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HTF REVIEW: The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season

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#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted May 24 2005 - 07:08 AM

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The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season







Studio: Paramount

Year: 1961 - 1962

Rated: NR

Length: 13 Hours, 2 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1,

Audio: Dolby Digital English 2.0 MONO

Subtitles: None

Closed Captioned

Special Features:Original Sponsor Spots

Estimate Street Price, $30 USD
Release Date: May 24, 2005


Spend some more time with the folks of Mayberry in this 31 episode second season of The Andy Griffith Show on DVD. There are great episodes aplenty in this season, with not only several of the cast’s favorite episodes, but the number one episode as well - “The Pickle Story.” While Aunt Bee’s pickles may not be the best, the show is gooo-oo-ood.

In “The Pickle Story,” Andy and Barney are horrified when Aunt Bee decides to enter her prized pickles - with a taste described as “kerosene cucumbers” - in the county fair pickle contest. They can’t tell her how bad the pickles are, so they replace them with store pickles and compliment Bee on her recipe, prompting her to make more and enter them in the contest.

Other cast favorites in season two:

“Barney and the Choir”
When the choir director talks with Andy about their need for a tenor, Barney talks up his abilities, saying he has a trained singing voice. It isn’t long before it is discovered that he can’t sing at all. How do they carry on with a tenor who can’t carry a tune? And what do they do with Barney?

“Andy on Trial”
After Andy arrests an out of town newspaper publisher for failing to appear in court on a traffic violation, the publisher retaliates by sending an undercover reporter to Mayberry to dig up dirt on Andy and the Sheriff’s department. Andy’s job is threatened when the retaliatory article appears in the paper.

In one of my favorite episodes, “The Merchant of Mayberry,” Sterling Holloway guest stars as Bert Miller, a mild-mannered traveling salesman who sets up shop in town with a lot of help from Andy, who has motives other than to help Bert - namely, to rile up old man Weaver.

The Andy Griffith Show works so well not only because of its down-home charm... the chemistry of the cast is another real driving force. Add to that some great guest stars and you have a winning mix. Guests stars in season two include Jean Hagen, Buddy Ebsen, Alan Hale, Jr., Bill Bixby, Barbara Eden, Sterling Holloway, Arte Johnson and others.

I haven’t had a chance to watch every episode from the set, but those I watched ran between 25 and 26 minutes in length, indicating the likelihood that these are original and uncut episodes.

The Transfers
The elements used for the transfers were nearly pristine, with just an occasional speck here and there. Considering the age of these elements, they are in remarkable shape.

The picture is usually nice and sharp, with an occasional soft scene here and there. The image features decently solid black levels and good shadow detail. Whites are never clipped, but they are often somewhat less than bright white - the contrast could be improved slightly. Grain is variable, as dictated by the source elements.

These episodes look as good as the episodes in the season one set, which were also quite remarkable.

The sound is Dolby Digital Mono. There is some occasional mild hiss, especially noticeable in quieter passages. The dialog is always crisp, clean and intelligible, and music sounds as you would expect for a monaural source of this age.

Special Features
Included in this set are the original sponsor spots for each and every episode. We get to see Andy and the rest of the cast enjoying Sanka coffee and Post cereals, in a way that usually ties in with the plot of the episode. These spots are under a minute each, and are played separately from the episodes via a separate features menu. There is a “Play All” option for the sponsor spots, and another “Play All” option for the episodes, but there is no way to automatically play episodes with sponsor spots intact or sequentially. Still, the spots are interesting in a nostalgic way, and it’s nice to have any special features on “Paramount Television” branded sets.

Final Thoughts
Fans of the show can’t go wrong, here. The second season DVD set continues with the nice A/V quality seen in the first, and there are those sponsor spots thrown in to boot. Packaging is in 3 space-friendly double-thins. And the price is a wallet-friendly $30 US.

Recommended.

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted May 24 2005 - 07:38 AM

I still haven't watched anything past the first disc on my season 1 set (bought the day it was released), but I will eventually get this. The pickle episode is great.

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Brent Bridgeman

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Posted May 25 2005 - 03:39 AM

Yes, I love the pickle episode too. I hate pickles, but watching this episode makes me want to eat them anyway (well, maybe not Aunt Bea's...). Besides the "Citizen's Arrest" and Ernest T. Bass episodes, this is my favorite. Speaking of Ernest T., I was sad to hear that Howard Morris passed Monday. He was a very talented comedian and director. He could really chuck rocks, too.Posted Image

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 25 2005 - 05:33 AM

Quote:
Included in this set are the original sponsor spots for each and every episode.

"Each and every episode"! Posted Image Posted Image

Sure didn't expect THAT many. Great.

