Thursday, January 26, 2012

Did John Boy Walton Influence Your Desire to Write?


Here is a great interview about the pervasive influence of THE WALTONS on American culture. Nigel Bird's brother made this radio show in the UK.

I doubt I missed an episode of THE WALTONS when it first played. One reason was it was one of the few shows that took the desire to be a writer (or a musician, or a doctor, or a aviator) seriously.

The show managed to be authentic without being sentimental to me. Nostalgic yes, but not saccharine. It did deal with issues of the time and often in subtle ways. Family values yes, but not inhumane attitudes to others. It was tolerant of others as Elizabeth tells us in this interview.

9 comments:

George said...

THE WALTONS would not recognize the "Family Values" of Newt. And, I doubt if any of the Major Networks would broadcast a program like THE WALTONS today. Our culture, sadly, has changed.

James Reasoner said...

I was a big fan of the series when it started, although I burned out on it before it was over. I already knew I was going to try to be a writer, so I doubt if it had much influence on me, but I did enjoy it.

sandra seamans said...

What I liked about watching John Boy become a writer was the honesty they portrayed. He received rejection letters, was told that writers can't make a living writing, struggled with his novel, got scammed by a vanity press and didn't get rich selling his first story.

Still watching The Waltons on the Hallmark channel :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't know if I quite made it to the end but I watched it through the War years. At some point, they did run out of story lines. Those first years though, they did some brave things--allowed both parents their weaknesses for one. Nobody was ever perfect but the characters had consistency and integrity as real people--perhaps since he based it on his family.

Charles Gramlich said...

I liked the Waltons pretty well and watched a lot of episodes. I liked that John Boy was going to be a writer but I had a completely different view on what writer's wrote so it never really influenced me in that way.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, I never imagined writing about my own family--and basically have not.

Dan_Luft said...

Being a little younger I was more inspired by Detective Ron Harris's writing ambitions and frustrations In Barney Miller.

Erik Donald France said...

Good take on the show.

I saw it sporadically, and liked the Great Depression angle. I remember the movie version also, as being sweet but real.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Thanks for reminding me of this series; I'd almost completely forgotten about it.