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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 1061 Minutes
• Back Where We Started: The Real Hazzard County: Tour the original Hazzard County in Georgia with Ben "Cooter" Jones and Sonny "Enos" Shroyer
• General Lee: The Legendary Charger: The history and design of the awesome automobile
“Okay, we’ve got Wopat and Schneider back on board and we’ve successfully put that whole Coy and Vance miasma behind us forever. What now?”
“Jump some more shit with the General and watch the plots sink further into the sixth level of creative hell.”
"You know, Bo, according to the laws of physics and human anatomy,
there’s really no way we’re going to survive this jump."
Bo: "Yeah, and…"
Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Catherine Bach, Denver Pyle, Sorrell Booke, James Best, Sonny Shroyer, Ben Jones.
You’ve got Bo and Luke running from Rosco every episode, Boss Hogg scheming to frame the Dukes in some kind of lame plot that they have to figure a way out of every episode, Daisy walking around in shorts skimpy enough to qualify for FHM, Bo and Luke jumping things Evel Knievel wouldn’t touch and having their Dodge Charger emerge unscathed each time, Cooter reminding us that he’s “crazy but he ain’t dumb”, Enos lusting in his heart for Daisy but never making a move and saying “possum on a gum bush”, and Uncle Jesse giving wholesome advice that usually lands the Dukes in more trouble than if they lived in any semblance of a real world.
"When I snap my fingers, you’ll get naked and show me some real Southern hospitality…"
So here I am yet again: my fourth go-round with Dukes. I’ve tried to give a solid breakdown of what made the show a hit in the ‘70s and ’80s and Must See TV for me in my youth, compared the show to the recent horrid theatrical remake, and gave an in-depth analysis to the whole Coy and Vance scenario in Season 5. Hell, even Frazier and Ali knew to stop at three, and they both barely survived their last encounter. Me? I’m brain dead enough to sign up for a fourth tour of duty for a show that can pretty much be thoroughly analyzed in one sentence (or at least a compound sentence). Yes, the show was exciting and fun when you’re a prepubescent little shit thinking that anything in it made any sense at all. But then you see Dukes 20 years later and, well, you see how naiveté is a beautiful thing.
the General Lee’s headshot, it said that he could speak Spanish and
French, was an expert in Krav Maga and could play three musical
instruments. Apparently not all of those things were entirely tuthful…
The whole show is predicated on a wholesome country family of four who like to drive fast, do good deeds, and resolve to live 8 cents above the poverty line. On the flipside is the corrupt local government of the county commissioner and sheriff that are bound and determined to destroy this family, but use the most hair-brained schemes to do it. Allying himself with the Dukes is the local mechanic who can fix anything and the too-honest-for-his-own-good deputy in service to the corrupt government. So why the big success? Well for one thing it was original. Hasn’t been another show anywhere near like it before or since…and many would see that as a good thing. The combination of the handsome dual leads of Wopat and Schneider, as well as the delectable Bach in her near-bikini wear and the foolish antics of Booke and Best, along with the insane stunts of a certain orange Dodge proved to be ratings gold. The show was a one-note success story and they pretty much ran that note straight into the ground.
"Now bitch, just remember you betta not be frontin’ on my money with this trick. I ain’t got all my paper, there’s some be some foot put to ass, ya undastand?"
In this, the penultimate year of the show, not a thing had changed from the previous 4 ¼ seasons (not counting the 18 episodes of Coy and Vance of course). Probably the biggest hindrance – and simultaneously – the biggest attraction of the show, was that there was never any evolution, not of the characters, nor the situations, nor the premise. Hazzard was a temporal vacuum where nothing ever changed. But by Season 6, the ideas were obviously starting to run dry and like in previous seasons, plots were recycled, re-spun, and rehashed.
Take for instance the episode, Heiress Daisy Duke, where Boss has Daisy hypnotized into impersonating the niece of a wealthy industrialist so that Boss can present her to him and collect a $200,000 reward. This is cut straight from the cloth of the Season 4 episode, Goodbye, General Lee where Boss has Luke hypnotized into wanting to get rid of the General Lee so that he can use it for a scheme, which itself is a de facto retread from the Season 3 episode, My Son, Bo Hogg, where Boss manipulates an amnesiac Bo into thinking he’s his son for yet another scheme. So within the six season run, Boss had messed with all three protagonists’ mental states for his own gain.
Flash, let’s go…hey wait a minute, you’re not Flash!. Oh shit, then
what was that I had for breakfast this morning with my eggs?"
Then you have How to Succeed in Hazzard, where Boss’ con artist nephew, Dewey, slides into town with a children’s hospital scam to get $100,000. Of course, Dewey is the older brother of the oft-used other Hogg nephew, Hughie, and he plays the people of Hazzard just as little brother had done several times before (Season 3’s Uncle Boss and The Return of Hughie Hogg, Season 4’s Hughie Hogg Strikes Again, Season 5’s The Revenge of Hughie Hogg). Finally, there’s multiple offender, Too Many Roscos, where James best plays an evil double of himself. Sorrell Booke had once played a dual role as his own twin brother, Abraham Lincoln Hogg in Season 3’s Baa, Baa White Sheep. Hell, even twin Flashes are used in the Season 6 episode, A Boy’s Best Friend. But this particular episode is a multiple offender because there’s also one crucial element, Hazzard thinking that Rosco had died by crashing his car into a pond, that was also used in one of the better Season 2 episodes, The Ghost of General Lee, where Bo and Luke were also mistakenly thought dead when two hustlers stole the General Lee and crashed it into a pond.
It wasn’t a pretty sight when Mr. Pyle showed up after a weekend bender with Mr. Daniels and Mr. Cuervo and no shower…
There are other examples, but the term dead horse and beating come to mind. However, another frequently used plot device is when Daisy is threatened or kidnapped, and that’s used practically every other episode, including this season’s, Targets: Daisy and Lulu, involving Daisy and Lulu getting involved with a stolen diamond necklace and jewel thieves; Enos’ Last Chance, where an escaped criminal plots revenge on Enos by going after Daisy; the aforementioned Heiress Daisy Duke, where relatives of the industrialist make attempts on Daisy’s life; and Close Call for Daisy, where she gets mixed up with the incriminating black book of a mobster.
"Goddamnit, Tom, what homoerotic dickhead keeps writing us into these situations…"
Nevertheless, all of the elements that made the show a hit were still present in Season 6, most notably the incredible stunt work and jumps of the General Lee, and the sometimes spectacular crashes of the Hazzard police cars. This was the last season before the producers really started cutting the budget and having some of the stunts done with models. But the wholesomeness of the show remained all the way through the end. It was pretty much the 7th Heaven of its day, only with car chases, country music and beer.
Boss Hogg found out at the most inopportune moment what really goes on in the Hazzard penal system…
First of all, the cover artwork is Photoshop remade crap. They should have stuck with the great publicity shots of the show they used for the covers of Seasons 1 and 3. Plus any cover without Bach in her heyday is automatically going to suck in comparison. Video looks good, but still is 1.33:1 and audio is Dolby Digital Mono. There’s two features: Back Where We Started: The Real Hazzard County, where series regulars Ben Jones and Sonny Shroyer go back to Conyers, Georgia, which subbed for Hazzard County, and General Lee: The Legendary Charger, where the history of the Dodge favorite is chronicled. The first feature is a snooze, the latter you could see on the Discovery Channel.