The Andy Griffith Show

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Andy Griffith Show TV Poster Image
Cheery classic has positive, kid-friendly lessons.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 20 reviews

We think this tv stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this tv show.

Positive messages

Positive representations of family, particularly single parenthood and father-son relationships. Sends a positive message about the strength of community and has good lessons about being kind and responsible and accepting consequences. Because Andy Taylor is a sheriff, there are references to crime and occasional arrests are made, but it's all very tame. Themes include communication and compassion.

Positive role models & representations

Andy, Aunt Bee, and Opie all do their best to be good people who make moral decisions; they also teach each other and the community. Barney often has a hard time doing the right thing, but kids can learn from his challenges and mistakes. 

Violence & scariness

Sheriff Taylor rarely wears a gun, but Deputy Fife likes pulling out his revolver (which is sometimes visible but never used). Fife carries around a bullet in his pocket.

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

One of the secondary characters (Otis) is the town "drunk." But alcohol is never visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although The Andy Griffith Show features simplistic storylines and dated humor, this classic '60s comedy series also offers timeless lessons about responsibility, kindness, and the consequences of your behavior. It's a cheerful, squeaky clean -- and very idealized -- example of strong family and community relationships in a small town.

User Reviews

Adult Written byLowe's man May 11, 2014

provides a much-needed escape

Because the setting was a small town, the town was close-knit where everybody was neighborly and had time for each other- hard to find in real life even then, a...
Adult Written bynathann April 9, 2008

Still one of the best shows ever !!

I grew up in the late fifties and early sixties, and even though "The Andy Griffith Show" was winding down its run, I have enjoyed (to this day) the r...
Kid, 10 years old May 15, 2015

The Andy Griffith Show.

Cute, lovable, I do think that there is a little sexy stuff, such as many kiss moments, and at times, Barney, will be so stupid, that you will want to scream at...
Kid, 10 years old June 13, 2011

Show with good messages

I just started watching Andy Griffith last year and think it's an OK show. Perfect for kids 7+. But once and awhile, it gets boring, so a young kid might n...

What's the story?

One of television's most iconic -- and cheerful -- comedy series, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW revolves around Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), the easygoing sheriff of the fictitious town of Mayberry, North Carolina. Mayberry may be small, but with eccentric residents like goofy auto mechanic Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) and easily distracted barber Floyd Lawson (Howard McNear), it's certainly not boring. Thanks to Taylor and his cousin -- rather overzealous "by-the-book" Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) -- the tight-knit but rather innocent community is protected from anything and anyone that threatens their simple, happy way of life. Taylor is also raising his son, Opie (Ron Howard), with the help of their Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), who moved in to help run the household. The strong relationship between father and son provides the basis for many of the show's discussions about "doing the right thing" and accepting the consequences of yout actions.

Is it any good?

This series was part of a TV trend that (somewhat ironically) epitomized traditional family values by featuring a family headed by a widowed parent. The Andy Griffith Show, which aired from 1960-1968, also provided a welcome, albeit idealized, version of simple, quiet American life during a time when the country was experiencing major civil unrest and was in the midst of the Vietnam War. Granted, the show's humor is dated, the cast is hardly diverse, and the storylines are simplistic (especially when you compare them to today's typical family sitcom). But what makes Andy Griffith stand the test of time is its focus on kindness and the importance of community.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how families have been presented on television over the years since The Andy Griffith Show was on the air. How has TV family life changed over the past 40+ years? What's the definition of family today? Do you think a single dad was a typical TV character during the '60s?

  • Parents and kids can also talk about what it's like to live in a small town. What are the advantages of living in a tight-knit community? Disadvantages? What do small towns offer that cities don't, and vice versa?

  • How do the characters in The Andy Griffith Show demonstrate communication and compassion? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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