Thanks Scott. Posted Image

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted May 25 2005 - 05:57 AM

I think I've still got a jar of pickles in the refrigerator from the last time I saw the pickle episode on TV Land.

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 25 2005 - 06:04 AM

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I think I've still got a jar of pickles in the refrigerator from the last time I saw the pickle episode on TV Land.

Can I have it?

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The completely unrealistic part about "The Pickle Story", of course, is ..... How in the WORLD could Aunt Bee (a gourmet cook by all OTHER accounts) possibly have NOT known her "kerosene cucumbers" were rancid & awful-tasting? (If nothing else, how could she miss the horrid smell of the things?!)

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That's not logical, given what we already know about Miss Bee Taylor and her generally-fantastic cooking talents/abilities.

But, it sure is a funny show nevertheless. Posted Image

"There's only one thing we can do, Barn ..... Learn to love 'em!" -- Andrew Taylor

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted May 25 2005 - 07:52 AM

Yeah, and not to spoil it for others, but she's shown dropping the ball on another item, too. Maybe she's good at cooking meals, but not preserving items. Posted Image

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 25 2005 - 08:55 AM

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Yeah, and not to spoil it for others, but she's shown dropping the ball on another item, too. Maybe she's good at cooking meals, but not preserving items.

Oh yes! You're quite right, Greg. I'd nearly forgotten (possibly due to the fact that that portion of the ep. is in the "epilog" of the show, which is often cut out when viewed on OTA TV).

You refer to Aunt Bee's wretched "marmalade", revealed at the end of the show ... right?


#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted May 25 2005 - 09:25 AM

Yeah, that's it. Doesn't Opie say something like, "Pa, are you painting in here?" Posted Image

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveyM

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Posted May 25 2005 - 10:05 AM

Actually i think it was Barney who came into the kitchen and asked Andy: "Have you been doing some painting in here?"
and Andy said something like "No, you reckon that stoves leaking?".
Either way, it is a classic episode and i was also sad to hear of Howard Morris passing away. He was a gifted actor, writer and director and he will be missed.
If you've got what it takes, sooner or later someone will take what you've got.

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 25 2005 - 02:57 PM

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"Have you been doing some painting in here?" ... "No, you reckon that stove's leaking?"
Posted Image

Got my TAGS-S.2 set today. Like Scott K. said, this set is goooooood!

Slight correction re. the commercials -- There are 30 different "Sponsor Spots", instead of 31. One show has the ad left out. So it's not quite for "each & every episode". But it's darn close.

Still, that's rather amazing that Paramount dug out all these old TV ads AND RESTORED THEM (just like the episodes)!*

* = They either restored them or whoever stored these films in the vaults did an incredible job of natural preservation; because these ads look practically brand-new.

These old ads look every bit as clear & crisp (PQ-wise) as the eps. themselves, which also look fabulous.

I had no idea that the "TAGS" cast did a brand-new sponsor ad EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Amazing.

I knew they did SOME cast commercials; but a new one for every show really surprised me. I figured they filmed a few at the beginning of the season, and then re-used them, rotating them in throughout the year. But this is not the case for TAGS.

Makes me wonder if Dick Van Dyke did the same thing each season (1 new ad per week). Both are "Danny Thomas/Sheldon Leonard" productions.

Mr. Van Dyke, in a commentary for a DvD ep., said he didn't even remember at all doing ANY "Joy" commercials during that whole series' run. He ONLY remembered, to quote him, doing "a commercial for Kent cigarettes" (just one).

So I'm wondering if they did 1 per week on Van Dyke. Seems odd that Dick would have just forgotten ALL of those if they'd have done 30+ per season.

Anyway, go get this TAGS Season 2 set. Great episode selection and first-rate DVD transfers (just like S.1).

BTW -- The closing credits for all the (several) Season-Two episodes that I checked on this boxed set do have the originally-aired 'whistling' theme music. This is unlike S.1, where some of the shows had "dubbed" faux (but close to original-sounding) closing theme music.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   JeffWld

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Posted May 26 2005 - 12:36 AM

My only criticism of the set is the inability to play the episodes with the sponsor spot included. Especially given that the majority of these spots are built around references to each episode's plotline. Each spot is like a bonus tag for the episode and is most logically viewed as a part of that episode.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 26 2005 - 02:51 PM

Quote:
My only criticism of the set is the inability to play the episodes with the sponsor spot included. ... Each spot is like a bonus tag for the episode and is most logically viewed as a part of that episode.
Good point, Jeff. The inclusion of the ads right IN the shows themselves would have been nice too.

But, again, I'm amazed by how gorgeous, PQ-wise, these old commercials look via these DVDs. (And the actual eps. too, of course.)

