“The Andy Griffith Show.” Just those four words are capable of inspiring a nostalgic feeling for simpler times, a slower pace of life and a world where the biggest problem was whether Thelma Lou might find out Barney was stepping out with Juanita from the diner. In reality, however, “The Andy Griffith Show” portrayed a world not quite as halcyon as those memories imply. Written by a long-time fan who has seen every episode at least half a dozen times, these Essays and Observations glorify the high points of the show while also drawing attention to its more troublesome aspects. Is the show misogynistic? Who was the mysterious Mr. Schwamp? What happened to Don Knotts when he left Barney Fife behind? What is Rockne Tarkington’s unique badge of honor on the show and, indeed, is it really a badge of dishonor? These and many other issues are addressed in the Essays and Observations upon one of America’s most beloved television shows of all time.