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  #101  
Old 09-08-2005, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Anne Neville
Not so sure about that. Remember, a little earlier than this (and possibly still going on in Europe at this point) there were wet nurses. A wet nurse had to have had a child recently, and the usual practice, IIRC, was for the wet nurse to nurse only the employer's child, not her own. Her own child often died as a result. Some women even killed their own children to be able to be wet nurses.

Not every mother was or is that attached to her baby. I've heard this was particularly true in the days of high infant mortality.
Fair enough. But considering how Mary had basically a psychotic break after the baby died, I'd say that she, specifically, was that attached to her baby.
  #102  
Old 09-08-2005, 02:08 PM
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what i hated most about the show (other than it's existence) was the retreading of the same plotline in every show...

an evil, morbidly obese town "Boss" in a white suit kept trying to steal the family farm, the only way they could stop the boss was for Pa and Albert would have to jump in their big orange Dodge Charger and jump over a conveniently located creek/hill/haybale/police cruiser while sounding their custom horn that played the first few notes of "Dixie" and yelling YEEEHAAA!!

Mary wearing shortie-shorts and driving a white Jeep CJ-5 was just strange too, didn't think the blind were permitted to drive, they took far too many creative liberties with that show....
  #103  
Old 09-08-2005, 02:29 PM
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The impression I got from the one with Caroline's leg infection was that she WAS trying to cut it off, but maybe she cut it and it hurt so bad, or whatever, that she passed out and didn't finish the job, but it gave the stuff in there a chance to get out.

Thank heaven I live in an age with antibiotics!
  #104  
Old 09-08-2005, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia

According to this page, it's not Albert that has leukemia, but a friend of his.

Remember Mr. Olsen's sister being the fat lady at the circus?
So was it Albert's friend that Charles took to the seashore so he could see the ocean before he died? That one is really bugging me.

I remember the Fat Lady episode-made me cry. Remember the one about the girl who had one leg shorter than the other? I think she also had a speech impediment (I might be confusing my "Crisis of the Week" there). And of course, all the kids made fun of her until Charles made her a special wooden lift for her shoe and then she played baseball and impressed them all. Or something.
  #105  
Old 09-08-2005, 02:44 PM
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And her father didn't want the built-up shoe, because that was contrary to God's will.

I swear, the way they twisted themselves into plot contrivances it's a wonder they weren't all mistaken for pretzels.
  #106  
Old 09-08-2005, 03:45 PM
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No, Olga didn't have a speech impediment, I think she just had an accent because she was from Sweden. BTW, the same little girl who played her was also the little girl from Nanny and the Professor.
  #107  
Old 09-08-2005, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
BTW, the same little girl who played her was also the little girl from Nanny and the Professor.
Kim Richards, and her sister Kyle played the little girl who, along with her brothers, was conveniently adopted by Mr. French and his wife.
Don't ask my why I remember this shit.
  #108  
Old 09-08-2005, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BiblioCat
... Mr. French and his wife....
MR. EDWARDS. Mr. Edwards.
I'm think I'm mixing up Mr. French from Family Affair and the fact that Mr. Edwards was played by Victor French.

It's Mr. Edwards, you freaking moron.
  #109  
Old 09-08-2005, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BiblioCat
MR. EDWARDS. Mr. Edwards.
I'm think I'm mixing up Mr. French from Family Affair and the fact that Mr. Edwards was played by Victor French.

It's Mr. Edwards, you freaking moron.
I'm so glad I'm not the only who does that - and I never watched Family Affair.
  #110  
Old 09-08-2005, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by meow meow
That was what they made us think she was going to do. Instead, she cut out the infection. When Pa arrived she was unconscious, but according to Doc Baker, cutting out the infection when she did she saved her life.
That episode was a complete rip-off of a Bonanza episode centered around (who else?) Michael Landon. From here:

Quote:
361 A Matter of Circumstance April 19, 1970
Written by: B. W. Sandefur
Directed by: William F. Claxton
Joe is left behind to wait for a chuck wagon cook who is supposed to be accompanying the Cartwrights on the cattle drive. During a thunder storm Joe goes to the barn to settle the horses and one skittish horse tramples him breaking his leg an his left arm. Joe struggles to keep conscious and treat his wounds. Despite his efforts his left arm becomes infected and Joe in desperation considers amputation as he fears gangrene has set in.
Guest stars: Ted Gehrin, Vincent Van Patten
It even ends the exact same way with Joe passing out before he can cut off his hand (which was truly swollen and gross-looking) and the family returning home just in time to save him.
  #111  
Old 09-08-2005, 05:23 PM
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Pa crying.

