Andy Griffith Show
Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) was Sheriff of Mayberry from 1955 to 1968 and not once did he deal with draft dodgers, African Americans, or anything else the writers of the show deemed inappropriate for their quaint little town. The Andy Griffith Show was extremely popular during its run but could it be successful today? No.
Mayberry, much like the newly constructed (and fake) Disneyland at the time, was a dream locale where any good white southern Baptists would want to settle down. Clearly there is no crime because the Sheriff doesn’t even carry a gun! He’s even got time to run the local paper.
The writers of the show didn’t want to deal with anything that would distract from those good ole memories of how great it used to be. They didn’t want to portray the ongoing violence, political strife, or the racism that was casually ignored and sometimes approved of in the deep south.
The problem is, those that made the show and those that enjoyed it conveniently forgot that these problems have always existed and will always exist.
If you’ve ever seen No Country for Old Men by the Coen Brothers, you can see Tommy Lee Jones character wishing much the same thing. Throughout the film (set in 1980) he laments of times long past where people were decent and the local sheriff didn’t need to carry a gun either. He is later reminded that things will always be hard, not because times are changing, but because they always have been.
As mentioned in Tube of Plenty, plastic television was all the rage in the 50’s, and The Andy Griffith Show was no different from all the other fake products that came out of the molding.