Ma and Pa's Chemistry

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    catsmeow3

    [1]Nov 25, 2006
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    Can anyone think of a TV couple that had more on screen chemisty them ML+KG?

    They were great together, what a great relationship they had, it seemed so real.

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    sisterdorito

    [2]Nov 25, 2006
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    In addition to LHOTP, I'm also a big fan of The Waltons and I really appreciate the onscreen chemistry that existed between Ralph Waite and Miss Michael Learned.
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    Mac-Ale

    [3]Nov 25, 2006
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    I thought both couples worked very well. Its interesting how well-acted the shows were, when it comes to Little House, Karen Grassle has said that she and Michael Landon weren't particularly close and that he enjoyed socializing with the production crew and playing with the kids the most.
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    catsmeow3

    [4]Nov 26, 2006
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    ML+KG seemed really comfortable with each other, where as Waite and Learned seemed like an odd couple, she being so faith based, and he not, you wonder if realistically would they ever had a meeting of the minds to start with. I can feel the loving bond between Ma and Pa stronger.
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    Angelucias

    [5]Nov 27, 2006
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    Going out on a limb here, but I'm gonna say Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore from the old "The Dick Van Dyke Show".
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    ceosmom

    [6]Nov 27, 2006
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    ...and what about Florida and James Evans of "Good Times"? LOTS of chemistry there! You're right about the great chemistry between ML and KG. It seemed so real. In reality, I believe they had little in common. Graessle was a health enthusiast and naturalist who tried out for her part using the made up single name "Tree". Michael Landon reportedly smoked non-stop (except during takes)and obtained a reputation as something of a ladies man; in fact, he ended up leaving his wife for an assistant on the LHOTP set and later married her. I believe this happened during the 6th or 7th season. Oh, Pa...
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    Mac-Ale

    [7]Nov 27, 2006
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    I was filling out some quotes for the Karen Grassle guide here at TV.com, this made me laugh...

    Karen Grassle: (speaking about her inexperience with television when she auditioned for "Little House on the Prairie") When they told me that Michael Landon was directing and that he was the guy from Bonanza, I said - which one?
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    catsmeow3

    [8]Nov 30, 2006
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    ceosmom, didn't KG go by Gabriel Tree, not just "Tree", right?
    I wonder why she didn't want to go by her given name, which is just as good as any made up name, then there's "Kay Dillinger", now that's getting a bit desperate.
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    Mac-Ale

    [9]Dec 1, 2006
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    All the sources I found reference Gabriel Tree...yeah, the Kay Dillinger thing just seems like a gimmick she figured might work...
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    ceosmom

    [10]Dec 1, 2006
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    Mac-Ale, catsmeow3, the sight I found mentioned that she used to go by the name "Tree".  Maybe she thought it sounded too hippie-ish and went with "Gabriel Tree", which doesn't sound any better (I'm only guessing here), or maybe the site gave incomplete info.  I've never heard of the Kay Dillinger thing, but you're right, that's no better.

    The only show I've ever seen Karen Graessle in besides Little House is was a made-for TV movie where she was married to Mike Farrell (BJ Hunnicut from "MASH").  She was a battered wife.  I remember thinking how wrong both the leads were for the parts because for years they played overly nice characters on TV.  It just didn't work!

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    Mac-Ale

    [11]Dec 1, 2006
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    The Tree, Gabriel Tree explanation might be right...I've done a lot of site searching and most mention Gabriel Tree as a name used to audition for Little House.

    Interesting about the movie, though. She was very dedicated to the cause, she testified for the establishment of shelters before Congress a few times.

    The Kay Dillinger thing was supposedly to try evoke the image of a daughter of John Dillinger and gain a certain image, don't think it worked. Karen Grassle is a smart cookie, high school valedictorian, Berkeley undergrad, Fulbright fellowship to study acting in the UK....
    Edited on 12/01/2006 2:01pm
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    ceosmom

    [12]Dec 1, 2006
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    I always loved her character and I think subconciously she's the reason I named my daughter Caroline.  I wonder why she was/is so dedicated to the cause of battered women?  It's too bad she kind of "fell off the radar" after LHOTP.  Perhaps it was by choice...
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    Mac-Ale

    [13]Dec 1, 2006
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    She's said in interviews that she always had a very independent view, and was shocked to find out how few resources there were for battered women in the late 60s and early 70s. She's also said she has been smart with her TV money and invested it well. She's now very involved in theater and is still active in that.

    I think she was very good and under-rated as an actress on the series, when you watch her in scenes like after Laura trades her horse to give her a stove in "Christmas at Plum Creek" -- its really very good.
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    catsmeow3

    [14]Dec 2, 2006
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    I know she beat out 47 other actresses for the role of Ma, I wonder if any big names auditioned?
    Karen was one of the writers of "Battered" too.
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    JoolsMB

    [16]Jan 17, 2007
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    I grew up in a farily disfunctional family (I know didn't we all) but I remember going to bed often just wishing that Ma & Pa could be my parents, I mean they really liked each other.. ok maybe only in tvland, but hey when its the only normality you cant get.. you hang onto it!!

    The only other tv couple that I can think of being close to a Ma & Pa relationship is Annie & Eric on 7th Heaven.

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    JediSnoopy

    [17]May 31, 2007
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    I always thought Cliff and Clair Huxtable had wonderful chemistry, too.  But I did enjoy the relationship between the Ingalls spouses and the Waltons spouses.
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    laurawilder

    [18]Jul 31, 2009
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    Ricky and Lucy from I Love Lucy had great chemestery. That was propebly because they were merried in real life. I also though Mike and Carol from The Brady Buch had a great relationship.
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    DrCook920

    [19]Jul 31, 2009
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    I have posted in the past about how surprised I was to find that KG and ML didn't necessarily relate well to each other off screen. To watch them "work" together is nothing short of amazing. One only needs to watch part 1 of "The Lord is My Shepard" to see how perfectly fit they were for one another. Read my review for more on the subject.

    The only other TV couple I have ever seen with chemistry like that is Jane Seymour and Joe Lando as Michaela Quinn and Byron Sully on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The difference though, is that Jane and Joe's chemistry was definately more based on a passionate attraction to another person, while ML an KG had the chemistry of a couple that has been together long enough to know and love one another through and through. Very different stages of a romantic relationship, you might say.

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    catsmeow3

    [20]Aug 1, 2009
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    "TLIMS" is my favorite review of yours, it's awesome.
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