Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waltons 3.24: “The Venture”

Airdate: 3/6/75
As the Waltons’ expanded lumber mill, “Waltons and Sons,” nears completion, John gets a huge order, one that he accepts only knowing his new venture can handle it. Simultaneously, John-Boy gets a job as a part-time reporter for a local newspaper, and Jason gets a scholarship for a music university. Reminders of the Depression set in as John contracts pneumonia and collapses, endangering not only the lumber order but the family’s ability to pay back the bank loan on the new business. Once again, family members consider personal sacrifice, until members of the town, headed by Ike Godsey, arrive to help complete the mill and rescue the family from financial ruin.

One thing I always liked about The Waltons was the way it confronted the realities of the Great Depression regularly, rather than using it just for a pretty backdrop. Poverty is not always appealing for a weekly drama, but the show’s writers wisely use the topic for inspiration – mining its full dramatic, and often comedic, potential (see Good Times, particularly the early years, for the best sitcom about poverty). This season’s has had its ups and downs, and some draggy spots, but I dare anyone to not be euphoric at the end of this show.

A rousing season closer, leaving us with plenty to look forward to in Season 5!

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