I could say I bought this box set for the quality of the acting or for the complexity of the plots, but we both know I'd be lying through my teeth. 'The Dukes of Hazzard' is just about as formulaic in television terms as it is possible to get. That, of course, is its strength. Boss Hogg will always be hatching some sort of nefarious money making scheme, which he will always manage to convince Rosco to assist him with. Our rotund little villain will inevitably try and polish off a month's worth of calories in one meal too, which he will most definitely not share with his sidekick.
The Duke boys will be out and about minding their own business when they will somehow stumble onto the scene of a crime taking place, or they will fall foul of the Hazzard police in some form. Someone from the Duke residence will spend time in the local slammer during the course of an episode, only to make their escape by either surreptitiously lifting the keys from Cletus directly or employing the services of Daisy as a rather significant distraction technique. At least that last bit is consistently believable, particularly when she wears those shorts. The costume budget for this show must have been as small as they were, because the characters apart from her only seem to have one outfit each. No big deal in the case of Boss of course, although I would like to know which brand of washing powder he uses in order to keep that suit of his so gleaming white. Uncle Jessie's dungaree ensemble is quite another matter. The man's a farmer for heaven's sake, yet those trousers never seem to be left out for even the quickest spin at forty degrees. Amazing.
Season Four of this fantastic series, surprisingly enough, follows the above formula very closely. This particular DVD presentation of it is somewhat spoilt for me by having episodes on both sides of each disc. It's very easy to lose track of which disc is which too, especially as the only index of included episodes is on the back of each individual box. The discs themselves aren't labelled too well either. Nevertheless, all that is purely cosmetic.
I can't think of any duff episodes on this entire set - if for no other reason than the presence of James Best in every single one of them. And his dog Flash of course. Probably the best episode from this season is 'Coltrane Vs. Duke', which finds Boss Hogg trying to take the Duke's farm from them and Rosco being conned into helping him. The comedy between those two characters alone is reason enough for watching it, believe me.
Each episode ends with inevitable failure on the part of Boss, but does he give up? No, of course he doesn't. He'll be right back with you next time, to try his luck all over again. But he'll always fail. Greed and corruption will always lose out to good, old-fashioned values. It'll give you a nice, fuzzy feeling inside. Or maybe that's just the effect of Daisy's shorts...?
on 26 July 2015
Working our way through, very good, blast from the past, has aged very well, we are enjoying the nostalgia, our 8 year old is also enjoying it.