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Marilee J. Layman

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06:24 pm: The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson
Entire title: The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House

I'd only seen the occasional TV episode and thought they were sappy; the books didn't seem quite accurate, either. On Sunday, the WashPost has a list of who's presenting what where (in a three-page Bookworld -- a lot of people stopped buying the Post when the nice big separate section Bookworld was killed) and I wondered if I'd like this. I was kind of interested in how a child would like acting and how she felt about it as an adult, so I put in a hold at the library.

The book is divided with a bit of extra material at the beginning and end, but most of it goes by season. She talks about five to eight episodes in each season, as well as some of the freelance movies she did. She talks about loving being a child actor (and frequently about how much she still likes it) but says that children shouldn't act and she wouldn't let her kids do it.

I read the first 25 pages the first night and almost gave up there. There's a lot of information where she doesn't like people and how hard it is to act and the Coogan law (where at least 15% of a kid's pay goes into a trust until they're 18). She was massively passive aggressive and I didn't want to read much more. The next day I thought I'd try again that night and that's when she headed into the episodes.

There were two annoying ways of bringing real life communications into the book: one was like scripts, which is not fun to read, and the other was inserting her comments into a description of the episode without any separation. For example:

It's picnic day and the children from the blind school are having a great time. They are so happy for us. Charles is playing the . . . harmonica? I didn't know he was multi-talented. Caroline, Adam, and I are all miserable.

Her comments in real life are the harmonica and multi-talented sentences. The other three sentences are descriptions of the episode.

In the end, I liked some of the episode descriptions, but I think you probably need a stronger interest in the show or Anderson than I have to read it.

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[User Picture]
From:heleninwales
Date:May 21st, 2010 09:29 am (UTC)
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Yes, it sounds as though you would have to be a big fan of the series and no all the episodes well in order to separate the real life from the fictional story.

As to whether kids should act, I think it's one of those things that can be handled well or badly. Our daughter loved amateur dramatics when she was a kid and did audition for a part in a Welsh drama, but being in a high profile, long running series is something quite different.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:May 21st, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I thought the times she talked about how much she loved it and then said kids shouldn't act were pretty much opposite.
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From:capemaynuts
Date:May 21st, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)
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I watched the first few seasons as a kid, but the show quickly evolved into a showcase for Michael Landon instead of a retelling of Laura Ingalls books. In fact, half the characters and 99% of the story lines were complete fiction. Yes, my mother made me read all the books as a kid also.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:May 21st, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
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Yes, she talks about how one of the producers left the show because he wanted to be accurate to the books and Landon didn't.
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