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 What should they have done with Mary?

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PostSubject: What should they have done with Mary?   Wed May 23, 2007 4:49 pm

After Mary went blind, the writers were very limited with what they could do with Mary, and Melissa Sue Anderson was afraid she'd be written off the show, but even she admitted in an interview later that the whole blind boyfriend thing was a little far-fetched, so she ended up leaving the show anyway. Does anyone have any ideas on how they could have handled Mary's storyline differently after she went blind?
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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Wed May 23, 2007 4:54 pm

I wish they would've stuck closer to the books with her being away at the blind school learning how to do the things she actually learned, cross stitching, knitting, bead work, playing the organ, etc. She came home and lived with her folks and then Carrie till she died. They wouldn't have to make the blind school out of the picture and just talking to her over the phone or through mail, but could've actually shown her in classes learning the different things that she did. So many shows will do the 'off screen' scenes and you never see the actor again. If Melissa had read the books ahead of time, she would've realized that her character was going to go blind. I don't think she knew that Mary went blind and when she read that in the script, she was upset.....No



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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Wed May 23, 2007 5:27 pm

I agree, Rhonda. I wish that they would have explored, in depth, the changes that Mary faced. Instead of just a couple of episodes, rushing through the things that she learned . . . . it would have been great if they'd have, little by little, each week, shown her progress in learning how to deal with life as a blind person. It felt so rushed to me . . . kind of like they wanted to hurry up and get through that part. And like Rhonda said, it wouldn't have had to have been entire episodes focused on those things. It could easily have been worked in. But that's not the way they chose to go..............
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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Wed May 23, 2007 10:08 pm

Thanks for your replies. I also think it would've been interesting to see if any boys would still be drawn to Mary after she went blind. I know the real Mary Ingalls never married and (as far as I know) never had a beau, but (I hate to say it) she wasn't as pretty as Melissa Sue Anderson. On the show, before Mary went blind, boys were "always buzzing around [her] like flies around a stable". Just because Seth couldn't deal with her blindness doesn't mean there weren't other boys out there who could. I think that would've made for some interesting storylines in episodes like "Dance With Me". Of course Mary would've been even prettier if she'd kept her hair long and straight (at least for a while).
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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Wed May 23, 2007 11:56 pm

We were talking about storylines back then versus now at a DQ board I belong to. What Rhonda is suggesting is something that happens nowadays, but didn't seem to happen in the time that LHOP was on the air, or even DQ for that matter. Shows were this one, maybe two-episode shots that wrapped everything up so nice and tidy at the end, unlike now where storylines can take entire seasons to develop. I can't speculate on why those changes have happened, but it does make one wonder what LHOP would be like if it was being aired on NBC today.

It seems strange to me that Mary's role would be limited by her blindess, because Landon seemed to be a big proponent of displaying the abilities of handicapped people, especially by the time Highway to Heaven was on the air. But look even at the LHOP Season 1 episode "Town Party, Country Party" where Charles helps Olga by designing a special shoe for her, Landon promotes the abilities of people with disabilities.

I honestly don't feel MSA's limited role had as much to do with her going blind as it did with MG's character growing up. The show always revolved around Laura and as she matured into a young woman, got married, and had a family of her own, more storylines were dedicated to her than to Mary. I could see MSA'a role being faded out over time, even if Landon had taken huge creative license and had Mary remain sighted.

LHOP is Laura's story--her remembrances of growing up on the prairie. And the focus followed her, not the other characters, even though they were very much a part of her life.


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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Thu May 24, 2007 10:14 am

teenwerewolf wrote:
Of course Mary would've been even prettier if she'd kept her hair long and straight (at least for a while).

Melissa Sue Anderson said that during the show, she cut her hair, and she wasn't supposed to so they gave ther that bad wig to wear.... Melissa says it was her own fault grinsmiley


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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Thu May 24, 2007 2:07 pm

Carol wrote:
teenwerewolf wrote:
Of course Mary would've been even prettier if she'd kept her hair long and straight (at least for a while).

Melissa Sue Anderson said that during the show, she cut her hair, and she wasn't supposed to so they gave ther that bad wig to wear.... Melissa says it was her own fault grinsmiley

Actually I meant before that - right after she went blind, she cut it to about shoulder-lenght and it got kind of frizzy. I never cared for it.

I know men usually didn't usually marry blind women back then because they couldn't care for children, but I was just wondering if anyone thought that some boys would still be drawn to Mary because she was so pretty (on the tv show anyway).
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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Thu May 24, 2007 3:03 pm

Oh I see... yeah, I didn't like the frizzy hair look too much either.


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Kathleen Marie
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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Fri May 25, 2007 5:37 pm

Oh that frizzy hair look was so popular back in the early 80's. Unfortunately I have that poodle hairstyle in some of my old pictures. Real bad perms, lots of hair spray to make the hair look big!!


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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Fri May 25, 2007 6:13 pm

if they took melissa anderson off then it would've defeated
the purpose


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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Fri May 25, 2007 8:41 pm

Kathleen Marie wrote:
Oh that frizzy hair look was so popular back in the early 80's. Unfortunately I have that poodle hairstyle in some of my old pictures. Real bad perms, lots of hair spray to make the hair look big!!

It sure was. LOL - My Dad used to say that it looked like the girls had stuck their fingers in a light socket to get that look. I, of course, being a little girl, loved the big hair look.
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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Sat May 26, 2007 8:10 pm

My dad made me get a perm when I was like 7 or 8 and it turned out badly. I looked like a poodle. It was so embarrasing.

Wow, I never knew MSA cut her hair.

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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Tue May 29, 2007 7:31 pm

It seems to me they could have taken a few more episodes to have Mary deal with the death of Adam, Jr. It's not that I think they had to drag it out for a whole season, but it seems odd that they tied it all up in one two-part episode. Mary went from being able to do nothing but lie in bed and hum a lullaby to completely back to normal from one episode to the next. A gradual recovery, including Mary's dealing with resentment toward Albert, would have seemed more realistic.


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PostSubject: Re: What should they have done with Mary?   Today at 3:50 pm

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