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 Harriet's changing character

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Carol
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PostSubject: Harriet's changing character   Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:05 pm

Harriet Oleson was a great character in the show! Applause



I noticed that her character changed a little bit from being mean to funny as the episodes went on...

Does anyone else agree with this or am I alone in my statement :shy: lol


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Savannah
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:59 pm

All alone, sweetie. grinsmiley

No.....lol.......I agree. She was still snippy, snooty and not-so-very-kind in the later years. BUT, there was a definite change in Harriet's character. Maybe the writers noticed the flair for comedy that Katherine MacGregor has, or maybe they just wanted to soften her a bit - maybe a little of both. But she definitely grew a heart through the years. She started out being mean most of the time, and ended up toward the end, being much more funny than mean.
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:19 am

I agree, Harriet did soften as the series continued. She would never get over her feeling of superiority because of the separation in class between the townspeople and the farmers, but we saw Harriet vulnerable at times too.

Remember, how she acted when the town closed down and Caroline came in to say goodbye before leaving for Winoka. She admitted she would miss Caroline and she even allowed Caroline to see her cry.

We also find out that she had been engaged to be married, but her future husband decided he could not serve God and a family, so Rusell backed out of the wedding.

She was a loving and doting grandmother who ended up being heartbroken when Nellie and Percival and the kids stayed in NY after Percival's father died.

So, the writers allowed Harriet to maintain her crass behavior towards people she felt were inferior, but they also allowed her to experience times of self-doubt and sorrow, making her a more realistic character. She was definitely funnier as the show went on too. I remember how hard and mean she looked when we first met her in Harvest of Friends. But Harriet was a very different person by the end of Season 9.

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RoseRed
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:45 am

Harriet is absolutely my favorite character.

I love the Ingalls family and Mr. Edwards, but Harriet really made the show for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:00 pm

Harvest of Friends grinsmiley


Trivia note: This episode introduces Katherine MacGregor as Harriet Oleson. In the early episodes, she is a rude, nasty, snobbish and dark woman. Down the stretch of episodes, her character was toned down and made more comedic, with her grand schemes backfiring in her face. Nevertheless, Harriet Oleson was always out to get anyone who got in her way!



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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:50 pm

I liked how Harriett went from rude, mean and negitive to more funny, more loving to her family and closer to a few of the people in Walnut Grove. She also seemed grow from a negitive part of the show for me to one of my favorite parts as the character changed.
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:13 pm

I always thought that too! At the beginnning she was so very mean and hateful! Then later throughout the seasons she got more funny.


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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:19 pm

For those of you that remember Katherine MacGregor's first appearance as Harriet, even her looks were harsh and a bit scary. They not only softened her character's personality, but her looks as well. Thumbsup



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Savannah
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:10 pm

That's very true. She had a very harsh, tightly pulled back bun in the beginning. As the series progressed, even her hairstyle was softened. And they gave her some great hats! grinsmiley
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:37 pm

I always like when they let her hair down when she was home. She seemed to be more care free.
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:23 pm

I think we have all noticed that about Mrs. Oleson. She also lost her ability of cooking toward the latter episodes.



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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:41 am

I agree with you Carol. happy1 I liked both mean and nice Harriet. :woohooo:
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:46 am

Yes, I noticed the cooking thing too.

In the early episodes, they showed her cooking meals for her family, bragging to Caroline about her cooking skills (the pie conversation "from generation to generation") and then later she couldnt even make bread right!
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:24 pm

Even in the early episodes they couldn't seem to decide whether she was a good cook or not. Sometimes within the very same episode! She made a delicious looking meal in "The Campout", when she was strong-arming Nels into inviting himself and the children on the camping trip with the Ingalls family. But, when it came time to fry the fish Nels caught, it looked like she cooked him a piece of charcoal. And frying fish during a campout isn't really all that different from frying it on a wood cookstove - which is what Harriet probably had at home. You just have to watch what you're doing. *shrugs* But then, I'm sure that the writers didn't expect obsessed . . . . . I mean . . LOYAL fans to watch reruns over and over, and look at those little details. grinsmiley
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Carol
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:06 pm

LOL Savannah grinsmiley

One of far fetched episodes from Little House is the one where they take Nels for ransom. It is so silly but I watch it so that I can see Harriet faint and stick her legs up in the air as they play that funny sound effect. It is soo funny!! ROTFL


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LM
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:25 am

I love the episode when she got drunk in "To Run and Hide". She was taking the new doctor's miracle "medicine". It was funny when Nels came downstairs to find that she was drunk and she was singing "Home on the Range". She got so carried away that she flipped backward in her rocking chair and passed out asleep. :haha: That was another scene with her feet sticking up. LOL!

I agree that Harriett became less harsh in later episodes. She was still a mean 'ol woman, but there were lots of times when she used funny sarcasm along with Nels. I'm really glad they allowed Harriett to become less stiff. Otherwise we probably wouldn't seen her ride and get thrown from the horse she bought for Nellie.
:haha:





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Samantha
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:18 pm

Yes, Harriet did soften as the show went on...but she still had her "moments" (I am thinking of how terrible she was in Little Lou)
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:51 am

How can you not love Harriet :woohooo: What would the show have been without her!!




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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:02 am

Samantha wrote:
Yes, Harriet did soften as the show went on...but she still had her "moments" (I am thinking of how terrible she was in Little Lou)

Yeah, she was pretty rough on him.

But in the episode where they brought the blind children to Walnut Grove, she seemed to have learned a bit of a lesson from the little boy. I like that. And she sure did surprise Nels and her children by her actions toward Larabee. Thumbsup





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jes9
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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:41 am

Mrs. Oleson definitely changed as the series went on. I'm currently watching mostly season 7 episodes, but I've also recently watched "A Harvest of Friends" and "Country Girls". There's a very noticeable contrast between Mrs. Oleson's character in these early episodes and those of the later seasons. Early on, Mrs. Oleson seemed more introverted and was all business. Later, she was much more extroverted and dynamic. This made her a great comic relief character, but it also provided an opportunity to let her grow, learn some of life's lessons, and become an overall more interesting character than if the writers had just kept her as a cold-hearted businesswoman.


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PostSubject: Re: Harriet's changing character   Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:48 pm

Well, yes...The "later Harriet years" were better than the first ones, since she was more "weird" than mean. The first seasons she was plainly MEAN (yes, I can't resist to write it in capital letters! grinsmiley ), but her character has much more faces after Mary turns blind (this episode is the key of all the others. There was main changes in "Little House" after this event).

I'm a big fan of Harriet. The show would never have been the same without her!

Vanesa.


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