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The Waltons - The Complete 8th Season

by Suzanne 1/1/09

The Waltons was always a great show. It was based on the true family history of Earl Hamner, who wrote the show and narrated it. He was basically "John Boy" in his family. I'm sure they did take some liberties with reality, but you would not really know it from watching the show. It was very well written and had good actors of all ages (most of them). Watching the Waltons in the 70's and learning about country living in the Depression, and those years a long time ago, was very interesting.

This eighth season was a difficult one for fans because many of the series regular actors had left or left during the show, including will Geer (who died), Richard Thomas, Michael Learned, and Ellen Corby. The show focused on World War II and how it affected their family and friends.

If you don't like sentiment, you will probably not like the Waltons because it can sometimes be that way. The show has a lot of heart. However, it is not usually corny, and the stories are very gripping. I always enjoyed it. It was much better than similar shows such as "Little House on the Prairie". Some people may have wanted to live in The Brady Bunch world, but to me that was too unrealistic. I wanted to live in the Waltons. Even though they had terrible things happen to them sometimes, they had a big family, and they all loved each other no matter what, through good times and bad. Well, maybe I wanted to marry into The Waltons, since I loved John Boy! Anyway, "Sanford & Son" would have been an improvement over my home life!

The only extra on the DVD set is a special that aired back then called "A Decade of the Waltons". It is basically a clip show, something that most TV shows seem to have at one time or another. They had an interesting episode within the clip show, about Grandma's birthday. Then, at the end, they chatted with the actors, and with the actual family members that some of the Waltons were modeled after. It is pretty clear, though, that it was kind of scripted (and badly-acted). The ending is sweet, but a little overly-sentimental. Richard Thomas (John-Boy) is noticeably absent, which is a shame.

If you enjoy The waltons, you should start with the first season and go forward. You will be glad you did. It is a terrific series. Since it was set in another time, it does not feel dated. It does move a little slower than today's dramas, but it is still very good and the stories hold up. I still want to live in the Waltons!

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Updated 6/8/09  


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