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|Index||51 reviews in total|
40 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
The Life and Times of Sheriff Andy Taylor, 9 January 2004
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW (CBS, 1960-1968) is not only Andy Griffith's
first TV show, but his best. Griffith, who made his mark on Broadway,
TV and screen adaptation of NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS, might have turned
that into a weekly comedy series. Instead, Griffith was offered an
original premise about the life and times of a southern sheriff in
Mayberry. With the show's opening shows off a father and his young son
walking towards the pond with fishing poles carried over their
shoulders to whistling score, "The Fishing Hole," it's become one of
those rare cases where a series, lasting eight successful seasons, to
resume that same basic introduction. There were some minor changes over
the years where it converted from black and white to color, and the
growth of the sheriff's young son. During its eight seasons, this
wholesome sit-com not only centered upon Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy
Griffith), but on the citizens of Mayberry, North Carolina. Naturally a
series with such a lengthy run would go through some dramatic or
necessary changes, such as the loss of certain characters, (Deputy
Barney Fife), and addition of others (Goober Pyle, Howard Sprague),
having one basic show with two different formats.
Andy Taylor is described as an easy-going, sometimes laid back sheriff seldom in complete uniform, unlike his bumbling deputy, Barney Fife, who not only dresses accordingly, ranging from tie, hat and a gun in his holster containing one bullet.going strictly by the book of the law. Together Andy and Barney team up for some humorous police work with Andy playing the straight man, and Barney providing his quota of laughs. At times, Barney becomes the bumbling fool in the eyes of the people. It is up to Andy to prove them wrong by helping Barney restore his confidence usually by giving Barney the credit actually due to the sheriff himself. Aside from their professions in keeping law and order in Mayberry, certain episodes would set focus on their personal lives, particularly on Andy, a widower/ father to his young son named Opie (Ronny Howard), cared for at home by his matron Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier). The first season to THE GRIFFITH SHOW did find Andy romantically involved with Ellie Walker (Elinor Donahue), the lady druggist. Seasons two and three found Andy sporadically having new love interests. By the time he acquired one in Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut), Opie's school teacher, Andy lost his strong Southern accent for more natural tone. As for Barney, he's a carefree bachelor with his heart set on Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn). Unlike Andy (who would make Helen his bride in the premiere spin off series of MAYBERRY RFD in 1968), Barney would never marry.
After five seasons of black and white episodes, the remaining three seasons converted to color. Aside from that change, the Barney Fife character was gone, but not forever, making occasional returns once or twice a year for old times' sake. During Barney's absence, Andy acquired a substitute deputy, Warren (Jack Burns), written out of the show after 12 episodes, leaving Andy to sheriff about town alone and deputy position permanently vacant. With passage in time, Andy's police work would become less frequent, having ts main focus more on Andy's home-life and citizens of Mayberry. Otis (Hal Smith), the town drunk, would eventually be phased out.
While normally programs such as this losing a key supporting character such as Don Knotts would suffer in the ratings, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW continued to prosper for the next three years, becoming the number one show by the time Griffith gave up his badge by the end of the eighth season (1968). By then, the show acquired additional characters to the lineup: Goober Pyle (George Lindsay), Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) and handyman, Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman), who replaced by Floyd, the Barber (Howard McNear), upon his death during the 1967-68 season; Clara Jackson, later Edwards (Hope Summers), Bee's closest friend; all new characters part of the Mayberry family.
What has become the secret to the success of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW? Was it the father and son relationship between Andy and Opie, (who affectionately calls addresses him as "Paw.")? The chemistry between best friends Andy and Barney? Or the now familiar faces and classic characters who took part as citizens of Mayberry that made the show special? One thing for sure, there's nothing dated about THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. It could be set anywhere at anytime, since it hardly dealt with issues or political issues of the day.
During its initial years, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW played funny without becoming too silly, except in some cases with the wild and crazy Ernest T. Bass (Howard Morris). The final years dealt more on serious issues without getting overly sentimental, though some early ones, "Opie the Birdman" (1962) and "Aunt Bee's Romance" (1964) went strictly on the dramatic side. The final three seasons moved towards a more wholesome, down to earth setting, even modernizing Aunt Bee from homemaker to independent woman acquiring both a driver's and pilot's license, and the teenage Opie having new friends (Johnny Paul and then Arnold), interests in girls and becoming part a rock and roll band.
