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The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season


TITLE: THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW - THE COMPLETE FINAL (EIGHTH) SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: December 12, 2006 (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video)
Color/1967-68
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 30
Running time: approx. 12 hours, 13 minutes
Language and Subtitles: English, closed captioning available
Special Features: None


Introduction:

It's the eighth and final season of the show TV Guide dubbed "one of the greatest television shows of all time." Although it's time to say good-bye, there are still plenty of laughs, lessons and homespun humor in the eighth season of this classic TV series. Marriage may be in the cards for both Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson)...Goober (George Lindsey) becomes his own businessman...Opie (Ron Howard) discovers the infectious twang of a rock 'n' roll guitar...and Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) himself still somehow manages to keep Mayberry's humble sheriff's department running without a hitch - well, most of the time! And don't miss the return of Barney Fife (Don Knotts), as the bumbling former deputy returns to Mayberry and inadvertently threatens to add a new layer of frost to the Cold War! There's all this - plus the episode introducing the series spin-off, Mayberry R.FD. - in this five-disc, 30-episode final season.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The Andy Griffith Show finished #1 in the ratings for the first time, with a 27.6 rating. This was the third time that it was the #1 rated sitcom. It was one of only three shows to have its last season finish #1 in the ratings. The others are I Love Lucy and Seinfeld. Paul Hartman joined the cast as Emmett Clark. Sam Jones (Ken Berry) was introduced this season. The spin-off series, Mayberry R.F.D., would last three seasons.

It seems like many fans consider this season the weakest of the series. Still, there are a few memorable episodes. In "Howard, the Bowler," Howard (Jack Dodson) is on his way to bowling immortality with a perfect game - until a power failure at the bowling alley disrupts his winning streak on the very last frame! Andy's jaunt to Raleigh and back opens up a can of worms with Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut) when he tries to explain away the mysterious sunburn he acquired while away "on business" in "Andy's Trip to Raleigh." Howard falls head-over-heels for Millie Hutchins (guest star Arelene Golonka), the new woman at the bakery. Pandemonium reigns in Mayberry when Andy is bedridden with the flu and the town's "Police Emergency Committee" takes over - a questionable team consisting of Goober (George Lindsey), Emmett (Paul Hartman), and Howard in "Suppose Andy Gets Sick." Goober, intent on becoming his own boss, buys the gas station from Wally - and becomes overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations that come with running a business in "Goober, the Executive." Aunt Bee lands her very own cooking show on a local television station in Silver City - but her new showbiz career takes its toll on the Taylor household in "The Mayberry Chef." Goober encounters an old friend during a visit to an automobile show - which triggers an accelerating case of one-upmanship between the two men in "Goober Goes to the Auto Show."

Notable guest appearances included Kevin Tate as Fred Simpson in "Opie's First Love." Whitney Blake appeared as Lee Drake in "Andy's Trip to Raleigh." Joyce Van Patten played Laura Hollander in "Opie Steps Up in Class." Arlene Golonka guest starred as Millie in "Howard's Main Event" and "Howard and Millie." Jack Nicholson (yes, that Jack Nicholson) appeared as Marvin Jenkins in "Aunt Bee, the Juror." Edward Andrews played Professor Hubert St. John in "Aunt Bee and the Lecturer." Ann Morgan Guilbert guest starred as Ella and Jack Albertson was Bradford J. Taylor in "Aunt Bee's Cousin." Harry Dean Stanton was the Proprietor in "Howard's New Life." David Ketchum appeared as Fred Michaels in "Goober, the Executive." Dub Taylor played Ben Beecham in "Emmett's Brother-in-law." Don Knotts returns for the final time as Barney Fife in "Barney Hosts a Summit Meeting." Ronnie Schell guest starred as Bernie the Furrier in "Emmett's Anniversary." Terri Garr played the Filling Station Customer in "The Wedding." Howard Hesseman appeared as Harry in "Sam for Town Council." Buddy Foster guest starred as Mike Jones and Diane Quinn was Heather Campbell in "Opie and Mike." Mike Jones also appeared in "Mayberry R.F.D.."


Packaging:

All 30 episodes from the eighth season (1967-68) are included in this 5-disc set. The DVD cover art features a photo of Opie, Goober and Andy in front of Floyd's Barber Stop. The back of the box features a barber's pole and two small, circular photos of Andy and Goober. There is a synopsis of the set listed, as well as the episode titles by disc. The DVD specs are listed on the bottom of the box. Andy is featured on the spine of the box. There are 3 slim cases that slide out from the right of the main cardboard outer box. They feature various color photos of the cast at various Mayberry locations. Slim case #1 features Opie and Andy. Slim case #2 has a photo of Goober and Aunt Bee. Slim case #3 pictures Andy at his desk. On the back of the slim cases, the episode titles are listed on various themed backgrounds. Slim case #1 has the episode titles on a sheet of notebook paper. Slim case #2 has them on a grocery list. Slim case #3 has them listed on a typewritten sheet. Inside the slim cases, they have different themed backgrounds: some books and a school bus, a bulletin board and some Mayberry County Sheriff's Department folders. I've always liked how they have a different theme for each season. There are detailed summaries, original airdates, and notable guest stars listed when you lift up the discs from the holders. Each disc has its own theme: 1. clock, 2. globe, 3. frying pan, 4. toaster, 5. handcuffs. The disc number is listed in a red/orange badge. Slim case #1 holds discs 1 and 2, #2 has discs 3 and 4 and #3 rounds out the set with disc 5.


