WGC – Back to School Part 2

Episode 18- Back to School Part 2



Susan and Mark discuss the wonderful Back to School episode from Season 6.  This continues our #nellipalooza collection of shows…enjoy!

Laura, Albert and Carrie are beginning a new school year and many changes are in store on the 6th season of Little House on the Prairie
Nellie graduates from school and becomes the reluctant owner of a hotel and restaurant. The new characters of Almanzo and Eliza Jane Wilder enter in as the new School Teacher and the love of Laura’s life.

Charles injures himself and Caroline goes to work as a cook in Nellie’s restaurant.

Laura and Nellie are at their competitive best for Almanzo’s affections, with Harriet helping by pressuring him into dinner with her daughter. Because neither she nor Nellie can cook, Laura is all too willing (with ulterior motives) to prepare Almanzo’s favorite dish for her.

In a hurry to grow up and win Almanzo’s heart. Laura believes she will officially be an adult if she can pass her school and teachers exams. In only an optimism that Charlie Brown trusting Lucy to hold that football can understand, Laura asks Nellie for help.

This episode climaxes with mud wrestling, a couple of punches in the face and Laura’s realization that although she is approaching womanhood, like all of us, in many ways she is still a little girl, and no matter how much she matures, she will always be half-pint

 – Susan King


If you would like to hear more from Mark head over the http://www.vhsrewind.com or subscribe to his podcast by clicking here

The opening song “Albert” is written and performed by the amazing Norwegian band, Project Brundlefly and is used with permission.
Check them out at:

Vintage Cable Box: “Easy Money”, 1983


“Work banishes those three great evils. Boredom, vice and poverty.”

An eleven-year-old in the year of Our Lord, 1984. Hankins Drive in Lebanon, Tennessee. It was our first cable box. At first glance, a non-descript metal contraption with a rotary dial and unlimited potential (with no brand name – weird). We flipped it on, and the first thing we noticed was that the reception was crystal-clear; no ghosting, no snow, no fuzzy images. We had the premium package: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN, The Disney Channel, and the local network affiliates. About $25-$30 a month.


Easy Money, 1983 (Rodney Dangerfield), Orion

The resurgence of the classic screwball comedy started with “Arthur”, continued with “Easy Money” and “Trading Places”, and ended with “Brewster’s Millions”. The ne’er-do-well gets a shot at untold riches, ludicrous amounts of money, power, and respect but only if he or she can turn their life around. “Easy Money” follows the “Arthur” paradigm except that Rodney Dangerfield’s character already has a pretty awesome life. He smokes weed, he gambles, he drinks, he eats unhealthy food, he tosses money at big-breasted strippers, he bowls, he has fun. Yet, he’s happily married. His daughter is getting married, and he runs a business taking baby pictures.

Typical of this narrative, his mother-in-law hates him. There is a definite ethnic vibe running through the familial hostility. Uptight Irish in-law hates stereotypical Italian. When she drops dead, her executor makes note of a clause in her will which stipulates Rodney (or his family) doesn’t get a dime unless he changes his “evil” ways. Something on the order of $10,000,000! Where did this lady get that much green? So the movie spends some time showing Rodney getting increasingly frustrated as he tries to live a life of restraint (i.e. no fun) or else he won’t get the cash.

Rodney Dangerfield’s particular brand of humor, from “Caddyshack” on, bordered between obnoxious and likable, a happy schlub who carried a wild party in his back pocket everywhere he went. Considering his Al Czervik character in “Caddyshack” is another nouveau-riche elemental force and an annoyance to the uptight members of the country club, “Easy Money” could very well be a prequel. 1986’s “Back To School” could also fit into a trilogy of this character’s story.


Post “Raging Bull”, pre-“Goodfellas” Joe Pesci plays Dangerfield’s best friend, Nicky. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Dangerfield’s daughter, who is about to marry the sexually-ambiguous Taylor Negron. The director, James Signorelli, a frequent Dangerfield collaborator, produced over 400 films for Saturday Night Live. This is classic Dangerfield; a fun, sexy movie filled with large-breasted women (is it me or were breasts much bigger in the 80s?). Billy Joel performed the catchy title theme.

Each week (and sometimes twice a week!), “Vintage Cable Box” explores the wonderful world of premium Cable TV of the early eighties. You can hear my podcast at Misadventures In BlissVille and you can visit my Facebook group page.

“Vintage Cable Box” artwork by Bronwyn Knox.