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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Sixth Season
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Sixth Season
Paramount // Unrated // May 9, 2006
List Price: $38.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Louis Howard | posted June 1, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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A show that marked its debut in 1960 and enjoyed an incredible run on prime-time television, it is perhaps matched only by it's ability to continue to draw fans old and new in syndication, year after year, decade after decade- does anyone think Friends will be shown in reruns 45 years from now? Showing up during the tumultous 60's, it and a few other sitcoms that are truly worthy of classic status became that way because they did a number of things very, very well. Even during that era many sitcoms came and went rather quickly, in spite of the scant variety of programming available for the average viewer. The comedy shows which tended to have a span of several seasons were the ones which that centered on a main character who was engaging and endearing in his/her role, and then built a strong supporting cast around the star. Looking back, the 60's were an innovative and incredible period for sitcom television, and The Andy Griffith Show is about as good an example of this as can be found.

Affable, humble, humorous, fair and a myraid of other commendable qualities, Andy Taylor quietly ruled rural Mayberry-Anytown, USA- with an unassuming wisdom even Buddha might envy. It can be legitimately argued that this was an ensemble show, but Griffith was the tower of strength at it's center. His portrayal of a simple man who in truth wasn't simple of mind at all wears the badge of sheriff as comfortably as one would their favorite slippers. In Andy we see caring father and forgiving friend, fair mediator, moral example, a peaceful soul that could also be perceived as one you'd probably not want to cross. One look at Andy Taylor and you just know this man sleeps peacefully each night. He's doing a job that he truly loves and it shows.

Listed here is a list of the 30 episodes for season six:

"Opie's Job"- 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 finds out why.
"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. 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 and the husbands are angry with Andy because who's going to fix them dinner?
"A Warning From Warren"- Warren tries to prevent Andy and Helen's picnic when he has a premonition something bad will happen.
"Off to Hollywood"- Andy gets a large chcek to tell his story in an upcoming film. Aunt Bee, Opie, and Helen convince him to use the funds on a trip to Hollywood.
"Taylors in Hollywood"- 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.
"The Hollywood Party"- Helen sees a publicity photo of Andy and an actress and becomes angry.
"Aunt Bee on TV"- Aunt Bee is a winner on a game show in Hollywood and upon her return she bores her friends with non-stop talking about her prize winnings.
"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"- Opie and a new friend use walkie talkies to convince Goober that his dog can talk; Goober thinks he has a canine gold mine.
"Aunt Bee Takes a Job"- Aunt Bee gets a job at a print shop and doesn't realize her employers are counterfeiters.
"The Church Organ"- After the church organ goes flat, 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.
"Girl-Shy"-Warren is shy around women until he is sleepwalking. In a somnambulistic state, he gets fresh with Helen.
"Otis, the Artist"- Warren thinks painting might be a way for Otis to stop drinking.
"The Return of Barney Fife"- Don Knotts won an Emmy for this episode. He returns for a class reunion and discovers some shocking news about Thelma Lou.
"The Legend of Barney Fife"- Warren idolizes Barney, and its up to our favorite Fife to live up to the 'legend'.
"Lost and Found"- Aunt Bee loses an antique brooch and collects on the insurance, then finds the pin. Jack Dodson appears as the insurance man.
"Wyatt Earp Rides Again"- The last appearance of Warren. A fellow claiming to be a descendant of Wyatt Earp comes to Mayberry and teaches the kids that "the man who can fight is the man who is right," much to Andy's dismay.
"Aunt Bee Learns to Drive"- Aunt Bee wants to learn to drive with Goober as her instructor.
"Look Paw, I'm Dancing"- Opie is afraid to go to a dnace because, well, he can't dance!
"The Gypsies"- A gypsy curses Mayberry with a drought after Andy forbids them to sell their trinkets in Mayberry.
"Eat Your Heart Out"- Goober has a crush on Flora. Flora is sweet on Andy.
"A Baby in the House"- Aunt Bee takes care of a baby, but every time she holds the baby, it cries.
"The County Clerk"- Howard Sprague appears on the show. Andy and Helen try to fix Howard up with a date but his mother does not approve.
"The Foster Lady"- Aunt Bee becomes the Foster Furniture Polish Lady.
"Goober's Replacement"- Flora fills in for Goober at the filling station and business picks up.
"The Battle of Mayberry"-Opie tries to get info on the famous town battle and finds out things aren't always what they seem in folklore.
. "A Singer in Town"- Aunt Bee and Clara write a poem "My Hometown" that they try to have set to music.

Alas, season six is when this fine series begins its downward spiral; the foremost reason being, it was the first season without Don Knotts- Andy sans Barney. From what I've read doing online research, Don Knotts left the show to pursue a career in feature films. Griffith had said early on that he only planned to do the show for five years. As that time approached Knotts signed a movie contract. Griffith reconsidered his earlier decision and Knotts tried to get out of or rework his film contract so he could continue in the Barney Fife role. The film studio wouldn't consider either option so Knotts had to leave the show. Jim Nabors had taken his Gomer Pyle character off to a spinoff series of his own after season four. Funny as Nabors' goofy down-home grease monkey character was, Barney was the true slapstick comedic relief, with Knotts taking physical comedy to a level all his own. Gomer was somewhat replaceable with almost equally goofy and likable cousin Goober (George Lindsey), but there was no replacing Barney Fife. If Griffith was king, Knotts was the clown prince that allowed the show to effortlessly shift gears between amusing and hilarious year after year.To lose both Knotts and Nabors in the course of two seasons was alot to ask of a sitcom that made superb use of several cast members.

Still, The Andy Griffith Show tried, bringing in comedian/writer Jack Burns to play the part of Warren Furguson, Barney's replacement deputy. To say the least, fans didn't give Burns a warm welcome in the Warren role, and his character was only used for 11 episodes before quietly being written out of the series with no explanation. In hindsight it really wasn't a bad fit; he is a likable, goofy actor with great comedic skills. The problem? He's not Don Knotts, and no one else is. Also of note for season six is the fact that this was the season in which the show first began being filmed in color; many fans of the series dislike this, but I see it as being somewhat inevitable as more and more color televisions were making their way into the American household at the time.

In my opinion the standout episodes of season six are ones which-surprise!- saw the return of Knotts as a guest star, earning yet another Emmy for his two episode stint. Also fun was the episode marking the final appearance of Howard Morris in the role of Ernest T. Bass and Bernard Fox as Malcolm Merriweather, "Malcolm at the Crossroads". Jack Dodson makes an appearance in season six, and later joins the series as Howard Sprague. It isn't that season six is a bad season, nor can it be said that the show lost its audience; when The Andy Griffith Show left the air it was number one in the ratings. What it is, is a series that has lost an irreplaceable character and carried on with the remaining cast members- still a great ensemble to have, but not what viewers had grown to love the prior five years.

The DVD-Season Six is presented as a five disc single-sided set, in slimcases housed with a cardboard sleeve.

Video-

Aspect ratio here is 1.33:1 fullscreen. Of special significance of course is the fact that this was the first season of The Andy Griffith Show with episodes filmed in color, and for the most part the shows look very good. While a bit on the soft side, the viewer is likely seeing these shows looking better than they ever have on TV.

Audio-

The audio track here is Dolby Digital mono. Nothing special but its clear and easy to understand, fine for its purpose.

Final Thoughts-

Season six of The Andy Griffith Show tends to be a letdown for the diehard fans who miss the presence of Don Knotts as a regular; still, Knotts does make two guest appearances on the show and the rest of the cast carries more of the load, with shows centering around them. While it isn't on a par with prior seasons the show remains to be entertaining. Recommended.
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