Picks and Pans Review: Return to Mayberry
updated 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
Sitcoms were never meant to be two hours long. Gilligan's Island and I Dream of Jeannie were insipid as series and doubly unwatchable as two-hour reunion movies. The old Andy Griffith Show was sweet as a sitcom, but in its return engagement the gags wear thin and the characters start wearing on your nerves. The plot, all centered on a monster-invades-Mayberry hoax, is pretty dumb. Still, the ol' town of Mayberry has a charm you can't deny. Andy Griffith is as nice as he ever was. Ron Howard, now Mr. Successful Director, proves himself to be a real gentleman by coming back to play Opie again. Don Knotts once again makes Barney a dribbling fool, but one hard to dislike. Except for Aunt Bee and Floyd the barber, everybody's back (see story, page 90): Otis, Ernest T. Bass, Howard, Goober and Jim Nabors as Gomer. Since the show left TV in 1968, we've all changed. But Mayberry hasn't—and I suppose that's comforting in some small, strange way.