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The Andy Griffith Show Should Be Too Subversive For Fundies


debrand

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This isn't an article, just my own thoughts. Growing up, I used to love reruns of the Andy Griffith show but our local channels showed them so often that I grew sick of them(probably has to do with growing up in NC) Last week, I started watching Andy Griffith episodes on Netflix streaming. My first impression after all these years was that the jokes are surprisingly funny. My second reaction was that the show would not be wholesome enough for fundies.

Andy's girlfriend runs a pharmacy. Sometimes her uncle is there but often she is the one calling the shots. She appears to be an equal to Andy and doesn't seem very submissive.

Andy doesn't mind bending the rules. He even tells his girlfriend that rules should have a human equation to them.

I can only remember one episode where spanking was mentioned. For the most part, Andy talks and talks to Opie. Opie says yes sir but is far more mouthy then a lot of fundies would like. In the first episode, the boy is a little rude to his Aunt Bea, speaks his mind and lies about his pet bird eating all his fried chicken. Certainly, within the bounds of normal childhood behavior but Opie is far from an ideal fundie version of children.

One of the first episodes, Andy helps a young man find a place in an early,traveling, rock and roll band.

Although I haven't gotten to the episode, I do remember that in one show, Andy explains the difference between a white lie to not hurt someone's feelings and lying to get out of trouble. If memory serves me, he thought telling white lies were fine

Andy doesn't teach Opie to blindly follow authority

Andy seems to think that dating with not intention of marrying his date is all right.

Can you think of any other older, more wholesome type movies or tv shows that would bother fundies? Fundamentalists tend to view media and books without a lot of depth. That is why they can gush about Jane Austin without understanding how against their lifestyle she would have been. So, I'm sure that the fact that the Andy Griffith Show has no cursing or overt sexuality would be their only concern. However, the show-and there are others like them-really doesn't uphold fundamentalist or conservative views. So can you think of any other examples?

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I think some fundies would like watching The Waltons because there is no cursing and the show is a bit family friendly. The Waltons didn't uphold some fundie views. The Walton daughters had jobs, careers, and dreams that their parents never objected to. I recall Olivia had a few small jobs during the series and in the later reunion movies she attends college.

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Funny thing about the Waltons: Olivia is a devout Baptist, and has a large family, but her family life is nowhere near as bitter and rigid as the ones our pet fundies lead.

And a big thumbs-up about the Andy Griffith show. IMO, the early, black-and-white ones were the best. I loved that crazy mountain family and their phenomenal bluegrass music!

Now, if Mayberry were only integrated--then it would be heaven. *sigh*

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I think there was an episode of Andy Griffith where Andy's girlfriend runs for mayor, and Andy defended his girlfriend for running for a traditionally male job. I always admired the show for that episode especially for challenging perceptions.

I also like the show Matlock, because Matlock always had a female attorney as his partner and an African American as his private investigator.

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"Little House on the Prairie" - though Karen Grassle played the role similarly to the way the books were written (Ma was always rather quiet, but a steady presence that gave Laura a sense of security), in the TV show, Ma and Pa were equals. ... There's an episode where the Oleson's are thinking of divorce (though the Olesons were portrayed as what NOT to be).

Rev. Alden was a patsy.

Nellie marries outside her faith, they have twins and decide to raise the boy Jewish (so he can have a bar mizvah, IIRC) and the girl Christian (so she can be given a church wedding, IIRC).

Laura teaches school even after she's married.

The children have unsupervised free time, to go fishing with boys and the like. Laura is allowed to be tomboyish.

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I think they like the show because it is clean and doesn't have any sex in it...nobody shacking up with anyone, etc. If you are a fundie and you allow yourself a television at all, you are always on the lookout for any show that doesn't have sex, magic, wizards, witches, overt evolution, etc. Some fundies draw the line at Christy, Andy Griffith, and Leave it to Beaver, but others push the boundaries with horrid cheesy shows like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, even if she is a doctor (gasp). But again, no sex or magic.

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And remember: Dr. Quinn was a virgin when she got married. That's the important part. ;)

Convo on show:

Dr. Quinn's friend (talking about the wedding night): "It's easy--like falling off a log."

Dr. Quinn: "Well, I've never 'fallen off a log.'"

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I think they like the show because it is clean and doesn't have any sex in it...nobody shacking up with anyone, etc. If you are a fundie and you allow yourself a television at all, you are always on the lookout for any show that doesn't have sex, magic, wizards, witches, overt evolution, etc. Some fundies draw the line at Christy, Andy Griffith, and Leave it to Beaver, but others push the boundaries with horrid cheesy shows like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, even if she is a doctor (gasp). But again, no sex or magic.

