Andy Griffith Show: Season 1
Blu-ray | Box Set
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Few television characters have impacted family culture as much as Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), Barney Fife (Don Knotts), Opie (Ron Howard), and the idyllic American town of Mayberry. As town sheriff and widowed father, Andy teaches his son the meaning of family, friendship, and upstanding citizenship in this all-time classic series.
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Picture quality is just what you'd expect from a good HD transfer: grainy and awesome. Clarity and detail are more present than ever before, which is most noticeable in clothing, badges, nature scenes, and... well, just about anything with detail to be seen. It really is a thrill to see a show this old looking this nice.
Besides pristine HD transfers, there's something else this blu-ray offers that the previous DVD release lacked entirely: special features. Included are the original sponsor spots as well as the original end credits scene (with Andy and Opie walking away from the lake). Having been born in 1985, I had never seen those before, so that was pretty neat. Also included is the 1986 TV movie, Return To Mayberry, and an episode of The Danny Thomas Show titled "Danny Meets Andy Griffith" (both also remastered in 1080p). Finally, there are some home movies taken on the set of the show (in color, surprisingly), and an interview with Andy Griffith and his wife on CBS' Person To Person nicely caps off the special features.
That concludes my review. I already owned this season on DVD, but as soon as I saw a good deal, I upgraded to the blu-rays and gave the DVDs to my Mom. I'm very glad I did. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch this while I wait for CBS to announce a Gilligan's Island blu-ray release. (Wouldn't that show look amazing in HD? I think so.)
NOTE TO CBS: I wanted this and would have bought it MONTHS ago, but had to wait 'til I found a better deal on a used copy as your original price of over $70 was just too ridiculous. $45-50 would still have been expensive, but much more reasonable. I want and am patiently waiting for season 2, but if it's not more reasonably priced than season 1 was, I will pass on it, too, until somebody sells one used for under $40.
Once Don Knotts, aka Barney Fife, left (except for five fun guest starring episodes) for a movie contract after season five, the series changed directions and the focused more on the town of Mayberry and its citizens. These are easily distinguishable because they are the start of the colored episodes. While they tried to introduce a Barney replacement, Deputy Warren Ferguson, for eleven episodes in Season 6, the character didn’t take and the show shifted toward Andy’s relationship with Goober Pyle, Howard Sprague, Floyd Lawson, and eventually Emmett Clark, who replaced Floyd’s position on the show. The colored episodes are actually more Mayberry RFD than TAGS. While it was still fun to be in Mayberry, the last three seasons just are not as good as the first five.