My favorite television program of all time is Little House on the Prairie. I still daydream that I’m a lost Ingalls girl but as I get older, some of the real elements of the story bother me.
It seems easier to forget those elements in Michael Landon’s production but since I know every second of dialogue by heart I like to mix in a bit of Disney’s 2005 version. I’ve waited patiently for what 20 or so years for new Little House material – I deserve this indulgence!! and for the life of me I don’t understand WHY they haven’t remade this show for weekly television.
The demand is out there! Recently The Hallmark Channel has taken away one of the hours dedicated to Little House and the fury has been unleashed on the message boards. They’ve replaced one of four Little House hours with I Love Lucy (my number two television show of all time). Now Little House will run 10 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. instead of until 5 p.m.
I don’t know what Hallmark Channel is thinking, they already tried this with that cruddy show, Cheers and it didn’t work. I guess they figured they’d bring out the big guns (Lucy) to try and eradicate their most popular show, Little House!
Amidst this turmoil I am trying to explain to inquisitive children all the political ramifications of the Ingalls’ family journey. The Landon version was much more respectful of the Indians. Even if another character put the natives down, an Ingalls or Walnut Grovian was around to put them back in their place.
The Disney one had the same element but many of Laura’s word’s and some subtle things were picked up by my kids. It’s said a couple of times that Charles is the best hunter and trapper, we get the point that he’s the expert. Laura mentions that the natives stink because they are wearing skunk pelts. Boy2001 asked me, did they wear skunk pelts to keep animals away? I didn’t know so I searched google and came up with a blog post from Newspaper Rock which confirmed what I was thinking about the skunk pelt comment. It was a put down, however subtle to our generation. I totally buy the explanation that it was a put down that the natives didn’t know how to remove the stinky parts.
So now I know, I’m stuck… do I mention the real truth about what this says about the character I love so much or do I just keep silent and let them find out later on… but then what will they think of me? I almost positive I will tell them so they don’t think these views are alright with me and at the same time I can still love the show without all this guilt.