Menu Design and Navigation:

All seasons have had menus that have a simple design and are easy to navigate. There is just one main menu on each disc. Various photos of the cast are shown on each disc. Disc 1 features Opie, Goober and Andy. Disc 2 has Emmett and Sam. Disc 3 pictures Aunt Bee and Andy. Disc 4 features Opie and Andy. Disc 5 has Barney and Andy. The title logo is in red and white. The episode titles are listed vertically in white. The episode you highlight is in pink that turns green upon your selection. A Play All button is available on each disc. When you first play Disc 1, there is an option to play the Previews or go straight to the main menu, There are well-placed chapter stops within the episodes, but there are no separate menus for scene selections.


Video and Audio Quality:

This was the third and final season broadcast in color. Since this was the early days of shooting in color, the colors look somewhat faded and not as vivid as what you see today. With the episodes being around 40 years old, they look as good as can be expected. The picture is in its original 1.33:1 ratio full frame. Since the show was shot on film, there is some grain, dust and debris occasionally. It's a little more evident and noticeable in color than it was in the black & white episodes. There are no major problems, and these episodes certainly look cleaner and have a better picture than what you've seen on cable over the years. The episodes are spread out well over 5 discs, with no more than 6 episodes on each one. The audio track, once again, is a Dolby Digital mono track. This was typical of 1960's sitcoms. The volume is at a good level, and there isn't a lot of hiss or background noise. These episodes include the original opening theme credits as you would expect. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. I noticed that this set, once again, doesn't have any Paramount closing logo.

The episodes are presented in their original airdate order. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the episodes have been edited. They all run about 24 1/2 to 25 1/2 minutes in length.

Here is a breakdown of the episodes, and their running times and original airdates:

Disc 1
---------
220. Opie's First Love (09/11/67) (25:28)
221. Howard, the Bowler (09/18/67) (25:26)
222. A Trip to Mexico (09/25/67) (25:16)
223. Andy's Trip to Raleigh (10/02/67) (25:29)
224. Opie Steps Up in Class (10/09/67) (25:28)
225. Howard's Main Event (10/16/67) (25:29)

Disc 2
---------
226. Aunt Bee, the Juror (10/23/67) (25:08)
227. The Tape Recorder (10/30/67) (25:29)
228. Opie's Group (11/06/67) (25:30)
229. Aunt Bee and the Lecturer (11/13/67) (25:29)
230. Andy's Investment (11/20/67) (25:28)
231. Howard and Millie (11/27/67) (25:29)

Disc 3
---------
232. Aunt Bee's Cousin (12/04/67) (25:30)
233. Suppose Andy Gets Sick (12/11/67) (25:29)
234. Howard's New Life (12/18/67) (25:30)
235. Goober, the Executive (12/25/67) (25:11)
236. The Mayberry Chef (01/01/68) (25:30)
237. Emmett's Brother-in-law (01/08/68) (25:29)

Disc 4
---------
238. Opie's Drugstore Job (01/15/68) (25:28)
239. The Church Benefactors (01/22/68) (24:44)
240. Barney Hosts a Summit Meeting (01/29/68) (25:30)
241. Goober Goes to the Auto Show (02/05/68) (25:29)
242. Aunt Bee's Big Moment (02/12/68) (24:59)
243. Helen's Past (02/19/68) (25:29)

Disc 5
---------
244. Emmett's Anniversay (02/26/68) (25:00)
245. The Wedding (03/04/68) (25:23)
246. Sam for Town Council (03/11/68) (25:31)
247. Opie and Mike (03/18/68) (25:28)
248. A Girl for Goober (03/25/68) (25:29)
249. Mayberry R.F.D. (04/01/68) (25:27)


Special Features:

For the fifth consecutive season, there are no special features included. Seasons 2 and 3 had the original sponsor spots that were a lot of fun to watch. This set is a good value at less that $1 per episode.

It has already been announced that the bundled set with all the seasons won't have any extra special features included.


Final Comments:

That's a wrap! All 8 seasons and 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show are now available on DVD. It has been only a little over 2 years, so Paramount is to be congratulated for releasing them at such a rapid rate. You know what you are getting with these sets. I like how they made each set unique with the packaging, menus, disc artwork and background themes used. They've lacked any special features except for a few seasons, but the quality and unedited (with a few exceptions) episodes are the most important things. On December 12th, you can look for the first season of the spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. Paramount is also bundling together all 8 seasons of The Andy Griffith Show as a complete series set. These are the same sets that have been previously released. There are no additional special features included and the packaging is the same. It is exciting to hear that Paramount may be continuing with the second season of Ron Howard's other series, Happy Days, sometime in 2007.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 12/06/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000HWZ4IY/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=189236


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