Full Recap of ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ TV-Movie Remake

by Lauren Boisvert

“The Waltons’ Homecoming” aired last night on the CW, and if you missed seeing the reboot live and don’t care about spoilers, we have the full recap of the TV movie right here.

First off, we have a whole new Walton family. Bellamy Young plays Olivia Walton; Ben Lawson as John Walton Sr.; Logan Shroyer as John-Boy; Marcelle LeBlanc plays Mary Ellen; Christian Finlayson as Jason; with Tatum Matthews, Samuel Goergen, and Callaway Corrick as Erin, Jim-Bob, and Elizabeth Walton. The only Walton kid missing is Ben Walton, for some unexplained reason.

“The Waltons’ Homecoming” is set in 1933, like the original show; the family still faces the hardships of Depression Era Virginia. In the reboot, Olivia and her children are preparing for Christmas while awaiting John Sr.’s arrival. His bus is held up by a winter storm, and then an accident causes it to skid off the road. The family hears about the accident on the radio, and Olivia sends her eldest child, John-Boy, out into the storm to search for his father.

John-Boy, of course, finds his father in time for the two of them to meet the rest of the family and characters at church for Christmas Eve. John Sr. doesn’t have a scratch on him but he does have plenty of presents for everyone.

It’s similar enough to the vibe of the original show to bring up some nostalgic memories, but the reboot is firmly its own entity. What’s nice about the reboot, though, is Richard Thomas, original John-Boy, took over narrator duties. Creator Earl Hamner Jr. used to narrate “The Waltons”; since John-Boy was based on Hamner, it seems only right that the baton should be passed to the original John-Boy.

‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’: Fans of Original Show Weren’t Thrilled With Reboot

As for what fans thought of “The Waltons’ Homecoming,” they didn’t seem entirely pleased with some elements. Fans of “The Waltons” took to Twitter to discuss what they didn’t like about the reboot.

“The swear words & the mention of Mary Ellen’s bosom were uncalled for,” wrote one fan. It’s true, there were more occasional swears in the reboot than there ever were in the original show. At one point, Mary Ellen says “ass,” something she most likely would’ve never done in the original. Mary Ellen once got hooked on pills, but she never would’ve said “ass”.

Other fans mentioned that the reboot seemed “too contemporary.” Wrote one fan, “The plot changes were fine but the language and family dynamics were too contemporary & certain (admittedly bad) historical realities were ignored; it took me out of the setting.”

While one fan brought up the nondescript actors and lackluster script, another fan completely burned the reboot with a single sentence: “It was like a bad Hallmark movie with everybody in Waltons cosplay.”