Monday, June 21, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Little House on the Prairie

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

When I was in the third grade, I read a lot of good books. See, we had this thing called S.Q.U.I.R.T. time after lunch, and we were allowed to read anything we wanted for fifteen minutes or so. It stood for Sustained Quiet Uninterrupted Independent Reading Time, or something very similar to that. I got attached to The Boxcar Children series with Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, and ended up reading at least fifty of their books over the next few years. We also read Little House in the Big Woods, and several years later my mother picked up a boxed set for me at a thrift store, so I could read all of them. I rather enjoyed reading about life in the 1860s-1880s. All of the moves that the family made intrigued me. So, sometime around age fourteen, I found out they made a television show out of it. It's very different in a lot of ways (Mary never married, for instance), but still a good show. It has taken me years and years of daytime television repeats in order to catch all of the episodes, but I'm about 98% sure that I've seen them all, and so I am listing my favorites now.

Season 1: "Town Party, Country Party" (S01E07) Laura hurts her ankle, and meets a new friend who has one short leg. Charles builds a boot for Olga so that her legs are even and she can play with the other children, but Olga's father gets upset. Luckily, her grandmother approves and all is well in the end.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Season 2: "Four Eyes" (S02E02) In what is a seemingly memorable episode, Mary goes to Mankato to get glasses. At first she's thrilled at the perfect vision she now has, but soon the teasing at school causes her to pretend they are lost so she doesn't have to wear them. When Miss Beadle's beau stops by, Mary decides that glasses aren't the worst thing ever, and she goes back to wearing them.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Season 3: "Bunny" (S03E02) Long ago, Laura traded her horse for a stove to give to Caroline for Christmas. Nelly now has it, and when the horse throws her off, she fakes paralysis (rather well, actually). Laura is overcome with guilt for some reason, and decides to do whatever Nelly wants. Then, Laura realizes that Nelly is faking it, and throws her in a pond to prove it.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Season 4: "I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away" (S04E21 & S04E22) This is perhaps one of the most-watched episodes in the entire series. In the span of 2 hours (it's a double episode), Mary's sight begins to deteriorate, she goes blind, she goes to blind school, learns everything there is to know, and decides that she wants to become a blind teacher. (This is really unrealistic, as in the books it takes the family a while to save up the money, and Mary is gone for a long time. In real life, Mary's blind education takes 8 or 9 YEARS.)
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Season 5: "As Long As We're Together" (S05E01 & S05E02) This is the opener for the season, and the two-parter takes place just after my favorite from Season 4. The family moves to Winoka, and Mary begins working with Adam at the blind school. Charles and Caroline run the hotel, and before long the Garveys and the Olesons also show up. Nellie and Willie are in private school, while everyone else is taught by Alice in a barn. We meet Albert, an orphan who later gets adopted by the Ingalls family, and Mary turns 16.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Season 6: "Crossed Connections" (S06E12, but the episodes are hard to number in this season because one of the movies isn't always counted) The telephone is invented, hehe. Harriet Olson is in charge of the town's lines, and eavesdrops on whatever she wants. Of course, she assumes the worst from various conversations and everything becomes one problem after another.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Season 7: "The In-Laws" (S07E09) Charles and Almanzo both believe that they have the quickest route to Sleep Eye. So, they race, but each has unexpected obstacles along the way. Laura and Caroline root for their respective husbands as they look forward to dinner.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Season 8: "The Reincarnation of Nellie" (S08E01 & S08E02) Nellie, Percival, and their children (Benjamin and Jennifer) move to New York, as do Mary and Adam. Mrs. Oleson misses Nellie so much that she adopts a troublemaking girl who looks extremely similar to Nellie. Nancy connives Willie into locking another girl in the ice shed so that Nancy can have the lead in the school play. Laura (who is teaching now) is wise to Nancy's tricks, and tricks her into being in the dunk tank instead.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Season 9: "Little Lou" (S09E05) A circus midget arrives in town, with his wife and his mother. His wife soon dies in childbirth, and Lou gets a job at the bank to support his child. Mrs. Oleson protests, and he is fired. He cannot get another job, and soon begins stealing to provide. Then, when Nancy falls down a well, it's Lou who is able to save her, so he doesn't get tried for stealing.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
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1 comment:

Marjorie Huffman said...

I agree on your list. Staying home sick from school in the 80's meant I got to watch Little House. I love all the seasons, but especially the early ones like Town Party, Country Party. Little Lou was so sweet it makes me cry. The show had such heart and taught lessons about things like what is truly important in life, how to treat others and avoid prejudice. Too bad Hollywood focuses on the opposite now. The series and books will always have a special place in my heart.