Little House on the Prairie

Season 1 Episode 7

Town Party, Country Party

1
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 30, 1974 on NBC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
112 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Town Party, Country Party
AIRED:

Laura connects with a sweet, shy classmate named Olga Nordstrom, who was born with a short leg. Both Laura and Charles try to help the girl, but meet opposition with Nellie - and Olga's father.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Today
11:00am
INSP
12:00pm
INSP
Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A sweet little girl named Olga (superbly played by a young Kim Richards) has a disability and a stubborn difficult father to deal with. Perhaps Charles can help on both counts?moreless

    8.0
    Young Olga is a school mate of Laura's and roughly the same age, but they don't know each other well. Olga's mother is dead and she lives with her grandmother and her uncompromising father. She also lives with the fact that she walks with a pronounced limp because she was born with one leg significantly shorter than the other.



    Olga's father tries to shield her from everything and everyone that may hurt her but, in doing so, he is keeping her from living a normal life. When Charles has the idea of building up a shoe so that Olga can have her feet even, her father is vehemently against it but, luckily for Olga, her grandmother comes to her rescue and Charles is able to help out after all.moreless
  • Lovely episode!

    10
    This episode revolves around a girl named Olga and Laura.



    Olga is a lonely girl who attends school with Mary and Laura. Olga was born with one leg shorter than the other, so nobody invites her to play ball or have a race with them, because she can’t walk properly.



    When Mrs. Olsen invites Mary and Laura to Nellie’s birthday party in the town, the children are really excited. They go to Nellie’s party and Nellie shows off her new doll to them. Laura tries to feel the silk dress of the doll when Nellie pushes her and snatches the doll, making its hem rip. Nellie blames Laura for causing this mess, and Mrs. Olsen tells the children to go play outside. Laura can’t seem to walk properly because her ankle is twisted. Olga befriends her and they start having fun. Laura feels sorry for Olga and tells Charles about it. Charles figures out a way on how he could help Olga, but Olga’s father Jon doesn’t want Charles to meddle with his children’s business. Jon is overprotective of Olga and feels that she should not get her hopes up too high otherwise she will just get more sad. He feels like the whole world will make fun of Olga and doesn’t want her to face the rejection. Will Charles be able to get through to Jon, and will Olga be able to move like the others?



    This is another one of my favorite episode of Little House on the Prairie. Kim Richards and Jan Merlin acted wonderfully as Olga and Jon. The end scene when Jon sees Olga happy is a very touching moment. Besides that, the way Laura gets back at Nellie at her party is hilarious.



    I rate this episode 10/10.moreless
  • Nothing beats the early seasons of "Little House," and this one is a genuine guilty pleasure that's nearly impossible to dislike.

    10
    Anytime I think about my favorite episodes of "Little House," this one easily cracks the top three. Sweet, charming, and absolutely brimming with youthful innocence from beginning to end, there is very little to dislike about this episode, and it's the one I always turn to when I need a good, fluffy "Little House" fix!



    In short, this little gem from Season 1 tells the story of a young girl named Olga, who was born with a short leg and seems to be ostracized by everyone at school, even the typically compassionate Ingalls girls. You'd think that at the very least, Mary would have reached out to her sooner, but I guess that's not really important. What matters is that after Laura is treated badly by the oh-so-snooty Nellie Oleson at her birthday party, she connects with Olga, and a nice friendship follows. Charles then comes up with an idea to build Olga an elevated shoe, and while her grandmother loves the idea, Olga's bitter widowed father has no interest in accepting this kind offer. Charles then proceeds to back away out of respect, but Olga's grandmother soon comes by behind her son's back and asks Charles to go ahead with the idea anyway. He agrees and builds a wonderful shoe, and from that point, we get a glimpse at how Olga's life takes a complete turn now that she can run and play with the other children--a luxury that life never afforded her until now.



    What I love about this episode is that the characters are so young and likable (although they always were likable), and the 45-minute story seeks to do nothing more than entertain the audience with a happy, huge-hearted tale of true friendship. It's also fun to see how much development had not yet taken place with many of the characters, namely with Nellie and her mother. Alison Arngrim (Nellie)'s quieter, somewhat timid acting from those early days is evident, as the character has not yet evolved into the full-fledged nasty monster she eventually became. Harriet Oleson, too, is shockingly calm and even (sort of) encourages her children to be polite. I mean, seriously, Harriet Oleson telling her kids not to be rude??? That's certainly a sight to see! If this exact same episode had taken place even just one season later, Harriet would have really flown off the handle with the "doll dress ripping" incident, and she would have insisted that Caroline Ingalls pay for the "damage" that Laura did. You can tell that the writers really had fun tweaking the role of Harriet and bringing her up about a hundred notches over the years, but again, that hadn't yet happened when this episode aired, so watching the scenes with Harriet is very interesting.



