‘The Waltons’ leads August’s family-friendly streaming spotlight

‘The Waltons’ leads August’s family-friendly streaming spotlight

Some children try to sneak a peek at movies they shouldn’t watch. That sometimes happens at my house too, but more recently it’s been something far more vanilla — “The Waltons.”

Yes, the wholesome show from the 1970s set during the Great Depression has become a nighttime staple in my home, and my 10-year-old son has gone so far as to tip-toe out of his room late at night and catch a few minutes while I’m watching it.

But I’m not complaining. It’s cleaner than 99 percent of modern-day TV — and more entertaining, too.

Here’s the best news: All 200-plus episodes of “The Waltons” are now streaming on Amazon Prime, giving you and your family a chance to go back in time to a day when there were no cell phones or video games.

“The Waltons” fills the No. 1 position on this month’s edition of “5 Family-Friendly Things.”

The series aired from 1972 to 1981 and followed the adventures of a teenager/young adult named John-Boy, his six younger siblings and his parents and grandparents — all of whom lived in the Virginia Appalachian mountains. The series’ timeframe — the early 1930s to the mid-1940s — is a historical goldmine, covering not only the Great Depression but the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War II. The show gives children a chance to learn about a time when things were simpler, the pace was slower and families were closer. Most shows also have a moral theme too — if not an outright biblical one.

Some of the episodes contain adult themes, so minor caution is advised. Thankfully, Amazon Prime’s episode descriptions give parents a hint at the content.

Also worth watching this month:

  • Kirk Cameron’s ‘Connect’ — If you’re a parent trying to navigate through our tech-crazed world, then this DVD is for you. In “Connect,” Cameron interviews experts on technology, social media and parenting while answering one question: How can we live in a smartphone-dominated world while avoiding the pitfalls? “Connect” also is available on video-on-demand platforms.
  • ‘Faith Counts’ Video Contest — Yes, modern technology has led to multiple problems, but it’s also provided one helpful benefit: the ability to make our own professional-looking “movies.” Earlier this year FaithCounts.com sponsored a contest challenging filmmakers (amateurs included) to grab their smartphone or video camera and tell “in two minutes or less how faith changes lives, relationships and communities for the better.” The contest has been narrowed down to 10 videos, and they’re all available at FaithCounts.com.
  • ‘God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness’ — The third film in the “God’s Not Dead” series, “A Light In The Darkness” (PG) tells the story of a pastor who has a crisis of faith after his church is destroyed by arson. It’s the best “God’s Not Dead” yet — and it has an ending unlike the other two. It is available on DVD and streaming platforms.
  • Answers in Genesis Content On PureFlix — If you’ve never visited the Creation Museum or the Ark Encounter — or you did and want to keep learning — then here’s your chance to catch a glimpse of the videos you would see. Answers in Genesis entered a partnership in July with PureFlix’s streaming service that eventually will place 500 Answers in Genesis videos on the service. Some of the best ones already are on it. Visit PureFlix.com.


Meet the reviewer

Michael Foust covers the intersection of faith and entertainment as a media reviewer for The Alabama Baptist. He also is the husband of an amazing wife and the father of four young children.