Skip to comments.Oprah Goes Back In Time In PBS 'Colonial House'
Posted on 05/18/2004 7:48:54 AM PDT by presidio9
Imagine one of the wealthiest people on Earth living without indoor plumbing.
Granted, she only lasted a few days, but Oprah Winfrey took that challenge. She sat down with KMBC's Kelly Eckerman to talk about what life is like without electricity, running water or modern conveniences of any kind.
Oprah and her friend, Gail, recently stayed in the PBS "Colonial House," where the pair agreed to live as people did 400 years ago.
Eckerman: "Were some people surprised you were anxious to do it?"
Oprah: "I come from a very poor family, so it was like going back in my own time for me. Gail, on the other hand, grew up with a maid and always had indoor plumbing."
There were many unforgettable moments for the television talk-show guru. Oprah seemed to take most tasks in stride, but Gail was another story.
Oprah: "First, you arrive and they make you strip all your underwear because women didn't have underwear in the 16th century. Just one of those facts, I guess I never knew that."
Eckerman: "I never thought about that."
Oprah: "You never think about it. The panties have to come off, bras off."
The chores were another big adjustment for Gail.
Oprah: "We're trying to cook bacon, gasping for air, and Gail says, 'I'd like mine extra crispy.' And I said, 'This is not the Fairmont Hotel, sister.'"
A rodent finally sent the pair packing -- that was where Oprah drew the line.
Oprah: "I'm not going to survive if a rat falls on my face!"
Oprah's said her stay was short, but priceless for "seeing how far we've come as women, as people, and all the people who did so much for us to have this exquisite life that we so often take for granted."
Oprah added that the most revealing thing about her colonial experience -- besides no underwear -- is how hard they had to work. The women, especially, never had a minute to themselves, Oprah said.
Eight hours out of 700+ filmed is not enough. Way too many people didn't get the credit they deserved. Human drama became more important than actual results and any lessons learned.
The part about Dominic relying on his faith, and realizing how important it was to him, and going back to study to perhaps join the clergy was a surprise.
I think they all pretty much sucked at fishing.
I think several proved they were more than capable at being able to survive back then - I was impressed by Don Wood, the girl who tracked the chicken/eggs, Jack the company guy, etc.
I agree that it would not have been a success in reality.
I watched last night as well (well, the last hour conclusion) and the evaluators even said they were a lot more inclined to "be nice" because everybody "stuck together."
I had no blasted idea Dominic even was a believer!
I only heard about the faith of the Wyers.
I did expect this to go on for a couple more weeks......so I was a bit shocked when I just happened to catch the show ending tonight.
It should have kept going for another couple weeks.
I could swear Pioneer House was longer than this!!
I think that very much needed to be said on this thread.
If the original colonists had that kind of success we would not be communicating now by internet but instead by smoke signals! I think that the show participants were smoking somthing in their clay pipes other than tobacco.
There were several that were that way (Jack, plus the other family of freeman, not the Vorhees/atheists). They either downplayed it, or more than likely, never had enough time. They say eight hours, but with all of the ads for future PBS specials, the behind the scenes, the credits, etc., it was probably more like 6.5 hours, and with large portions of that tied up with the ship at the beginning, the audit/grading at the end, the Wyers' tragedy, the bickering, the punishment, the governor stuff, etc. you really had little room to find out what people truly believed or how they were responding.
The leftists ruined it for me.
The atheists and the hen-pecked Hippie Governor and his insufferable wife took over the show.
The Colony lost money on trade with the natives.
The original Plymoth Colonists build a defensive stockade and other structure such as a blockhouse for defense of the Colony.
No Guns? Where were the Matchlocks? The original Colonists did not assume the Natives would be friendly, they would have trained with weapons,set up a watch,and an alarm in case of attack.
If there was a country called Woodstock, and they wanted to set up a Colony where everyone would get back to nature and sit around and talk about their feelings, this would have been it.
P.C-P.B.S needs to realise that History is not improved by Liberalism.
They would have been the first to go home,get slaughtered by the Natives,or be banished by the other Colonists.
On the "savages", the Wampanoags (the ones who stole a chicken and 2 eggs) didn't look very Indian to me--curly hair is uncommon in native Americans!
My $.02 is that it was a great idea and I enjoyed the series at the beginning until liberalism and PC crap swallowed up what was actually a great idea for a series. As usual PBS screwed up a good thing. On Monday when the liberal CA hippie pastor turned governor called a meeting and wanted to discuss how everyone was feeling, that was my exit. I could tolerate no more.
When will Oprah understand the world does not revolve around her highness.
Are people actually this clueless? Living a subsidence lifestyle is hard. It takes almost everything you have. Why do they think that civilizations advanced once you were able to create a upper class that didn't have to scrap for food?
There isn't a lot of time for reading and writing. But there is a lot of time for what my grandpa would call, "pondering". You learn how to do your job on automatic and let your mind drift where it will. I guess they never got to that stage of expertise.
I agree. The producers obviously have never heard of L P Hartley's famous line, "the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." Political correctness is Stalinism in drag: even history is not immune.
And BTW, I must disagree with the person up-thread who said that the Brits always do this sort of show better. If you want to laugh your head off for hours on end, try to get a tape of the BBC show "Surviving the Iron Age", which ran a couple of years ago.
I think some of them were actually that clueless. That ticked me off about the series, they focused more on the human drama than the actual setting.
You would not know from watching that, just how hard of a time people had back in those days.
The voiceover mentioned that most of the early colonies would lose over half of their populations during the winters, but it was just mentioned once.
You wouldn't know that %90 of their time awake was spent working on either shelter or food. They couldn't just run down to the Quick-E-Mart in the middle of winter and grab some food if they ran low or run over to the nearest tree and chop it down if they ran low on firewood.
One of the producers had a good point - we looked down on our ancestors as being ignorant, dumb, whatever, when they were quite smart, and they had systems for surviving under harsh conditions.
If you took the entire American population in 2004, and dropped them in 1620s New England, I bet 80% would perish during the first winter.
For some really interesting perspectives on this show,go see the forums at the "Television Without Pity" website for "Colonial House". There's a lot of background info,and one of the colonists chimes in(the gay guy,Jonathan-his username there is "ComeOnTV", and he comes in on I think about page 66 or 67 of the board. You might want to skip some of the earlier posts,which included some retards expressing glee over the death of Bethany's fiance. You know,because she was a beautiful articulate young woman(something those posters could never aspire to from their sick liberal sewers),and a faithful Christian with strong convictions,they were glad and thought she had it coming. It was disgusting. When her faith was not only unshaken but strengthened,that really must have peeved them. There's a great article with the Wyers post-show,http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=18336. What a great family,really devout and really devoted to each other.
|Pioneer Quest: A Year in the Real West|
I saw it,when it first aired and it's NOT being shown here...but enjoy. :-)
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