    Furthermore, although Olga's character is fictional, Nellie Oleson's "town party" and Mary and Laura's "country party" really did happen, and many of the events from the plot are taken directly from Laura Ingalls Wilder's fourth book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek." This episode does not follow the original book exactly, but it's pretty close--much closer than most of the other episodes from the series. As you watch the kids play their little baseball game, or when Laura tricked Nellie into falling face-first in the creek (a darn good moment, and one of the girls' first infamous "water fights"), you can't help but smile. Overall, this is an utterly charming and enjoyable episode is the type that you can watch over and over. It always reminds me why I love this show, and I can never help misting up a little when Olga hugs Charles for making her shoe. Sigh. This is what good TV is all about! :)moreless
  • Great episode!

    9.9
    Another Landon classic. As the show opens the school girls are seen running and playing in front of the schoolhouse, while Olga, a new Swedish girl in town, is left out because she is \"crippled\"(by today\'s standards she just had one leg that was a little shorter than the other). She can walk-with a limp-but can\'t join in on the chasing games. Olga lives with her father and grandmother, and, because of the death of Olga\'s mother and her cripple, her father is anxious to shelter her from the possible rejection of the other kids, even tho the grandmother thinks it was a good idea to send Olga to school to be with the other girls her age.



    The girls of the Walnut Grove school are invited to a party for snotty Nelly-the curly haired rich bratty girl who\'s parents own Olson Mercantile. Laura bathes in a metal tub outside and Ma gets out their best dresses. Mary worries about what they should take for a present, but Ma says some wildflowers from outback will make a fine gift. A funny scene in when Laura is done with her bath, and Carrie decides to get in the metal, soapy tub-clothes and all-along with dog Jack. The Ingalls parents laugh from the door.



    Mary and Laura are off to the party ,and present the wildflowers to Nelly, along with their friend, Cassie, who has sewn a ragdoll. \"You get to name her yourself\", says Cassie proudly. But Nellie, being the usual thankless brat, slings all the presents against the couch and goes back to playing with a fancy Noah\'s Arc set on the floor. Mary tries to console Cassie by saying Nellie really did like the present, she was just caught up in the excitement of the day. To make matters worse, Nellie brings out a frilly China doll that was another birthday present, saying Laura can\'t touch, and Nellie shoves Laura when she accidentally tears some lace on the doll\'s dress. Mrs. Olson is less than pleased, and sends the kids to play outside. Laura has twisted her ankle from Nellie\'s push, so , understanding what\'s it\'s like to walk with a limp now,she befriends Olga. Laura and Mary decide to have a party of their own at the Ingall\'s house, and invite her new friend Olga. Of course, they have to invite that old Nellie because, \"it\'s the polite thing to do\". Nellie shows up, but rudely refers to it as a \"country party\" instead of a city one. Meanwhile, Pa has been trying to convince Olga\'s father to let him try to make a lift for Olga\'s shoe so she can walk straight. Olga\'s dad is not open to the idea, but the grandmother wants Charles to try in secret without the knowledge of her \"fool for a son\". So Charles has made a wooden lift to attach under the shoe, and now Olga can walk! Laura and Mary can\'t wait to show off the new Olga at the party when they choose sides for a softball game. Everyone, including Olga, is having a great time, until Nellie manipulates the fun by suggesting wading in the creek barefoot-something Olga can\'t do. The other girls go wading, but Laura is fed up, and pushes Nellie near a crawdaddy in the creek.



    Olga\'s dad has found out about the new shoe, and is so angry he comes over to wrestle Charles down to the barn floor. But his mood soon changes when he sees Olga-for the first time in her life-fitting in with the other girls and having a great time yelling and playing. He admits to really being a fool about the situation-but Charles assures him it\'s all in the past.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Kim Richards

Kim Richards

Olga Nordstrom

Guest Star

Jan Merlin

Jan Merlin

Jon Nordstrom

Guest Star

Maya Van Horn

Maya Van Horn

Helga Nordstrom

Guest Star

Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim

Nellie Oleson

Recurring Role

Tracie Savage

Tracie Savage

Christy Kennedy

Recurring Role

Jonathan Gilbert

Jonathan Gilbert

Willie Oleson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The shot of Nellie running away from the crab is actually that of a stunt double. Alison Arngrim was going to try this shot on her own, but Michael Landon liked the stunt double's job, so he left it in. Arngrim did many of her own stunts later in the series, though.

    • In the scene where Mary runs to the creek to get Laura to come back to the house with her after Laura messes with the crab, Mary's hair is down, but when Laura and Mary enter their house, she has it pinned back.

    • "I don't play with dolls. I play in the creek," Laura tells Nellie when she asks her where her dolls are. While it's true that Laura was more of a tomboy than a girlie girl, there were episodes where she had dolls and treasured them, like in Season 1's The Raccoon and Season 4's Freedom Flight. Then, in Season 3's The Music Box, Laura longed for a doll for her birthday, so this comment from her doesn't make much sense.

