What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

27 June 2013

The Waltons

I've pretty much come to the end of my favourite names and my character names in my series about names. So, I've been wanting to jump into the many, many characters from one of my favourite TV shows of all time, The Waltons. But first (as is my wont), a little discussion.

This picture is a shot from the end of the theme song sequence, except it's flipped around
backwards. Back row, l to r: Zeb (Grandpa), Esther (Grandma), Erin, Olivia (Mama), Jim-Bob;
Front row, l to r: Jason, John Sr (Daddy), Mary Ellen, John-Boy, Elizabeth, Ben. All those names
coming soon to a blog near you. Source.
The Waltons was still in its original run when I was tiny, but I was much too young to remember it. And unlike its two-generations-earlier counterpart, Little House on the Prairie, it was never picked up for reruns by our local PBS. As a result, I've not seen that many episodes of this show that I love so much. But, it is one of those shows that's easy to slip in and out of, so apart from wondering about the timing of the episode I'm watching, I just go with it when I'm able to see the odd episode.

This is obviously John-Boy's story. Earl Hamner Jr. wrote it that way, since it was really his own life story. Sometimes, though, the "our world revolves around John-Boy" bit is too much for me, so I'm kind of glad that he was written out of the show for a while (even though it was for WWII), because some of the other characters got their chance to grow and become important. The seasons with a mostly-women cast are really quite powerful, showing how life on Walton's Mountain carried on without men, as indeed it had to do around the world during WWII.

Jason is my favourite Walton, maybe because he was a little bit different from the others. The family didn't fuss over him like John-Boy but he didn't make scenes, like Ben or Jim-Bob. He just got on with being the sweet older brother of the family, quietly making his mark. According to IMDB, Jason's being a musician was written into the show specifically for Jon Walmsley, the actor, because he was a musician himself (and still is).

The character who grew the most (IMO) during the series was the one with the most room to grow-- Elizabeth. Thank goodness this was before the era of artificially advancing children's ages on TV shows, so that Elizabeth really did get to grow up with the show. Sometimes it was forced (there's one Christmas episode when her young cousin asks her to play outside and she answers, "Maybe a few years ago, but I can't now, being a young lady." Even for the 1940s, that's a bit too much self-awareness spoken aloud), but mostly it could just be seen, little by little, as the barefooted cutie tomboy transformed into a proper southern 1940s young woman.

Ultimately, it's a show about a family that comes through one storm after another still standing, which for me makes it worth watching.

Did you watch The Waltons? Do you still watch it? Do you have a favourite character?


Chadwick said...

It is fun watching them, most of the time. There is a lot of the way my Grandpa wanted to handle things. But there was no Ralph in my life like there was in his while I was growing up. It would be interesting to watch the whole series from beginning to end, but also discuss what aspects we think might make a difference when storms hit us.

Su Wilcox said...

I'm in.