Synopsis: Mayberry has elected a new mayor, Roy Stoner (Parley Baer), who doesn't like the way Andy (Andy Griffith) runs the sheriff's office. The mayor's overzealous nature leads to a direct standoff with Andy when the sheriff decides to let a prisoner (Roy Engel) take a 3-day leave to tend to his crops, a move that could result in Stoner sending an unfavorable report to the governor.
The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: Andy and the New Mayor (1962)
A review of the season three television episode that first aired in October 1962.
Even though I had to tend to my garden when I was home at lunch (the primary reason I went home in the first place), I did have a little extra time and managed to slip in another episode of this series.
I had seen this episode previously and, even though I couldn't remember much about it, faintly remembered not enjoying it all that much. After seeing it again, I wound up having the exact same feeling this time around too.
One of the problems I have with this episode is the way it always leaves me scratching my head a bit as far as Mayberry's power structure goes. Andy is a county sheriff and an elected official. Yet this episode makes it seem as though the mayor is his direct supervisor with authority to look at files, demand Andy carry a gun and make other changes.
Ultimately though, I think the thing that bothers me more about this episode is the way it pretty much has to force the whole antagonist angle on us. Mayor Stoner's hostility toward Andy would have made a lot more sense had he been some outsider who just moved to Mayberry. But, given the fact he was elected mayor, I can only assume he is a long-time citizen who, by default, would already be familiar with Andy's methods and, more importantly, would realize the town is largely crime free.
Not to mention, being a citizen, you would think he would realize Andy is a very popular sheriff. Whether or not he has a legitimate reason not to like the sheriff, you would think he would at least try to be civil (at least at the start) just because opposing Andy could damage his own re-election chances.
In fact, the writers kind of had to go out of their way to give Mayor Stoner reason to question Andy's competence, whether it was the argument over letting a prisoner go free for a couple days or the fish that was conveniently stuffed in the top drawer or Andy's desk. Yes, it led to a couple funny moments. But, I just don't think the episode would have had to try so hard if the conflict had seemed a little more natural.
There are, admittedly, some funny scenes in this episode. But, I just don't like the forced hostility between Andy and Mayor Stoner and had a hard time enjoying this episode as a result.
My Grade: C
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