Everyone has their comfort DVDs; much like Nutella is to a down day, a feel-good watch is a damn fine tonic in an era where there’s just too much to watch, too many ways to watch and not enough time in the day to indulge. So whilst some of you may be out and about with your 3-D movie glasses and over-priced popcorn, I’ll quite happily hide under a blanket with the aforementioned Nutella as my date and swoon over Michael Landon as he perfects his best husband and dad routines, strips off his sweat-soaked shirt while tending the prairie land and fiddles with his… Well, fiddle!
Though the title suggests shame, I have none whatsoever in the face of my guilty pleasure DVDs. Oh, yes, plural – for I have nearly completed my collection *proud grin*. All that remains to seal my love for Michael– I mean, LHOTP, is season nine, ten and the movie specials. Based on the popular children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, producer Ed Friendly saw potential for adaptation and developed the show with Blanche Hanalis. Spanning over a decade, the series was largely written and directed by Michael himself and starred unforgettable characters; notably Laura “Half-Pint” Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert), snooty Nelly Oleson (Alison Arngrim) and the hilarious beast of a puppy Isaiah Edwards (Victor French) – his rendition of “Old man Tucker” has become legendary!
As twee as sceptics may assume the series to be, it’s packed a fair few serious issues into its episodes throughout the years including sight loss, miscarriage, disabilities, rape, drug and alcohol abuse. We witness families under extreme weather, economical and emotional hardships and draw strength from their determination and, above all, their love for one another. Yes, things usually turn out OK in the end, but not without major conflict and more often than not, pain. Watch any episode and you’ve got your inciting incidents, your conflict, mid points, struggles, climaxes and resolutions. Did I mention Michael Landon is hot?
Fans worldwide still enjoy re-runs and the DVDs. With many characters having sadly passed away, appreciation can still be shown at the reunion events and by visiting the replica little house in Caney, Kansas. The younger cast are still going strong with their respective careers; Melissa Gilbert starring in countless movies and as “Ma” in the stage version of LHOTP, and Alison Arngrim likes to frequent France with her stand-up show “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch”. They both have autobiographies out but I warn you, don’t read the sections on Michael Landon or bubble = burst! Let’s just say he wasn’t quite so sweet-tempered as Pa Ingalls in real life… Did I mention I may name my future son Charles?
Go on, give LHOTP a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised…
Michelle GoodePin It