’n she’s not paralyzed now, this should do the job!

I cried at the episode the other night when the tornado wrecks the farm (again) and the little calf died. And until now I forgot about the puppy episode…sob. And wait - Albert DIED? I guess I forgot about that, too.

Yep, every night at 8 on TV LANDon. I like the suggestion from someone in the Bob Denver thread that the pending Gilligan marathon be named TVisLAND. Giggle.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SpazCat
And now, because I can, a MST3K quote: "Ah, the Eastern Europe region of Southern California."
Damn you. Iced Tea. Out my nose and all over my brand-new keyboard.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:25 PM
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The worst part about Little House was that it took ratings shares away from the vastly superior WKRP.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:51 PM
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Here's the synopsis of the telephone episode, according to this website:

Quote:
117. Crossed Connections 12/10/79
Harriet Oleson causes trouble between Alice and Jonathan Garvey when the telephone is first introduced in Walnut Grove. Mrs. Oleson listened to a conversation between Alice Garvey and her mother. They were discussing Alice's first husband. Mrs. Oleson tells Jonathan that his wife had been married before. Jonathan decides to leave for a while to cool off. While on a delivery with Charles, Jonathan meets Alice's ex-husband and finds out why Alice didn't talk about him. Jonathan returns home and asks his wife and his son to forgive him.
Apparently this occurs when Laura is 16 so somebody out here will probably know what year that would have been in real time.
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:51 PM
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Yep, every night at 8 on TV LANDon. I like the suggestion from someone in the Bob Denver thread that the pending Gilligan marathon be named TVisLAND. Giggle.
I'm glad somebody caught that.
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:23 PM
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What I found anachronistic was the later episodes when the Olesons and the Ingalls ran, separately as I remember, a restaurant and a hotel in that little town. I never understood how there could be enough business out there in the middle of nowhere.

But I kind of liked the one episode when Charles Ingalls was making furniture but was put out of business by the factory in the big town. At the end, there was a flash forward to a contemporary auction where his table was sold for big bucks.
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:34 PM
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Always wondered if Charles had some type of bellows set up to get that blow-dried hair.

And if anyone has seen a photo of the real Charles Ingalls, he didn't just have a run of the mill beard. The man had basically a goatee which he let fall to near his chest, and spread out sorta like a trangle.

Sir Rhosis
  #49  
Old 09-06-2005, 05:48 PM
SkeptiJess is offline
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photopat: The real Laura was born in 1867 so the episode in question would have taken place around 1883 in real life, if the term 'real life' can properly be applied to the fetid pile of steaming poo that was the television series Little House on the Prairie. The first telephone exchange in South Dakota (where the real Laura lived between the ages of 13 and her marriage) was in Deadwood in 1878, so there may have been a phone in De Smet when Laura was 16. But if the show got that right, it must have been purely by accident.
  #50  
Old 09-06-2005, 05:59 PM
jayjay is offline
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You want to talk anachronisms? How about the later episode where a dapper, goateed old gentleman in a white suit and cane offered to set up the restaurant as a franchise?! Considering that the good Colonel wasn't even born until 1890, and didn't actually even start making food for people until the 1930s, that one pretty much wins unless someone can find the episode where Charles had to talk to Albert about dragracing his 1958 Thunderbird down the main street of Walnut Grove.
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