on February 14, 2006
Season 6 saw major changes to The Andy Griffith Show. The main changes were that the shows were aired for the first time in color, Barney Fife was no longer a regular character, and characters Warren Ferguson (briefly) and Howard Sprague (`til the end of series and Mayberry RFD) would make their entrance. Many fans do not prefer the color seasons (some even refuse to watch them). I want to use this review and the reviews for seasons 7 and 8, to stick up for these seasons. For this review, I want to particularly defend a character who is often maligned: Deputy Warren Ferguson. He replaced Barney Fife for 11 episodes in season six until he was written out of the series (with no explanation) and never replaced. He was played by a very underrated actor, Jack Burns, who went on to be a variety show staple through the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of the comedy duo Burns and Schreiber (having their own show in 1973), and later was head writer for The Muppet Show and script supervisor and co-producer for Fridays in the early 1980s. I thought his Warren character was an excellent addition to the cast and had a main role in a few of my favorite color episodes (A Warning From Warren, Aunt Bee Takes a Job, Girl-Shy, and Otis the Artist). He was also very easy on the eyes for us female fans. The criticism about his "huh-huh-huh" gimmick (used in his routines with Avery Schreiber) is blown up a bit as he didn't say it that often on TAGS. He used it the most in his first episode The Bazaar, where his character was being introduced. If you do a web search for "The Revenge of Warren Ferguson," you will find a tribute I created for him. Give Warren a chance. Now for the season six episodes:
"Opie's Job": Another season begins with an Opie ep. Opie competes with another boy for a grocery job. Andy is disappointed when he finds out his son gave up on the job, until he hears Opie's reason.
"Andy's Rival": It is time for Andy to be jealous for a change. Helen begins working with a handsome teacher who seems the superior to Andy in every way.
"Malcolm at the Crossroads": The last episode for Malcolm Merriweather and Ernest T Bass (I'm not a Ernest T fan, so this was OK by me). When the bicycling Englishman takes Bass' crosswalk job, Ernest T wants to fight him.
"Aunt Bee, the Swinger": Bee wants to impress an old beau who became a politician, and runs herself ragged trying to keep up with, what she believes, is the fast pace he is used to.
"The Bazaar": Warren's first episode. Warren arrests the ladies' auxiliary for illegal gambling (bingo) and the husbands are angry with Andy because who's going to fix them dinner? (can you believe that?! It's called cereal, milk, a spoon, and a bowl).
"A Warning From Warren": Warren believes he has ESP and senses danger lurks for Andy and Helen's planned picnic at Myer's Lake.
"Off to Hollywood": Andy gets a $1,000 check for a movie that is being made about his sheriff without a gun story. Aunt Bee, Opie, and Helen convince him to use the funds on a trip to Hollywood and the townsfolk keep asking Andy for favors (autographs, etc.).
"Taylors in Hollywood": One of the funniest color eps. On location in Hollywood, Andy, Opie and Aunt Bee watch the filming of the movie about them and, Aunt Bee is not pleased with how they and the town are portrayed. Gavin McLeod (Love Boat Captain) plays Andy, and boy is he funny!
"The Hollywood Party": A Helen blow-up episode. Helen sees a publicity photo of Andy (still in Hollywood) and an actress and goes off.
"Aunt Bee on TV": Aunt Bee is a winner on a tv game show while in Hollywood and, when she gets back to Mayberry, her friends get tired of hearing about all the prizes she won.
"The Cannon": A state mobile museum comes to Mayberry for Founders' Day. Warren is in charge of guarding it, but is more interested in the old town cannon nearby.
"A Man's Best Friend": Maybe the silliest TAGS ep. Opie and a new friend (a real sarcastic kid) use walkie talkies to convince Goober that his dog can talk.
"Aunt Bee Takes a Job": Aunt Bee gets a job at a print shop and doesn't realize her employers are counterfeiters. This is one of my favorite color eps. Mr. Clark is a very funny villain ("we're adopting a kid") and Warren trying to dislodge the getaway car from the bumper of the squad car while explaining the benefits of advertising-that's classic!
