Little House on the Prairie (12/20)

Little House is often remembered, like The Andy Griffith Show, as an example of wholesome family entertainment. And a lot of the time, it was. But it also didn’t shy away from depicting hardship or characters behaving in ways that weren’t always becoming. Laura (Melissa Gilbert) could be jealous and petty, and Nellie (Alison Arngrim) was just downright mean. People died, became ill, or, like Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson) were struck blind. Things weren’t easy on the prairie, and the idea that viewers of all ages were encouraged to see both the good and bad of that life felt revolutionary in the ‘70s and ‘80s. To this young female audience member, so did the idea of seeing a TV world primarily through the eyes of a girl still in pigtails. Nine seasons, 170 hours.

Available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes. Available to rent on Netflix DVD.

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