The age of innocence is long gone from America TV. I grew up in the 1960's and remember the days of family-friendly television. Remember those great family shows that every member of the family could enjoy - The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, and Ozzie and Harriet? A few family-friendly shows remained in the 1970's: The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, and best of all ... The Waltons. Since the Waltons left TV in the early 1980's there have been very few quality tv shows the entire family can watch and enjoy together ("The Wonder Years" stands out as one of these). Since the days of adult-oriented "Dallas" and other similar sleazy sex melodramas, the major tv networks have been set on corrupting and ridiculing the strong family values that made America a once-great and proud nation.
Thank goodness for The Waltons! The Waltons is a series that everyone in the family can sit down and enjoy together. Parents can relax because there is no cursing or foul language, no double-entendre sex jokes, no graphic violence, just real characters growing up in a much more innocent age than we currently live in. (For a look at how our grandparents grew up, watch the Waltons).
In Season Four of the series, 24 episodes are presented, all of them being quality family enertainment. I have my favorite episodes of season 4 and you will too - there is much to like about this season. John-boy grows closer to graduation from college and begins a newspaper, Mary-Ellen begins her first steps in her nursing career, Ben grows into a young man with strong ideas of his own, and of course there is always the steady presence of the parents and grandparents, guiding this large family through the trying years of the Great Depression.
While my favorite Waltons season is the very first, there is still so much to treasure in this fourth season. The acting is superb, with Michael Learned winning an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama series, and the perpetually old and cranky Ellen Corby winning an Emmy for supporting actress. (Does anyone recall Ellen Corby playing anything other than an old lady or Grandma? - I can only recall one role as a pioneering farming homesteader in the movie "Shane" ). Richard Thomas binds this series together, being the person from which the stories are being told. When Richard Thomas leaves the show after season five, the series loses its central focus. And while the series still remains entertaining after season five, the loss of John-Boy is imposible to overcome.
I heartily recommend Season Four of the Waltons. It is something your family can watch and learn important life-lessons from, a far-cry from today's tv viewing options.
Jim "Konedog" Koenig