Bad Guys | Mayberry Goes Gangster!

The Bad Guys? Why do we root for them?

tom-nardone-bad-guys-1Writers sometimes cause us to temporarily forsake their own morals, and beliefs. During certain movies and TV shows, people will cast aside their understanding of right and wrong and root for the bad guys. I have no problem with this; I just find it to be amazing.

I remember growing up as many did watching the Andy Griffith Show, Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons. These were family oriented shows and generally taught lessons about being a family and making the right decisions when faced with problems. When we played as kids no one wanted to be the bad guy. Even the cop shows through the 70s and 80s were centered on the cops being the good guys and always triumphing over the bad guys. TV today is not this way.

Today we love to root for the bad guys. Some of my favorite shows are “Breaking Bad”, “Dexter”, “Sons of Anarchy”, and “The Shield”. One thing all of these shows have in common is the people doing bad things are portrayed as the good guys. It doesn’t matter what they are doing. I don’t want them to get caught. In all of these shows I see all the police as the bad guy. There are even cops on the shows that I don’t like because they are doing their jobs.

Tom-nardone-writers-2I wonder how the world would have responded to this sort of thing years ago. What if Andy Taylor of Mayberry was a one of the bad guys. Imagine the opening scene of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show. The camera is tightly focused on a mason jar of moonshine. As the camera zooms out, it reveals the jars are being loaded into a red wagon by Andy and Barney. Once they get the wagon full Andy calls Opie in.

Andy: “Hey! Ope!”

Opie: “Yeah Paw”

Andy: “Son I need you to take your wagon out and make these deliveries.”

Opie: “Oh Paw. I was going to play ball with Johnny Paul Jason and the guys.”

Andy: “”Now Ope! You can waste time with your friends later. Weez got business to tend to.

Opie goes out on his deliveries, and Andy and Barney begin to clean up a bit getting ready for the next batch. 15 minutes later Opie comes back.

Opie: “Paw I can’t make no deliveries”

Andy: “” Why Not!

Opie: “There is a man on my corner and he said I was all out ofPicture5 business and he would be the one selling moonshine on that corner from now on. He told me I better leave if I know what’s good for me”

Andy: “What! Where is this sum-bitch at? You tell me now Ope!”

Opie: “He is standing right out in front of Walkers drug store paw. Are you going to go smoke him?”

Andy: “Just you never-mind about that. Run on home Ope. Me and Barney will take care of this. Barney get the shotgun!”

Barney: “10-4”

Andy and Barney are watching this man; waiting for him to leave. A couple of hours later the man packs up and leaves for the night. They enter the aquad car and slowly follow him. They stay with him all the way back to his house. When the man gets home they watch him enter the house, and give him a minute or two to settle-in

Andy: “Barney you go cover the back I am going in the front. If this asshole tries to escape, you put him on the floor. I want to talk to him so keep him alive”

Barney runs around to the back of the house and Andy goes to the front and rings the doorbell. The man comes to the door

The Man: “Can I help you sheriff?”

Andy: “Well your new around here and I wanted to meet you and I thought I would come on over and introduce myself. I am Andy Taylor, that is sheriff Andy Taylor”

Picture9And with that Andy draws his pistol and blows off the man’s knee cap. The man begins screaming so Andy siliceses him be knocking him out with the butt of his pistol. He then goes to get Barney and the two of them drag him around and put him in the trunk of the squad car and drive off.

When the man comes to, he is naked and hanging upside-down by one leg from a tree. Barney has his balls with a pair of pliers so Andy can be sure to get the right answers to the questions he has.

Andy: “Excuse me sir? Yes now listen I know you are in a lot of pain so listen up for me just a minute please. I just wanted to help  you understand that me and my deputy own all the moonshine business in this town.  Now, I spect you won’t be forgetting none too soon, will ye? I want you to tell all your friends that Mayberry don’t respond too kindly to interlopers comin in and settin up shop here. Now, did you hear what I said?”

Barney twists the pliers and the man responds

The Man: “Yes! I hear ya, I hear ya”

Andy: “Well that’s just extra good. Barn, you can let go of his balls and cut this man down now.”

The next day Andy is fishing with Opie telling him about why it is important to rid their town of competition. Explaining how and why the other moonshiners are the bad guys.

