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Today we’re inducting the last of the May Queens into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame. (For the last week of May, the Friday Hall of Famer will be the Toobworld televersion of the TV show which showcased one of Toobworld’s greatest queens.)
But for this Friday, we’re taking a trip down to Mayberry, North Carolina. For a small country town, Mayberry certainly has racked up quite a few members of the Hall; this will mark the seventh. As Melissa Steadman once said, “Seven – it would be a mythic number.”
Edited from Wikipedia:
Helen Crump is a fictional dramatic character on the American television program ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ (1960–1968). Helen made her debut in the third-season episode "Andy Discovers America" (1963). Helen was a schoolteacher and became main character Sheriff Andy Taylor's girlfriend. Helen also appeared in TAGS spinoff, ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’ (1968–1971), and in the TAGS reunion telemovie, “Return to Mayberry” (1986). Helen was portrayed by Aneta Corsaut.
Helen Crump hails from Kansas and attended college in Kansas City. She majored in journalism. Helen takes up residence in Mayberry and is employed as an elementary schoolteacher. Her uncle, Edward, and her young niece, Cynthia, visit her in Mayberry.
Unlike other Mayberry women, Helen has no special skills in the kitchen. She enjoys picnicking, and, in one episode, directs the high school's senior play. An independent, self-sufficient, professional single woman, Helen is a wise and thoughtful character, but at times can be abrupt. [She] serves on most occasions as the voice of reason on the show.
In the third-season episode, "Andy Discovers America" (1963), Opie and his classmates take a dislike to their new teacher Helen Crump (whom they call "old lady Crump"). The boys complain about her history assignments. After Andy gives Opie some advice about his own experience with school (which Opie misconstrues into thinking he doesn't have to do his history schoolwork), Helen appears at the courthouse and, acting on her assumptions based on Opie's misinterpretation of his father's advice, proceeds to give Andy a piece of her mind on his interference in her domain.
Andy is dumbfounded but finds a way to get the boys excited about their history assignments. Helen is astonished but pleased with the change in Opie and his pals. When she learns Andy played a part in the turnabout, she thanks him and the two become friends.
At the end of the episode, Andy shows his attraction to Helen by offering to walk her home and attempting to rid himself of Barney Fife who wants to discuss history with Helen.
Andy and Helen have many pleasant social outings: they attend dances, picnic at Myers Lake, and double date with others (usually Barney Fife and Thelma Lou).
In "Helen, the Authoress", Helen has written a book and uses her evenings to rewrite the manuscript before its publication by a Richmond firm.
In the first episode of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ spinoff, ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’, Andy and Helen married. The episode gave CBS the highest ratings for a new TV series debut for the decade.
The couple moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, but returned to Mayberry at a later date on ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’ to christen their newborn son, Andrew Samuel Taylor.
In 1986, Andy and Helen made appearances in the reunion telemovie “Return to Mayberry”. In the telemovie, Andy has recently retired from the United States Postal Inspection Service in Cleveland and returns to Mayberry to see Opie and his wife become first-time parents. In a continuity error, Opie's half-brother, who would have been a teenager then, wasn't mentioned at all.
Here are Helen’s three separate appearances which qualify her for membership in the TVXOHOF:
The Andy Griffith Show
- Andy's Baby (1969)
- Andy and Helen Get Married (1968)
Return to Mayberry (TV Movie)
Welcome to the Hall, Mrs. Taylor! You’ll find your husband and stepson and other friends from Mayberry ready to welcome you.
Sorry about Andy Jr. not making the cut….
The pandemic brought an early end to many TV series this season; many came close to completing their storylines. But with shows foregoing the last two episodes and cobbling together new conclusions from existing footage (‘The Flash’) – or in the case of ‘Blacklist’, resorting to animation to complete an arc.
It’s made me wonder what will happen when TV shows do come back with a new season, hopefully in the Fall. Will they all acknowledge what happened this Spring? After all, there were shows twenty years ago which never made any indication that the 9/11 attacks happened.
(I’m not sure if it was ever addressed when ‘100 Centre Street’ returned for a second season in October of 2001. I can understand if those episodes produced before September couldn’t shoehorn even just a reference to the tragedy, obviously. But it wasn’t cancelled until March of 2002; Team Toobworld, let me know – did they ever acknowledge what happened just a few blocks away?)
With warnings that there will be a resurgence of Covid-19 in the Fall, coupled with flu season ramping up, will we be seeing Life in the Otto household of Norwalk, Ct. putting on face masks before the kids head off to school on ‘American Housewife’? Will ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ have to grapple with the prospect of prison being a possible death sentence for the suspects they bring in? Would it lead to arguments that it doesn’t matter?
But there are current shows out there which won’t have to deal with the spectra of the coronavirus… because they all take place in the Past.
Here is my Super Six List of my favorite current TV shows which will remain unaffected by COVID-19 within their “reality”….
1] YOUNG SHELDON
3] MURDOCH MYSTERIES
5] FATHER BROWN
6] THE GOLDBERGS/SCHOOLED
I would have liked to have included ‘Doctor Who’ in this list, but then the Time Lord doesn’t just travel back in Time; the Doctor visits the Future as well as the Present Time. Will they be addressing the pandemic when the series eventually returns?
I’m not considering TV shows which are set in the Far Future, like ‘Doctor Who’ sometimes is. Like everybody else, I’m hoping we’ll eventual be free of this coronavirus. But people in the Future will have lost family members, friends, occupations to COVID-19.
And now I’m wondering how they’ll address the pandemic in their past. They can’t very well claim that it was eradicated; it might be with us in some form forever.
No doubt about it – it will be an interesting TV season come the Fall!