Anyone crying.

All that damn violin music whenever someone was crying.

Carrie's lack of screen time.

James and Cassandra.

Tragedy piled upon tragedy piled upon tragedy. And more crying.

The rape episode.

Albert's addiction and withdrawal episode.
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  #112  
Old 09-08-2005, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ivylass
And her father didn't want the built-up shoe, because that was contrary to God's will.
I guess he'd be horrified, because I get my right shoes built up about 3/4 of an inch because my right leg is shorter than my left. Sorry, God, it's a lot more comfortable this way! I pick up my new sneaker from the shoe repair place tomorrow. Yay.

I think one of the most annoying things about this show for me is the hair. The horrible, awful, 70s hair. The clothes were all wrong, too, but the hair was worse.
  #113  
Old 09-08-2005, 06:25 PM
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I really hated how they didn't follow the books. I know they were only based on the books and that I mentioned my pet peeve before, but I think they could have done better.

As far as basing the books on the show, the main things that I remember not liking about the show were Albert being in it and Laura being friends with Eliza Jane (Almanzo's sister). IIRC, Laura couldn't stand Lazy Lousy Eliza Jane because she bullied Carrie (I think that was in the Little Town on the Praire book, but it's been a long time so I can't recall) .

Also, Laura ended up pitying Nelly because her father had lost the store or something. I believe that was in These Happy Golden Years . That's not a big deal, but I think a previous doper asked something about Nelly.

As far as the tv show is concerned, they were all over the place. They liked to emotionally manipulate their audience. Beside the instances mentioned above, I think they had an episode where Carrie fell in a well and almost died, some guy building a railroad was blown up by TNT, etc.

One of the few funny moments that sticks out in my mind was when Mrs. Olsen thought she was dying from the vapors, but merely had gas.

Oh, and another weird moment that sticks out was the whole town blowing up everything in Walnut Grove except the church because they didn't want a big company taking it. The show/series ends with the townspeople singing "Onward Christain Soldiers". IR, I think Michael Landon didn't want anyone using it. So, he blew it up.
  #114  
Old 09-08-2005, 06:39 PM
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Was Grace ever in the show? I know Carrie got short-changed a lot, but Grace was almost non-existant.
  #115  
Old 09-08-2005, 06:46 PM
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I just have to say that the existence of this thread is cracking me up. When I saw that TVLandon was showing episodes of Little House, I figured that the Little House thread on Television Without Pity would jump up a few notches. I was shocked to see that it had become the #1 thread in the drama section. But that was nothing compared to the shock I felt seeing a Little House thread as the very first thread in Cafe Society. Yes, I know it's basically an anti-Little House thread, but as someone over at TWoP said, Michael Landon must have done something right if people are still watching, remembering, and discussing his show thirty years later.
  #116  
Old 09-08-2005, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
Was Grace ever in the show? I know Carrie got short-changed a lot, but Grace was almost non-existant.
Grace was in the show. I remember her, but the show ended before she was even talking, I think.
  #117  
Old 09-08-2005, 06:52 PM
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As cheesy as it was, it was still better than the Waltons. I fucking hated John-Boy.
  #118  
Old 09-08-2005, 08:07 PM
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As cheesy as it was, it was still better than the Waltons. I fucking hated John-Boy.

