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.
It was a really good show. I caught the last half of it, and want to see the whole series. The women wore enough clothes that not wearing undies was remotely an issue. Unlike Kerry's daughter.
Oh my. Maybe Alexandra Kerry was just doin' her colonial thang in Cannes?
Oh come on, Orpah.
If you're really interested in authentic living 400 years ago, you'll work as a slave and clean out the privy.
That is what struck me when I read a biography of Abigail Adams. The work never stopped, from planting to cooking to sewing.
You beat me to it.
The Simple Life III: Oprah Style
I've got to be honest, the show got a lot less interesting to me when Brittany left. Apparently there was a scene at the beginning of the show where she was ordered to remove her underwear. I'm disappointed that I missed it.
I am fascinated by this show, especially the reaction of the non-Christians to the strict Sabbath-keeping of the Puritans.
One of the women talked about that too. How hard it was for a colonial wife back then and the non stop work. Bizarre. People today couldn't begin to work like these people, and NO INTERNET. I'd be dead.
Very strict... I can't wait to see the whole thing.
You missed the first part,when they did the bio's of the participants.
P.B.S made sure they included enough unrepentant liberals to balance that Texas family of (Gasp!) Christians.
Hopefully there will be reruns *lol*
I happened to be home early yesterday and watched this on the Oprah show. Gayle and Opray made an interesting comment that they have only focused on their own ancestors' plight as slaves and never before thought about the hardships and hard work of the early "white" settlers.
I dunno, doesn't look as bad as being moved to chat.
I noticed that from some of the comments.
I am trying to figure out how you can be poor and have a maid!
Hey they should have did that when one of the colonists got caught stealing the old mattress.
Her friend Gail had a maid. Oprah was a bit more homely I guess.
I watched it as well and enjoyed it. Very interesting. I'm not sure I could do 4 months with no hot showers, electricity or toilet.
On a more serious note, how about no modern medicine? The germ theory of disease was nearly 250 years in the future.
Herbal remedies, country stuff I guess... yeah you're right. A lot of the real colonists died from disease. If nothing else, it makes you appreciate what you have now.
Religious observance was ordained by statute.
I'm not trying to be pedantic,but Colonial History is my "thing", they are portraying Pilgrims,ie Plymouth (Plimoth) settlers.
They were not all "Puritans" in the strict sense of the word, they would be more aptly described as "Sepertarists"and not all settlers were there for religious reasons.
Puritans settled Boston,later on and would in time overshadow and absorb the Plimoth colony.
I managed for about a week after Hurricane Gloria made a mess of Long Island. But then again I was a kid and thought it was fun. I wonder how long I can go without internet and telephones,etc. now.
I wonder if the re-enactors could boil their water (knowing what we know now) since the colonists obviously had cooking fires and pots at the time. I hope they cooked that muskrat well-done too.
The atheists had a fit about praying on the Sabbath. I'm praying for them, though.
It's probably a cake walk compared to what the people in "Frontier House" had to put up with.
Damn I got my shows mixed up then. The one I saw had to be Frontier House because the lady was sewing a US flag.
Checking out the website, I noticed that there are several people profiled who were not on the show last night. I'm guessing that the Wyers family will not be returning and they are replacements on future episodes. Obviously they went through a terrible tragedy, so I can understand that, but aside from Amy-Kristina, Bethany (not Brittany -why do I look at a hot chick and think of that name all the time) and her younger sister Amy were the only attractive women on the show. It will be much less entertaining without them.
"Oprah Goes Back In Time...."
If you're Going Back to the Future and you meet someone like Oprah Going Back in Time --- it's best to avoid eye contact!
I watched the first show last evening and was very disapointed that they spent so much time being politicaly correct. My wife and I have reencated the middle 18th century for many years now and felt they did a poor job of selecting people and then preparing them for this experience. Alas, I'm afraid that had we lived back then, my wife would have been burned as she is very much a 21st century woman.
One of those serving wenches wasn't that bad looking.
There's nothing hotter than a chick in a corset(Oprah excluded)
This is who is left:
Yes, PBS had "Frontier House" on a few years ago. The show was somewhat of a fraud. PBS wouldn't let the families use guns on the show to kill animals for food. The father of one of the families complained about this, but it was suppressed by PBS. Never underestimate the ability of PBS to present the bias of left wing views in everything they do.
Oprah would have welcomed sharing a cabin with rats if a hundred Indians were shooting arrows at her big, fat ass. I caught some of the show and thought it was almost as good as 'Amos & Andy'.
I found it interesting that when the conservative was in charge, they had some direction as a community; but once the liberal took over, the commuity was lost, b/c they spent so much time on how everyone felt (especially the women and their work).
I also found it interesting that the liberal professor was afraid to confront the women about the days-off issue.
They did show the slaughtering of the pig which I found suprising.
Somehow somewhere a pic of Anna K will turn up in this thread.
I'll stick with Amy-Kristina, but neither of them measure up to Bethany. She was the real deal.
What suprises me is the self-defense mechanism that has allowed all of this to suppress the mental image of Oprah Winfrey removing her bra and panties...
While we're on the subject of P.B.S,check this out,much Redcoating.
P.B.S p.c'd the hell out of it,and edited most of me out.
Her husband is a carpet salesman,what the hell kind of a job is that for a hippie?
BTW, what was up with the vivid colors of the clothing? Did people really dress that way, or did Prince have a wardrobe surplus sale?
I was very surprised, to say the least. They've got a better mix of personalities this time around.
I wonder if Oprah agrees with Danny Tisdale's comments. I'll paraphrase them since I can't find them on line : I no longer consider myself an African-American, but an American of African descent, with the emphasis on American.
Later in an online interview on PBS' website : "As I expected, the project solidified my love for this country, as a American of African descent whose ancestors shed their blood in this soil for a better life for me. It also confirmed my appreciation of the ideals for the men and women who were here originally and who came from other lands to create this great diamond in the rough that we have today. I better understand that democracy is not guaranteed, and that my participation is required to keep and enhance it; for me this is one of the greatest gifts of the project."
In another interview that was in a magazine or something (that showed up on the web and which I unfortunately do not have a link to), he said something along the lines, that he would have endured what his slave ancestors endured, if it meant his descendants could have the life and freedoms that he has in this country.
Interesting that such an experience makes some people bitter or wanting to forget it, while others like him, it makes them appreciate and love this country even more and what its founders went through.
The producer of the show made an interesting comment afterwards. She was talking about how we view life in the 1600s as being backwards, primitive, crude, etc.
She basically said "our ancestors weren't stupid, they had working systems for everything", basically you can't judge them by our standards today.
Besides the hard work, the other thing that struck me, was the reliance upon one another. Everybody had roles, and if everybody decided they wanted to do their own thing, the place would fall apart. Mrs. Vorhees had a fit when some of the women were complaining about their days off and the work. She was practically screaming "You signed up for this, you have certain responsibilies, you should get over it and deal with them". Some of them viewed this as an extended five month vacation I believe, and didn't want to cook, clean, mend clothes, etc.