Take a seat in the one room schoolhouse and I'll explain the finer points of Little House on the Prairie. For the record, there are two types of LHP people--those who've read the books and those who've watched the TV show. I've done both, but the books are the point of reference for the TV show, so that's your go-to source for accuracy. When Laura "Half-Pint" Ingalls was a kid, her nemesis was the blonde-haired daughter of the local shopkeeper: Nellie Oleson.
TVland made Nellie into a major character (seriously--she never even gets shoved in Plum Creek--the TV show made that all up!), but LHP readers know she was really a minor player in Laura's real (but not really real) life. (For more on this, read The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure, a book I highly recommend for any true-blue LHP fan, book or TV.) Eventually, TV Nellie grew up, married a Jewish guy, had babies and moved to New York City while Laura grew up, married Almanzo, worked as head schoolmarm and had babies. To fill the void in her life after Nellie left town, Mrs. Harriet Oleson adopted a blonde-haired daughter to take her place--and replace Nellie as the Town Brat: Nancy Oleson.
In TVland this took place in 1981, after the Ingalls adopt orphan children Cassandra and James (played by real life hottie Jason Bateman). Fine. I'll post his picture, too.
In short, NELLIE and NANCY are TOTALLY DIFFERENT CHARACTERS on the TVland prairie.
Other LHP fun facts: Laura Ingalls's family never adopted any kids, morphine-addicted Albert was a TVland invention, as were the brother and sister Pa discovered by the side of a covered wagon wreck. Pa moved the family with stunning regularity in real, real life and in the book, they never lived anywhere for very long and certainly not for nine seasons. Almanzo never had a schoolmarm teacher living in town with him during his bachelor days, his whole family stayed on their gorgeous farm Back East.
Finally, many of you Alan Rickman fans are missing out on his most glorious romantic role as Colonel Brandon in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995). Behold!
I was intrigued by him as Hans Gruber. I gave my heart to him as Colonel Brandon.
Your homework: go rent Sense and Sensibility. I'll expect a full swoon report tomorrow.
Spill it, reader. Did you read or watch LHP? Or both?