HomeAmerican Entertainment‘The Waltons’: Mary McDonough Explains Why New ‘Homecoming’ Movie is Coming at Right Time

‘The Waltons’: Mary McDonough Explains Why New ‘Homecoming’ Movie is Coming at Right Time

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Brian Putnam/FilmMagic)

“The Waltons” is coming back to the small screen at just the right time, and not just because it’s been exactly 40 years since the show ended. Mary McDonough, who played Erin Walton on the iconic family show, explains why the new “Homecoming” reboot is right on time.

“I haven’t seen it yet, but I am looking forward to watching,” she started. “I hear lovely things about the new ‘Homecoming.’ Looking forward to seeing the new ‘Erin.'” McDonough played the 5th Walton child throughout the series; Erin was kind and outgoing, but was also a bit of a tattler. She would tell on her siblings often, which caused fights between them. Other than that, she was pretty and friendly.

Of the new series, McDonough said, “Many ‘Walton’ fans have asked me for years why there isn’t a show like ‘The Waltons’ to share with their kids. Now there is. I think it’s time for a fresh family show.”

“The Waltons” aired from 1972 to 1981, and while it had a lackluster start, it became the second-highest rated show on television by season 2. It earned numerous awards, and spawned 6 movies after it ended. “The Waltons” was truly a powerhouse in its day, and it was just a little show about a wholesome family trying to make their way in the world. According to Mary McDonough, Erin Walton herself, it’s time to bring a loving, passionate family back to living rooms everywhere.

‘The Waltons’: How the Show Stayed About the Family

Judy Norton, who played Mary-Ellen on “The Waltons,” now has a YouTube channel where she likes to take fan questions and go behind the scenes of the show. During one Q&A, she answered the question of how the show stayed so focused on the family, and didn’t let any other character dominate the scene.

A fan asked, “Sometimes in a series, a character emerges who starts as a minor character and rises to be a major character. The show then becomes about this character. How did “The Waltons” keep this from happening?”

Norton replied, “It was always an ensemble show. Of course, it was told from the perspective of John Boy and it really, in the beginning, focused on the adults. They allowed each of the children to have storylines and to have a direction they were going in their life.”

The show focused on the family, and gave each child interesting and captivating storylines, even youngest child Elizabeth, who started the series at 6-years-old.

“I just think there were so many opportunities to have stories about all of the family that they wrote it that way,” Norton continued. Although the series started out with John-Boy narrating, the family unit was so strong that even when he left, the stories were still interesting.