Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas on Walton's Mountain

Did I misinterpret this? Was the door closed?

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the old pilot to The Waltons, is on TV. Different seeing Patricia Neal as the mother and Edgar Bergen as Grandpa. I haven't seen it since it was first broadcast about 40 years ago.

Patricia Neal demands that 17-year-old John-Boy explain what he does in his room with the door locked. They make it pretty clear what she thinks he's doing in there. She demands to know what he has hidden under his mattress. She assumes it's some sort of 1930s pornography, but it's only his journal. He tells her what's in it---folksy stuff about Walton's Mountain. Not a sex diary.

The only other thing I remember was when the kids go to a thing where they'll get a Christmas present if they can recite a verse from the Bible. Turns out John-Boy has memorized erotic Bible verses.

It was probably closer in tone to the movie Spencer's Mountain with Henry Fonda as the father and James MacArthur as John-boy, called Clayboy in that incarnation.

I'll tell you one thing that bothered me. An episode of The Waltons where John-Boy was taking a bath with the door open, reading a book. Why would he do that? He was in the bathtub so his nakedness was shielded from view, but how did he get in and out without traumatizing the children? I know they were earthy country folk, but come on.

And there was one episode where, every time someone entered the scene, they were buttoning their clothes. I don't know what they were supposed to have been doing. I think that was the episode where one of the girls reveals that Ben goes to the bathroom behind the barn.

And then, when World War Two starts, Olivia tries to comfort a woman whose son was just killed in action by telling her that at least he won't come back from the war emotionally scarred. What was she thinking?

The only other thing that bothered me was that the narrator, who was supposed to be John-Boy as an adult, had a much deeper voice and different accent.

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