The Andy Griffith Show (tv)

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Opie Cunningham

REVIEWED: 12-01-97

The Andy Griffith Show introduced a sense of place to sit-coms. Like the Dodge City of Gunsmoke, Mayberry had an assortment of oddballs who could be used occasionally to complicate plots or provide comic relief. Also, Andy Taylor was an early example of what would become a sit-com standby, the widowed parent. Contrary to Dan Quayle's assertion, the proliferation of single parents on TV was not part of a liberal attack on the nuclear family. A spouse means another major character who must be given something to do in every episode, and another actor who could hold up production with salary demands. No one seemed to mind the missing wife on The Andy Griffith Show, so quite a few others have been killed off since.

Taken from The Boston Phoenix's "50 Years and Counting," a retrospective of the most influential programs from television's first half-century. Click here for the full article.

--Robert David Sullivan

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