YOU may laugh, as you grab my street cred and throw it about beyond my grasping hands.
But hear me oot here. The Waltons is great drama and ain't nearly as saccharine as popular myth would have it.
True, the 1970s television series is about the virtues of family, an institution I'm on record as deploring because of its anti-social nature. Then again, I never believe anything I write.
But I believe strongly that The Waltons is finely crafted entertainment. At times, it's really riveting. The homily-style tales of a big family struggling through the 1930s depression in rural Virginia can also be uplifting.
And, while it's true that George Bush Snr called for American families to be more like The Waltons than The Simpsons, that doesn't mean they were right-wing loonies. In fact, with their reverence for Franklin D. Roosevelt, good government, civil rights and education, they're probably more left of centre than right. They're certainly more left of centre than our Labour Party. Then again, who isn't? There's a fair bit of religion in the programme, but some scepticism too. Pa Walton stays home while the rest of the family attends church.
With Jonathan Kent (adoptive father of Superman) being my hero, it's no surprise that Pa is my favourite Walton. It isn't just that he wears a checked shirt, that enduring symbol of trust in a shifty world.
He looks life right in the eye, doesn't worship wealth, works hard, and encourages his children to figure out the right thing to do.
Watching The Waltons is the right thing to do. The show ran to nine series and, in today's wonderful world, you can watch it on boxed DVD sets night after night, as I do, in preference to going out disco-dancing or behaving in a louche manner generally.
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