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on 30 October 1998
In the late 1970s, the highlight of the week for most 4th and 5th Graders at Huegel Elementary School in Madison, WI was the Friday night TV lineup on CBS: The Incredible Hulk, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Dallas. Of this trio, "The Dukes" was truly the "alpha TV show". Any youngster not prepared to discuss the past weekend's Dukes episode on Monday morning was clearly an outcast.
Yours truly, an educated suburban professional who lives far from the back woods of the deep south where the "Dukes" was set, proudly pleads guilty to occasionally tuning in to cable's Nashville Network to catch an episode. Watching the show brings back memories of childhood innocence, and the show is, in fact, laugh-out-loud hilarious.
David Hofstede brings back those childhood memories in his guide to "The Dukes".
Hofstede argues that although the show was never a hit with culturally elite intellectual snobs, it was a big hit in middle America . . . and the author points out, correctly, that the show embodied noble themes of:
family values: the genuine affection within the Duke family and their friends
doing what's right: Uncle Jesse and the Duke boys and Cooter always helped those in need and were always honest
good triumphing over evil: Boss Hogg always lost . . . and even as the bad guy, Boss Hogg never had any schemes that posed physical harm to others or involved drugs or other "heavy duty" crime.
Moreover, the show had its theatrical merits . . .Hofstede agreed with what I've always said when forced to defend my enjoyment of the show, which is that Boss Hogg and Roscoe were one of the funniest comedy duos in the history of television.
The book includes a complete episode guide. Also quite interesting is a detailed discussion of when John Schneider and Tom Wopat (Bo and Luke) went on strike for the majority of one of the seasons, and were replaced by look-alikes Vance and Coy. Vance and Coy never developed any chemistry with each other, other cast members, or the viewers.
Although his retrospective is mainly one of fondness for the show, Hofstede does not hesitate to provide criticism where it is due. For example, in the synopsis of episode 143, "Strange Visitor to Hazzard", one of the more ridiculous episodes (featuring a little green alien who lands in Hazzard), the author warns viewers to keep a barf bag nearby for when Luke calls the space man "L'il cousin".
Loyal visitors will enjoy ample trivia about the show, retrospectives from many of the actors and actresses, a good collection of photos, and "where are they now" tidbits about the cast.
Thumbs up.
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on 28 December 1998
Reading the book has taken me back to a simpler time when Friday nights meant spending the night with my buddy and watching the Dukes while guzzling Gatorade and eating pizza crackers. Very well done with interviews with all the key characters. Details the genesis and history of the show and offers analysis and commentary on each episode. Again, if you grew up with this campy classic or have rediscovered it in syndication, this book is for you.
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on 3 February 2010
For many of us during 1970s and early 1980s, the highlight of the week was to watch this TV show on CBS. Like most fans, I enjoyed every second of this show and we owe this tremendous opportunity to a group of talented show creators on television, and crew and cast who did their jobs wonderfully. In this book the author narrates the story from a historical perspective. The book may be broadly classified into two sections; one, the history of making this show and the way the actors were casted, and second section describes the episodes (storylines) aired over seven seasons.

In the first section we get an opportunity to read the work of all the actors prior to this TV experience and how they reacted to becoming a part of the show. John Schneider, in 1970s and 1980s came on several talk-shows and described his experience on the set. Many fans are aware that he is from New York, but certain tricks pulled during the audition (cow boy hat, pick-up truck borrowed from a friend, chewing tobacco, etc.) helped him to pass himself as a southerner. The creator's thought that he is great for the role of Bo Duke. Tom Wopat who had experience in country music brought his guitar for the audition and the two actors became good friends since then. The Another piece of history is the well publicized quarrel between John and Tom with show producers since they did not share the large volume of revenue (from selling various products related to the show and other paraphernalia) with the two actors as they had originally contracted with them. But they were not alone, at various stages, Sonny Shroyer (Enos) Ben Jones (Cooter), James Best (Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane) and Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg) had to walk out of the set for various reasons and they were brought back. The show had some turbulence but at the end it worked out greatly for the fans.

Another piece of history that is interesting to me is that the show was first shot on location in Covington, Georgia, and later at the end of first season the show was moved to California, and they were shot on location in Sherwood, and Valencia (near Santa Clarita), California. Much has changed since then, these locations where the great car chases of the show were shot are no longer there because of significant real estate developments.

There are many episodes that are my personal favorites which include "Swamp Molly,"
"Miss Tri-Counties," My son, Bo Hogg, The Law and Jessie Duke, The Hazzardville Horror," "The Great Santa Clause Chase" (incidentally this is the only Christmas episode of this show), "Dear Diary, "The Big Heist" and many other episodes. The author discusses each episode in some detail and provides information about guest actors and actresses of each episode, with additional notes and interesting trivia. I think this is a treasure; although some information about the show is also available on internet.

1. The Dukes Of Hazzard - Series 1-7 - Complete [DVD]
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on 13 February 2012
With comments by actors, writers, directors, stuntmen and more, as well as episode synopses and opinions on them, this is a great companion. It also looks at the creation of the show and the film "Moonrunners", which was a precursor to the series.
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