Thursday, August 31, 2006

Whatever happened to Carrie Ingalls?

Over the summer I developed a challenge to watch every Little House episode. As of today, I have past the halfway mark, 59% to be exact.

I didn’t really start out with the goal in mind. For some reason, I flipped to a Little House episode that led to a discussion on how Pa could do no wrong. He’d hold 3-4 jobs yet he was always home when the girls needed him. Heck, he could practically do anything you needed. Need to help a recovering addict? Ingalls could do it. Need a roof fixed? Ingalls could do it. Need someone to save a blind kid from a raging fire? Ingalls could do it. Need someone to befriend the town outcast? Ingalls could do it.

He did it all without questioning, except for the time Jason Bateman was shot by a bank robber.

Anyway, this one episode led to a long conversation about the townsfolk of Walnut Grove. Anyone else notice towards the end the Ingalls adopted every child that wasn’t still attached by the umbilical cord? Caroline probably had to cook her own breakfast on Mother’s Day. I know Mother’s Day did not come to exist until later on. Nels was a saint to put up with Harriet, Nellie, Willie and Nancy. The Reverend got married but we never saw his wife ever again. The Doc was old in the beginning and still old in the end. Kevin Hagen rest in peace.

With our programs on hiatus and a need for nostalgia, we started watching Little House again. Now, I’m not saying that every episode is award winning. The stories follow the same outline. Pa cries, Ma cooks, Mary screams, Half Pint runs, Carrie whines. It’s all good though. It’s predictable and wholesome. I’m surprised PAX hasn’t picked them up.

When I was younger I started reading the Little House series but dropped it for Nancy Drew and the Anne of Green Gables series. I still remember sitting there by the television watching Little House and The Waltons with my grandparents though.

Two weeks ago, I started wondering how many episodes had I seen already. I started a checklist and realized that I was nearing the 50% mark. Since I was able to see over 50% so quickly, I figured why not try for the whole kit and caboodle. It’s getting difficult now though. Work has been consuming my entire day. In addition and in all honesty, there is only so much wholesome goodness one can consume before they begin to feel too saccharine-like.

I also have an issue with the later episodes of Little House. Maybe it’s because I’m watching them all out of order but who the hell are all these new people and why are they so annoying? Why are their so many new people yet Doc and the Reverend still look the same age? Why does Manly annoy me? Is it the doe eyes that bother me or is it his straw blonde hair? Is it me or does everyone in the Wilder family look as if they were spawned from different parents?

Anyway here are a list of characters from Little House I enjoy the most:

1. Nels Oleson
2. Percival Dalton aka Isaac Cohen
3. Albert Ingalls (the street smart one pre-country bumpkin)
4. Lars Hanson (pre-stroke/heart attack)
5. Jack the dog
6. Black Jake aka Nels Oleson as an outlaw

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