No way. The Waltons was sappy, but it was nowhere near as overwrought, anachronistic, or as melodramatic at LHOTP.
  #119  
Old 09-08-2005, 08:25 PM
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No way. The Waltons was sappy, but it was nowhere near as overwrought, anachronistic, or as melodramatic at LHOTP.
Although it approached it at times. The episode where the young woman who miscarried her baby stalked Mary Ellen and kidnapped her newborn comes close...
  #120  
Old 09-08-2005, 08:27 PM
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No way. The Waltons was sappy, but it was nowhere near as overwrought, anachronistic, or as melodramatic at LHOTP.
LHotP drives me bonkers with all that, but at least it's not BORING, which was the cardinal sin of The Waltons. Things got wackytastic on the Prairie! It's much harder to have hilarious reminiscing over the exploits of John-Boy and company. Note the dearth of 3-page threads on that show. I can't even remember the plot of a single Waltons episode.
  #121  
Old 09-08-2005, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cbawlmer
I can't even remember the plot of a single Waltons episode.
That's easy! Livvie and John have money problems, Corabeth is snooty, Ike is exasperated and bewildered with her, the Baldwin sisters offer someone some of their special recipe, Grandma acts annoyed (or, in later seasons, twitches a bit), Grandpa sneaks off into the woods with his young male lover (okay, that was real life, not on the show), and the children learn a very special lesson. Then everyone says good night to everyone else and they turn the lights out and go to bed.

See? Simple as pie. Olivia's Very Special Super-Baptist Apple Pie, that is.
  #122  
Old 09-08-2005, 09:20 PM
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You remember "The Waltons" ep where John-Boy and Grampa light up a J, doncha?

Okay, it was only a blooper shown on one of those lame Dick Clark specials. Richard Thomas blows a line, and says something like "Fuck it, I'm going out back to smoke a joint." Geer laughed harder than anyone at that...

Sir Rhosis
  #123  
Old 09-09-2005, 12:30 AM
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I was quite young when most of these episodes were shown, so I don't remember plots very well; just certain images. Like Caroline and her gaping oozing leg wound, or Laura and her pet raccoon that they thought had rabies, or Nancy and Willie getting ready to hold up the bank with a gun made of licorice, which Willie eats, smearing it all over his mouth in the process, because he apparently achieved the age of 16 without ever learning hand-eye-mouth coordination.

I may have to try to catch some of the re-runs, just to fill in the gaps.
  #124  
Old 09-09-2005, 05:37 AM
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You know, my dislike for this program is well known, but I must admit to some intrigue now about the later episodes. I've never seen most of the Albert era eps, and none of the James/Cassandra era ones. I don't believe I ever saw an episode after Laura and Almanzo got married. But I'm thinking now I might enjoy them -- just for the weird factor. The clown rape one just sounds like a hoot; and this Nancy is worse than Nellie?

As for the Waltons, I always liked it despite the lack of realism. Of course, I thought it was realistic when I was a kid watching it -- then, one day, my dad (born in 1936) was watching with me... The episode was one in which the big drama was that the family water heater had broken and they couldn't afford a new one. To the eyes of a 1970s suburban kid this seemed pretty dire, and I'm thinking, "Wow, those poor people, the depression must really have sucked!" Then my dad says, very quietly, "My parents got hot water in the house in 1952." I goggled at him, and he continued, "They got electricity in the mid '40s -- after the war, anyway. We used to do our schoolwork by a kerosene lamp. When I was a kid, it was the rich people in town who had water heaters and electricity." This sort of took the bloom off the Walton's rose for me... After that, when I watched, my dad would often say something like, "You're watching that show about the wealthy mill owners during the Depression?"

