Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Waltons, again

I think I mentioned watching re-runs of this occasionally before.

I am quite sure my family watched it when I was a kid (when it was on in its first run) but I remember almost nothing of individual episodes....I just remember the "goodnight" ritual from the end, and the music.

(The music. The music is weirdly evocative to me; I think I remember music better than other things and I can hear the theme music and be 7 or 8 again....)

Anyway, I've been watching the re-runs the Hallmark Channel does of late, partly because there's so little current programming that inspires. (I once said to the television, "TV, stop sucking." It didn't listen to me.)

I find the show more interesting, and in a lot of ways, more uplifting (even though there's sad stuff that goes on) than a lot of stuff.

I also look at the family dynamic and wonder how different a person I would have turned out to be if I had grown up as one of seven children. (I was five before my only sibling, a brother, was born).

And I like the 1930s/40s era setting, it's inherently more interesting to me than a show set in a modern-day Everycity. (Even if I now find myself scrutinizing things in the background - there was a Red Cross poster in one of the episodes I saw last night that looked too "modern" to me; the typeface and style of how the wording was positioned seemed kind of 1970s.)

Another thing struck me last night: one episode featured Ma and Mary Ellen going to check on a young mountain woman whose husband was overseas in WWII and there was concern because she'd stopped writing to him. It turned out a scumbag guy had raped her. (I don't think "rape" was ever said, but it was pretty clear what had happened). And Ma tries to report him (though the lawman reminds her that the woman would be on trial as much as the man). And she does all this while worrying about John-Boy, who is MIA overseas.

And the scumbag guy shows up one day and harasses Ma, and looks like he might attack her, but she fends him off with a broom.

Ma Walton was pretty badass.

Of course, Pa was badass too - later on he goes and talks to scumbag guy and essentially tells him, "You're not going to trial because I think your victim is probably too scared and fragile to withstand what a rape trial is like, but you better get the hell out of here or I'll make your life miserable" and then picks the guy up and bodily throws him in a creek when the guy starts to get up in his face.

I think that's one thing I like about the show: the badass people (who are still good and decent and loving people) aren't afraid to be badass; they're not afraid to pick up a gun if that's what it takes to defend their families. But they're also very loving and can be incredibly gentle with hurt or damaged people.  (And also, on the Waltons - they weren't afraid to show the family saying grace over a meal).

(It's funny: I have absolutely zero interest in Duck Dynasty but from what I've heard, that family shares certain characteristics with the Waltons).

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