"The Church Organ": After the church organ goes flat during her rendition of "Love Lifted Me," Clara refuses to play the old organ and Andy, Warren and a group of businessmen try to put a fund together to buy another organ. Things hit another sour note when Andy can't collect on the pledges.
"Girl-Shy": Another classic Helen blow-up episode. Warren is shy around women until he is sleepwalking. In a somnambulistic state, he gets fresh with Helen. Bad move! Hell hath no fury like Helen!
"Otis, the Artist": Another favorite of mine. Warren thinks mosaics might be an appropriate safety valve for Otis to stop his drinking. Give Warren credit; his plan almost works but, for once, Andy gets in the way of success.
"The Return of Barney Fife": Don't worry, Barney appears in this season! In fact, Don Knotts won an Emmy for this episode. He returns for a class reunion and learns something shocking about Thelma Lou.
"The Legend of Barney Fife": Warren thinks Barney is a living legend but his hero worship is put to the test when Barney appears a coward when a convict he managed to capture escapes.
"Lost and Found": Aunt Bee loses an antique brooch and collects on the insurance, only to end up finding the pin. Jack Dodson (later to play Howard Sprague) appears as the insurance man.
"Wyatt Earp Rides Again": The last appearance of Warren. A fellow claiming to be a descendant of Wyatt Earp along with his big-mouth promoter comes to Mayberry and teaches the kids that "the man who can fight is the man who is right," much to Andy's chagrin.
"Aunt Bee Learns to Drive": Andy is worried when Aunt Bee is bent on learning to drive, especially with Goober as her instructor.
"Look Paw, I'm Dancing": Opie dreads going to a school dance because he's got two left feet (so to speak). Unbeknownst to him, this problem was passed down from his father. Watch this episode to hear some REALLY bad music!
"The Gypsies": A gypsy curses Mayberry with a drought after Andy forbids them to sell their wares in town (how often did it rain in Mayberry, anyway? In "Quiet Sam" and I remember Ernest T's "Sweet Romeena" mentioned it had rained during Mrs. Wiley's party).
"Eat Your Heart Out": Goober has a crush on Flora, but Flora has her sights on a certain sheriff.
"A Baby in the House": Aunt Bee takes care of a baby and is saddened because, every time she holds the baby, it cries (maybe the baby knows something about Aunt Bee that we don't).
"The County Clerk": Enter Howard Sprague. Andy and Helen try to fix Howard up with a date but his overbearing mother does not approve. One of my favorites. I like the eps with Howard's old bat mother.
"The Foster Lady": Aunt Bee becomes the Foster Furniture Polish Lady. Trivia: Actual TAGS crew members are members of the commercial crew.
"Goober's Replacement": Flora fills in for Goober at the filling station and her feminine charms increase business.
"The Battle of Mayberry": Opie tries to get info on the famous town battle and, of course, everyone thinks their relatives were the heroes. What really happened was not near as heroic.
"A Singer in Town": Aunt Bee and Clara write a poem "My Hometown" that they try to get set to music.
on March 1, 2006
I have to disagree, at least somewhat, with all the reviewers and fans of TAGS who constantly criticize the color episodes (seasons 6-8, episodes 160-249). Though I have to agree the consistency of the scripts wasn't as good as seasons 1-5, there are some hidden 'gems' in each season, beginning with season 6.
Some of my personal favorites include:
ANDY'S RIVAL (EPISODE 163) - Great performance by veteran character actor Charles 'Wild Wild West' Aidman as a school teacher sent to Mayberry to teach Helen about a new grading system. Andy does a classic slow burn in several scenes as the seeds of jealousy are gradually planted, and Goober spats the classic line 'if you've seen one monster, you've seen them all' when reviewing the film 'The Monster From Mars'...
A WARNING FROM WARREN (EPISODE 169) - No, Jack Burns was no Don Knotts...not even close. But as Andy would say 'let's be fair about this thing'...the man was put in an IMPOSSIBLE situation. Firt off, no one but NO ONE replaces Barney Fife. Secondly, the producers and writers were obviously still writing for Don Knotts. That said, this was the one 'Warren' episode I truly enjoyed. Again, Andy gives it the 'slooooooooow burn' until the very end, when he unceremoniously dumps Goober and Warren into Myers lake...
