I am anxiously awaiting October 12 to view these DVDs. Let’s hope Paramount releases quality, like with their boxed set of The Honeymooners. Until then, here’s an episode guide for your reference.
First season air dates:
October 1960-May 1961
1. The New Housekeeper: Aunt Bee comes to live with Andy and Opie when their housekeeper Rosie gets married.
2. The Manhunt: State police ask Andy and Barney to step aside while they hunt for a criminal. But Andy tricks the criminal at the end by allowing him to ?escape? in his leaky fishing boat.
3. The Guitar Player: Andy tries to help Jim Lindsey, a young guitar player from the hills, get a job with Freddie Fleet and His Band With a Beat.
4. Runaway Kid: Opie befriends an 8-year-old runaway.
5. Opie?s Charity: Andy becomes upset when Opie contributes a measly three cents to an underprivileged children?s fund.
6. Ellie Comes to Town: Andy becomes interested in the new ?lady druggist,? Miss Ellie Walker (Elinor Donahue).
7. Irresistible Andy: Andy thinks that Ellie is a ?deadly female hunter? out to get him. But Ellie will have something to say about that!
8. A Feud is a Feud: Andy tries to end a feud between two neighboring families.
9. Andy the Matchmaker: To lift Barney?s morale, Andy stages a minor robbery and encourages him to date the shy seamstress in town.
10. Stranger in Town: Mayberry citizens are perplexed by an out-of-towner who seems to know everything about everyone.
11. Christmas Story: Scrooge-like businessman Ben Weaver causes trouble on Christmas Eve, resulting in the gang having to celebrate Christmas at the courthouse.
12. Ellie for Council: Ellie?s decision to run for town council starts a war between the sexes.
13. Mayberry Goes Hollywood: All of Mayberry puts on airs when a film crew decides to shoot a movie there.
14. The Horse Trader: When he tries to sell the old town cannon, Andy disregards advice he had given to Opie.
15. Those Gossipin? Men: After Andy remarks about how women love to gossip, Aunt Bee pulls a prank to prove that men gossip just as much, if not more, than women do.
16. Andy Saves Barney?s Morale: Barney?s overzealous policies enrage Mayberry citizens. Andy steps in to save the day.
17. Alcohol and Old Lace: Andy and Barney think they?ve smashed every still in the county?until they discover that two little old ladies have their own elixir-making machine.
18. Andy the Marriage Counselor: Andy counsels a married couple who constantly bicker.
19. Mayberry on Record: Andy becomes suspicious of a man who says he?s in town to record local music talent for a new folk album.
20. The Beauty Pageant: Andy is chosen to judge a beauty contest, and its contestants include the mayor?s daughter, Floyd?s niece, and Ellie.
21. Andy and the Gentleman Crook: When an infamous, smooth-talking con artist is housed temporarily in the Mayberry jail, he enchants everyone except Andy.
22. Cyrano Andy: When Andy tries to help Barney express his feelings for Thelma Lou, Thelma Lou uses Andy?s involvement to make Barney jealous. (This is the first episode with Thelma Lou.)
23. Andy and Opie, Housekeepers: When Aunt Bee returns from an out-of-town trip, Andy and Opie go to great lengths to prove how much they need her.
24. The New Doctor: A new doctor in town arouses suspicion in Aunt Bee and Barney and jealousy in Andy.
25. A Plaque for Mayberry: The last living descendant of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Tibbs turns out to be the town drunk, Otis Campbell.
26. The Inspector: A by-the-book courthouse inspector condemns Andy and Barney?s lack of rigorous procedure at the courthouse.
27. Ellie Saves a Female: Ellie helps a female farmhand discover and express her femininity.
28. Andy Forecloses: At Ben Weaver?s insistence, Andy must foreclose on a family?s home while they?re experiencing financial difficulties.
29. Quiet Sam: Barney suspects that a mysterious new farmer is growing illegal plants (aka marijuana) on his farm. He?s shocked when he discovers what the farmer is really up to.
30. Barney Gets His Man: An escaped convict vows revenge on the man who was responsible for sending him back to prison, Barney Fife.
31. The Guitar Player Returns: Jim Lindsey returns to Mayberry amidst a hero?s welcome, but Andy suspects there?s trouble.
32. Bringing Up Opie: Aunt Bee declares that the courthouse environment has a negative effect on Opie and forbids him to spend any time there.
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I agree with “MB” and his review except for the complaint about the “sponsors” and all. I also disagree with “Barney’s Brother” for the following reason: GET A LIFE! We FINALLY get the AGS on quality DVDs from the studio – and they are less than $1 per episode! Can someone get a clue here? I guess you’d like to spend $60 just to get some original commercials? Why nitpick?
“MB” is right on about the quality. The picture is so clear and the sound is great! You can see many things (such as shadows from ceiling mikes) you have never noticed before. Man, it is so much different than watching on TV reruns or the bargain-bin public domain episode DVDs or VHS tapes.
All of each show is here – minus I guess those commercials. Who cares? They are NOT part of the actual show anyway!
