12 May 2005 | aguything
Hi, everyone. I'm Roy. Petticoat Junction was already halfway through its first season when I first got to view it. This would be February 1964 and I was nine going on ten. I was already hooked on The Beverly Hillbillies and had grown fond of the rural sensibilities of that show. My home town, Fresno California, was a lot like Hooterville in the '50s and '60s.
After seeing my very first episode, which was Last Chance Farm, I knew that I wanted to continue watching the show. I can't really specify what it was about the first episode. I did develop a crush on the youngest daughter, Betty Jo, but that wouldn't happen for weeks. In the meantime I enjoyed watching Kate outwit Homer Bedloe and also looked forward to seeing what Uncle Joe's latest moneymaking scheme would be. Tuesday night (when it originally aired) actually broke up my school week. It was like getting an extra weekend because I enjoyed it so much.
I didn't get to see the pilot episode until the first season had gone to reruns. I remember that night my Mom's brother and his family had arrived from Alabama to visit all the California relatives, and poor Mom had to keep pulling me away from the TV telling me I could watch that anytime. But this was the pilot! I didn't know how to get that point across.
But I certainly concur with everyone who has commented favorably on the first two seasons. They were, for me also, the best. While my favorite Billie Jo was Meredith, who didn't come along until the fourth season, I always liked what Jeannine brought to the character during her time on the show, and Pat Woodell's portrayal of Bobbie Jo.
I was fortunate enough to meet four of the actresses (Linda Henning, Lori Saunders, Jeannine Riley and Gunilla Hutton) at the celebrities conventions held in Southern California. All were sweethearts, just like their characters. I also remember getting jazzed when I heard that TV Land was going to air the first two seasons. But that wound up not happening, and my understanding is that the demand wasn't strong enough. I realize PJ had, and has, something of an esoteric appeal, and isn't a show that's generically referred to the way its sibling shows, Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, are. That said, though, I discovered six years ago through the miracle of the Internet that I wasn't the only viewer on the planet Earth who appreciated the show as much as I did. I've gotten to meet some other fans who have become some of my closest friends. I'm a regular poster at the Shady Rest Forum, where we have some great discussions and share memories of the series. Sadly, it hasn't aired in the United States since March, 2000, when TV Land pulled it off the air, and I sincerely wish that one of the networks, if not TV Land, would bring it back.