Television: Viewpoints: Life on the Prairies

TIME'S review of the new situation comedies two weeks ago was the first in a series on this season's television offerings. In future issues, "Viewpoints " will cast a critical eye on crime shows, the nostalgia programs and other series, as well as occasional specials. This week's subject is TV's serialized epics about families in the wilderness.

The success of The Waltons has created a new television genre that might be termed extended family entertainment. These are shows that encourage the members of the modern nuclear family (all 3.4 of them) to gather round...

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