Tag Archives For: tv

24 Nov, 2015

Andy and Don

/ posted in: Reading Andy and Don Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show by Daniel de Visé
on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 320
Length: 9:29
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
Set in North Carolina and California

A lively and revealing biography of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, celebrating the powerful real-life friendship behind one of America's most iconic television programs.
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts met on Broadway in the 1950s. When Andy went to Hollywood to film a TV pilot about a small-town sheriff, Don called to ask if the sheriff could use a deputy. The comedic synergy between Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife ignited The Andy Griffith Show, elevating a folksy sitcom into a timeless study of human friendship, as potent off the screen as on. Andy and Don -- fellow Southerners born into poverty and raised among scofflaws, bullies, and drunks -- captured the hearts of Americans across the country as they rocked lazily on the front porch, meditating about the simple pleasure of a bottle of pop.
But behind this sleepy, small-town charm, de Vise's exclusive reporting reveals explosions of violent temper, bouts of crippling neurosis, and all-too-human struggles with the temptations of fame. Andy and Don chronicles unspoken rivalries, passionate affairs, unrequited loves, and friendships lost and regained. Although Andy and Don ended their Mayberry partnership in 1965, they remained best friends for the next half-century, with Andy visiting Don at his death bed.



Andy Griffith and Don Knotts are icons of American television.  They met while on Broadway and then reteamed in the 1960s on The Andy Griffith Show playing a small town sheriff and his deputy.  They both went on to have careers in individual projects – Don in Three’s Company and a variety of movies and stage productions and Andy in Matlock and many TV movies – but they were always best together.

This book is a story of their lives and friendship.  Both were awkward kids from the south who tried to make in it show business and failed.  They tried again and became stars.  Their friendship survived three marriages each, alcoholism, drug addiction, and affairs.

Andy was groomed to be the star but he recognized Don’s brilliance and let him shine.  He won 5 Emmys and Andy never won any acting awards.  He was always proud of Don.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t as nice to the women in his life.  This book glosses over his domestic violence in an era when it wasn’t taken all that seriously.  He was brutal to people who he felt had betrayed him and he held grudges that went on for years.

Don seems like the nicer guy.  He was a lifelong hypochondriac with symptoms that got worse whenever he had to perform live.  He was addicted to sleeping pills to help control his anxiety.  Women loved him.  This book was written by an investigative reporter who was his brother-in-law in his third marriage.

If you are a fan of any of the TV shows that they were on, you will probably enjoy this book.  Just be prepared for the parts of their lives that don’t bear any resemblance to the clean cut characters that they played on TV.

27 Mar, 2010

Food Revolution

/ posted in: Current EventsEntertainment

I’m watching this show online and loving it.  Jamie Oliver, who is a chef who has worked with improving school lunches in England, is working in Huntington WV to improve eating habits.  He is working in schools to improve lunches (get rid of processed foods, etc.) and teaching people how to cook.  He has to backtrack to teach kids to even be able to identify fresh vegetables.  My favorite part is in episode two where he has to teach kids to use a knife and fork.  The school doesn’t condone using anything other than fingers or spoons in elementary school!  This is my personal pet peeve since I have to deal with this one.  Z has been taught that she should not be exposed to knives.  She is insistent that they not be on her side of the table at a restaurant.  I working with her to use a fork to cut something fairly soft recently.  She had no clue.  All she could do was stab it over and over even though that was obviously not working.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen her to reinforce the lesson so she’s probably forgotten by now.

One thing that isn’t touched on is how to get difficult kids to eat food.  They give them only healthy options and they sort of have to eat it or starve.  Z won’t eat anything but processed crap.  She would rather not eat for days than eat something other than french fries or occasionally pizza.  We are going on a week’s vacation soon.  My head will explode if she doesn’t eat anything else but I’m not sure what to do.  We’ll be eating in restaurants so the kid’s meals tend to be only french fry based food and if we say no to a mentally ill child with food issues in a public place – it doesn’t end pretty.

Check out the show.  The resistance of people to change is amazing.  Alice the cook (don’t call her a lunch lady) reminds me so much of a former co-worker that I can’t help but laugh.