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Mayberry's about as close as you can come to heaven on this Earth, and Season Four of The Andy Griffith Show (1963-64) takes you back for 32 glorious episodes with all of our old friends and a few new ones, as well. I wouldn't say Season Four was the best season, but every single episode is still a definite good'un. I could talk about all 32 of them, but I will force myself to pick and choose a few from among them all.
This season includes two of the official top ten favorite TAGS episodes, but I have several favorites among the others. Citizen's Arrest is probably the biggest fan favorite episode of them all, although Opie the Birdman can also claim a spot among TV Guide's list of the top ten episodes in television history. The latter is a quintessential coming of age story in which Opie learns that his actions can have huge consequences and that he must take responsibility for the mistakes he makes. I would have to put The Haunted House among my own personal favorites, though - as Barney's and Gomer's adventures inside that spooky old house are hilarious (and if you want more of the same kind of side-splitting comedy, just check out Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken). Ernest T. Bass fans will be happy to know that he comes down from the mountains in two Season Four episodes. First, he tries to join the army because he wants a uniform to impress the ladies - that doesn't work, and Andy ends up trying to reform him and pass him off as a gentleman at one of Mrs. Wiley's socials. Barney delivers what I consider the funniest line in television history in this particular episode. You also get two episodes featuring the Darlings. First, Briscoe Darling declares for Aunt Bee, much to her chagrin; then, later on, Andy comes dangerously close to marrying Charlene after he accidentally helps her get a mountain-style divorce. And the Fun Girls - how could I almost forget the Fun Girls? They prove to be only one source of trouble to Andy's and Barney's relationships with Helen and Thelma Lou. Even good ole' Gomer, who just had his first bona fide date (with Thelma Lou's cousin) in A Date for Gomer gets himself caught in a lovers' triangle with Barney and Thelma Lou.
There are plenty of vintage Barney shenanigans going on throughout this fourth season: Citizen's Arrest, Barney's vintage motorcycle/sidecar for catching speeders, lots of great Barney-Otis interactions, several criminals allowed to escape (temporarily) - yet Barney still comes out a hero (thanks to Andy) in episodes such as Barney and the Cave Rescue and Back to Nature. For his part, Gomer really came into his own in this, his final, season on the show - Season Four's finale is essentially the pilot for Gomer Pyle, USMC. Taking his place at Wally's filling station, of course, would be his cousin Goober, who makes his first appearance in this season's Fun Girls episode - and it's quite a memorable one, thanks to his Cary Grant imitation.
Well, as you can see, all kinds of good times are waiting for you right here in Season Four - and this is one television show you could watch every day for years and years and still heartily enjoy, no matter how many times you've already seen a given episode. Once you've been to Mayberry, you know that The Andy Griffith Show isn't just a television show; it's a way of life.
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on 19 May 2013
Nice clear transfer & good packaging. Seems I have to write fourteen more words - this puts me off giving feedback!
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