The Waltons Homecoming (2021)
Aaaw I've not felt this warm and snuggly all year. This is even better than the dream I had about the blind one from Little House on the Prairie toasting my marshmallows in front of the fire after bringing me my pre-warmed slippers.
This is still the same family, same year, time period. The names are the same, but the faces have changed. If you were after a re-union of sorts, then I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. But if you can look beyond that spanner in the works, what you're left is a lovely, heart-warming story of family and love, released at a time when most of you out there will be doing something similar to the characters we see here - preparing for and getting home in time for Christmas.
If you're of a certain age, you'll remember The Waltons. They were so important, they even named a mountain after them. Well, the original writers of this 1930's depression biography did anyway. As Richard Thomas (John-Boy from the original seventies TV show) introduces and narrates the film here, you are whisked almost effortlessly to a simpler, more innocent, less cynical time in our lives when this family was to be admired. This fact is no less worthy today, but maybe just recognised less than it should be.
Through the eyes of the seven or eight year old boy I was at the time, I just assumed The Walton family were actually real. It didn't occur to me even briefly that this was a story, written by people to entertain. It could easily have been what I would discover later was called 'a documentary'.
In short, this is well worth sitting down for an hour and half if you get the chance, and you're not fighting the queues for whatever the latest new-fangled gadget is the craze for over-indulged children. It makes no excuse for ramming the spirit of the season and family values down the throat of anyone that decides to spend the time in this family's company. No bad thing, really.
If this is an attempt to bring back life into a television series that whilst often delightful, really belonged in its own rare time, then I'm afraid this will probably fail. The audience they may be trying to reach will be beyond them by now. Only fans of the original series will be likely to pick this up, knowing what a wistful time they will likely have. And they will. I know I did.