I’ve watched Little House on the Prairie for a long time. I was born in 1975, and saw the later seasons first-run when I was little. I watched the show in syndication with my sister in middle and high school, and with several friends, including my roommate, throughout college. Now I’m middle-aged, and just pushed through (most of) the series with my wife and four kids. My aim for this goal is to capture how we watch Little House together.
Little House fandom is vast, and I know there’s lots out there already to feed people’s appetites for info and trivia. Merchandise has been available almost since the show started, many books have been published about it, and the Internet is rich with fan blogs and podcasts. But to my knowledge, no one has succeeded at recapping the entire series with commentary and analysis. In part this I suspect has to do with simple volume: With over 200 episodes, recapping the whole series is a lot to bite off.
The other factor is long-form recaps sort of peaked about 15 years ago, didn’t they?I’m not sure they still have much of a place in today’s meme-and-gif culture.
Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a try.
I have to begin by noting my ignorance. I’ve always loved Little House, but by no means am I the biggest fan in the world. I never even read the books! The opinions and knowledge I’ll share here are just mine – they’re what I’ve developed and learned from my own watching, and perhaps from a little search-engine research of the sort anyone might do. I don’t know everything, and I’m quite lazy to boot, so I certainly invite you to share your expertise, context and corrections with me. You will be given a warm Walnut Groovy welcome.
A couple things. First, this blog isn’t for kids. There’ll be some adult language and . . . concepts. I can’t imagine the content getting very adult (after all, the closest this show gets to pornography is the occasional popcorn-in-bed scene), but it’s not something I’m really going to worry about either.
Second, please be nice to each other (and to me!) in the comments. This show appeals to many different types of people, takes positions on big issues (as we’ll see, sometimes trying to have its cake and eat it too). It has a passionate fan base, as do the books it’s based on (and there isn’t always overlap between them). It is a product of its time and place, and more often reflects the 1970s than the 1870s (in good ways and bad). Generally speaking, it’s loved both by political conservatives and political liberals (though the books themselves are currently undergoing a reevaluation). In short, Little House the TV series provides plenty of stuff to admire, to question, to criticize, and (most fun of all) to laugh at. It’s a big tent, and there’s room for us all.
So, I’ll try not to judge anybody for your opinions; but please, mind how you express them to each other. And I have my limits: Bigotry, cruelty and stupidity (my call I’m afraid) will get you blocked, period. I’m sorry to say it, but the world being what it is these days, I need to. This blog is intended for decent-minded, intelligent people who can talk to each other civilly and who try to see the good in each other and share the things we enjoy.
Fortunately, since this describes the vast majority of Little House fans I’ve met in my lifetime, I expect we’re in for a fun time.
A special thank-you to my little test group of readers – Adine, Angie, Carter, Cecilia, Jenny, Kristin, Mike, Mike, Nolen, Rachel, Ruby, Shannon, Susie and Tracy – for their input and encouragement. And most importantly, thanks to my family, who will join me most times, for sharing the Little House love and indulging me in yet another of my weird obsessions. I’m a lucky person.
Well, wish me luck. Here we go.
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