Post 46:
“Little Girl Lost”

Post 46:  “Little Girl Lost”

From 13-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —

January 11, 1983 – EXCELLENT

“While all the girls are bug hunting, Carrie falls down a hole. Everyone from town comes to help her get out. This one man who used to be a drunk supervises. Caroline is going crazy. Finally they find a mine and get her out. Mr. Hanson and the drunk are friends.”

53 - 1:11

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From Tracy —

Here’s an episode that will have you pondering the following issues:

“Where in the hell did they ever find bellows that big?”
(Who the hell knows? Maybe Mr. Hanson?)

“I think engineering is sexy!”
(It is, dear reader it IS!)

“Is Miss Beadle trying to kill her students?”
(Well duh.)

“Can Carrie be any cuter?”
(Yes. But it will cause a rip in the space-time continuum sucking everything back to the 1970s permanently. Anne would like that so don’t tempt her.)

“Is Karen Grassle trying to make me cry with her wonderful acting?”
(Eh yup. Have tissues at the ready.)

Alas we’re still dealing with the miserly and poo-poo headed NBC that won’t let us see these videos on any other format except a set of DVDs released more than 10 years ago. Throw some videos up on YouTube and make us watch some ads! Or I would be glad to pay $2-$3 to see each of these episodes again wouldn’t you? Are you listening NBC? (stamps foot ala Nellie Oleson.)

In lieu of any actual video footage of this episode, watch this lovely slideshow of the adorable twins who played her. Yes of course they grew up to be high school cheerleaders.
PS: I recommend that you turn your volume down low. The soundtrack is pop treacle at its worst:

But back to the episode. Everything that could go wrong goes wrong which is the way it almost always goes down in the W.G. Not only does Carrie ruin all of Mary and Laura’s hard work bug collecting, she trundles off to chase a butterfly and then falls down a well.

Even before Caroline goes off on Miss Beadle for sending her children on a wild goose chase capturing bugs my mind began to reel. Was Miss Beadle actually the Harbinger of Death?

“You did this!” Caroline screams at Miss Beadle.

“She did do it!” I thought after remembering the episode when Miss Beadle sent the kids home in a blizzard.

Later Karen Grassle lays her head down my the mining shaft after all hope is lost and weeps. I lost it at that point.

I got curious then. Did Grassle ever win an Emmy for her portrayal of Ma Ingalls? Alas no. In fact it’s shocking (SHOCKING!) how little the show won or was nominated. The one person who got nominated for acting? Mary! The hated Melissa Sue Andersen who the Carrie actresses said “they didn’t really know” after saying nice things about everyone else in the cast.

Speaking of acting I thought the man who played Laudie the drunk was excellent. John Ireland was his name and he had a long and varied career. I found his love life the most interesting. There was Natalie Wood, Joan Crawford, Sue Lyon (aka “Lolita”) and 16-year-old actress Tuesday Weld when he was 45. “Little Girl Lost” indeed.

And can we go around and put seals on these mines shafts and old wells? It’s 2014 people! And kids are still falling into them.

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From Anne —

Tracy, your post is full of many truthful points:

1) Engineering is surely sexy, and some drunk engineers can be effective;

2) The jinxed Miss Beadle can trigger tragedy with the greatest of ease … in addition to her poor blizzard decisionmaking skills, wasn’t it her cough that kicked off the Walnut Grove ague epidemic in the “Quarantine” episode?;

3) Karen Grassle’s acting skills are underated. In her new cookbook My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours, (which I received for Christmas from my husband), Melissa Gilbert extols her virtues: ”I was thunderstruck by Karen Grassle…she was earthier than any woman I had known before…very well trained as an actor, with a grace that drew me to her. I’d watch her breathe and the way she moved her hands.” And the way she opened up a can of mad-mother whoop ass on Miss Beadle;

4) Back then it was mine shafts, today it’s sinkholes. The earth is hungry for Corvettes. A guy just sleeping in his recliner in Florida was sucked completely under. Won’t you join the International Society for People Who Can Only Hope They Don’t Fall Down a Sinkhole? (acronym: ISPWCOHTDFDS).

Thanks for the video of the irrepressible Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush, Tracy. They were still in diapers when they started on LHOP, and probably started menstruating before the show ended. They both seem like very good sports. I like the shot of them in pink turtlenecks. I’m sure they were relived to tag team in “Little Girl Lost.” If one of them has to cry like crazy, or look like a charred hot dog after emerging from the pit, the other did too.

The moral of this episode is clear: butterfly chasing is more dangerous than, say, parasailing near skyscrapers. And, always keep an alcoholic engineer on speed dial.

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