‘Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Gilbert Said These 2 Episodes Became Relevant Again

Little House on the Prairie remains a popular show decades after it originally aired. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the show, said some Little House on the Prairie episodes have proven still relevant as recently as 2020. 

'Little House on the Prairie': Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson stand on the farm
L-R: Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson | NBCU Photo Bank

Gilbert was on a panel for GalaxyCon Q&A with Little House on the Prairie co-stars on July 16, 2021. She spoke to the episodes of Little House on the Prairie that proved relevant all over again in recent years. 

Events of 2020 reflected 2 ‘Little House on the Prairie’ episodes 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sent the world into lockdowns in 2020. Black Lives Matter protests erupted that summer to protest police violence. Gilbert couldn’t help but think about Little House on the Prairie episodes “Quarantine” and “The Wisdom of Solomon.” Fans reminded her of them, too. 

“Now when looking back, again now, having come through the pandemic, more or less, at this point, when we were in the thick of it and all on lockdown, I heard from people all over the world about Little House on the Prairie and the relevance of episodes we did then with quarantine and plague,” Gilbert said at GalaxyCon Live. “‘The Wisdom of Solomon’ and how that affected people in the midst and middle of the Black Lives Matter movement this past year.”

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“Quarantine” shows Walnut Grove go into quarantine for mountain fever. “The Wisdom of Solomon” shows a son of slaves (Todd Bridges) offer to sell himself to the Ingall’s in return for an education. 

Melissa Gilbert said ‘Little House on the Prairie’ episodes were always socially relevant

Little House on the Prairie depicts the struggles of the Ingalls family living in the 1800s. Even though it originally aired from 1974 – 1983, Little House was always socially relevant.

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“The thing to remember too that’s important about Little House as well is that it was not lost on the creative forces behind the show the era that we were living through, post-Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, having come to the fore, the Equal Rights Movement having come to the forefront,” Gilbert said. “Those storylines and those issues were all interwoven in what we did. So though we weren’t hard-hitting in the way we told these stories, the stories were still there and still as deep and important and are definitely a reflection of the time.”

Melissa Gilbert is proud of the show’s legacy 

Gilbert recognized the conventional wisdom about Little House on the Prairie is that it was just a simple, wholesome family show. However, Gilbert took pride in the issues the show tackled, and the subtle way it presented messages in its storytelling. Gilbert also knows the fans recognized it too. 

“I think that a lot of that gets lost when people just talk about Little House and dismiss it as just another family show,” Gilbert said. “It was a lot more than that.”

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