Synopsis: After Andy (Andy Griffith) arrests a newspaper publisher (Roy Roberts) and brings him back to Mayberry to pay a $15 fine for speeding, the publisher decides to get revenge by having a reporter (Sally Mansfield) dig up dirt on the sheriff. Barney (Don Knotts), believing the reporter is a college student doing a research project, inadvertently provides fodder for a defamatory article and Andy is brought up on charges from the State Attorney's office as a result.
The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: Andy on Trial (1962)
A review of the season two television episode that first aired in April 1962.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Andy Griffith Show episode I watched earlier this morning and, because of that, decided to watch another one when I was home for lunch. I had seen this one previously. However, it had been a while since I last watched it and I figured I would give it a try. As it turns out, I enjoyed it.
I think the thing that really stood out for me when it came to this particular episode was the way it forced Barney to be humble and admit his tendency to push some boundaries when talking about his boss/friend, Andy. That isn't always the case with episodes from this series and, more often than not, Andy goes out of his way to avoid Barney feeling bad. So, watching him take the stand as a prosecution witness and turn things around by giving the full story was a nice change.
Also, unlike some other episodes from this series, I thought the overall premise was actually pretty believable, starting with a big shot publisher taking offense to the fact he was dragged all the way to Mayberry for a $15 fine he could have simply written a check out for. And, while I did have a somewhat hard time believing the reporter could pass herself off as a college student (she was young and pretty, but not THAT young and pretty), Barney letting little details slip because he was trying to impress her wasn't anything that unusual either.
My only real complaint about this episode is it would have been nice to see some sort of closure with the people making the accusations, whether it was some sort of punishment for the publisher or, at minimum, an apology from his reporter.
Heck, even the prosecutor (Robert Brubaker) should have had to pay some sort of penance considering he insisted on bringing Andy up on charges based solely on second-hand information he read in a newspaper article. Talk about jumping the gun on that one.
Some parts of the episode were a little predictable. But, overall, I thought it was very entertaining and I enjoyed watching it again.
My Grade: A
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