MONDO EXTRAS

Little House On The Prairie: Whisper Country

So the thing you realize if you actually go back and watch episodes of Little House On The Prairie is that it is an incredibly dark show, especially for one that was intended to be family fare. I watched it faithfully as a kid, and it ran essentially from when I was three to when I was twelve. I was ten when the episodes aired in which Albert's adolescent girlfriend Sylvia was raped, became pregnant, was menaced again, lost her baby, and died. This is what we had then instead of Clarissa Explains It All and The Naked Brothers Band. Walnut Grove, and life on the show in general, was riddled with drunks, abusers, disease-ridden rats, punishing authoritarians, religious zealots, demented grieving mothers, multiple dying infants, mines blowing up, millstones rolling over people... it is a vision of pastoral family life as completely terrifying. And among all these unsettlingly creepy episodes, this particular one, which is part Children Of The Corn and part Twilight Zone and part Village Of The Damned and part Inherit The Wind, is certainly one of the classic "have fun explaining this to your seven-year-old" offerings that Michael Landon, bless his aggressively virile hair, ever gave to us.

Okay, I have two issues with the credits. (This is probably my only chance to recap this show, so yes, you're going to hear everything I have.) First of all, where are Ma and Pa returning from in the wagon that they've left those three kids all alone? There were times after this when the girls would get left with the Garveys or something, but this has every appearance of Ma and Pa coming home from somewhere, and the kids running to greet them in something of a state of desperate joy, like maybe they haven't been fed. Second: what the hell is that beep? You know what I'm talking about. Right when Carrie falls on her face, many episodes have this clearly inappropriate beep, like an audio flaw or something, only they weren't able to remove it for, like, five years. "Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuuuuuh! [Beep] Duh-DAH-daaaah!" It drives me absolutely bazoo. It literally sounds like someone sat on a button on the sound panel during the editing process. It does not appear in the DVD credits for this episode, but that doesn't mean I can't mention it.

What does appear in the credits? "Special Guest Star: ANITA DANGLER as Miss Peel." Aw yeah. How much does "Anita Dangler" sound like the beginning of a Bart Simpson call to Moe's Tavern? I should say that I spent this whole episode trying to figure out what else I knew Anita Dangler from, and it turns out that she appears very briefly in The Goodbye Girl, one of my all-time favorite movies. I'm not sure she even has a line, but she's there, and I recognized her from that movie. Which is awesome. ("I DON'T! LIKE! The PANTIES! HANGING! ON! The ROD!")

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Comments

Little House On The Prairie: Whisper Country

So the thing you realize if you actually go back and watch episodes of Little House On The Prairie is that it is an incredibly dark show, especially for one that was intended to be family fare. I watched it faithfully as a kid, and it ran essentially from when I was three to when I was twelve. I was ten when the episodes aired in which Albert's adolescent girlfriend Sylvia was raped, became pregnant, was menaced again, lost her baby, and died. This is what we had then instead of Clarissa Explains It All and The Naked Brothers Band. Walnut Grove, and life on the show in general, was riddled with drunks, abusers, disease-ridden rats, punishing authoritarians, religious zealots, demented grieving mothers, multiple dying infants, mines blowing up, millstones rolling over people... it is a vision of pastoral family life as completely terrifying. And among all these unsettlingly creepy episodes, this particular one, which is part Children Of The Corn and part Twilight Zone and part Village Of The Damned and part Inherit The Wind, is certainly one of the classic "have fun explaining this to your seven-year-old" offerings that Michael Landon, bless his aggressively virile hair, ever gave to us.

Okay, I have two issues with the credits. (This is probably my only chance to recap this show, so yes, you're going to hear everything I have.) First of all, where are Ma and Pa returning from in the wagon that they've left those three kids all alone? There were times after this when the girls would get left with the Garveys or something, but this has every appearance of Ma and Pa coming home from somewhere, and the kids running to greet them in something of a state of desperate joy, like maybe they haven't been fed. Second: what the hell is that beep? You know what I'm talking about. Right when Carrie falls on her face, many episodes have this clearly inappropriate beep, like an audio flaw or something, only they weren't able to remove it for, like, five years. "Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuuuuuh! [Beep] Duh-DAH-daaaah!" It drives me absolutely bazoo. It literally sounds like someone sat on a button on the sound panel during the editing process. It does not appear in the DVD credits for this episode, but that doesn't mean I can't mention it.

What does appear in the credits? "Special Guest Star: ANITA DANGLER as Miss Peel." Aw yeah. How much does "Anita Dangler" sound like the beginning of a Bart Simpson call to Moe's Tavern? I should say that I spent this whole episode trying to figure out what else I knew Anita Dangler from, and it turns out that she appears very briefly in The Goodbye Girl, one of my all-time favorite movies. I'm not sure she even has a line, but she's there, and I recognized her from that movie. Which is awesome. ("I DON'T! LIKE! The PANTIES! HANGING! ON! The ROD!")

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18Next

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