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Did rural people like this show?


I grew up in a very small town in Western Pennsylvania. My mom grew up in an even smaller town. Back in the 1970's, she hated this show.

Yet at church, which was five miles out of town, I remember hearing one of the old guys saying how he thought this show was freaking hilarious.

Now I am a middle-aged city person. I think this show is freaking hilarious.

Back in the day, did rural Americans like this show, or did the ratings just come from city people watching?

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I am the first generation 'off the farm' in my family and we lived in a little Texas cotton town till I was almost 5, then we moved to the 'big' town (pop. 15,000) a few miles away. Many people around here had similar stories. And GA was certainly a show most of these watched, but for some reason it wasn't talked about much-- not like Beverly Hillbillies. In BH, for instance, in the second ep, Granny is shown the stove and she tries to build a wood fire in it. My mom's grandmother, who had never cooked on anything but a wood stove, actually did that when somebody gave her a gas stove. It wasn't funny, because the house almost burned. But to see this on television show for laughs led people to talk about these things they really related to in some way. Similar ideas flowed from the meaning of "stock"-- livestock or corporate stock; and, of course, only 2-3 decades before, many former country people did actually put benches on old cars and head out from the Dust Bowl to California-- just not with mllion$ already in the bank there.

But GA-- while it was funny, nobody really related to it personally. Who actually had to climb a poll to use their telephone, lived near a peddler so exuberantly crooked, had a county agent as ridiculously wacky, or had a tractor with wheels that would fall off if you point at them....? But the very premise of the show-- a rich New York lawyer wanting to be a farmer so badly he would buy that ramshackle place and extol the virtues of the American farmer, finding all the insanity but never giving up-- how do we relate to him? And yes, I'm sure many people who watched the show despised its portrayal of a farm community-- because people have been known to really believe stereotypes as shown.

So, to sum up, certainly many country and small town people watched the show, and a lot liked it-- but liked it more as something like a comic strip than as an exaggeration of people or events they really knew.

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I was a country boy in my teens then. My parents didn't watch it but I loved it. I like how it shows poverty in such a way that it never gets too realistic to what poor viewers were experiencing. Nobody had the kind of hardships the Douglases had! So you could be poor and feel comfortable with the show. And the rich folks were so nice (and willing to respect and associate with the poor locals) that the poor viewers could like them.

"All necessary truth is its own evidence." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I had an uncle who lived as a farmer. He ended up going insane.

This show was a caricature. A farce, if you will.

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I grew up on a farm and my whole family loved this show as well as Petticoat Junction and the Beverly Hillbillies. We weren't offended by it but back then people weren't so easily offended as they are now. ;-)

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Only if this series was supposed to represent a realistic look at life on a farm would anyone have had any reason to be offended. It was so obviously a spoof-type of silly sitcom that I cannot imagine anyone being offended at the ways the crazy folks in Hooterville were portrayed.

A similar question would be to ask if city folks, particularly New Yorkers, were offended at the portrayals of their lives on the series Seinfeld. Again, those four whackos were not supposed to portray typical New Yorkers, but merely four of the goofiest folks you could find.

I remember a teacher of mine ridiculing some of us for speaking about how funny Green Acres is. He dismissed it claiming "it doesn't even have a plot." In some episodes, he was correct, but that didn't keep it from being funny.

With the wacky subtitles being seen by Lisa, and some of the other goofiness in Green Acres, it is clearly a comedy that will just not appeal to some people--which obviously includes your mother and my old teacher. I don't think it had anything to do with the type of community in which they were raised.

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I don't know if rural people would have laughed so much if they knew how much city people believed in the show. I am from a rural area and I don't think during the actual run of GA that many were offended but at the same time rural people did not automatically gravitate to the show. I remember one neighbor who was big on Hawaii 5-0 (Jack Lord) and other cop/ detective shows but hated things such as Gomer Pyle, USMC.

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At the time I enjoyed those shows but like a lot of people, I think Hollywood really thought that is what rural life was like and while the sophisticates thought they were poking fun at us yokels, a lot of rural people have the ability to laugh at ourselves and we could take a joke. We are not as thin skinned and always looking for an excuse to get offended like a lot of they were.

This was one of the shows that was a victim of the Fred Silverman massacre. These shows had the ratings but I guess New York decided these show ere not aimed at the right kind of people they were looking for so they got rid of everything that had a tree in it. I think they did not like a lot of the conservative themes these shows had and how family oriented they were. I guess that is business but they really threw a lot of people under the bus who did not deserve it. Nothing much had changed in the last 40 years except we now have more choices of what to watch and now it is the alphabet networks who are losing ground.

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Agreement

Rural Individuals
which is p/Correctness
for rural people
because
people mostly
live in cities
Rural Individuals
have to tune into
G Acres

This is good
this is a good thing

But some stuff
bothers us
especially in Church

Like that shyster M Haney
and pants chasing R Monroe
and what happens to Arnold
not to mention Hotscakes

When it comes to
Rural Individuals then
M Haney an insult
R Monroe an insult
slaughtering A Ziffle an insult
not to mention Hotscakes

How could
L and OW Douglas survive
on those Hotscakes

L and OW Douglas
already dress for Church
even in the fields
even making coffees
same goes for
P Junction girls

but not most of the rest
Haney and R Monroe
just annoy
Real Rural Individuals
plus F Ziffle's beard
and all that laziness
from P Junction
to B Hills

We all love
L Douglas
H Kimball
A Monroe
and who else
oh yeah
S Drucker
D Ziffle
and A Ziffle

Who could help
loving
L Douglas
H Kimball
A Monroe
S Drucker
D Ziffle
and A Ziffle

But as for the Rest
it's pretty much okay
even that Darlene

So the best thing
for Rural Individuals to do
is to make believe
that G Acres
all happens
in some other State
because it couldn't happen here

[harp] 🎻 [saint] [candle] [piano]

♪  Not even Mad Scientists
get it right every time

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