Judge Daryl Loomis prefers Manny and Bjorn, the little remembered third set of Duke Boys.
Nice drivin', Daisy!
To all of you fans of The Dukes of Hazzard out there: did you ever say to yourself, "Y'know, I really like the show, but what is it with them staying in Hazzard County, GA all the dang time? Can't they go someplace a little more exotic?" If so, then happy days for you! Warner Archive has the entire series of The Dukes finally available on four discs manufactured just for you on your command.
The strange and altogether stupid alternate universe of the Duke boys was thought up by Hanna Barbera in 1983 when The Dukes of Hazzard was at its worst, and the legendary animation studio had seen much better days themselves. These were the times of Pac-Man, The Gary Coleman Show, and Laverne and Shirley in the Army; dark days indeed. They decided to adapt the long-running series for Saturday mornings just as John Schneider and Tom Wopat, who played Bo and Luke, left over a royalties dispute. Fans were left with the brand new, absurdly named cousins, Coy and Vance (Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer), and little reason for anybody to continue watching the show. The resulting animated effort, The Dukes, is plain awful, some of the worst animated programming I've ever seen. To think I was a fan of the show way back then, but there's no telling what's going on in the mind of a seven-year-old.
The creators weren't satisfied with simply delivering a cartoon version of the show. No, they had a gimmick. The basic structure leaves no doubt as to the stupidity of the show. See, Boss Hogg wants to foreclose on the Duke family farm and, if they can't win the million dollar prize in a race around the world, he'll do just that. On top of it all, Boss Hogg wants the million dollars for himself, so he enters the race along with Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. Together, they scheme and cheat their way across continents, but the Dukes always stay one step ahead of the game.
The twenty episodes that make up The Dukes arrives on four DVDs, five to a disc.
• "Put Up Your Dukes": Coy, Vance, and Daisy Duke are in Australia where they have a cousin. He has a boxing kangaroo and a scheme to fight him against all-comers. Boss Hogg wants to steal the roo for himself, but it knows how to defend itself.
• "Jungle Jitters": As the Dukes race through the Amazon, Boss Hogg steals all their gas. Before they can find a filling station, they're taken by some natives who want to sacrifice them to their volcano god.
• "The Dukes of Venice": After the Duke's trusty Dodge Charger, the General Lee, is stolen buy thieves after a heist, Boss Hogg convinces the police that the Duke boys committed the crime.
• "Morocco Bound": While racing through Morocco, Roscoe steals a magic lamp and hides it in a souvenir shop. Daisy buys it and releases the genie inside, but the original owner has come looking for his property.
• "The Secret Satellite": Now in the arctic circle, the Dukes come upon a crashed U.S. satellite. They want to bring it back to the authorities because it's the right thing to do. Boss Hogg wants it, though, because of the reward NASA has offered.
• "The Dukes of London": After Flash, Roscoe's pet dog, gets switched with an identical pooch belonging to the queen, the dog winds up in the General Lee and the Dukes are arrested for dognapping.
• "The Greece Fleece": Boss Hogg calls in a favor to Big Nick, his Greek crime boss buddy, to get the Dukes arrested. When Nick invites him to dinner, Hogg hatches a scheme to marry Nick's daughter for the dowry and then scram. Nick won't let him out of the deal that easily, though.
• "The Dukes of India": Boss Hogg arrives in India to find the nation without a king. Unless the Dukes can stop him, he'll scheme his way into the crown…and the crown jewels.
• "The Dukes in Urbekistan": While it seems this is supposed to be Uzbekistan, the producers seem convinced this was the way to spell it. It's an unrecognizable nation anyway, with the Dukes helping a young archaeologist looking for a giant diamond.
• "The Dukes in Hong Kong": Boss Hogg and Roscoe have been kidnapped by pirates and, no matter how badly he's always treated them, the Dukes feel an obligation to saving them before they have to walk the plank.
• "The Dukes of Scotland": The Dukes show up in Scotland to visit some old friends from Hazzard County who have inherited a castle. They claim it's haunted, but it's really a front for a counterfeiting ring.
• "The Dukes Do Paris": Upon arriving in Paris, Boss Hogg makes arrangements to buy a rare stamp called Le Bleu Oiseau that he can resell for a million dollars. Before he can pick it up, however, Daisy uses it to mail a postcard to Uncle Jesse.
• "The Dukes in Switzerland": The Dukes help a father and daughter on the run from the police after they develop a formula to turn sea water into gasoline. Boss Hogg steals the formula, and the Dukes have to get it back.
• "Boss O'Hogg and the Little People": Bo and Luke are back! Sorry, Coy fans. In Ireland, Boss Hogg catches a leprechaun and captures his gold. When his little buddies come for revenge, the Dukes must come to his rescue once again.
• "Tales of the Vienna Hoods": Boss Hogg has to race through Austria while babysitting his niece, Cindy Lou. She is kidnapped and, unless the Dukes can save her, Boss Hogg will have to pay a million dollars to get her back.
• "The Kid from Madrid": After Boss Hogg runs the General Lee off the road, the Dukes take up with a horse racing family while they wait for repairs. It's time for the big race and, if they can't win, they'll lose their stables.
• "A Dickens of a Christmas": The Dukes have returned to England for the holidays and invite Boss Hogg to their big Christmas shindig. He shoots them down and, instead, is visited by a series of spooky ghosts to teach him the meaning of giving.
• "The Dukes in Hollywood": The Dukes are hired as stunt drivers for a film production and Boss Hogg wants in on some of the action. Instead, the crooked producer has plans to scam them all.
• "A Hogg in Foggy Bog": In the Philippines, the Dukes find a treasure map belonging to an old Duke ancestor. Uncle Jesse joins in the fun, but Boss Hogg gets the map and tries to get to the treasure first.
Maybe I ask too much, but this is the most idiotic television show I've ever seen. Boss Hogg has a dog that kind of talks and Uncle Jesse has a helpful racoon pal, but that doesn't even begin to describe how ridiculous The Dukes is. How they drive across the ocean doesn't appear to matter and why they travel in the order they do is plain silly. There are apparently only two participants in this race and nobody seems to know who is funding this million dollar purse. The only positive things I can say are that the characters are voiced by the actual actors and there are some hilariously inappropriate racial stereotyping, as though by 1983 nobody had ever actually been to places like Brazil or the Philippines and just assumed it's full of crazed natives. In the short second season, nearly the same drawings are used for Bo and Luke as for Coy and Vance. The only difference is eye bags that make it look like the original Dukes spent their year off on a crystal meth binge. Only the most nostalgic Dukes of Hazzard fans will find value in this set.
The Dukes: Complete Animated Series comes form Warner Archive in the usual, bare bones fashion. Their method of manufacturing on demand allows a lot of material to be released that Warner otherwise wouldn't touch, but the discs aren't very good. The prints are dirty and damaged, but the colors are generally strong. It varies episode to episode, but they are all subpar. The audio is as basic a mono track as you can get. There are no extras. For some releases from this service, I'd lament the lack of supplements, but I'm just glad to be done watching.
Guilty, now skedaddle on outta here.
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