Everyone knows who Laura Ingalls is, we all have read or heard at least one of the "Little House on the Prairie" books that she wrote about her life. And some of us have watched with mixed and varying emotions, the Little House on the Prairie TV episodes. (You know, the 9 season one that ran back in the 70's and now is replayed everyday on the Halmark channel out of order?)
My family has read all but two of the Little House books out loud, and as individuals we have read each read them countless times on our own. We love them! We also love the TV seires. We were introduced to them when a family we know gave us the DVD's for the second season, saying that while they were good movies, it just wasn't the Little House they knew. Which it isn't. (For one thing, Pa is missing his beard. =0 )
But it is very close. There still is Mary, Laura, Carrie, Grace, Jack the dog, even Freddy, Laura's little brother most people don't know about because he died. They live in Plum Creek (true), but never move permenantly away (not true). Which is just fine, because after two episodes we fell in love with Walnut Grove and would never have forgiven them if they (The Ingalls) had up and left. Keeping the family in Walnut Grove also provides the benefit of a set, secure, backdrop for the characters' adventures and trials. Really, the most glaring differences between the books and the TV shows is that 1) they stay in Walnut Grove and 2) Pa has no beard! (I know I mentioned already but really, Pa without a beard!) 3) A lot of the things they do never happend to the real Ingalls family, but could have.
So differences aside, they really are a great series to watch! One of the Ingalls is always at the center, with the ever obnoxious Mrs. Olsen (along with Nellie and Willy) providing both villians and comic relief. (Though they aren't the only funny ones by far.) We have so far collected the first four seasons (which means 24 discs and 76 hours of Little House combined.) But we have yet to get tired of Little House on the Prairie
Why? Because no two episodes are the same. The little booklets that come along give some description, but that only causes the suspense to increase, you can never tell quite how an episode will end! We've laughed, we've cried, we've screamed and closed our eyes... (that does rhyme, right?) , we've crawled up the back of the couch with fear (Like that time we were convinced Ma was going to chop her leg off, even though we'd seen the season after and she still had two legs). People die (they drown, get blown up, burn, all that good stuff, oh and they die peacfully too.) but never on screen (that's fine with us!), people are born, they make us proud and they thoroughly embaress us at times for varying reasons, and they are never boring!
Finally, they are so much better than the stuff that's on TV nowadays: all those reality tv shows and the like. Little House on the Prairie is more real then those shows anyhow. (Though realistically speaking, you would expect them to make some money sometime. Everytime a good crop comes along, so does the hail and the rain, or, not the rain. Pa finally inherits some money, guess what it is! Confederate money! Can't use it!) Their money situation or lack thereof does go to show that no matter how poor you are, as long as you are with a family that loves you and good faithful friends, you are the richest man in Walnut Grove!
Also, unlike modern tv shows and movies, these kids never get away with disobedience, defiance of proper authority or lying, cheating, stealing or anything of the sort. They might be convinced that they are doing a bad thing for a good cause, but something disasterous will happen to show them that good will not come of being bad. They repent, get punished, life goes on.
In summary, while they are different from the books, the pros outweigh the cons. Personally, I'd much rather watch a good, clean, old-fashioned Little House on the Prairie movie, where virtues are extolled and families are cherished, than watch anything otherwise on modern tv.
Anyone else want to hop on the wagon?