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Generation X: Re-live the Friday Nights of your Youth!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dukes of Hazzard (Paperback)
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.