By Teresa Miller (University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95)
I grew up wanting to be a dramatic actress―emphasis on dramatic―because I spent my formative years in front of the television, mesmerized by such high-powered, Kleenex-laden shows as Queen for a Day, The Secret Storm, and The Edge of Night. My father and grandparents were wonderfully progressive in that way, allowing my brother and me full access to uncensored TV. Not that they were negligent. They just felt that life itself had already placed too many restrictions on us.
The only series ever off-limits at Grandma Crane’s house was The Waltons. Grandma believed that we were such a quirky family ourselves that tuning in to the well-balanced Walton clan might give us unrealistic expectations―and put undue pressure on our more eccentric relatives.