For anyone who isn't aware of it, though Hallmark Channel had briefly dropped Little House on the Prairie from its lineup, this channel is now running three episodes of the show back-to-back from 2 to 5 PM Eastern during the week, and from 6 to 8 AM Eastern on Saturday. Even knowing what a great show LHOP is, I'm amazed that it is so popular it can still be seen so many times during the week.
Some of my favorite episodes from the earlier seasons are on this week too:
Whisper County; I Remember, I Remember; A Most Precious Gift; I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away; The Wedding, and on Saturday, Stone Soup. Other episodes that will air this week can be found on Hallmark's website.
Fans of the show probably remember these, but here is a brief synopsis of each:
Whisper County: Mary leaves home for her first teaching job, but education is not highly regarded by the community, especially Miss Peale, with whom Mary has more than a few run-ins.
I Remember, I Remember: While waiting for Charles to come home, Caroline shares memories with her girls of how she met a young Charles Ingalls (portrayed by Matthew Labyorteaux).
A Most Precious Gift: Caroline worries that the baby she is carrying won't be the son she believes Charles desperately wants.
I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away: In the first part of this two-part episode, Mary has a new beau, named Seth and Walnut Grove is struggling to survive in hard economic times. When Mary's eye sight worsens, a trip to the doctor brings devastating news: she's going blind.
In the second part of this episode, Mary is sent to a school for the blind in Iowa. Feeling resentful and alone, her new teacher Adam Kendall, doesn't leave her much time to feel sorry for herself. While Mary is forced to learn to live in a world of sighted people, conditions in Walnut Grove worsen, and some of the townsfolk consider relocating. (Last episode featuring Mrs. Eva Beadle Simms.)
The Wedding: Adam finally works up the courage to ask Mary to be his wife. Caroline and Charles make the trip to Winoka for the ceremony, where Adam and Mary are working as teachers at a blind school. But when Caroline begins talking about how difficult it was to manage children, Mary worries that two blind people can't take care of a sighted baby and calls off the wedding. While on a picnic with children from the blind school, a sand storm kicks up, and one of the students, Susan Goodspeed, is lost, and Adam and Mary must search for her alone. (One of Linwood Boomer's finest performances, in my humble opinion.)
Stone Soup: This is one of my favorite episodes from Season 8. During a drought Almanzo and Charles decide to take a job hauling freight to Arizona, while a pregnant Laura is left home to tend to the Wilder's newly planted apple orchard. The drought only worsens, and Laura is exhausted trying to take care of the farm and teach school. When she suffers heatstroke, Caroline fills in at the school and shares a story with the children, that motivates Willie Oleson and his classmates to help others. (A fabulous episode to see how Willie has grown into a young man.)
All these episodes have the elements of a good story: strong plot, lots of conflict, and a resolution by the end. These are all classic Little House on the Prairie episodes that remind you why you fell in love with the series in the first place, and why we keep on watching.