Whither, Mayberry?

I grew up watching a lot of Andy Griffith.  Thanks in total to Turner Broadcast System -  WTBS, or Channel 17 for those of us in Atlanta, was a staple.  Their afternoon lineup was heavy on Leave it to Beaver, The Addams Family, Beverly Hillbillies, The Brady Bunch...  but most of all, Andy Griffith. 

In addition to the regular broadcast lineup, any time the Braves went into rain delay, Andy Griffith.  Well, either that or The Three Stooges.  Which reminds me of a joke.  Why don't women like the Three Stooges?  Because they're not funny.

Now, I know I just recently talked about his role in A Face in the Crowd, but 99% of us know him primarily as Sheriff Andy Taylor, Mayberry PD.  Sure, there was a solid Matlock run, but come on,  He was the moral fiber of Mayberry and we all know it.

There was, some years back, a Sunday School curriculum written based on the show's teachings, and it is wholesome, yes.  But it's also funny.  Unlike just about every other child star of the 50s and 60s, our boy Ron Howard got out of that show unscathed.  He adored his TV father, and the citizens of his fake hometown.  He said it was a great environment.  And he's been working ever since. 

There is some talk that Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee) was not as sweet and nurturing as her character, but let's put that aside, because honestly, I'm an Aunt Bee fan.  I love her, and in a way, I want to be her. (Bee her?)

My Lord and Bavier


She made that house sparkle, and she cooked great food, and kept Opie and Andy in line.  And she could can pickles and grow roses, and she was just lovely.  She always wore her purse on her forearm, with her elbow bent at 90 degrees.  I don't know that she owned pants, and she never apologized for being a big girl in a small town.

Ah, sweet Bee.  Even if Frances was a raging B word.

So, I was thinking - you know how they're rebooting all these TV shows?  One Day at a Time, Roseanne, Murphy Brown this fall.

Is it time to reboot The Andy Griffith show?

I think in modern times, Bee would still take care of the house, but she'd probably also work outside the home.  Office manager, or receptionist.  Nothing too high-powered.  But she'd get home every day, slip off her work shoes, put on something sensible, and cook up some chicken.  She'd grill hers (gotta watch that cholesterol), but Andy and Opie would get fried.  With gravy.  She might heat up pre-made mac and cheese, but she is still on top of it.  And pie, always pie.  It may be Marie Callender's pie, but what's a woman working full time going to do?

Andy (played, I think, by a younger Paul Rudd type) is a widower.  Maybe we find out that Opie's mother was using drugs and died from an overdose.  Or!  Maybe Andy and Doreen were never married.  Maybe she was a woman who he met one night while at a Police Conference in Topeka.  Nine months later, she dropped off O.P. (our problem) at Andy's doorstep, and then she split.  Hell, maybe Opie is a girl.  Maybe Opie is a nod to the Opioid crisis Andy is fighting on the streets.

Maybe Aunt Bee has dates with kinky dudes she meets on Tinder.  Maybe she's into some cray cray. After the kid goes to bed, and Andy is playing guitar on the porch, she goes on line as Mistress Mae Berry, and has a bunch of leather in a hope chest in her room.

Maybe Andy gets caught up in a police brutality incident that someone filmed and put on YouTube.

Maybe Barney is gay, and everyone knows, but is still deep in the closet. 

Maybe Floyd is not so much a barber as a salon owner, and he exchanges haircuts for handjobs with Barney after hours.   Maybe they're both out, very much in love and got married in Vermont.  Now they are raising a child born from a surrogate (it's heavily implied that it's Juanita down at the diner, but... who knows).

Maybe Otis used to brew his own craft beers at home, but ever since his DUI, he's been sober.  Now he's big into fantasy football and playing Halo.  His wife left him, but he belongs to the Singles group at Church and things are looking up.

Maybe Ellie the pharmacist moved to Seattle to open a dispensary. 

Maybe Helen has PTSD from all the school shootings, and she meets with a therapist, who thinks that Andy needs to step up and commit.

Maybe Thelma Lou decides to join cross fit, and ends up being a complete douche about it.  She's also gluten-free. And a tea-partier.

Maybe Gomer gets diagnosed as being on the spectrum, and we explore what that means. 

Maybe Goober decides that he would rather be Judy, Judy, Judy and we chronicle his transition.

Maybe Sarah, the telephone operator, runs the cell phone kiosk at the mall these days.  She has a side hustle driving Ubers in Raleigh.  She wants to buy a condo and meet a nice guy.  Her mother is about to go into assisted living and she's not happy about it.

That's season one, in the can - right there.

Any agents out there who want to rep me?  You know where to find me.

ae



Comments

It would also be nice to see some people of color in Mayberry. When I watch Andy Griffith now (and I still do) I always cringe at the idea that everybody in a small North Carolina town is white.
Also Griffith said that the last time he talked to Bavier she apologized for being difficult to work with. So there's that. And she was wonderful. One of my favorite episodes is when she learns to fly a plane.