I still liked it, though -- although it certainly shared other of LHotP's faults. The transparent '70s style moralizing which replaced any actual appropriate-to-the-period sentiments, especially. Also the scary '70s hairstyles. And it certainly dipped into melodrama in the later episodes, too. Nobody remembers Mary Ellen's first husband who was supposedly killed at Pearl Harbor? Then a few years later he turns up alive, but he'd had his balls shot off in the war, so he abandoned Mary Ellen and their kid because he couldn't be a 'real husband?"
  #125  
Old 09-09-2005, 11:48 AM
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Hmmmm, I liked The Waltons. Ellen Corby was a fantastic actress, Richard Thomas was pretty decent (I liked him in the Stephen King miniseries, It), and it's always amusing to see the various guest stars. (John Ritter playing a fire and brimstone fundy preacher was pretty funny).
  #126  
Old 09-12-2005, 08:53 AM
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Hmm. The Waltons. Couldn't stand that show. I could never get past John-Boy's fucking MOLE.
  #127  
Old 09-12-2005, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by The Chao Goes Mu
Hmm. The Waltons. Couldn't stand that show. I could never get past John-Boy's fucking MOLE.
Then you wouldn't have done too well with the X-Files/Mulder. Maybe these two should have guest-starred in the 3rd Austin Powers movie--you know, the one with the MOLE!
  #128  
Old 09-12-2005, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch God, did I love Nellie...
I saw Alison Arngrim on some game show like Disco Fever and she was wearing a dress which had a top consisting of two bands crossing her front and tied around the back of her neck. Whoa, Nellie! Our little prairie bitch was ALL growed up!
  #129  
Old 09-12-2005, 09:08 PM
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I grew up about 10 miles from Walnut Grove, MN. Every summer, my best friend (and most of her family) was in "Fragments of a Dream," a play based on Laura's time in the dugout (which is now a big hole in a field, IIRC). I read the books obsessively. I wanted to be Laura. But I could never watch the show. It bothered me too much that the name of the book that occurred in Walnut Grove was On the Banks of Plum Creek darnit, not LHotP!
  #130  
Old 09-12-2005, 09:58 PM
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I didn't realize that WKRP was up against LHotP, but that means one of my favorite episodes of WKRP has an "in joke". On one of the funniest episodes Herb and Lucile Tarlek were on a reality show predecessor (complete with Peter Marshall as a host) called Real Families. The entire episode was filmed not as an episode of WKRP but as an episode of the reality series. At one point Lucille, lying through her teeth about her mothering habits, tells the camera crew "I only let my children watch wholesome
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Uh. Well, The Little House on the Prairie. Now that's a fine, wholesome show. It's about blind children out west, and every week they have a fire, or someone gets an incurable disease. We enjoy it very much.
It's not just the absence of Pa's facial hair that bothered me, but the absence of every man in Walnut Grove's facial hair (except for Mr. Edwards, but Victor French had a beard or a least a bush moustache in every role he ever played). The 1870s-1890s when the show was set was THE ERA for not just facial hair but great-big bull seal facial hair- walrus moustaches and thick sideburns and bushy beards, etc.. Walnut Grove was apparently way ahead of the fashion curve.

I loved all of the characters who were on the show for one episode. Walnut Grove was supposed to be a town the size of a large snuff box, but suddenly Laura has a best friend you've never seen before (like Jonah who struck gold with her, or the most recent immigrant, or the stuttering girl, the old lady who leaves Laura a mansion, etc.) or even a special guest villain (like the crazy mother of a dead girl who traps Laura in her basement and converts her to her daughter, because griefstricken mothers often do that) but they're never seen again after that episode. If you add up the guest stars and count them as residents of the town then Walnut Grove was at least as large as Mankato (which was basically Dodge City, complete with swinging saloon doors and can-can dancers of the sort for which Minnesota is rightfully world famous).

Did anybody ever notice the times that Michael Landon evidently thought "screw it, I'm sleeping late today" and just recycled a plot from Bonanza? This includes the orphans who were to be separated (but luckily an angel shows up in the guise of a minister to prevent it), the over-the-hill boxer who has a near fatal injury in the ring (from Jonathan Garvey in LHotP, from Hoss in Bonanza- there were others but they aren't coming to me at the moment).

I also loved the already mentioned episode in which the Olesen's grandtwins were to be raised as a Christian girl and Jewish boy (named for his living grandpa). How exactly would that work? "Now princess, Jesus Christ came to Earth and died for your sins... but not for your brother's, who is one of the people our church teaches helped kill Jesus along with the Italians and the Freemasons... now we have a lovely ham for this Easter, but none for you little Benjamin" [why do I remember his name was Benjamin?] "because God forbids you to eat it. Now later your sister is going to hunt Easter eggs while you stay inside and wrap up the leftovers from that seder dinner we brought you on a TV tray the other night."