I have a friend whose sister is like that. My friend was raised in a very conservative Evangelical Lutheran family. My friend now attends a liberal Episcopalian church. Her sister has become hardcore in the past few years. She pretty much only watches clean shows that don't involve sex, magic, supernatural elements, gothic elements etc. She watches most classic shows except for stuff like The Addams Family, The Munsters, Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie. Some of the more recent shows that she watches are pretty cheesy and I remember her mentioning Dr. Quinn a few times.

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debrand asked,

Can you think of any other older, more wholesome type movies or tv shows that would bother fundies?

Depending upon the family's level of dominionism, I'd say "all of the shows." That's why so many dominionist/fundamentalist families are proud of having no TV anywhere in the house. (Think of the Loomii, who have a wall-mounted flatscreen "for viewing videos" that they cover with a nice quilt when not in use.)

On a wives' message board several years back, I got scolded for endorsing "Cold Comfort Farm" as a good film that would be appropriate for just about any age from 13 on up. Younger than that, and they wouldn't get the talkiness of it all.

A member blasted back, "That film is FULL of sex!" Which gave me an (unnecessary) excuse to pop it into the ole DVD player at first opportunity. Here is the sex it's "full of":

1. Mary Smiling collects historic brassieres* and keeps them in her downstairs parlor on a couple dozen mannequins. (*yes, historic ones. ;) )

2. Seth Starkadder and Violet, the parson's housemaid, are heard panting about 6 times in the hayloft, and you see Violet's naked foot and shin raised and shuddering 2 or 3 times.

3. Flora Poste counsels the farm girl who's just given birth to her fourth in another hayloft to see about getting "a little rubber derby hat to wear inside you." When the farmgirl objects that "'tis flowin' against Nature!" Flora primly responds, "Nature's all very well in her place, but she mustn't be allowed to make things untidy!"

4. Judith Starkadder gazes soulfully at a shrine of photos of her son Seth.

5. Amos Starkadder later tells Judith, "The Lord sees yer lascivious glances" when Judith gets moony-eyed over Seth at the family countin'.

ETA several more I thought of:

6. Poor, sex-starved Urk (he's been waiting 16 years to marry his betrothed-from-birth, Elfine) leers at Elfine and says with understable passion, "When the watervoles mate, she be mine!"

7. Flora and Earl P. Neck begin to dance the rumba.

8. Adam Lambsbreath bemoans "the ways of gentry", fearful that Elfine - who he dotes on like a daughter - will be heartbroken by the gentry boy that Elfine loves. Heck, if we're gonna call a movie "full of sex", let's not fail to include lines spoken about heartbreak!

9. Mybug - played to oily, witless perfection by Stephen Fry - loudly announces to Flora in the town's tearoom that in asking her to take a long walk with him, "I'm talking about SEX, Miss Poste!"

9a. Amos overhears this and calls the pair "for-ni-CATORS!" as he pushes Flora out the door.

10. Mybug later shouts to Flora as he's bounced from the gentry ball, "I'm engorgingly in love with you, Miss Poste!"

11. Flora respond to this embarrassment by quickly collecting herself and remarking to Charles Fairford (who she eventually marries, sorry for the spoiler), "He thinks I'm repressed. I'm not, you know!"

Full of sex, folks, I tell you what.

Back to debrand's first mention - TAGS - I imagine another complaint about the show would be that while it's occasionally mentioned that the family are going to church, we never *see* them in church and we have no idea of the actual theology taught there. Plus, by refusing to marry again, Andy is depriving the world of more arrows-from-a-righteous-man's-quiver.

Laughable. And their loss!

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The thing is, I don't think there is anything on TV or movies that would suit some of these people - especially the ones we like to snark about, like the Maxwells and Zhu. They are so sure of their theology, so rigid in their thinking, so positive that they have the official line to God that no fictional portrayal can ever live up to their standards. So ironic, IMO, because the Bible is chock full of sex and violence and bad behavior.

But also, I think the rigidity regarding what they read and watch is really based on fear. Especially in the Maxwells' case. How can your faith be so fragile as to be undermined by a fictional portrayal of someone not living life exactly as you do? Boggles the mind.

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When I was between fundie and fundie-lite the interim church had an Andy Griffith bible study. They would show an episode and then do an hour study about the lesson in it.

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The Waltons were unrecognizeable as a BAPTIST family in rural Virginia circa 1946 or so when the show ended. Mama wore pants, boy friends lived in , etc, etc.

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