The post you’re reading now was composed on Wednesday evening of the previous week—and before I begin, I apologize to everyone who may have already been clued into this news (I talked about it on Facebook…but not everyone in the TDOY faithful is into the whole [anti]social media thing); an article that I read at the MeTV website sort of planted the seed of inspiration, and I knew I needed to cobble together something fast and economical because of the weekend busyness.
Back about this same time last year, I mentioned that our DISH network system started carrying WGTA (channel 32), a local TV station in Toccoa (the “GTA” stands for “Greenville to Atlanta”) …and because WGTA’s programming consisted of the substations Heroes & Icons (32.1), Decades (32.2), and Movies! (32.3), our DISH had the full Heroes & Icons lineup—a rarity in the world of DISH, since they don’t usually carry substations. In January of this year, there was an announcement that MeTV would be available on our DISH Channel 32 starting March 25, because WSB-TV—which originally carried MeTV as a substation—had dropped it, switching to Escape. (And not the good kind—“designed to free you from the four walls of today.”) The addition of MeTV as a WGTA substation meant all the other substations moved down a peg in terms of OTA (off the air)—Heroes & Icons is now 32.2, Decades 32.3, and so on.
Broken Arrow) that gave way to me being extremely jazzed because MeTV offers a good deal more variety in their classic TV programming. (Also, too; I would gain access to reruns of Our Miss Brooks and 77 Sunset Strip—two series not yet released to DVD.) I’m not happy that these shows are heavily edited in order to cram in the commercials my father constantly bitches about…but a thirsty man never turns down a glass of water. I’m not joking about the ads on MeTV, by the way; I tried to persuade His Lairdship to start watching Gunsmoke on MeTV at 1pm EDT weekdays because they show two of the half-hour episodes back-to-back and he’s seen all of the color hour-long episodes they run on TVLand at that same hour. (He claims he hasn’t…but this is incorrect, because I’m usually in the living room with him and I know I have.) He gave up after one thirty-minute episode. “Too many commercials,” he griped. (I’ve been away from TVLand too long—I was not aware they were now ad-free.)
I know many people—I think we even heard from them in the comments section when I was doing the Mayberry Mondays posts—who will not only refuse to watch The Andy Griffith Show in color…they vehemently deny the period ever existed. And I get this—I really do. There are a lot of TAGS episodes from the color era—a lot of episodes—that clearly illustrate that sitcom was running on fumes once Don Knotts said “I’m off like a prom dress.” I think Don’s departure is the chief explanation for the hostility toward the Mayberry color era—replacing the Barney Fife character (even though Knotts returned on several occasions in a guest-star capacity) with that doofus played by Jack Burns was an idiotic decision that would not be equaled until they rolled out New Coke. And I say this as a guy who likes Jack Burns…I just believe his "Warren Ferguson" was not a good fit where Mayberry was concerned, and in the MeTV article (“The Color Seasons of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ are Great and Here’s Why”) the author amusingly notes “the character only appears in 11 episodes before mysteriously vanishing to wherever Chuck Cunningham went.”
“The Panel Show,” “The Caper,” “The Mynah Bird,” etc.). My fellow Facebook denizens and I discussed this article a bit, with many of MeTV's points greeted with all the enthusiasm of drinking warm beer. I believe it was Andrew “Grover” Leal who had his flabber gasted at #4, “Road Trips”—personally, I didn’t have a problem when Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee made the trek to Hollywood…because if it was good enough for Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, it was good enough for the Taylors.