And Walnut Grove was a little Peyton Place: Alice Garvey was married to a convict before and never told anybody, there was a clown raping girls (who had never been seen before), the minister was a dry alcoholic [revealed in one episode] who beat up a man in front of his congregation, the James gang passed through and they even imported a black kid for Laura to take to show'n'tell on Liberal Day (the kid later went on to be Willis on DIFF'RENT STROKES [a shame the Ingalls couldn't have taken in poor Kimberly Drummond and maybe she wouldn't have gotten mixed up in drugs]).

And Nancy was indeed an evil little bitch. I kept expecting Laura to voice over the end of an episode with "And that's how Jenny outsmarted Nancy to win the spelling bee. Years later when Nancy left Walnut Grove to avoid questioning in Mrs. Oleson's disappearance, the police only found three things in the house- the hoop she played with as a girl, Mr. Oleson's head and hands in the icebox, and a letter saying 'Damn you all to hell Jenny Wilder! SUPERCILIOUS was MY word!', but that's just how you spell growing up."

All in all a very good show, though, except for usually.
  #131  
Old 09-12-2005, 10:10 PM
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[why do I remember his name was Benjamin?]
Because that was the running gag throughout the episode in which Percival's father appeared. Mrs. Olson would call the kid "Ben" or "Benjy" or "Benny" and Mr. Cohen would THUNDER out "BENJAMIN!"
  #132  
Old 09-12-2005, 11:40 PM
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Michael Landon didn't just recycle plots from Bonanza. I swear, hand to God, I heard the music that would be the LHotP theme song playing in the background at least once on Bonanza.

I've really enjoyed this thread! Thanks for reminding me of all the reasons I hated this show (though, heaven help me, I watched it faithfully, first run and syndicated! What was I thinking??)
  #133  
Old 09-13-2005, 12:03 AM
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You know, my dislike for this program is well known, but I must admit to some intrigue now about the later episodes. I've never seen most of the Albert era eps, and none of the James/Cassandra era ones. I don't believe I ever saw an episode after Laura and Almanzo got married. But I'm thinking now I might enjoy them -- just for the weird factor. The clown rape one just sounds like a hoot; and this Nancy is worse than Nellie?
OK, I never saw many of the after-marriage ones either, but you have got to at least find the one where pregnant Laura passes out while hand-watering baby apple trees during a drought, and wakes up in a bathtub full of ice cubes.

I also remember seeing Albert throw up all over Pa in the drug episode. Man, that was weird.
  #134  
Old 09-13-2005, 01:21 AM
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I don't think they actually said that Albert died in the "whatever incurable disease he had" episode. I remember him climbing one of the Minnesota Mountains and having a look of exhausted triumph, and his diagnosis was of course terminal so it implied this was his last great act, but perhaps he got better due to some of Doc Baker's chicken bladder and dried apple poultices and Hester Sue's biscuits. (What a nice thing that the only black woman in the town of Walnut Grove fell in love with the only black man in Walnut Grove.)

All in all the show was like a historical romance novel (the "Fabio in a ripped pirate shirt on the cover" type, not your researched historical fiction) without the sex.

That final episode (or TV movie- Little House: the Last Farewell) was a Doozie. I don't remember the exact plot, but somehow due to a royal grant a century or more before of the land on which Walnut Grove is sitting the whole place becomes the property of an evil speculator. The plotholes in this thing make those in Rescue From Gilligan's Island look like a documentary on the Donner Party. Supposedly it was because Landon, ever the egomaniac, didn't want the sets for his show to be re-used in any other projects.
  #135  
Old 09-13-2005, 09:27 PM
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I always found it funny that the church/school was always perfectly full. Every seat was taken, with no one waiting in the aisles.
  #136  
Old 09-13-2005, 09:46 PM
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Plus, Mary stopped wearing her glasses, even before she went completely blind. WTF?
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut
I always found it funny that the church/school was always perfectly full. Every seat was taken, with no one waiting in the aisles.
I always found it funny that the entire population of the town could fit in the pews. All eight of them.
  #138  
Old 09-13-2005, 11:58 PM
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Plus, Mary stopped wearing her glasses, even before she went completely blind. WTF?
Contacts.
  #139  
Old 09-14-2005, 06:09 AM
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Contacts.