Overall I say 5 stars are NOT ENOUGH! This is a dream come true. I cannot wait until they release all the B&W years (first 5 seasons). You can have the color years and characters such as Howard and that new deputy who wouldn’t win a talent contest with kindergardener’s! Long live Barney Fife!
This first season-a must for anyone even remotely interested in vintage television at its best. While the first episode, technicaly, should be considered an episode of the Danny Thomas Show (originally airing 2/15/1960), the first episode of the actual series (airing 10/3/1960) is well worth the price of the set. This collection introduces us to some of the most unique television characters ever created: Sheriff Andrew Jackson Taylor, Deputy Sheriff Bernard P. Fife, Opie Taylor, Beatrice ‘Aunt Bee’ Taylor, Floyd Lawson, Otis Campbell, Ellie Mae Walker and Thelma Lou (we never know her last name).
The following is a brief synopsis of each featured episode, with some trivia.
1. The New Housekeeper:
Andy and Opie’s housekeeper, Rose, leaves to be married and Opie finds Aunt Bee difficult to accept as Rose’s replacement.
**1st of two episodes where Barney is referenced as Andy’s cousin.
2. The Manhunt:
State police comb the Mayberry area for an escaped convict, refusing Andy and Barney’s offer of help.
**2nd time Barney is referenced as Andy’s cousin.
**1st appearance of Otis Campbell, the town drunk.
**Watch for Barney’s mother.
3. The Guitar Player:
Andy helps Mayberry’s best guitar player, Jim Lindsey (James Best)get a job with Bobby Fleet (Henry Slate) and His Band with a Beat.
4. Ellie Comes to Town:
The “new lady druggist”, Ellie Walker (Elinor Donahue), comes to town and has trouble adapting to Mayberry life.
**This is Ellie’s 1st appearance.
5. Irresistible Andy:
Andy mistakenly thinks Ellie is a “desperate, determined hunter” eyeing him for matrimony.
6. Runaway Kid:
Opie refuses to answer Andy’s questions because of his promise to the runaway boy staying with the Taylors.
**Watch for Andy on trial for a ticket, w/Barney as the judge.
7. Andy the Matchmaker:
An arranged fake hold-up at the drugstore is orchestrated by Andy and Ellie in order to boost Barney’s morale and speed-up Barney’s courtin’ of Miss Rosemary (Amzie Strickland).
8. Opie’s Charity:
Andy is upset with Opie for a charity drive donation of “3 miserable, measly pennies” , but realizes his mistake learning of Opie’s intensions with his money.
**Watch for the story about ‘Horatio, the half a boy’.
9. A Feud is a Feud:
The Wakefields and Carters-2 families feuding “cause we’s a feudin’…, cause we’s a shootin’ at each other”, with Andy trying to stop the feud.
10. Ellie for Council:
Ellie runs for town council, 1st time a woman has run in Mayberry.
**This is the 1st time Otis Campbell’s wife appesrs.
11. Christmas Story:
In true Scrooge-form, Ben Weaver forces Andy to jail a family on Cristmas Eve.
**This is the 1st appearance of Ben Weaver (Will Wright).
12. Stranger in Town:
A stranger (William Lanteau) arrives in Mayberry and mysteriously knows everything about everyone in town.
**This is the 1st episode with Floyd the barber, BUT played by Walter Baldwin, not Howard McNear.
13. Mayberry Goes Hollywood:
A movie producer (Dan Frazier) decides to make a movie in Mayberry, and the town goes Hollywood-crazy.
**This is the 1st appearance of Mayor Pike (Dick Elliot).
**This is also the 1st appearance of Floyd Lawson played by the classic Howard McNear.
14. The Horse Trader:
Andy and Barney have to sell the town cannon and nobody is interested. Andy then exaggerates to an antique dealer (Casey Adams) to sell it, Opie learns the wrong lesson and Andy has to fix it.
15. Those Gossipin’ Men:
A shoe salesman (Jack Finch) comes to town, the men think he’s a talent scout and make fools of themselves.
16. The Beauty Contest:
Andy judges the Miss Mayberry Beauty Pageant while bombarded by townsfolk requests for his vote.
**Be ready for Floyd’s own song, ‘Hail to thee, Miss Mayberry’.
17. Alcohol and Old Lace:
Two elderly sisters, Clarabelle and Jennifer Morrison, run a still out of their greenhouse while helping Andy and Barney arrest moonshiners.
**This is the 1st episode we get to see Barney drunk.
18. Andy the Marriage Counselor: Andy tries to make peace between an arguing couple, Fred and Jeannie Boone, with them taking out their anger on the town. Andy’ll fix it.
**This is the 1st episode we witness Barney’s passion for the martial arts.
19. Mayberry on Record:
A record producer (Hugh Marlowe) comes to Mayberry to record local music. Townfolk invest in the record to Andy’s dismay.
20. Andy Saves Barney’s Morale:
Andy goes out of town “for 8 measly, little ol’ hours”, Barney arrest everybody. Andy comes back and everyone no longer takes Barney seriously, Barney loses his confidence, Andy fixes everything, as usual…