While the Andy Taylor character had been originally introduced in an episode of MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY (1959) starring Danny Thomas, characters introduced on THE GRIFFITH SHOW spawned spin-offs as well: Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), for GOMER PYLE, USMC, and Sam Jones (Ken Berry) for MAYBERRY, RFD.
After THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW ended its run in 1968, it has never gone from view. Many of its 249 episodes in reruns have become favorites, even classics, especially those involving Barney Fife. These and other shows can still be seen and appreciate in its seasonal package on DVD or TVLand. (****)
37 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
The show closest to my heart, 16 January 2002
Author: SmileyVision from United States
Being a small town man,I think it makes sense that my favorite all time
TV series is set in a small town.In this complex world we live in,I bet
we all,whether we admit it or don't,long for the stress free world that
the fine folks of Mayberry live in. There are countless things I love
about this show.For starters, Andy's relationship with Opie warms my
heart to no end.Having had to grow up without a dominant male figure in
my life,I always secretly considered Andy my father figure.Deputy
Bernard P. Fife,played with expert comic style by Don Knotts. Barney
was indeed a bumbler,but can you name a real life law man who had as
much dedication and heart? Couldn't you just smell the wonderful aroma
of Aunt Bee's home cooking? Floyd Lawson,played by Howard McNear,was
second only to Don Knotts as perhaps the funniest individual on the
show.McNear,throughout most of his years on the show,was very
ill,having suffered a stroke early on,but he continued on playing this
beloved character.What dedication.I don't know if he ever won an Emmy
for this role,but he darn sure deserved one.The Pyle cousins, Goober
and Gomer were,and still are an absolute riot.What else can I say but
let's hop in the car and go to Mayberry. To me,it's not a question of
whether or not you like the show, but rather a question of which
episode is your favorite?
2/26/2006 R.I.P. Don "Barney Fife" Knotts (1924-2006)
38 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
The "Citizen Kane" of Television Shows, 23 July 2000
Author: tfrizzell from United States
"The Andy Griffith Show" is probably the greatest sitcom of all time. The writing, the direction, the characters, and the stories all combined to make one of the greatest television shows of any era. Andy Taylor (Griffith) is the sheriff of a small, fictional North Carolina town named Mayberry. He has all sorts of adventures that are so realistic and pure that one feels that they are really in Mayberry when watching the show. Andy lives with his Aunt Bea (Frances Bavier) and his young son Opie (Ron Howard) and works with his deputy sheriff Barney Fife (Don Knotts). The thing that sets "The Andy Griffith Show" apart from almost all other television shows is the realism of the characters. Even though the characters are silly at times, often you can relate these people to actual people that you know or have known. The amazing insight by the writers is truly uncanny. The number of characters that are well-developed is also amazing when one considers how poor writing for television shows usually is these days. The show started out a bit silly in the beginning, but hit a peak from seasons two to five when characters like Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), Otis Campbell (Hal Smith), Floyd Lawson (Howard McNear), and Goober Beasley (George Lindsey) became more prevalent in the series' plot. However, after the departure of Don Knotts in 1965, the series went from being exceptional to being fair at best the rest of the way. The magic that Knotts brought to the show was even more evident when he was gone. Also Nabors left to create his own series and McNear suffered from health problems throughout the entire run of the series. Smith and Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) also had very little to do with the series after Knotts left. All in all a great series for about five years, but the show's magic slowly disappeared when the series went to color. 5 stars out of 5 for 1960-1965. 2.5 stars out of 5 for 1965-1968.
34 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Andy Griffith is America's Giovanni Guareschi, 23 March 2005
Author: Sanatan Rai (email@example.com) from Stanford, California, the USA
The Andy Griffith show is one of the best television programmes I have
seen. It presents a very gentle, humorous look on small-town America,
that hasn't been equalled.
The earlier episodes are better than the later ones. I suppose the transition point is when they went from being in black-and-white to colour. Unlike Guareschi's books, the good sheriff does not have a Peppone to ply his wits against, though Barney Fife comes pretty close sometimes, albeit unwittingly.
The episodes are done with great sensitivity and betray a great acumen in human character. It is unfortunate that such programming is no longer produced in America---it cannot be because of a lack of talent.
