I know there is a generation of little girls who aren't so fortunate to have grown up with Michael Landon calling Melissa Gilbert "Half-pint." Maybe I'm just being bitter in my old-school devotion to the original version of "Little House on the Prairie," with that bitchy Nelly Olsen always shaking things up and the "let's frolick in the meadow!" closing credits. Yet curiosity prompted me to check out ABC's new version of "Little House on the Prairie" on Saturday night. (Nevermind why I was home at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night...)
Within the first few minutes of the show, I was immediately taken with the ruggedly handsome sexpot plowing the field, all scruffy-bearded and muscular as if he had just stepped off a Harlequin romance cover. "Who is thaaat?" I wondered. When two little braided girls ran up to this hunk and called him "Pa," i gasped out loud. Was I just -- dare I say it -- lusting after PAAAAA!!!!!?????
Frankly, I felt dirty. I checked out the actor (Cameron Bancroft) again and realized that he might actually be younger than me. Now I just felt annoyed. Laura Ingalls Wilder's epic installation of life on the American frontier certainly hasn't aged since I devoured every book in the third grade. But apparently, I HAVE aged enough to have the hots for a prairie dad. (Next, I'll be smitten with the Ingalls' aging neighbor, Mr. Edwards).
The episode I watched was part of a three-part presentations, which could get picked up for a regular series if it does well in the ratings. If I were 8 years old again, I might have been more jazzed about the episode. As it was, I was too busy wondering how people in the 19th century (including the Native Americans) had access to Crest White Strips. The cast's gleaming white teeth distracted me from their attempts to recreate history on the frontier. Has Michael Landon rolled over in his grave yet? -- Amy