Christy ~ 1994-95 TV show {review}

Well, folks, how are you?

{You may have noticed a change in the look around here.  As you may also have noticed, it is March, which means that SPRING IS HERE *throws confetti*.  (Hush.  "But me no buts" about specifics; in my estimation, spring begins PROMPTLY on March 1.)  Thus, the change.  I know it's a rather big one, and honestly quite different from what I had in mind when I set out to "refresh the look."  What think you all?  We'll have to see if I stay sold on it -- I may miss having a header and an (always) visible sidebar too much after a time. :-P}

I first watched the TV show adaptation of Christy (1994-1995) while hunched over a small iPod screen a few years ago, and recently I borrowed the series on DVD from a friend, and I've loved the book for several years, so I thought, what the heck, better crank out a review.

I don't recollect whether I watched the show prior to reading the book . . . I don't think I did . . . maybe I started the book, didn't finish it, watched the show, and then read the whole book?  Anyway, these details are inconsequential.  Let us to business.

*Warning:  This post will probably include spoilers for both the book and the show.*

I suppose I'll start with my feelings on the cast?

With Kellie Martin as Christy, I'm not sure exactly what I think.  She's cute, and she's spirited but sweet and all that jazz, yet . . . I don't know.  Something seems just a leetle off?  Perhaps it's just the fact that the whole series itself (and I do really like the series, let me be clear) has a tendency to wax cheesy now and then, reminiscent of a Hallmark production.  (In fact, I thought it was Hallmark up until recently.)  But other than some slight notion of her not completely capturing the Christy of the book, I think Ms. Martin did an excellent job.

Tyne Daly nails Alice's personality, though she doesn't look much like Alice is described in the book.  Of course, *spoilers* the TV show changes -- among other things -- the whole Margaret issue, and since Margaret is alive in the series, that adds a different facet to Alice's personality.  I'll admit, in the show Alice seems more . . . fallible, I guess?  Which is really a good thing, if I think about it, because she IS, after all, most certainly human.  Some of her responses to the dilemmas in the show just seemed somewhat un-Alice-like.  Again, however, that's probably a) a good thing, since neither they nor Catherine Marshall (I assume) were trying to portray Alice as an angel, and b) largely due to the huge impact of her daughter's still being alive and alienated from her.  On the whole, bravo, Tyne Daly! 

Neil MacNeill is -- pretty good, actually.  Stewart Finlay-McLennan looks and acts the part well.  Due to the series' rather abrupt ending -- ahem -- we don't get to see Neil's denial of God get resolved, but it is covered in the TV movies that they made after the show ended.  (Also, okay, help:  I can't decide whether his hair is cool or not.  Sometimes it looks good and then sometimes it don't.  Thoughts?)

Some of the cast is Spot. On., though -- particularly Randall Batinkoff's David, Tess Harper's Fairlight, and Mike Hickman's Birds-Eye.  Most of them are, actually -- the children, including Lundy (though he's hardly in there enough to be able to develop his character), Ida, Rob Allen (such a dear lad), Opal McHone, little Sam Houston (THE CUTENESS THOUGH), the rest of the Cove people . . . by and large, the casting is well-done.  



The story-lines of the show differ from the book, this is true.  Several of the incidents recorded in the book aren't included in the show, and several that aren't in the book are invented in the show.  So that's a little strange.  But I have to say, all in all, that I really like this series.  Not to be totally cliché, but it captures a lot of the "spirit" of the story and the characters.  One element I really appreciate is the show's handling of just the community in Cutter Gap.  Its depiction of the poverty is excellent, and the way it highlights the bond between families and between the children and Christy is most satisfactory.  And then, of course, there are the -- ahem -- love stories interspersed, so that's a thing that is cool (most of the time). ;)  

The children, especially, are a major draw of the show.  Their innocence and sweetness and quirks and strengths and weaknesses and misfortunes and jubilees are all touchingly portrayed.  

Favorite Episodes

~ "Pilot"
~ "Both Your Houses"
~ "Eye of the Storm"
~ "The Sweetest Gift"
~ "Green Apples"
~ "The Hostage"  (I was VERY much a fan of this one. It was all Good and Dramatic. ;D)

*Spoilers -- ish*  Leaving aside the question of whether the makers should have altered the situation surrounding Margaret, Miss Alice's daughter, I think it's done pretty well.  Of course, they also change the circumstances of Miss Alice conceiving her, which is ehh.  But other than that, the actress who plays Margaret does a really good job, in my opinion.  It's interesting to see how it influences the different characters and brings out different aspects of them that you wouldn't see had they not changed it.  

