How the Houston Texans resemble The Andy Griffith Show
The Mayberry Texans
The original cast of characters are back. Only the setting has been moved from Mayberry, North Carolina to Houston, Texas. The roles of Andy and Opie Taylor have been re-cast, as has those of Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle.
Andy Taylor - Bob McNair
Opie Taylor - Cal McNair
Barney Fife - Bill O'Brien
Gomer Pyle - Jack Easterby
Whistling is heard as the show begins... To stay true to form with episodes of yesteryear, the cast has severely reduced the roles of minority characters in this reboot. Andy Taylor (Bob McNair) in past seasons drew heavy criticism from the viewing audience with comments surrounding Barack Obama being elected president, Donald Sterling comments and his "inmates" statement.
Andy Taylor passed a couple seasons back and had since been replaced with his son, Opie (Cal McNair), taking a more prominent role. Surprisingly, Opie has yielded few speaking roles in the seasons since. Opie's role has affected the landscape on the once, up and coming show. The show is now viewed purely as slapstick in nature.
Barney Fife's character was perfectly cast in the return of the series. Bill O'Brien steps in as the ringmaster over all of the shenigans. Much like the original Fife, O'Brien too, believes he's stellar at his job, unaware of being the jester of the show. In the original series, Andy Taylor would only allow Fife to carry an unloaded gun with one bullet in his shirt pocket. Fife would only use the bullet in the strictest of emergencies. Taylor put these precautions in places as he knew Fife couldn't be trusted with the fire power. He was more likely to wound himself and those around him, rather than harm the enemy.
In the last season plus in the remake, now with Opie overseeing the actions of Fife, he's allowed Barney to load up his sidearm and go into battle. As the writers would image, it's led to hysterical results. Each and every time Fife has unholstered his sidearm, he's ended up wounding his own cohorts and actually helped those opposing him.
One of the most unforseen character evolutions in the new "Andy Griffith Show" is the role of Gomer Pyle. Jack Easterby has really embraced this role. In the original, Gomer Pyle was a dim-witted mechanic that would also rise to power as a fill-in deputy. Easterby has taken Pyle's role from a Chaplain to the right hand man of Fife. It was a curve ball that not even the most seasoned fans of the show could have seen coming.
In a nutshell, the series is a must watch. You get the sense that all of the characters really believe the false bravado in which they carry out each role, which makes every episode captivating as even the most novice of viewers can tell that they are horrific at the jobs that they portray each week.
The show is ranked among the top in humor, but I could see a change in coming seasons as they look to get back to more of a respectable show, instead of just plucking the low-hanging fruit in the genre of slapstick. If/when they make a change, expect the roles of Fife and Pyle to go to more qualified individuals.