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Old 01-26-2017, 09:14 PM   #1
PhoenixAcres
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Default Ralph Monroe - most underrated character

I think Ralph's time on the series is underrated. Mary Grace Canfield brought so much to that role. You could count on Ralph for chipper optimism ("Howdy Doody!"), sly arrogance toward Mr. Douglas, and emotional range when it came to boyfriend "Hanky". She was a rich fully developed character.

She seemed to be the only one of the townsfolk who was on Oliver's level of intelligence and who understood his confusion, despite disapproving of his frustration just the same. With that she was capable of firing unexpected insults and jabs back at him. One of my favorite Ralph moments was in "The Thing" when a massive crate is delivered to the farm.

When Lisa explains some ridiculous old Hungarian method of getting the crate open, Oliver says "What???"

Ralph then repeats what Lisa said.

Oliver: (frustrated) "I heard her the first time."

Ralph: (matter-of-factly with a tone of impatience) "But you didn't understand her. I could tell by the blank look on your face."

Ralph routinely defied Mr. Douglas by responding with the same self-assured and condescending attitude, making scenes between them comic gold. It's actually my belief that Ralph worked best when Alf wasn't in the picture. Not to say they didn't have their good moments as well, but Ralph was an extremely funny, well-written character all by herself.

I remember reading that Ms. Canfield never once over the course of the show was guaranteed a contract by Jay Sommers. That just seems wrong and a terrible shame. She was forced to live episode-by-episode, being brought in only when the occasional script required her. As one of my favorite characters on the show I would have loved if she was a full-fledged regular like Eb or Mr. Haney. But of course, that just makes her time on the series even more valuable.
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