My favorite romance was -- well, Neil and Christy, obviously, because of reasons. :D  But I also really, really love Tom and Opal McHone.  Particularly at the end of "Babe in the Woods" when *still spoilers -- ish* Tom tells Opal that they're adopting the baby, and that he wants to name her Iris.  That moment really touched me, because you can really see in his face how much he loves Opal and wants to make her happy, to help her heal after the tragedy with their daughter.  THEY'RE JUST SWEET AND PRECIOUS AND THE MORE I THINK ABOUT THEM THE MORE I LIKE THEM.  Also, I thought it was sort of Really Adorable how the makers incorporated a few hints of the romance that might possibly happen between Ruby Mae and Rob Allen.  (That is who they were in the book, right?) In that scene during "Green Apples" when Ruby's confiding some of her fear to Rob, and she tells him that she's always looked forward to her first dance, and then he gets up and goes over to her and dances with her in the middle of the sickroom?!?!  I mean, yes, they're a wee bit young for "such foolishness," but still.  'Tis cute.  

Final verdict?  Though the TV series certainly has its flaws, and some of them are more glaring than others, it also has definite good points.  In general, I think it's awesome. :D

What about you?  Have you read Christy and/or watched the show?  What did you think of it/them?


  1. I love Christy! I got the complete set for my 13th birthday , and me and my family have watched them all so many times. It took me awhile to finally admit that I like Neill and Christy together, better than her and David- I mean, I like David too, but his church would take him other places, and Christy loved Cutter Gap too much. I always liked "Green Apples" too, one of my faves, and also the Thanksgiving one where her dad came. The last one is one of my favorites, but it always left me frustrated the way they ended it!!! ;)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Oh, fun! Yeah, I do like David, too . . . the difficulties of love triangles, what. :-P Also, I think I found him more likable in the tv show? I don't know why, but he just seemed more sincere. I KNOW, that's the thing! The last episode probably WOULD be a favorite were it not for That Ending. Seriously. Badly done, makers, badly done.

  2. Thoughts? Dr. MacNeil's hair is gorgeous. And *um* so is he.

    1. Hehe, I was waiting for your comment. ;D His is not a completely unappealing visage, you are correct . . .

    2. I wholeheartedly agree, Emma Jane! :)

  3. I never read the book, but I have seen a few episodes of the tv show. But I stopped because I suddenly couldn't find the site where I was looking it. That was quite stupid. :)

    1. Rachel, isn't that the worst?! Or when a show goes off the site . . . grr. I hope you can find a way to finish it sometime! :) (Oh, and I like your profile picture a lot. *nods head*)

  4. I tried to read "Christy" last summer . . . it was not (aHERM) my Cup of Tea, so I didn't finish *coughs* But it was certainly a very powerful story, and I could see it making a great TV show/movie.

    I thought Christy was supposed to have dark hair though? Maybe that's part of what seems "off" to you, I don't know.

    (I realize this comment sounds like I'm asleep at the keyboard . . . I kinda am. Sorry. It's been a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong weekend ;-) )

    1. 'Hem, yes, I remember that . . . ;) At least you tried it, though!

      Yeah, that's part of it . . . she doesn't look like I pictured Christy. But I pictured Christy kind of like the illustration on the cover of my copy of the book, so I sort of had unrealistic expectations. :-P

      (Haha, no indeed! Long weekends can certainly take it out of a person, though. ;) Anything particularly out of the ordinary happen?)

    2. It did, actually--it was a very WEIRD weekend--I'll tell ya all about it when I email you (which should be this evening, hopefully :-) ) Everything's cool, though, don't worry :-)

  5. Very fun post! I do like your new blog look, it's very Springy, which I like. :)
    And yes, I have seen Christy. I feel like not enough people in the world have had the pleasure, but more people OUGHT to watch it, because it's good.
    While I agree it is sometimes cheesy/soap opera-y, it's also touching and sweet and fun to watch.
    I read the book for school after I saw the series, but strangely I didn't enjoy it as much.
    But I did like Niel better in the book because I pictured him being WAY more handsome than in the series. :P I don't know if I'm just weird, but I didn't find him good-looking. Nevertheless, the acting was good.
    But anyways, your post reminded me that it's been awhile since I've seen the series, so I should probably get to watching that soon!
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Aww, thanks, Amaris! I appreciate that :D (Although I'm trying to decide if I'm going to change it . . . I might want to use this background for a more summer-y look, so we'll see.)

      Here, here! Haha, nah, you're not weird -- I feel like all actors are attractive to some people and not so attractive to others. You know?

