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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

a wonderful "Little House" spin-off

Author: dtucker86 from Germany
4 October 2003

Merlin Olsen was good as Jonathan Garvey on Little House On The Prarie. He took over for Victor French when he temporarily left the show to do the short-lived Carter Country. He was a professional football player to begin with, but I feel that he had a nice, natural presence as an actor. By the way, Patrick Laborteaux who played his son on Little House is now Bud on Jag, his brother Matthew was Albert Charles Ingall's son. I feel that Merlin Olsen was a good enough actor to carry his own show, but they really didn't give it the chance that it deserved. He was wonderful as a kind man posing as a priest to help orphans. The show was so warm and family oriented that they even had a whole episode about bed wetting! He was really good with the kids on the show and the fine character actor Moses Gunn gave able support to him. Unfortunately, warm family shows like this don't often survive in the cynical and callous world of network tv.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Father Murphy: One of the Best TV Shows

Author: Dphilly521 from United States
30 December 2004

"Father Murphy" was one of the best TV show of all time, many of its episodes very touching and inspirational. I will illustrate my point with thoughts on my five favorite episodes of Season 1...... 5. "Eighty-Eight Keys to Happiness." The sparked interest of the blind orphan at the possibility of Gold Hill buying a piano transforms very well into the excitement and humor involved with Moses' willingness to compromise with the saloon. Furthermore, Rodman's annoyance at the situation, his sudden metamorphosis into gambling greed, and his pathetic mother make for one of the greatest and funniest sequences of the entire series. 4. "In God's Arms." In the spirit akin to such classics as "It's a Wonderful Life," Father Joe Parker eventually discovers a strength that he took for granted all along and affects people's lives for the better in the process. This episode perhaps causes some of us to question our own beliefs in the existence of God while suggesting that the faith and its positive effect on mankind is more important. 3. "The Horse From Heaven." The concept of a mentally challenged person who is ridiculed and made to feel inferior having a depth down inside that she can have such a wonderful relationship with animals is simply priceless. It stands to reason that Ada becomes a hero at the end, deservedly so. The adage of the meek inheriting the earth is more present at the conclusion of this episode than in any other point in the series. 2. "The Pilot Episode." Making the ending all that more charming, John Murphy is not just some guy who feels like helping orphaned children. He is a complex man with childhood-influenced problems of his own. The long ago tragic death of his father haunting him, Murphy must decide between the urge to be alone and the possibility of helping many children in a worse situation than his own. The occurrence helps Murphy re-discover the concept of love, and it is all that more appropriate that he marries Mae Woodward at the conclusion of the first season. 1. "Knights of the White Camelia." This gripping episode is my favorite of the series for several reasons. The concept of love versus hate is often very powerful, and this episode succeeds as a fine example with several lessons to learn within the hour. We generally see bigots as very evil and very worthless people. The story of runaway bugler Jeff teaches us that a so-called 'bigot' can be a nice boy with a sincere willingness to learn and be productive deep down inside. He was steered along the unrighteous path, with his father there as a solid guide to lead him back on track as the episode concludes. Speaking of which, when Moses refers to the KKK by saying "They got sons too," we are all reminded that it is not a perfect world, such problems still existing and probably always will. In my opinion, however, the greatest lesson of all is that these eerie-seeming white-hooded monsters are in reality "the townspeople" (the banker, the barber, etc.) If you think that the hateful bigots are all vicious monsters burning in hell, think again. The butcher, the baker, the lawyer, the doctor, the hairdresser, the grocery clerk, need I go on? Watch out! It is priceless for "Father Murphy: Knights of the White Camelia" to express to us such teachings in no uncertain terms. A terrific series that should have lasted many more seasons.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Good during its first season but its second seemed rushed.

Author: OliverGbyrne-1 from United States
20 June 2005

I love that show. Season 1 was great because of great directors taking their turns in various episodes,including Mickael Landon himself and Victor French. The writing was top notch too,very sweet and engaging stories that never forgot to be funny as well. The show had even its own villain that was ,beleive it or not, even more evil than ms Oleson but in a funny kind of way.

but season 2 was just a disaster,characters were out of place,their was no more sense of danger that Father Murphy will be unmasked and that was a big loss as I just ended up not caring anymore. Allso Michael Landon stopped writing or directing for the show,that was a big loss in itself as he wrote and directed the best episodes of season 1. No wonder it got canceled in its second season because the people that created the show in the first place didn't seem to care about it anymore.

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