I can’t believe this show ran for seven seasons. Sure, I enjoyed it as a child, but I was a child, and didn’t know any better. Seeing it today, it is shocking how bad it really is. The acting is pathetic and the storylines are lame and predictable. Every episode for seven straight seasons had the same basic skeleton. The boys are having a good time, the corrupt county commissioner does something for personal gain, the half-retarded Sheriff blames it on the innocent Duke boys, car chase, short shorts, car flies throug… the air, sheriff’s face in a mud puddle, phony laughing for no reason, credits. By the time The Dukes of Hazzard finally aired its final season in the mid-80’s, it had actually sank to the point of bringing on guest stars with as much believability as the time that the Harlem Globetrotters visited Gilligan’s Island.
This was truly a show aimed at America’s lowest common denominator. I can respect the fact that it had eye candy and it was anti-establishment. The thing is, the show just beat the viewer over the head with it. The Sheriff is not just stupid, he is clearly such a colossal moron that I am truly amazed that he can dress himself in the mornings. The government was always wrong, and the innocent citizens were always right. Trust me, if you have seen one episode of this show, you have seen them all. There is no reason to purchase an entire season’s worth, and there is absolutely no sane reason to collect the whole series. Do yourself a favor and pick up a complete season of The Andy Griffith Show instead.
The audio track is presented in the show’s original mono format. Now I have heard plenty of quality mono tracks in my day, but I am sorry to say that this is not one of them. Everything is mixed low, with the exception of the narrator’s voice, which comes through loud and clear. I can only assume this is a result of his voice being captured in a studio, while the show dialog was primarily recorded on the set. The music cues are also pretty flat, with no low end whatsoever. Occasionally, the deep bass of the General Lee’s engine does transfer, but even this is not the visceral experience that I was hoping for. Truth is, this is a pretty week audio track, even by classic TV show standards.
I was really surprised to find that these episodes look much better than I was expecting. The truth is, Warner Brothers always does a great job with their DVD sets, so I should have known better. Unfortunately, when it comes to a show the age of this one, viewers should just expect poor picture quality from the outset. Colors are badly washed out, and deep blacks are more like dark gray or dark brown. Still, these problems are nowhere near as bad as they are when you catch a rerun of the show on Spike TV. Clearly, Warner has worked hard to present the cleanest masters possible for this show, and if there are any actual fans out there, they will no doubt appreciate the effort.
There are three extra features in this set, and they are all packed onto the final disc. I can’t decide what the most lame thing here is; the all-new music video or the making-of the music video. Both segments just scream out “why?” to me. The vocals on the new track are performed by Tom Wopat, John Schneider and Catherine Bach, three people who could barely act, much less sing. I’m not sure if the studio thought the song would become a hit or what, but it seems that a lot of time and money has been spent on what amounts to a promotional fluff piece, and the making of said piece.
The final extra is a tribute to Waylon Jennings. Most of this featurette consists of an interview with Waylon’s widow, as she discusses how he came to do the show, and how much he enjoyed working on the project. Surprisingly, however, a lot of this special feature is filler. Surely there would be plenty of actual background information to discuss without resorting to showing clips from the very same episodes that the viewer has presumably just watched. If you ask me, an opportunity was missed with this special feature.
Obviously, this show had fans in its day. It ran for seven seasons. Of course, Jerry Springer has now been on the air for nine years as well. I guess the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same things. Still, I just can’t recommend this show with a clear conscience. If you are a fan of the show, and you already own the first six seasons, I’m sure you’re going to pick this one up without a care in the world about what I have to say. I’m fine with that. For everyone else, however, I suggest you make absolutely sure that this is your brand of humor before you commit 14 hours of your life to this season set.
Special Features List
- A Tribute to Waylon Jennings
- Behind-the-scenes-look at the making of a new Music Video
- Good ‘Ol Boys Music Video featuring John Schneider, Tom Wopat and Catherine Bach