Looks like they were filmed just recently. Great job, Paramount! Keep it up for Season 3, 4, and 5! Posted Image Posted Image

-------

Speaking of these old TAGS commercials (and the lack of any such extras on the S.1 set) -- Maybe someone more knowledgeable than I can answer this: But is it possible Paramount didn't include any S.1 ads because there aren't any from that rookie campaign of the series?

Obviously, I don't mean there were NO commercials inserted into the Andy-Season 1 episodes when they originally aired. But perhaps the cast didn't film any ads until season 2. I'm not sure.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   JeffWld

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Posted May 26 2005 - 03:58 PM

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But is it possible Paramount didn't include any S.1 ads because there aren't any from that rookie campaign of the series?


I have a couple of first-season network episodes from film that contain cast sponsor spots. However, I believe that they are more the exception than the rule for first season.

During the first season, Griffith cultivated his trademark catchphrases ("Goooooood", "I appreciate it"). By second season, the sponsors were lining up to get premium sponsor spots with Griffith incorporating these trademarks into the endorsement. I'm wondering what Paramount will do in future seasons when Griffith was doing cigarette sponsor spots.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 26 2005 - 04:06 PM

Quote:
I have a couple of first-season network episodes from film that contain cast sponsor spots. However, I believe that they are more the exception than the rule for first season.

OK, Jeff. Thanks for the Season-One info re. the ads.
I have several VHS tapes filled with nothing BUT old-time '50s-'70s TV commercials, including a few from "TAGS", but I cannot really tell from which specific season they are from -- which prompted my inquiry about Season One ads. But you say the cast definitely DID do at least a few for S.1, so perhaps those will show up on a future Paramount set (ya never can tell).

Thanks again Jeff. Posted Image

(And watch out for those pickles. Posted Image)

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted May 26 2005 - 04:27 PM

Regarding the Paramount TV DVD ads at the start of Disc 1 when you load it up (on this TAGS-S.2 set).......

I see that several people reviewing at Amazon are screaming bloody murder about NOT being able to bypass the 6 minutes of Paramount advertisements on Disc #1.

I don't know if some DVD Players aren't capable of bypassing these 6 min. of ads -- but my Panasonic has NO trouble at all in doing this. Yes, the "Menu", "Top Menu", and "Search/Scan" buttons have (for some reason) been locked-out for these ads. But the "Skip/Chapter" key has NOT been locked-out; so there is a way around watching the 6 min. of commercials. It would have been nicer, true, if these ads weren't "chaptered", so that just ONE click would get you past all of them; instead of 6 clicks. But, they are still quickly bypassed at any rate.

Can't understand why many people are all up in arms and screaming at Paramount for actually advertising a few of their OWN products on their OWN DVD sets.

I, for one, am not exactly thrilled with these ads being tacked onto the "Load-Up" part of the DVD (I think these should have been presented on Disc 1 as a separate "Menu Choice" from the Main Menu, just like Columbia/TriStar has done with its CTHE DVD ads on "All In The Family" and probably other TV sets).

But, still, some of these Amazon reviewers seem to go overboard, in that they want to write Paramount and 'boycott' all future Paramount products, etc., claiming these 6 min. of ads have literally "ruined" the TAGS viewing experience!

This, IMO, is utter crap and nonsense (not to mention just plain silly talk). But, obviously, some people disagree.

I just cannot see the logic of throwing out the baby with the bathwater -- which is exactly what these whiners are doing when they now REFUSE to purchase a great TV series on DVD (like "TAGS", which they obviously LIKE very much) simply because the distributor has had the GALL (per some reviewers) to advertise some of their other DVD sets on their rightfully-distributed products.

And what boils my gravy in some of these overblown, ire-filled comments is that these ads are so easy to skip!

I tested the speed at which you can "Skip" these 6 TV DVD ads on Disc 1, and it takes about 5 seconds at most! Six consecutive, back-to-back clicks of the "Skip Chapter (Forward)" button gets you to the FBI warning (which cannot be skipped btw), and then to the Main Menu screen.

And there's also the fact that some of these people apparently cannot read or COUNT either. Because a review I'm copying below screams (falsely) how he's got to endure the unbearable misery of sitting through "at least 10 unending minutes" of ads he doesn't want to watch. This is dead wrong too from a time POV. There are SIX minutes of ads (6:10 to be exact); not 10 full minutes.

I might add that Paramount has really done a nice job with those "Preview" ads, IMO -- adding a Stereo (possibly even Surround) soundtrack into the ads. For Previews, I actually think they are quite good; and fun to watch (well, maybe not EVERY time you load up the disc; but, still, they are good ads for Paramount's other TV boxed sets).