Pa carved them out of wood.
  #140  
Old 09-14-2005, 06:27 AM
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Pa carved them out of wood.
Yes, and I thought he also carved Laura's braces out of wood but then found out that Tinker (the dopey metalsmith who made the new churchbell) made them out of his own fillings. Pa was so moved that he, ya know, cried.
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:55 AM
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OK, I never saw many of the after-marriage ones either, but you have got to at least find the one where pregnant Laura passes out while hand-watering baby apple trees during a drought, and wakes up in a bathtub full of ice cubes.

.
Where on earth did they get ice cubes????? The Little Ice Maker on the Prairie?
  #142  
Old 09-14-2005, 08:26 AM
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Where on earth did they get ice cubes????? The Little Ice Maker on the Prairie?

No silly, it was a LASER-guided ice-pick designed by Leonardo DaVinci who used his time machine to visit Walnut Grove whenever they needed some anachronistic technology to enhance the plot-line. Michael Landon cut the research budget to line his own pockets so they had little choice. Then he cried.
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Old 09-14-2005, 08:31 AM
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Where on earth did they get ice cubes????? The Little Ice Maker on the Prairie?
From the same ice house that Nancy locked that other girl in, presumably. Unless you're questioning the possibility of perfect cubes, as opposed to chunks broken from a large block.
  #144  
Old 09-14-2005, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rilchiam
From the same ice house that Nancy locked that other girl in, presumably. Unless you're questioning the possibility of perfect cubes, as opposed to chunks broken from a large block.
They also locked the man accused of burning Garvey's barn and injuring his son in the ice house. The trial, of course, was held in the church. I'm not sure if that's the same injury that caused the kid to later lose his leg on JAG.
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Old 09-14-2005, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caricci
Where on earth did they get ice cubes????? The Little Ice Maker on the Prairie?
Didn't you ever see Back To The Future, Part 3? Doc Brown built an ice maker in the late 1800s. Maybe they used that same technology.
Or else Pa built an ice maker. Out of wood, of course.
  #146  
Old 09-16-2005, 10:24 AM
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Hey, did anyone catch Sylvia on the Hallmark Channel yesterday? That's the clown rapist double episode that was recently discussed.

In an interesting twist on how much more conservative TV is today, they removed the view of the boys at the beginning where they're spying on Sylvia while she's prancing around in her bloomers. They showed the boys talking to each other at her window, but they never showed what they're looking at. It must have seemed too perverted for Hallmark to show its viewers (but it was OK for Prime Time in 1981).
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Old 09-16-2005, 12:11 PM
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Hey, as long as this is still up, I'll plug the CD I just got: Happy land: musical tributes to Laura Ingalls Wilder. They selected some of the songs she wrote about in the books, several different artists recorded them, and ta-da! A really great CD. I'm loving it. Everybody go get it now.
  #148  
Old 09-16-2005, 12:59 PM
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I love the music in the books--I like folk music.


I never watched the show after the first few, because it was not true to the spirit of the books. I hated Landon as Pa--and he needed a damn beard and some gumption.

Nellie was awful in the show, but a different awful than the books.

Ah, hell, the whole thing was awful.
  #149  
Old 09-16-2005, 02:46 PM
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I read once that the similarly worthless show Grizzly Adams was very heavily influenced by test audiences. Those people let it be known that they hated to see snow on TV unless it was Christmas. This (and the ease of it always being summer) may have been the reason why it never, ever freaking snowed in Minnesota on LHotP. hell, it never even seemed to get cold.
  #150  
Old 09-16-2005, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Lance Murdoch
I read once that the similarly worthless show Grizzly Adams was very heavily influenced by test audiences.
Hijack, but did anybody see the... oh what was it... Real Sex I think... on HBO where they filmed at a legal brothel in Nevada and Dan "Grizzly Adams" Haggerty was there? He looks the same, just older, and was even wearing a Grizzly Adams style shirt. Really bizarre.
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