THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, a spin-off from "The Danny Thomas Show," is a comedy about a North Carolina widower named Andy Taylor who divides his time between raising his son, Opie (Ron Howard) and being sheriff of the small and virtually crime-free town of Mayberry. With next to no crimes to solve, Andy spends time philosophizing and trying to calm down his cousin, Deputy Barney, played by Don Knotts.
Since its network debut in 1960, The Andy Griffith Show
has been a viewer favorite thanks to its folksy, nostalgic charm and memorable cast, both of which shine in this set featuring the series' debut season. Originally spun off from an episode of Make Room for Daddy
(both series shared producers Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas), The Andy Griffith Show
centered around the lives of small-town sheriff Andy Taylor (the marvelously dry Griffith), his son Opie (Ron Howard), cousin and deputy Barney Fife (multiple Emmy winner Don Knotts), and the other gentle eccentrics of Mayberry (which was based on Griffith's real hometown). But while other "rural" programs poked fun at its characters (The Real McCoys
, The Beverly Hillbillies
), The Andy Griffith Show
never stooped to stereotypes, preferring instead to draw its humor from the fine writing and cast, which counted Frances Bavier as Aunt Bee, Howard McNear as Floyd the Barber, and Hal Campbell as Mayberry's benevolent drunk, Otis, among the first season ensemble. All 32 episodes (including the epilogues, which are rarely aired in syndication) are compiled on this four-disc set, which regrettably lacks any supplemental features. --Paul Gaita