The Return of The Waltons

Yesterday, a piece of delightful pieces of news was announced: The Waltons is returning! Specifically, it’s returning in the form of a remake of the original Waltons movie, The Homecoming. However, in order to keep some connection to the original, Richard Thomas will be returning to the role of John-Boy Walton, this time playing the role of the narrator. This has me excited for a number of reasons.

When I saw that there was going to be a remake, my first thought was “I hope Richard Thomas is the narrator” and I soon found out that that was indeed the case. Since then, I’ve been endlessly excited for the new movie to come out.

With Richard Thomas reprising his role, we could get something which is both a nice ending to the original run of The Waltons, while also being a new beginning. The ideal scenario in my mind is that the story starts with Richard Thomas’s version of John-Boy with his children (or grandchildren) on Christmas Eve and when they can’t sleep, he tells them a story from his childhood – then we get the new movie. Then, at the end, when he finishes the story, John-Boy sees the kids are now asleep and, having told the tale, he feels nostalgic and takes a look at some old photos of the family (the original actors) and concludes that he’s had a good life. For me, that’d be the perfect ending to The Waltons and it would book end the series beautifully, with it starting and ending with different versions of The Homecoming.

Secondly, along with the announcement came the news that if the movie does well enough, it could lead to a whole new series of The Waltons. Of course, it’s going to be a very different interpretation of things, but I think that the ideas and concepts behind The Waltons – e.g. of a young man who wants to go to college and become a writer and of a family who carry progressive values and are accepting of all people – is such a strong idea, that it transcends any specific actors. As long as it remains true to the ethos of the original, I think it has the potential to be really good – particularly as when I watch The Waltons, I often find myself thinking that a lot of the ideas are just as relevant today. They tried hard to tackle a lot of social issues in the show and, in my opinion, always came down on the right side of history, leaving them looking progressive and ahead of their time. Plus, it’s not as though a large number of cast members didn’t change between the original Homecoming and the main series and, of course, John-Boy himself changed actors later in the show. It’s exciting to think about who the third John-Boy in the pantheon of John-Boys will be.

Thirdly, I have been a Waltons fan since 2009. Since that time, other than watching through all of what already existed, I have never had any new Waltons to look forward to. At last, a new instalment in the series is coming out within my lifetime – when I see the movie, I’ll be among the first to see it. It’ll be brand new. I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen ever since I became obsessed with the show. I hope this new movie renews interest in The Waltons and that we have lots of new Waltons content in the near future and that more people take an interest in the original show.

Finally, I love Christmas movies. There’s a long list of them that I watch every single year. It’ll be nice if this ends up being part of my festive routines. I’m sure there will be very many nice evenings in the future where I’m off work, looking forward to Christmas and watching the new Homecoming.

All round, it’s a brilliant piece of news and I struggle to understand why a lot of Waltons fans have reacted negatively. Yes, a lot of remakes aren’t as good as their originals but… so what? There are a lot of good remakes as well and even if it’s rubbish, it in no way effects the original movies, so I don’t understand why people are so upset. Ultimately, I hope it succeeds and does very well.

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