The following post was written by a “guest-editor” – my dear friend Betsy. Here’s a bit of background, before I give her the stage.
We have been friends since the tender age of 10. We both loved “Little House on the Prairie” as kids, were obsessed with it, totally into it … I remember a brief period in 5th grade where I actually wore a BONNET TO SCHOOL. (What a loser. But anyway, I digress.)
Later, during our adolescence, there is one night that will live in infamy in the minds of Betsy and myself: we were 16 or whatever, and we watched an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” and we saw it in a whole new light and we COULD NOT STOP making fun of it. It was the episode where Carrie fell down the well – I am sure those of you who watched the show religiously will remember it very clearly. One of the things that made us laugh the hardest was Michael Landon TRYING to cry. He was desperate to get some tears on his face, so his face was all scrunched up. I describe me and Betsy’s response to this during the following Diary Friday.
Betsy, now a mother of three gorgeous kids, a guidance counselor, a great woman, recently got sucked into an episode of “Little House” – She was surfing around, came upon it, and settled in to watch. As she watched, observations began to fly through her brain, and she started to sketch them down.
She promptly sent her observations to me – and as I read it, I felt everything freeze up in me. Why did I freeze? Here is why: I felt, as I read it, that: This is too funny for me to even DEAL WITH RIGHT NOW.
I asked her if I could post her writing on my blog, and she said Yes.
“Little House” fans and enemies (Ann Marie – I think you are gonna love this), I present to you – the words of BETSY:
— This is only the second time I have seen this episode where they blow up the entire town to end the series. Every other episode I have seen many times over.
— Although Charles and Caroline had left they show, they returned for this finale, and we did get the regular Charles crying scene (more on Charles later).
— Caroline had a new hat.
— I think the costume budget was the lowest on the set, because the clothes everyone wore to blow up the town were:
1. everyone’s finest
2. the same finest clothes as seen from the beginning. Laura never got a new dress beyond her wedding (the red-flowered very fitted piece), and Mr. Edwards never wore anything beyond the red and black flannel shirt
— I had to laugh at my recollection of a man on the show “I love the 70s”, calling Nellie “the original prairie bitch”. Although she was not present with Percival and the twins for the town destruction, her replacement, the new bitch, was there.
— While Willy Olsen was always a pain-in-the-ass kid, he grew up to be quite hot
— And staying with that subject, Almonzo, while originally thought of as a hot babe, can’t hold a candle to Willy, and also can’t cry nearly as well as Charles, even when blowing up his own house
— Favorite episodes:
1. Albert falling in love with the girl who gets raped and becomes pregnant (Olivia), and then who dies in a fall trying to escape her rapist and whose dying words are words of love to Albert
2. Laura and Almonzo breaking up and how they get back together in the bed filled with ice to soothe Manly’s fever
— Featured characters who got to blow up pivotal buildings:
Doc Baker (gay?)
Nels Olsen (had a fat sister in the circus)
Mr. Edwards ( … get out of the way for Old Dan Tucker)
Manly (with Laura, baby Rose and Shannon Dougherty (Jenny) looking on)
— Reverend Alden also returned to blow up the town, but he just stood about crying and praying
— The show and series ends with people leaving the blown-out remains of the town, singing “Onward Christian soldiers” – and then riding out to their new homes (Sleepy Eye, perhaps?), past the original Little House on the Prairie – I find this odd as that place was always as far out of the way as one could get, and finally it becomes the main thoroughfare out of town? And the last shot closes in from the house to a group of rabbits that had been released from the barn before the final destruction … Perhaps I have never really understood the show …
— And finally – with the passing of John Ritter, I couldn’t get through the show without thinking about the impact Michael Landon had upon my life and his early passing. I wept along with him.