Return To Mayberry is a good reunion show but the silliness of the Loch Ness type monster spoils it. This was 1986 and this type of camp belong to the 1960's. It also made a mistake by not introducing an African American or any other minority to make Mayberry more diverse. It was wise that there was one reunion movie cause it would cheapen the show if they made another one.
The last episode of the Andy Griffith Show was really dissatisfying (although some closure may have been provided in the first episode of Mayberry RFD).
Still it was always kind of sad how Barney and Thelma Lou's relationship pittered out in the original series. Return to Mayberry patches things up by bringing them back together. It was also great that many of the original actors were able to return and take up their characters. It's a shame that Frances Bavier wasn't feeling well enough to film the movie--but the writers did the right thing by having Andy visit Aunt Bee's grave in remembrance--instead of casting another actress to play Aunt Bee. I hate when they do that! I loved the gag with Howard's hair.
Return to Mayberry is aptly name because it really does return the viewers to all the characters that made the show great!
Out of all the TV reunion movies, this is the only one (other than the possible exception of the "Star Trek" movies) that got it right. Everybody fits into their old characters perfectly. The relationship between Andy and Barney is shown to go both ways. Andy won't run against Barney, but when Barney finds out Andy came back to run for sheriff, he is quick to do what he considers "the right thing" even though in his eyes that means losing the love of his old sweetheart Thelma Lou. It's a very moving scene. "Return to Mayberry" is also very funny thanks to Knotts, Nabors, and the rest of the gang. As a result, watching this reunion movie is like getting together with a bunch of old friends.
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