Paramount is really putting out these TAGS seasons quickly. Keep them coming UNCUT (INCLUDING THE COLORED SEASONS PLEEEASE). After reviewing the episodes, I don’t consider season four as one of their best. There are not many stand-out episodes, but there are not many poor ones either. This season marks the last we’ll see of Gomer, the first we’ll see of Goober, plus returns of the Fun Girls, the Darlings, Malcolm Merriweather, and Ernest T. Bass. Five of the episodes are often listed among TAGS top 20 fan favorites, although they are not favorites of mine. Here’s what you get:
Opie the Birdman: All TAGS seasons opened with a story about Opie, and this one may be the most famous one (and usually a top 10 fan fave). Opie tries to raise three baby birds (Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod) after inadvertently killing their mother with a sling-shot.
The Haunted House: This episode inspired Don Knotts’ film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Is it just the moonshine or is there a haunted house in Mayberry?
Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army: I’m not a fan of Ernest T. but for those who are, this set offers two of his episodes. This one has him trying to join the Army so he can get a uniform.
The Sermon For Today: A visiting preacher comes to Mayberry and preaches a sermon of taking it easy (probably the last thing that needed to be preached in Mayberry). The folks take this sermon in an entirely different direction. Usually a top 5 episode.
Briscoe Declares For Aunt Bee: The Darlings are back and Briscoe decides to court Aunt Bee. Bee is not so keen on the idea.
Gomer the House Guest: Gomer loses his job at the filling station and moves in with the Taylors.
A Black Day For Mayberry: This is one of the funniest TAGS episodes ever (in my personal top 20 list). An armored truck filled with gold is expected to arrive in Mayberry. It’s supposed to be a guarded secret but, when it arrives, a crowd of people with a banner “Welcome Gold Truck” is there to greet it.
Opie’s Ill-Gotten Gain: I could never understand how Helen could make such an error but, she gives mediocre student Opie straight A’s by mistake. Andy is so proud of Opie’s report card that, when Opie finds out his real grades, he’s afraid to let his pa down.
A Date For Gomer: Thelma Lou wants to find a date for her plain cousin. Andy and Barney decide on Gomer and they each explain to the other how “nice” their blind dates will be.
Up In Barney’s Room: Barney is caught cooking in his room and his landlady, Mrs. Mendelbright, evicts him. Barney becomes further agitated when he learns “Mrs. Bendelmright” is about to marry an old codger who just arrived in town.
Citizen’s Arrest: This ep. is usually listed among TAGS best. I don’t really like it that much. Gomer makes a “citizen’s arrest” on Barney for making an illegal u-turn. For PR reasons, Andy insists Barney write himself a ticket. Barney becomes so angry he resigns. Barney acts like a real jerk in this one.
Opie And His Merry Men: Opie and his friends get some bad ideas about law enforcement from a hobo.
Barney And The Cave Rescue: Thinking Andy and Helen are trapped in a cave, Barney organizes a rescue mission. A good example of Andy doing whatever he can to help his deputy save face.
Andy & Opie’s Pal: Opie is jealous when Andy pays special attention to Opie’s new friend.
Aunt Bee The Crusader: A local farmer is about to be evicted and Aunt Bee organizes a protest: “Just like the tree that’s standing by the water, we shall not be moved.” This one is one of my favorites.
Barney’s Sidecar: Barney gets a motorcycle and sidecar and endangers the lives and sanity of the Mayberry residents. A top 5 episode on most TAGS fan favorite lists.
My Fair Ernest T. Bass: Andy tries to pass off Ernest T. as a sophisticated fellow at a high society party. Includes the famous line “How do you do Mrs. Wiiiiley” and Barney’s observation of the women at the party: “Fly a quail through here and every one of `em would point.” A top 10 episode on most fan favorite lists.
Prisoner Of Love: A female jewel thief pulls at Andy and Barney’s heart strings while she’s incarcerated in the Mayberry jail.
Hot Rod Otis: Otis and wheels do not mix.
The Song Festers: The revelation that Gomer has a beautiful singing voice jeopardizes Barney’s solo.
The Shoplifters: Weaver’s department store is being robbed blind and Barney spends the night there and works under cover as a mannequin to crack the case.
Andy’s Vacation: Andy is supposed to be relaxing reading the National Geographic but, with Barney and Gomer in charge, there is no rest for the weary, even when Andy camps out in the woods.
Andy Saves Gomer: Andy saves Gomer from a little fire in the filling station and Gomer is so appreciative, Andy can’t get rid of him.
Bargain Day: Clara…
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Just wondering after two wonderful releases if Paramount will continue to give us edited episodes, as with the release of Season Three?? This was such a great disappointment after waiting so many long years for uncut and complete episodes. Especially when as others have mentioned that some of these edited episodes have scenes included on TV Land that are missing from Paramount’s Season Three release!! This is shameful!! How can they possibly justify using the word “complete”!! Please Paramount, if this is the best you can offer us, then maybe you should warn us ahead of time what we can expect in the future.
Received this set for a Christmas gift so had to comment:
It’s actually sad that Paramount has the rights to The Andy Griffith Show, and released it like this. Of course, I’m complaining about the sloppy production of the DVD box set with missing laugh tracks and strange editing.
The missing laugh tracks give the episodes an eerie atmosphere, and the sloppy editing is just plain annoying.
Viewers should and will be outraged at the chipping away of pieces of what is the equivalent Hope Diamond of vintage television.
If the executives quell their thirst for short-term corporate profits, a real attempt can be made to restore the episodes and release them in their pristine original condition. C’mon Paramount, with this release you’ve proved that you’re greedy pigs at the money trough. Can’t you see if you did this properly your sales will be higher over the long term.
Paramount, if you don’t want to do it correctly, let someone else do it who will.
Of course, you can call me a sheep because I like the show so well that I would have bought it anyway even if I didn’t receive it as a gift.
Rated: 5 stars for the show, 1 star for the feeble DVD attempt.