Bad guys used to never win. I don’t know if they would have gotten away with that kind of television back then. I suspect they would not have. I realize TV is make-believe, and it is for the purpose of entertainment. I just find it to be an amazing thing when a writer is able to convince law-abiding-citizens to cheer and empathize with those for whom we hold in such contempt. Bad guys are bad guys, and we don’t like bad guys, but if it is on TV, we seem to embrace the bad guys, and give them a pass.

I wonder if some day we will look back at the shows we watch today as the time when TV was wholesome and good. I don’t know how much more debased it could get but I wonder if they wrote the other way if people might stop rooting for the bad guys. Maybe it is more fun pulling for the bad guys.

I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.


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13 Responses to Bad Guys | Mayberry Goes Gangster!

  1. My favorite villain will always be Hannibal Lecter (the Anthony Hopkins portrayal of him). He’s a super genius, classy (though in a twisted way), has no tolerance for fools or rudeness, and many of his victims had it coming to them. I would’ve loved to see him have that dickhead Dr. Chilton for dinner.

  2. pat chambers says:

    You are crazy creative. Loved it!

  3. ksbeth says:

    wow, i never knew what really went on in mayberry. thanks for clearing it up, tomnardone.

  4. Danielle says:

    I love your creativity with the scene. Even in House of Cards, the protagonist was evil. Don’t wanna spoil the end so I used a big word. Actually almost all the main characters were evil. I’m not sure I was rooting for anyone in that but more wondering if his wife was more evil and wondering what would happen next. But that may have been an actual documentary for all I know – it was sadly pretty true to life. And what I’ve seen of Breaking Bad has been hilarious.

    The irony is kid shows. I have a video of the REAL Cookie Monster on my iPhone. He’s fat and doesn’t eat veggies. Taz should not talk, ever. I was wearing a Taz shirt I loved when I was in an accident and very badly injured. It was a gift and my favorite shirt. I let them cut my leathers, my jeans, they probably had to cut one of my boots but that shirt HELL NO it was going over my head. I loved watching Wiley Coyote get the crap beat out of him and Road Runner taunt him. And Daffy Duck’s bill get spun around and Elmer Fudd huntin Bugs Bunny and Tom chase Jerry and go after Tweetie Bird. I don’t think that low level of violence would go over well for young kids ooh Gargamel and Azriel too! Yeah the good guys won and I don’t remember if I watched superhero shows really young but there was mild unrealistic VIOLENCE! And I was watching this probably as a baby. I was 8 when my sis was born. Kids shows we’re going downhill but just getting boring mostly.

    But SPONGEBOB is okay? My uncle likes it and made me sit through what I hope was the worst episode ever made. He just cried and sobbed and wailed the entire time and it made my head hurt but my uncle was laughing. Maybe I missed a joke? At least our shows weren’t horridly annoying. Oh my sis liked teletubbies. They were annoying too but nothing like spongebob. I can’t even stand 3 seconds of that voice!

    And actually I did want to see Tom catch Jerry more often but he did let him go…

    So we have the young kids watching annoying and/or educational nonviolent shows. They watch Dora and learn Spanish. I wonder how many languages Sesame Street teaches now. I remember a little Spanish. Then they get older and it’s stuff like Burn Notice or Breaking Bad. At least we started out with some violence and conflict. This has greater teen rebellion on its way unless we get them some good video games while they’re still young. The complete change will confuse them and encourage stereotypical teen rebellion on steroids…

  5. awax1217 says:

    I read this with interest. He sat on my shoulder. The evil side. The side that pulls for the bad guy. I wrote a story on the bad guy called the Record Killer and if you would like it let me know and I will email it to you. In the end he wants to be redeemed. Remember in prison no one is guilty just caught in the system. My id did the crime and my ego is paying the time.

  6. NicholeJane says:

    when I viewed the sequel to this I was quite surprised, the evil is actually of some use to the actual outcome although you must take the leap of faith and place the risk into the hands of the devil or am I confused

    • Tom Nardone says:

      Well Nicole. In as much as i appreciate you looking for the deeper meaning I must tell you there is not one. I was simply making an observation and exploiting some of the programs we today regard as wholesome. IE the Andy Griffith Show. Thanks for reading me though.

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