“The Andy Griffith Show” had two distinct periods during its run – black and white, and colorized. And fans definitely have a preference. Many view the colorized seasons as being weaker than the original five, black and white seasons.
Fans have been vocal about their opinions. There’s an entire Reddit post dedicated to why “‘The Andy Griffith Show’ sucks so bad in color.” The poster certainly had a colorful way of putting his opinion. He described the Season Six premiere (the first in color) as a pilot for a worse and inferior show. So why do fans generally hate the show’s last three seasons? There are three core reasons.
For one, “The Andy Griffith Show” lost Don Knotts going into Season Six. His last regular appearance on the show marked the end of the black and white era. So right off the bat, audiences felt like there was something missing in Mayberry. Don Knotts and Andy Griffith’s chemistry formed the heart of the show. Griffith’s Andy Taylor often acted as a foil to Knotts’ zanier and kookier character.
Without Knotts, the show lost a big piece of what made it popular in the first place. As a result, the later seasons struggled to find another winning formula. As a result, actor Jack Burns joined the cast as a replacement but failed to launch in these initial episodes. The show began to explore broader comedy and more sitcom elements to try to replace the dynamic. The Taylors even went to Hollywood during one episode, a far cry from the more grounded show of the black and white era.
Andy Griffith Grew Bored With the Show
The second reason was Andy Griffith himself. In those later seasons, fans noticed the actor appeared increasingly unhappy with the show. Griffith’s Taylor became a bit grumpier and grouchier in those later seasons without Fife. It’s as if even he was growing tired of Mayberry and its colorful cast.
Behind the scenes, Griffith didn’t find the show as fun to make without Knotts on set. He also decided after multiple seasons that he wanted to spread his wings as an actor. Griffith brought the show to a close three seasons later. And some of that growing contempt reflected in his performance as well. In some ways, Griffith felt like a caricature of himself.
Finally, people don’t like change. A little bit of that Mayberry magic was lost in the transition to color. Mayberry became just another town. It lost a bit of that iconic appeal that made it stand out. For many, Mayberry stands in a colorless fog of nostalgia. Switching to color, Mayberry didn’t feel like Mayberry, and many of the characters felt different. The show just didn’t feel like a continuation of what came before.
While still popular during its run, fans and even TV stations over the years generally mark the colorized seasons as inferior. Compared to other shows of its time, “The Andy Griffith Show” changed too many elements between seasons.