HOLLYWOOD—It was a series that I stumbled upon by mistake while TV surfing nearly 15 years ago. I was looking for something to watch and I came upon The Learning Channel better known as TLC. The series that caught my eye was “Little People, Big World.” It chronicled the life of the Roloff family that consisted of patriarch Matt, and his wife Amy. Matt and Amy suffer from dwarfism, different versions and they are raising their family on the Roloff Farm in Oregon.

The family consists of their twins Jeremy and Zach, who are nothing alike, Jeremy is average size, but Zach is little like his parents. The twins are teenagers and that angst is happening full force. Matt and Amy also have a daughter, named Molly and their youngest son, Jacob who loves to play around. I recently did a re-watch of the first season of the series and man I forgot how great it was. To me this was reality TV where it felt natural and NOT forced storylines or drama for the sake of TV.

Yes, I will say it and I know people don’t want to hear it, but reality TV is not reality TV anymore. It is so fabricated and full of fakery it is no longer fun to watch. The first season had a documentary style feel to it. The family was being followed around for everyday tasks and inside their home as they functioned as if the camera was not there. Now, you all know how I feel about cameras. I’m a firm believer that once a person knows he or she is being watched it changes their behavior and how they react. You can alter what you say and do when you know a camera might be watching your every move.

However, back in 2006, when the series premiered on TLC (I suspect the filming took place in 2005), this was a family that was looking to educate the public on the lives of little people and educate the world quite a bit. For starters, I learned the word midget was offensive to those who suffered from dwarfism. It is lingo we all know, but not everyone is attentive to. However, it wasn’t just the terminology people used, it’s the behavior of the public. Saying mean things, staring, how little people are forced to adapt in a society that doesn’t always accommodate them. I found it fascinating that Matt was trying to make adjustments to his home to make it more accommodating to himself, Amy and Zach, but per building code where they lived doing certain modifications are seen as dangerous for the average person.

I mean Matt began a start-up business that provided products to help little people while traveling and visiting hotels, where they had stools and items that made their stay at hotels much safer and secure. In addition, the audience got to see how Amy navigated shopping in a grocery store where at times she would have to climb on shelves just to have access to everyday food staples. In addition, the element of driving was eye-opening. One might suspect a little person could not drive a vehicle, but that is NOT the case, not at all.

There are things that can be placed on a vehicle that allows a little person to access the brake and gas pedals on a vehicle that was quite nifty and fun to see. So as Amy and Matt notes plenty of times in the opening sequence of each episode, they are just like everyone else they just sometimes do things slightly different. What I enjoyed so much about this series is the focus on the family element. It was so potent in the first season I literally binge-watched the entire season in a single day.

It brought back so much nostalgia and edutainment that I loved it. So I’m beginning season two and I plan to watch the entire series and trust me it’s a long one. The show in 2006 is a vast difference from the most recent in 2024. Yes, I think the finale that recently aired was the end of the series because it just felt like it. With Zach and Tori not returning to the series, I don’t see how the show continues especially with just Matt and Amy. Could it potentially work?

Yes, but at its core, “Little People, Big World” was all about family and in recent seasons that notion was there, but not as heartwarming as in earlier seasons. The current rift between Matt and Zach was just heartbreaking and it got to a point as a viewer that it was NOT as fun to watch. I still watched, but I missed the love between family members in the earlier seasons. With that said, if you want an invitation into the life of little people, you can stream the entire series from season 1 to 25 on MAX.