What Makes This Show so Special?

As you are reading this, you may be saying to yourself, "Yeah, it was a good show, but what makes it different from any other show?" And that is a good question, especially if you are considering using the show as a theme for an informal Bible study. Why is this show special? I think Mr. Idelson said it very well when he stated that the show was about man’s humanity to man. The show itself is very funny, but the characters are not laughing at each other, they are laughing with each other. How many times did Barney mess up only to have Andy come to his rescue. And not only to get Barney out of trouble, but to get him out of trouble while paying special care not to hurt his feelings. Throughout all the relationships developed during the show, you really got the feeling that the people genuinely cared for each other.

I believe another reason the show is special is a result of the natural talent of the actors and actresses that played the parts. They had a certain chemistry between them that I doubt will ever be duplicated. The show was extremely funny, but there were very few jokes. The writers weren’t out to get quick laughs with lame jokes as is the case with many of the current shows today. The humor was in the situations, and the characters’ reactions to those situations. Who can forget Barney’s monologue on the selfishness of Giraffes while explaining to Opie why it was OK for the dogs to be out in the thunderstorm (Dogs, Dogs, Dogs), or the look on Andy’s face when Barney explains that he bought his parents a septic tank for their anniversary (Barney’s First Car), or Barney, Goober, and Floyd trying to contact the mystical Count Ist Van Telecky in the back room of the Court House (Three Wishes for Opie).

I also believe the show was a success because it made us feel at home. Even though there was never a "real" Mayberry, we all felt very comfortable there. We all wanted to go to Mayberry just to sit in the courthouse and share a cup of coffee with Andy and Barney, or go home to one of Aunt Bee’s Sunday dinners, or even sit on the porch while Andy played the guitar and sang "Church in the Wildwood". Which brings me to another point of why the show was special - the music.

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Andy Griffith made it a point to include music in the series wherever he could. Whether it was rehearsing with the town band, practicing with Barney and the choir, or singing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" at Charlene Darling’s mountain wedding, the music was there. On several occasions the show featured the talented folk music group, The Dillards. Of course we knew them as the Darlings with Briscoe Darling (Denver Pyle) as the patriarch. It was obvious that Andy Griffith considered the music a very important part of the series. His love for music is still evident today with his recent release of two award winning gospel music albums.


What Makes This Show so Special?

Why the Show is Special to Me

Why the Show Makes Sense for a Bible Class

Preparing for the Class

Getting the Word Out


Personal Reflections