Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Would Pa Say?

When I was in elementary school, my mom was a volunteer at the school library. Every week she would bring home a few books for us to read together. Our favorites, by far, were the books in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think we read each one of them at least twice. We even checked out several biographies of Laura Ingalls Wilder so we could learn more about her and see what she and her family looked like.  When we heard the books were being made into a television series, we were ecstatic.

On September 11, 1974, we watched the pilot episode of Little House On The Prairie.  It instantly became my favorite show on television.  I loved the way it brought the stories and the characters to life.  Everything about it was quaint and charming.  I remember wishing I could spend an afternoon in Walnut Grove with Laura and Mary and taste the homemade bread Ma baked.

I was watching television a few days ago when I happened to see a commercial for Little House On The Prairie, The Musical. I did a double take. Did I hear that right? Ma, Pa, Laura and Mary singing? My first thought was 'I wonder what the actors from the series think of that?'. My question was immediately answered when I saw Melissa Gilbert singing and dancing a jig. Apparently, she plays Ma in the musical adaptation.

I'm not a purist about too many things.  When it comes to food, I'm all for eating it any way you like.  You want ketchup on your steak?  That's fine by me.  Fusion cuisine?  Go for it!  The same goes for fashion.  Rock those legwarmers if you've got them!  You can even wear white after Labor Day without bothering me in the least.  But some things just shouldn't be messed with, and Little House On The Prairie is one of them.

I was perplexed when Hallmark made a new Little House On The Prairie movie.  Why, I wondered, would you want to see anyone other than Michael Landon in the role of Charles Ingalls?  Could they have found another spitfire child actor to play Halfpint?  It wasn't a movie that I had any interest in seeing, but I thought if they had found a new way to share the wonderful stories written by Laura Ingalls Wilder with a new generation, that was worthwhile.

I can't say I feel that way about a musical version.  I don't understand setting the trials and hardships of the Ingalls family to music.   Do they have a catchy tune to belt out when Pa's crops fail or Mary loses her sight?   Will Nellie dance and sing while she taunts Laura?

I just don't get it.  If it comes to my town, I think I'll pass.  I'll wait for Little House On The Prairie on Ice.  I wonder if Melissa Gilbert can skate?



5thsister said...

That is sacrilege! I, too, am a Little House on the Prairie purist. I loved the books and I loved the series too. The actress that played Nellie was spot on wicked! Oh and Alfonzo...be still my pubescent heart!

Yeah, I agree. Some things should be left alone.

Kathy said...

The only one I can see singing and taking center stage is Nellie Olsen!

Chicago Mom said...

You crack me up! "I wonder if Melissa Gilbert can skate?" Too funny! You are right, why can't they leave well enough alone?

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Little House takes me back! I watched the show when I was very young, with my mom and great-great-grandmother from Ireland (who would wear her bonnet from childhood as we watched). Later, in elementary school I read the books and fell in love all over again. I don't want my show or books messed with!!

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Oh, how funny! Little House on ice LOL!!

When I was homeschooling my daughter, one year we did a unit study curriculum based entirely on the Little House books. For science, we'd study just what went wrong with those crops, or why did Mary go blind, anyway? For history, we'd study Indian invasions, or the westward expansion. Vocabulary would come right from the text. And we had lots of fun experimenting with cooking projects like making butter, cheese, and vinegar, that didn't work so well because moths used it as a breeding pool.

But you're right--the only reason I'd go to the musical would be for humor value.

Raoulysgirl said...

It's funny how many of us are Little House purists!!!

The sad thing is that I only live a short distance from The Wilder Home in Mansfield, MO...and I've NEVER BEEN THERE!!! I know, I know. I hope to take my girls when they are BOTH old enough to remember...they love the books and TV show, too!

I agree on the musical. I didn't watch the new special movie either. Some things should just be left the way they are!!!

Donna-FFW said...

SO with you on this. Let it alone. Id always like to remember it as it was. A musical.. does not seem right and will not do the show justice.

This was my most favorite show growing up also.

Purple Flowers said...

Some things should be left alone, and this is one of them. I loved everything about the show, and would not go see it as a musical-no way!

Amy said...

I agree with Kathy, the only one I see performing in a musical of Little House on the Prairie is the actress who played Nellie!

I adored the Little House books and the TV show with Melissa Gilbert. It was one of the few shows I was allowed to watch on TV and stay up until 9 pm for! My sister and I got the series of books for Christmas one year and we were thrilled. There was only one book that we didn't care for because it was really about "half-pint" and her adventures. I think it was about Mary's marriage and her husband. How funny!

My sister and I also dressed up as Mary and Laura for Halloween several years in a row!

A musical of Little House is almost as disturbing to me as the Broadway musical of Titanic. A musical about a tragedy, uh?!

Rook No. 17 said...

I loved the books and TV show too! My daughters and their friends love them in the same way we did! Timeless! Yeah, I'm with you on not being overjoyed about the musical adaptation. I'm kind of annoyed at how everything from our childhoods is being made into musicals and movies. Did they really need to make "Where the Wild Things Are" into a full lenghth film? What's next? "Good Night Moon" Live?


sounds like they are grasping at straws for original material, huh?

kys said...

It would be hard to skate in those prairie dresses.

I have been wanting to read the whole series again. I loved them so much as a young girl.

Lissaloo said...

I have never seen the tv show but the books are something I grew up reading and have passed on to my own girls. I hate when they try to modernize things that should never be modernized.

Charisse and Holly said...

I'm worried about Lissaloo...seriously...never saw it! My kids watch it and love it. Huge part of my childhood...but you are right. Don't mix it with music...unless it's Laura running down the hill to the famous music. Come over for a visit. Holly at lifelaughlatte

Holly said...

That sounds awful. I agree with you, something should just be left alone.


Matty said...

I'm with you. The sentimental part of me says to keep it the way it is. There are other shows too that you identify or connect with, and it pains you to see them tamper with it.

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Thanks for your visit over at my place and for Following--I'm doing the same, here. I left you a bit of linky-love on tonight's post :)

elvira pajarola said...

Do you know....even I did watch it.....I loved it...( in europe one could see it every sunday late afternoon!)
Incredible.......I remember even some details of it!
So sweet was it ...!

Redoing succesfull film, serials etc. is pretty delicat ; often it won't work out......!

ciao elvira

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

BTW, I've tagged you as a THETA mom, come on over and pick up your tag :)

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

I loved Little House on the Prairie. I never saw the show, but I read the books over and over.

There's something extremely disturbing about it being made into a musical.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You crack me up!
GREAT post.
Have a great weekend.

abby jenkins said...

Maybe roller derby with Nellie getting her butt smashed against the rails? That would be fun.