The Andy Griffith show demonstrates that human nature is essentially the same. Not only is Mayberry amazingly similar to Don Camillo's village, but people have the same kind of obsessions, desires and fears everywhere. This is truly an American classic, and one wishes that it were better known to foreign audiences.
17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
A Piece of Americana, 23 April 2003
Author: Brian Washington (Sargebri@att.net) from Los Angeles, California
The Andy Griffith Show will always be remembered as one of the great slice
of life series that ever came on television. It represented the ideal small
town full of not only ordinary citizens but the crazies that inhabited it as
well, especially characters like Ernest T. Bass and the Darlings. The thing
that really made this show great was the relationship between the ever cool
Sheriff Andy Taylor and the hyperactive Barney Fife. It was Barney as well
as the characters of Aunt Bea, Floyd, Otis, Gomer, Goober and, later, Howard
and Emmitt that made this show the classic that it was. Also, in later
years this show was criticized for not having any black characters on it.
If you think about it, this show was merely a reflection of the times that
the show took place in, the early to mid 1960's. Despite that, this show
will always be a classic.
Also, one of my favortite episodes will always be the bootlegging episode with the two sisters when you get to see Barney let loose and go POW, POW, POW with his trusty ax.
16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Great TV, 21 July 2004
Author: mcdoodad49 from Austin, Texas
"The Andy Griffith Show", in my opinion, will always be in the top 10 of my favorite shows, and I've watched the reruns numerous times since the first episode in 1960. I'm sure Danny Thomas has received many accolades for creating this timeless classic. My only criticism is that it stayed on the air three years too long. When Don Knotts exited, that's where it should have ended. The support characters of Goober, Howard and Emmitt never captured the comic timing or spirit of the original cast, and the storylines were bland. I especially detested Jack Burns' character Warren. He was very annoying. The last three years just weren't funny or even compelling enough to bother watching. Even Andy became more cranky and less down-home. He even lost his southern accent and laid-back ways.
13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
One of the most heartwarming sitcoms of all time, 18 June 2000
Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
As a native of the state of North Carolina,it comes on almost four to five days a week here,and its still in re-runs to this day. The Andy Griffith Show was just that: the sheriff with a heart of gold and a big smile to match along bringing the moral values and lessons that you see in today's shows of this magnitude or any other,and it still holds up to this day. What really made that show what it is brings up to the great writing and storytelling,combining that with good ole North Carolina humor along with country comedy and add just a touch of Southern gothic for a good measure. What really made that show hum like a fine motor for the first five seasons was the feisty spit and polish and by the book lawman deputy Barney Fife played with great precision and timing by Don Knotts who won five emmys for his work on that series. What really brought that show out was the father and son relationship of Sheriff Taylor and his son Opie(played by Ron Howard). Andy taught Opie valuable lessons on character and important values and morals as well as development of him from a boy into manhood. The characters that really brought that show out were certain individuals the gave Sheriff Taylor major fits(and Barney as well)like Goober,his cousin Gomer,and the nuttiest of them all: Ernest T. Bass,as well as Otis the town drunkard. After Knotts left the show to pursue other interests in 1965,the show wasn't the same as it was,but it never gave up on interest on the situations that went on in Mayberry. The black and white episodes were simply the greatest ever with Knotts in them,but kinda changed course when the show went to color. One of my all time best ever. Interesting Note on Andy Griffith: When the show left the airwaves in April of 1968 on the CBS network,it was the #1 show on television.
11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Why don't they release more of the B&W Episodes on DVD?, 7 December 2003
Author: scaves from USA
I recently purchased the double DVD of "Andy of Mayberry" at MediaPlay and
my spouse and I had a good laugh looking at all of them. We also saw the
Andy Griffith Reunion Show on TV a few weeks ago. I've always had a
tremendous fondness for this series, and such a crush on Andy when I was a
girl. The series was ahead of itself in its day in concept and
I don't think any of the other series at or around the time ("Bewitched,"
Dream of Genie," "Father Knows Best," "Leave it to Beaver" or "I Love
had quite the same combination of warmth and realism that this show had,
despite its zaniness.