NOTE: Goober's order from the diner: A peanut butter and tuna sandwich...with a milkshake...um um good.
THE LEGEND OF BARNEY FIFE (EPISODE 177)- 'Big Barn' returns to Mayberry to find an admirer of his past heroics (Warren) and an escaped prisoner on the loose. A prisoner he once helped put away. Just like old times, its Andy to the rescue of his old comrade. Great to see Barney in action once again, and he shows great class in giving the credit of the arrest to Warren.
LOOK PA, I'M DANCING (EPISODE 181) - Hey, just the single scene where Andy and Helen 'bust a move' is worth the price of admission...ol' Ange jumps and hops about like he truly has 'ants in the pants'....Geez, and I thought I was rhythm-less.
EAT YOUR HEART OUT (EPISODE 182) - Goober falls in love with Flora, but Flora falls for Andy. Helen stews at Andy while Goober is oblivious until Floyd 'spills the beans' about seeing Flora kiss Andy. Goober confronts Andy, who eventually convinces Flora that its the Goob she ought to be crazy about.
Welcome to 'Days of Our Lives', Mayberry style. NOTE: Have to admit, that 'meatloaf plate' looked pretty good.
THE COUNTY CLERK (EPISODE 185) - Introduces everyone's favorite 'mama's boy', Howard Sprague, Mayberry County Clerk. Nasal, whiny, and under constant surveillance by a mother that can only be described as 'Ultra-controlling', Howard is brilliantly played by Jack Dodson, who would later portray 'Ralph Malph's dad on 'Happy Days'.
Again, are these episodes as consistently good as the black and white shows? No. Does the show miss the late and GREAT Don Knotts' once-in-a-lifetime portrayal of Bernard P. Fife? Of course. Then again, as someone has earlier stated, I consider the worst color episode of Andy Griffith better than the complete garbage being offered on today's network and cable 'sitcoms', who seem to revel in insults and bodily functions.
Bottom line: Mayberry is still a great place to visit...even in color!
I'll happily add seasons 6-8 to my DVD collection, and hope we see a few extras tacked on.
on April 1, 2006
Unlike lots of folks, I hadn't seen TAGS since it originally aired, and hadn't thought much about it. My Michele got me seasons 1-5 as a gift and I sat down alone to watch them because the show went off the air the year before she was born and she has other interests. Just seeing these old shows and their respective commercials really brought back the memories of the Sixties to me.
I would have been content with this alone but after a time I notice my 8-yr-old was watching all the episodes with me and he became a huge fan and knew all the characters and, of course, his favorite was Barney. The fact they were B&W made no difference to him, he never mentioned it. Not soon after he started watching, Don Knotts passed away. Dad, why did Barney have to die, he asked me. And he was very upset. I brought up a current picture of Don Knotts on the PC and he was shocked to see he was old. Opie bald and past fifty shocked him even more! I was finally able to make him understand the Barney he saw on TV was from long ago, when I was eight years old. He was all right with Barney dying then, because Barney was young and alive whenever he needed him to be, just by putting in a DVD. Since that time he has seen color episodes in syndication. His favorite episodes are still the Barney episodes, particularly the episode where Barney is cluelessly living with the supermarket robbers, but he likes all the episodes because he has embraced all the characters and Mayberry has become like a playground visit for him. These later episodes are not as good, episode for episode, I admit that, season six being no exception, but TAGS is more than a pleasant childhood memory of old guys like me, it is a wonderful experience for little guys like my boy, who somehow still find a way to love Andy and Barney and Mayberry despite all the video games and MTV and skateboard park distractions.
on March 1, 2006
Yes there are actually two of the now filmed in color episodes from Season Six in which Don Knotts appears as Barney Fife, but the old magic is no longer there as during the previous five seasons. Those two episodes, "The Return of Barney Fife" (the saddest episode of the entire series) and "The Legend of Barney Fife", along with the two episodes "Eat Your Heart Out" and "Goober's Replacement" are the main reasons why I will buy this DVD set when it is released. Also, because of completing my DVD collection of the series, I will buy this and the last two sets when made available. I won't look forward to the releases as much as before though. It was still a good show, but was never again to be the classic it once was. As someone else has already said, after Barney Fife left Mayberry, the show stopped being a classic and became just another just another 60's show. I wonder if they will also eventually release the series "Mayberry RFD" on DVD? It was in the very first episode of "Mayberry RFD" that Andy and Helen finally got married and Barney was also in the episode as Andy's best man. Andy and Helen later had a baby on the show and Andy also made several appearances alone during the show's three-year run. I also wonder if they will ever release the series "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C." and the t.v. movie "Return to Mayberry" on DVD?
on June 14, 2006
(Four stars for how it rates relative to other seasons of AG. Compared to everything else out there it is Five Stars all the way).
