The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: The Beauty Contest (1961)

Synopsis: To add something different to the annual Founder's Day celebration, Mayberry decides to hold a beauty contest with Andy (Andy Griffith) as the judge. He immediately regrets accepting the position as everyone in town begins pestering him to select their daughter, niece, etc. and, on top of it, a misunderstanding about his new job leads to a fight with his girlfriend, Ellie (Elinor Donahue).

Review: I was running a little bit behind today at lunch but had enough time to watch a short TV episode while eating. Since it had been a while since I've watched this show and it happened to be on Netflix (no commercials), I decided to put it on. This ended up being the episode I watched.

On the surface, there are quite a few things that should have made me not enjoy this episode. For one, the ending (and the woman he ends up choosing) wound up being a little predictable. Not to mention the whole beauty pageant thing is becoming a little dated. Not to mention, Andy having to pick out the best looking young woman from a group of women that looked young enough to be his daughter, was kind of creepy.

However, despite all of that, this still manages to be a surprisingly funny episode. I especially loved how Andy couldn't even walk down the street without being pestered by everyone, including the mayor (Dick Elliott) and his own son, Opie (Ron Howard). It's a good thing Mayberry doesn't have any real crime for him to worry about, especially since his deputy (Don Knotts) was noticeably absent.

My only real complaint with this episode is the fight Andy has with Ellie, which seemed to be drawn out a little too much. OK, sure, he misinterpreted her reason for wanting to be a judge and I could see how she might be a little offended by that. But, in his crude (1960s) way, he was telling her he was crazy about her and would never judge another woman to be more beautiful than her. So, her ongoing anger over it was kind of an overkill.

Of course, to be fair, the suggestion she should even be in the contest is kind of a stupid one. I know the Mayberry townspeople aren't always the brightest bunch (and that's being nice), but I have a hard time believing nobody would cry "foul" if the contest's only judge picked his girlfriend. And, really, that's the only argument she needed to make as a reason for not entering. But, maybe I'm just overthinking that.

Final Opinion: It's a bit dated (as is the case with many episodes from this series). But, it still managed to be funny and I enjoyed watching it.

My Grade: A


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