      Well, I hope you do and that you enjoy it! :D

      No problem; thanks for your comment!

  6. I tagged you in the Bibliophile Tag Olivia!!.


  7. It's been a LONG time since I saw this show. I don't even know if I saw the whole thing. But anyhow, this was an excellent review and you're making me want to watch it again sometime. :)

    About the new blog look. It is VERY different and may take a bit of time to get used to, but it's super cute, too!! And so warm and cheery. Nice job, dear. :)

    1. You should try it again! Like I mentioned, it does come across sort of Hallmark-esque at times (ahem), but it's still pretty good overall. :)

      Thank you! I'm now thinking about pairing this background with a future header, though, so I may have to change it . . .

  8. I watched this back when it aired, and haven't seen it since, but I just found the DVDs at the used bookstore a few months ago, so I'm hoping to revisit it at some point. I liked the series a lot, but liked the book better.

    1. Neat! I love it when I find TV shows for cheap. ;) Same here -- while the book is my favorite, the series does a pretty good job, too. :)

  9. I used to be a HUGE fan of this show back in the day (when I was like 11) so I'm going to have to try and refrain from commenting on every. single. thing. you said. :D

    First off, I'm glad you like this show!! It's not my favorite anymore, but I do still enjoy it very much.

    To this day I'm not sure of my thoughts on the Christy-David-Neil triangle. I used to love David when I was younger (WHY, younger me, WHYYY), but now I can barely stand him. He's so arrogant and prideful and stubborn and....ugh. He does have some good moments....but they're few and far between. :P

    As for Dr. McNeil, he has his faults too (notably his atheism, but am I correct in assuming he becomes a Christian in the book?) but I have to say I can stand him better. I WOULD ship him with Christy, but sometimes they don't seem quite right together, either. She's just so young.....I don't know. Maybe if I read the book I'll feel differently.

    Tom and Opal are SO sweet. <3

    Awwww. I loved that scene between Rob and Ruby Mae, too. #RobyMae

    "HOSTAGE" THOUGH. That is a fantastic episode. Like you said, the suspense!!!

    Do you agree that the ending of the series is pretty much the worst cliffhanger ever? THEY DON'T RESOLVE ANYTHING. I will never get over being mad at the producers for that.

    On a different note, your new design is lovely! I can't say it's my favorite (I miss your lovely headers!) and the format is a little hard to get used to, but it's definitely a very clean and elegant look. :)

    1. Aaaahhhhh, I love fangirling about tv shows with you, so I'm down for a long comment. ;D

      Same here! "It's not my favorite anymore, but I do still enjoy it very much." Precisely.

      Haha! I know. I recently reread the book (and yes, Neil is at least on his way to becoming a Christian in the book), and I didn't love it as much as I used to, so I am a little perplexed myself as to what I think. I used to LOVE Neil and Christy, but this reread didn't really "convince" me of them as a couple. I don't know? I do think the tv show has better romantic development for them. (And, you're right, she IS really young for him . . . hmm. Questions, questions. ;))

      Aww, yes. <3

      #RobyMae! Haha! That's awesome.


      Yeah. VERY badly done, makers. Uh-uh. Not cool. :-P

      Aww, thanks! Yeah, as I recall that one didn't last so long. xD I did like certain things about it, but there were also drawbacks.

  10. Haven't seen the TV series, but I adore the book so I had to check out this post! Wow, Christy looks so young. That's kinda strange. I feel like they changed it ALOT from the book??? Just the impression I'm getting.

    Ew. I do NOT like who they cast as MacNeil. He's so old and ugly.

    Also. How can Margaret be alive in the show?? Doesn't that mess everything up??

    I agree with you - Alice seems so perfect in the book. Like everyone goes to her and she gives them her stellar wisdom and tells them how wrong and evil they are (in comparison to her because she is amazing. Always.). It actually annoys me a lot.

    Anyway. Clearly I need to add this show to my to-watch list?? :)

    1. They changed quite a bit from the book, but they also captured some "essential elements," I feel.

      Haha! I quite like him as Neil, but to each their own. ;)

      "Doesn't that mess everything up??" Heh! Kind of. You're not wrong. I guess they did it to insert more Drama Drama, both between Alice and Christy, Alice and Neil, and, of course, Neil and Christy. I mean, they sort of "resolve" it? But only sort of.

      That's a good point. I recently reread the book and did not love it so much as I used to, so I'm currently Perplexed as to how I feel about certain things.

      I think it'd be worth a try! At the very least you might have the fun of watching something you really hate. xD

  11. I love your new header!!!!!

    I have never read Christy, but it sounds good! *putting it on to-read list*

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