    • Goof: Charles tells Laura he's making a special horse shoe for Patty, but he traded Pet and Patty for the yoke of oxen in A Harvest of Friends, then traded the oxen for a team of 8-year-old horses in 100 Mile Walk. Obviously, the writers were way off here.

    • Notice the look on Mary's face when Caroline says that she is making apple fritters. Laura says she likes them, and Mary reluctantly says "Me, too," although she looks absolutely repulsed. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but it's very obvious. But in the next scene, Mary is eating them without a problem.

    • Notice how much calmer and less cruel Mrs. Oleson is in this episode, particularly during Nellie's party scene with her doll. Mrs. Oleson is gently reminding her kids not to be rude, and when the doll's dress is ripped, she is much more calmer when talking to Laura about it. She says in a slightly annoyed voice, "You really should take care of things that don't belong to you," but in later seasons, Mrs. Oleson would have been shamelessly nasty toward Laura if such a situation arose, and she almost definitely would have made a big fuss, insisting that Laura's parents pay for a new doll dress. The character was definitely brought up several notches as the show progressed.

    • Nellie and Laura have some of their best fights in the water. Laura's sneakiness causes Nellie to fall in the creek in this episode, and 5 years later, in Season 6, they have their classic "mud and water" fight.

    • Look closely when Nellie falls face-first in the creek and they do a close-up on her face. She is supposed to be angry and pouting, but you can totally tell how hard she is trying not to laugh.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Mrs. Nordstrom: Mr. Ingalls, my son is not like you think. He loves Olga very much. The two of them were always close. Only since the death of Olga's mother.....
      Charles: Well, your son isn't the easiest person in the world to talk to, Mrs. Nordstrom, but I guess that explains some of it.
      Mrs. Nordstrom: He would like to put a wall around Olga so she cannot be hurt. (pauses) But that would be wrong, because she would have no one when we are gone.

    • Olga: (about Nellie) No, I mean, it's good of you to invite her. It'll be good for her to come. Poor Nellie.
      Mary: Poor? The Olesons? They're the richest folks in town!
      Olga: Nellie is poor. She has no happiness inside.
      Mary: You know, that's a strange thing to say.
      Olga: My grandma says you can tell what's inside a person by the face they wear.
      Mary: I guess. I never thought of Nellie that way, I mean, being poor and all. It kind of makes me feel sorry for her......almost.

    • Caroline: I ran into Mrs. Oleson this morning, and she invited you both to Nellie's birthday party.
      Laura: Do we have to go?
      Caroline: Laura!
      Laura: Well, you know how Nellie is.
      Caroline: I know that she was kind enough to invite you to her party. How would you feel if you were the only one not invited?
      Laura: Worse than being invited.......I guess.

    • Caroline: (to Mary and Laura) I have a surprise for you two. You're going to a party.
      Mary: We are?
      Caroline: Mm-hmm.
      Mary: You mean a real one?

    • Charles: I guess what I'm trying to say, Mr. Nordstrom, is that I'd like your permission to work on one of Olga's shoes.
      Jon: You have a miracle in your body, huh?
      Charles: No, no, sir, I told you this was gonna sound awkward, but I think that if I could work--
      Jon: Olga was born crippled. She knows that. We accept it. So does she.

    • Laura: What makes cripples?
      Charles: Well, accidents, mostly.
      Laura: Not that kind. I mean like being born cripped, like Olga. Her legs don't match. One is shorter than the other.
      Charles: That doesn't seem fair, does it?
      Laura: No sir, it sure doesn't.

    • Charles: Well, I'll tell you, Half-Pint, I don't think I have an answer for your question that will satisfy either of us. Some people are just born that way. I don't know why, I don't think anyone else does either. But I do know that God seems to give everyone a special gift.
      Laura: Is gumption a gift?
      Charles: Sure it is.
      Laura: I'm sure Olga has gumption.
      Charles: And from what you've told us, it seems she has a pretty big heart, too.
      Laura: And a heart's more important than a leg, right Pa?
      Charles: Way more important.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • Kim Richards (Olga) is the real-life older sister of Kyle Richards, who played Alicia Sanderson-Edwards on the series. Both girls grew up to be the aunts of Paris Hilton. Kim and Kyle were 16 and 12 when Paris was born, and she has said that they are almost like big sisters to her.

    • This series did not normally follow Laura Ingalls Wilder's original books very closely, but this particular episode is taken from a chapter in the book On the Banks of Plum Creek, from a chapter entitled Town Party, Country Party. Olga's storyline is fictional, but the events surrounding Nellie's birthday party, as well as the party that Laura and Mary had after that, really did happen in Laura Ingalls Wilder's book.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

More
Less