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Mayberry R.F.D. Season 1 DVD Review

Mayberry R.F.D. Season 1 DVD

“Mayberry R.F.D.” is a watchable “The Andy Griffith Show” spin-off.

In the 26 episode first season of “The Andy Griffith Show” spin-off “Mayberry R.F.D.,” the half-hour stories revolve around widowed farmer (Sam Jones), his son (Mike), the newly appointed housekeeper for Sam and Mike (Aunt Bee), mechanic Goober, shop owner Emmett, and County Clerk Howard. Among the stories you can expect to find in the inaugural season are: Andy and Helen getting married, a dance, a race horse, a copy machine, farm business, Civic Youth Day, Sam and Millie’s relationship, Millie directing a church play, Mike being irresponsible, Sam getting a traffic ticket, Emmett’s 50th birthday, Millie getting attention from a Hollywood agent, a teen having a crush on Sam, a literary club, Aunt Bee going on a cruise and falling for the Captain, Goober’s various jobs, skydiving, a camping trip, Mike working at a pet job, Emmett’s retirement, Millie’s friend, a new church bell, and Mexican officials visiting Mayberry.

Like many people, I grew up watching “The Andy Griffith Show.” Not only was it wholesome and engaging television, but the characters became pop culture icons. It’s understandable then why CBS wanted to keep this universe of characters alive via spin-offs. While “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” proved to be a big hit, the 1968 spin-off “Mayberry R.F.D.” (which ran 3 seasons) was largely forgotten. In fact, I never even knew this show existed!

While ‘Mayberry’ does feature the return of several fan favorite characters, loads of life lesson messages for viewers, and several memorable scenes (such as the Andy Griffith, Don Knotts and Ron Howard cameos in the series premiere), it’s hard to shake the feeling that the entire series feels like a forced attempt to keep TV viewers in Mayberry. For me, the problem of the series lies with the fact that the every man Sam and his son Mike aren’t appealing enough to anchor a spin-off. Of all of the characters heavily featured in this spin-off, Goober Pyle would have been the most logical choice to have his own. Now, granted, Gomer Pyle already had his own spin-off, but everyone knew and loved Goober from “The Andy Griffith Show.” TV audiences certainly didn’t embrace Sam the same way they did Goober in his brief appearances on Andy Griffith’s immensely popular series.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? Despite not being remastered, the color episodes are in surprisingly decent shape here.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital Mono. How does it sound? Satisfactory.

No extras have been included.

Overall Thoughts: While it may be worth tuning in for out of curiosity, “Mayberry R.F.D.” is not on par with “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” or “The Andy Griffith Show.” It’s not a bad show by any means, but it is the type of series that time forgot.

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June 9, 2014 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , ,

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