I love this show! However, there are a few issues with it.
Great message: The messages tend to be good, but some give the wrong impressions. In a later season, Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) finds her husband still alive when she thought he was dead. She tries to find out why he didn't reach out to her, but after discovering he has severe internal injuries, decides it's for the best that they stay separate. This says that divorce is o.k. if a spouse has been through a hard time and is too embarrassed to return to the marriage. Another time, Jason (Jon Walmsley) is asked why he's a Baptist. He gives a wimpy response that shouldn't have been written into the script. (For the Christians out there, this show portrays Christians as a bunch of hypocrites who have no idea why they believe in Jesus.) One good message that is often portrayed is that is if you do something wrong, you have to make up for it.
Great role models: Ehhh... I don't know about this. Mary Ellen is a very sassy girl in the earlier seasons. It does get her in trouble, though. She ends up becoming a doctor, showing girls that they can be whatever they want. Other than her, the characters are pretty good. John Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) does the right thing most of the time, same as the other characters.
Violence: Not much violence. However, the boys and Mary Ellen (haha) get in fights. They tend to do this while standing up for each other, though. (Erin (Mary Beth McDonough) is being harassed in a restaurant; Jason stands up for her. Jim-Bob (David Harper) is being made fun of at school; Mary Ellen stands up for him.)
Sex: Way too many kissing scenes. They're too long, too! One time, Elizabeth's (Kami Cotler) boyfriend wants her to spend a night with him. In the end, they're both glad that she said no. In another episode, the camera scrolls over Ben (Eric Scott) and his wife's hotel room. It is as follows: the viewer sees all their clothes hanging up, except Cindy's shirt, which she is wearing as they kiss in bed, under the covers. Seems way too suggestive to me. A few rare episodes deal with rape.
Swearing: In the later seasons, the characters do cuss every now and then. INSP (364) removes most 'words', though.
Consumerism: Don't really know. I don't really pay attention to that.
Drinking/Drugs/Smoking: Some characters get drunk, but rarely, and it's highly frowned upon. There are a few old ladies in town who make whiskey, although they were raised that it' a top secret health drink. Therefore, they don't know they're making moonshine. I recall only one episode about drugs...Mary Ellen is using them to get through nursing school. In the end, she realizes that they are too dangerous and is very VERY sorry that she used them. Smoking is punished in the Walton house, although Grandpa goes about it a different way: makes the boy finish the cigarette that he started and lets him throw up afterwards.
Overall, this is a great series. My review can't show all the good that's in in, only the major flaws in it. One thing: Make sure you know which episodes your children are watching. Keep them away from the ones that deal with rape, sex, divorce, etc.