Anyway, I just felt I had to vent, after seeing some reviewers' reactions at Amazon about what is, IMHO, a wholly-UNimportant issue of Trailer ads being included (esp. ones, despite what some reviewers seem to think, that ARE easily skippable).

(Doesn't "Brady Bunch" or "Happy Days" have these same type ads at the start of Disc 1, too? I wouldn't know since I don't have those products.)

Three sample Amazon rants Posted Image ............

Quote:
"Commercialism Destroys The Enjoyment of Mayberry", May 26, 2005 ......

Paramount Studios (owned by Viacom) has taken their commercialism to an all time low. The Andy Griffith Show has been one of my favorite, most relaxing shows for many years. I purchased the complete 2nd season, anticipating laughs and relaxation. But, hold on. Paramount forces the viewer to sit through at least 10 MINUTES of advertisements on disc one - you cannot fast forward through it - you cannot switch to the top menu.

The viewer must endure 10 miserable minutes, watching advertisements for other DVD's (which many of us have no interest in). This was not done on the complete first season. I'm seriously considering the return of this DVD set - I do not like to be exploited / forced to endure 10 unending minutes of commercial trash. I don't even watch regular TV - to avoid commercials.

What a shame. What a shame that such a materialistic, moronic company owns the rights to The Andy Griffith Show. This has taught me to avoid ALL Paramount DVD's in the future. Burn me once, shame on you - there will not be a second time.
Quote:
Great show, and great DVD content. Once you can get to it. I'm deducting one star from the rating because Viacom has decided to force us to watch 7 minutes(!) of excrutiating ads for other junk at the start of Disc One. And there's nothing we can do about it. Fast forwarding, hitting the menu bottom, hitting the top menu button -- nothing works. Nope, 7 minutes of torture to get to the 7 great eps on the first disc. Up yours, Viacom!
Quote:
"Paid $40 to be forced to watch commercials!", May 26, 2005 ......

There are six commercials of other dvd sets that you HAVE to watch on the first DVD. What a slap in the face from Paramount! This was NOT done on the Season 1 set. If season three has this nonsense on it, I will have to pass. It's too bad because I just love Mayberry and the gang. But why should I give Paramount my money so that they can force me to watch their commercials?


http://www.amazon.co....ing=UTF8&s=dvd

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted May 26 2005 - 11:06 PM

While I would never boycott a release due to semi-forced ads, I have a real dislike for the practice. I have harped on Paramount's ads in many previous reviews, but I've tired of writing about it.

I feel that, since I'm paying for the product, I shouldn't have to endure advertising. That's why I watch TV on DVD - to avoid commercials. I have the same reaction when I spend $9 to see a movie in a theater and have to watch ads.

While it is true that you can chapter skip through these DVD commercials, you shouldn't have to. If it is deemed necessary to have ads auto-play on insertion, a simple press of the "menu" button should bring you to the menu. There is no logic in disabling the menu button. Forcing the matter only serves to piss people off, causing reactions that you've read elsewhere. These people are no more likely to buy the advertised product after having been annoyed by the disabling of their DVD player's features.

I am puzzled as to why Paramount is so inconsistent in these previews from one release to another. Sometimes the "menu" button is disabled... sometimes not. Sometimes the FF / RW buttons are disabled... sometimes not.

While not true for the TAGS set, I have to say that there is often little thought as to what previews go on these discs. What is the likelihood, for instance, that someone watching the original "The Longest Yard" would have any interest in "Spongebob Squarepants."

I have no problem with previews on a DVD - but they should not auto-play, and the controls of my DVD player should not be disabled.

Rant over.

-Scott

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   ChrisPearson

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Posted May 27 2005 - 12:31 AM

I've always assumed that, when you can't jump to menu from ads, but can skip the ads instead, this is simply because the studio has overlooked the skip mechanism and has neglected to block it. On some of my DVDs the skip mechanism has been blocked as well during ads, intros etc and it's *very* annoying.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted May 29 2005 - 04:52 PM

Ya know something, I bought Andy S1 the day it came out, but I hadn't progressed beyond the first disc until three days ago. I'm on a real Andy kick now, and I've watched at least seven episodes today. :b I think I'm going to burn through the rest and pick up S2 this week.

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted May 29 2005 - 05:45 PM

Quote:
Anyway, go get this TAGS Season 2 set.

Lord, I plan to just as soon as I can afford to pick it up sometime hopefully early next week after the rent and cable/internet/phone bills have been paid.

Thanks for the review Scott, the other comments David and others and I can't wait to see The Pickle Story again. Its a great episode.

Quote:
I think I'm going to burn through the rest and pick up S2 this week.

I went through the first 20 rapid fire after getting the set but haven't concluded season 1 yet. I definitely will though, if for no other reason than the HTF TV on DVD Chalenge 2005.


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