At present, there are two versions of the double DVD that you get at media stores, both with all the same episodes: "High Noon at Mayberry" (one of the funniest!), "The Big House" ("Here at the ROCK..."), "Andy Discovers America" (one of my faves because Griffith gives a tour de force performance in his story about Paul Revere to the rapt school boys and the credulous Barney. This episode also introduces Helen Crump, the exacting school teacher). "Barney's New Car" (terrific! Knott's at his funniest!). Then there is "Class Reunion," which in my opinion has one of the sexiest and most romantic--because restrained and shy--kisses in all of film history besides "It's a Wonderful Life." Poor Sharon and Andy, drawn to one another and drawn away from one another because of professional differences and attitudes about fulfillment. "I like "A Wife for Andy" because of the hilarious demonstration of reverse psychology: Barney gets Andy interested in Helen precisely because she is "all wrong for him": a modern career woman who can't cook: "This dame's not for Andy. Let's get this dinner over with." I could do without "Here Come the Darlin's" (Charlene annoyed me), as much as I admire the Dillards and their fine Blue Grass music. And why oh why do they have "Dogs Dogs Dogs" and not "Opie the Birdman"? I'd also like to see the episode where Gomer runs around after Barney: "Citizen's Arrayest! Citizen's Arrayest!" And the one where Aunt Bee is eager for Andy to buy her a little cape she sees in one of the department store windows, but he doesn't take the hint and gets her pickling jars instead. Then the rotten mayor (I think), knowing Aunt Bee wants the cape, buys it himself and Andy has to negotiate with him. In short, I want more of the B&W episodes on DVD, but they seem to have stopped at sixteen.
On TVL presently, it seems to be mostly the color-episodes. I've read every comment on this board before offering my own, and y'all are right: WHAT HAPPENED TO ANDY? It's as though when Don Knotts left the show, all the "twinkle" went out of Sheriff Taylor. Maybe it's because the rapport built up between the two, where Andy would tease and Barney would get "sensitive," wasn't there any more, but like many of you said, Andy turns into a curmudgeon, a nag, constantly annoyed, inflexible in his handling of Opie, unresourceful, and lacking in that incandescent joy that was his hallmark early on--as though he has fallen into a depression. What made the series for me in its early years (besides the incredible comic talent of Knotts!) was the steady and happy presence of this sheriff who acted as a catalyst for settling chaos, whose patience, intelligence, sense of humor, keen observation, and basic love of life--that electrifying grin!--was a stabilizing presence on the show. Look at how he dealt with Opie's request to run away in the first episode! When they made the color episode about "Daisy," and Andy's so ticked off about Opie bringing the sick horse home, had the writers forgotten what he taught Opie about respecting animals in "Birdman?" In the color episode where Opie wants to take piano lessons and play football but the activities conflict, why did it take the coach to teach Andy, whose IQ seems to have declined, that an athlete can also be a pianist: just reschedule Opie's practice time! Had the writers forgotten that Andy Taylor the Sheriff (along with Andy Griffith the actor) is also a keen musician? Look at him playing Blue Grass with the Dillards. Or accompanying Rafe Hollister.
In short, I'd like to have access to more of the black and white episodes on DVD. Is that a possibility, O Beings In Charge?
Post Script: What is "Opie" short for? Is it Obadiah, or is it the initials O. P.? Do we ever find out? :)
21 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
I wonder if a show of such high caliber would 'make it' today..., 6 September 1999
Author: Frank Caperton (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Think about it - headline reads: "Andy Griffith, The Brady Bunch, and Gunsmoke" return to prime-time, network television in a modernized version in an effort to bring back morally reposible programming to the American livingroom. (Dreams are allowed, aren't they?)
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Some things are better in black and white, 13 November 2001
Author: SkippyDevereaux from Parkersburg, West Virginia
The black and white episodes of this program were the best, and I don't
know what it was, but when it went to color, all the "magic" the show
possessed disappeared!! I can tolerate the color episodes, but I HATED
Jack Burns's character of Warren. That "Huh?, Yeah, Huh?" routine was a
royal pain in the neck.
And what happened to Andy in the color episodes?? He turned into a man who was always griping about something--cranky and mean. It seemed that no matter what Aunt Bee wanted to do, Andy was there to put a stop to it, or at least, he tried to. Remember the time when Aunt Bee wanted to learn how to drive a car? Wanted to learn how to fly a plane? When she wanted to wear a wig? When she wanted to open a restaurant? Andy Taylor was a very hateful character in the color episodes. They should have stopped production of the show when they changed to color.
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