Ok-ok-ok-so the later (color) seasons aren't as funny as the earlier ones were, yes it was a shame to lose Don Knotts, no Warren is not the equal of Barney, etc, etc, alright, fine, WE GOT IT. That Still Does Not Mean that season six is worthless or that it cannot and should not be purchased and enjoyed. Quite the contrary, I went through the whole 30 episodes in about three days, finding lots of laughs and plenty to hold my interest.
While there are not nearly as many side splittingly funny episodes as there were in earlier seasons, there is still plenty of humor. While it is unfortunate that many of the old crew are gone or their presence severely diminished (Barney, Thelma Lou, Gomer, Otis), their absence does provide opportunities for more appearances by other already established characters (Floyd, Helen, Clara, Goober) whom we previously hadn't seen as much of (especially Helen. If you thought she was a hottie in black and white, wait till you see her in color).
Season six includes lots of re-appearances by actors seen in previous episodes of Andy Griffith (or other sitcoms), such as Robert Emhardt (the "Man in a hurry"), Ronnie Dapo (the spoiled brat from "Opie & the Spoiled Kid"), Amzie Strickland (Lila from "Barney Fife, Realtor", and she was also Miss Rosemary from "Andy the Matchmaker"), Ruta Lee (the `college girl' reporter from "Andy On Trial"), Herb Vigran (the "Bookie Barber"), Maudie Prickett (Aunt Bee's obnoxious sister from "The Family Visit"), Vito Scotti (the Japanese sailor and also the mad scientist from two great episodes of Gilligan's Island), Ronnie Schell (CPL Slater from Gomer Pyle USMC), Byron Foulger (Wendell the engineer from Petticoat Junction), Alvy Moore (Hank Kimball from Green Acres), Sid Melton (Alf Monroe from Green Acres), and Frank Cady (Sam Drucker from Green Acres & Petticoat junction).
Among the highlights of the season six episodes:
-The multi-part episodes where the Taylors go to Hollywood. These are really funny, on a par with any episodes from previous seasons.
-Malcolm At The Crossroads. I personally was never a fan of the Malcolm Merriweather character, nor much of Ernest T. Bass either, but this episode features them both and really is a hoot. This was both characters last and only color appearance.
-The two part episode where Barney and Thelma Lou return to Mayberry. While these are among the most depressing and unfunny of the entire series run, they are interesting historically, particularly just to see Thelma Lou in color (also her last appearance).
-The County Clerk. The first appearance of the character of Howard Sprague and his Alfred Hitchcock-esqe domineering mother. The actor who played Howard, Jack Dodson, also appears in an earlier episode of this season as an insurance salesman ("Lost & Found").
-Aunt Bee the Swinger. I usually don't care for any episodes centering around Aunt Bee since they usually just aren't funny, so I was not expecting much here. But I was pleasantly surprised. This episode is very reminiscent of the earlier classic AG episode "Man in a Hurry", humorous and yet poignant. The ending (trailer) scene on the porch is really nice.
-Warning from Warren. The character of Warren takes a lot of flack for some reason. Ok, so he wasn't Barney Fife, but to have him around is still better than having nothing. This episode features him to good effect.
-Otis the Artist. One of only two color appearances of Otis (the other is in the 7th season).
Also worth recognizing and enjoying is what there is, thankfully, none of-teen sex, child pornography, out of wedlock pregnancy, rape, drugs, homosexuality, brutality, violence, and other "chic", `hip", "cool", "progressive" behavior that modern day Hollywood likes to push on us in their efforts to indoctrinate us with their anti-American agenda. You can let your children watch this without fear of their innocence being violated.
