Random Nit Picks: Little House Edition

I’m through with season 3 of Little House on the Prairie, and have begun season 4. It’s been thoroughly enjoyable, my personal issues with Michael Landon notwithstanding. However, I have a few Picts to bone:

  1. Melissa Gilbert was not a very good actress in the first season. About halfway through the second season, she started to get her sea legs.
  2. I can’t imagine folks would’ve left their horses to stand in harness for long periods of time. Horses aren’t cars, and you can’t just park them out front and leave them standing in the hot sun for hours on end.
  3. Speaking of sun, I’ve been to Minnesota a time or two, and they have dirt and grass and trees there. Specifically, they have black dirt, green grass, and green trees. It’s woodlands/prairie there. What it is not is an endless, red dust bowl. Nor are there mountains there. And, while it does get warm in the summer, it’s not generally blistering hot, as one might think when seeing Michael Landon sweat himself to death on nearly every episode.
  4. Speaking of dirt, why is there so bloody much of it? The entire Ingalls homestead is surrounded by hard-backed, baked dirt. Much of the town is, too.
  5. What is up with Carrie? The girls who played her were terrible actresses, so I can understand why her character wasn’t ever very well developed. But, surely they could’ve done something with her?
  6. In one episode, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash played a couple of grifters with hearts of gold. I’d never seen this episode before, so it was bittersweet to see them looking so young and vibrant. What a lovely bonus!
  7. Bunny, the horse, was supposedly a girl. Only, Bunny was clearly sporting an, um, Willie. So to speak.
  8. Did I mention that the grass is always brown? And, the dirt?
  9. The set dressing was too sparse. I know the Ingalls were poor, but surely their home collected “stuff.”
  10. When did Laura learn to swim? In the camping episode, she can’t, but in Remember Me, she can.
  11. Also, in the beginning of this episode, Mary is sporting piggy tails, which are a huge improvement over her normal hair-do.
  12. Short haired dogs cannot have poodly-haired puppies.
  13. Speaking of dogs, I really can’t stand the convention of using them in place of wolves. German Shepherd Dogs do not even remotely resemble wolves. Seriously.
  14. Again, the brown grass and dusty, red dirt.
  15. Also, did I mention that it is not always summer in Minnesota. They have winters there. And, when they do have winters, they consist of more than one isolated blizzard.
  16. When the family (and half of Walnut Grove, it seems) packs up and heads to Dakota territory, there is no real way to tell how long they’re gone. It sure doesn’t seem like that long, but the Ingalls return to find their house festooned with cobwebs and the mill owner, Lars Hanson, dying of a stroke. Walnut Grove has turned into a ghost town. But, the land surrounding the Ingalls homestead is still nothing but hard-packed, brown dirt. Not a single weed has grown in their absence.

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