Andy Taylor and the Legal Regime of Mayberry @culturalgutter @mechaangela
Angela Englert examines the deceit and deception that underlies the sunny and placid world of The Andy Griffith Show “Sheriff Andy Taylor Is the Prince of Lies”, an essay for The Cultural Gutter. She points out that Taylor, the benign law enforcement officer of the show, solves most if not all problems by making up stories or exercising his authority unilain terally for the good of the whole (or the individual), according to his own lights. While he’s guided by good intentions, what would happen if he were essentially evil? She compares him with Sheriff Buck of the show American Gothic. As she says in part:
Mayberry isn’t governed by law; it is governed by a good man’s discretion, which sounds benign until you consider what’s keeping Sheriff Andy from being Sheriff Buck? You can idealize Andy’s close relationship with Opie, the vibrant sense of community in Mayberry, and an unplugged age when Sundays are for sitting on the front porch whittling, not livetweeting Game of Thrones. But if you do that, you must also accept that even in such a pacific, good-hearted world, as thoroughly white and heterosexual and Christian and conformist as they come, a majority of the time, there’s still no path to a happy ending except through a deliberate lie.