With only one or two questionable exceptions, all the episodes look to be complete in their running times (generally coming in at around 25:15), and are professionally transferred with clear sound and picture quality.
Keep in mind that part of the benefit of supporting existing seasons is to encourage the bigwigs to keep putting out future seasons. Mayberry RFD, Gomer Pyle USMC, The New Andy Griffith Show, all these are still yet to be released. The more support the existing seasons get, the more likely it is we will eventually see the release of these other shows (one can only hope).
Bottom line-it may not be perfect, but it's still better than anything else out there. Buy It and Enjoy!!
on April 30, 2011
As some other reviewers have already mentioned this is a DRASTIC change from seasons 1-5. It is a completely different show and not something I ever would have watched if I knew it was like this. I'd like to re-iterate what another reviewer said: "The previous seasons always made me feel good to watch them, but in season six, Andy is short tempered, snide, argumentative and not the caring sherrif he used to be." The only episodes where Andy was not completely out of character from all the previous seasons and looked happy was the two that had Barney in them. Andy was good friends with Don Knotts and it seems not having him on the show really affected it. Save yourself the good memories of the Andy Griffith show and stop at season 5.
on April 19, 2016
Season 6 was sadly the first one without Barney Fife on it, except for two guest appearances. I felt Andy's character seemed more than a little lost without Barney, especially at the start of the season. A replacement deputy filled in, then also disappeared. Jack Burns did well as the new deputy, but then he was gone. The void left by Barney was ably filled by other cast members, notably Goober receiving a lot of screen time. I gave this season only 5 stars because Barney was such an important character in the show, and his absence was very noticable. What made his absence even stranger was that no explanation was given for it, until his guest apperance; that seemed unfair to Barney. This season seemed to find its footing right after Barney's appearances, and the second half of the season seemed much better than the first. Although it might not be quite as good as the first five Barney seasons, it's still an entertaining show, and Andy is one of tv's finer straight men to all the crazy characters in the town.
on May 11, 2006
Ok folks, we know Barney's gone - we know some of the episodes are a little rediculous, but the show is still very enjoyable.
It's neat to watch Opie going thru adolescence and it's nice seeing other characters further developed.
For me, the color years are part time capsule and part nostalgia. I'm like several reviewers in thinking that the last 3 seasons get much maligned, more so than they actually deserve. I received my set on Tuesday (kudos Amazon) and the color is outstanding. Have only watched 4 episodes, but the picture seems even better than seasons 1-5.
A couple of things I like about the color years and season 6, so far:
It's awesome to see these episodes complete and uncut. Also, I think some of the epilogues in the color years are the best of the whole series. The one in "Aunt Bee, the Swinger" is great with Bea and Charles Ruggles falling asleep on the front porch.
I hope the final 2 seasons are released soon. Season 7 has my all-time favorite episode "Dinner at 8" where Andy must eat 3 spaghetti dinners in one night. Great stuff. Also, the episode, Howard's New Life, where Howard goes to the island to get away from the rat race and then realized his own true paradise is back in Mayberry. Personally, the epilogue in that episode is the best of the whole series. Andy, Gomer, Howard and the boys at the filling station drinking a bottle of pop at sunset. Classic stuff!
Lastly, don't forget, Andy Griffith was one of the only shows in history to end in it's last season as the #1 show in the Neilsens. So, somebody must have liked the color years.
on June 29, 2016
What a great time watching these old shows. True Americana and reminds me of my childhood in the town I grew up in. We'll probably never see times like this again. Oh well, This is just old fuddy duddy stuff any way. Lets get on with the modern times and leave this old stuff behind and we can look forward to enjoying nudity, foul language, violence and corruption. Now that's the good stuff..... (Sarcasm) :):):)
on November 10, 2015
We have certainly enjoyed watching the entire "Andy" series beginning with season 1. By season 6, the characters are getting a bit worn, repeating themselves quite a bit and even plot scenarios are looking familiar. Still, it is charming, entertaining and inoffensive, much more than can be said for most of what is broadcast today. We enjoy the simpler take on right and wrong and the generally more respectful and respectable behavior of the citizens of Mayberry.