The Dukes of Hazzard: Season 5
DVD | Box Set
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Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Fifth Season (DVD)
Just when you think you’ve seen it all in Hazzard County, the fun, rabble-rousing action-adventure series switches things up: Luke and Bo head off to compete on the professional stock car racing circuit, while their cousins Coy and Vance Duke (Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer) take up residence at the Duke family farm. On the same right side of the law, the cousins find the General Lee’s seats fit them just fine and, thanks to Boss Hogg’s scheming ways, these two good old boys manage to get into just as much trouble as their cousins did. Plus, a familiar face returns this season as Deputy Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer) rejoins the office of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) and his goofy underling, Deputy Cletus Hogg (Rick Hurst). So get ready for more car chases, moonshine hijinks and small-town brawls with The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Fifth Season!]]>
The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Fifth Season marks the ignominious year in which (gasp) Dukes mainstays Bo (John Schneider) and Luke (Tom Wopat) Duke took a hiatus from the series, the result of a contract feud between the two stars and the show's producers. That disagreement proved considerable: Schneider and Wopat stayed off Dukes for 18 of the season's 22 episodes. But while their absence puts a dent in the ongoing Dukes zaniness, replacement cousins Coy (Byron Cherry) and Vance (Christopher Mayer) Duke do an adequate job of filling the seats of the General Lee. The new boys are also on to the wily ways of Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke), who seems to be ratcheting up his brand of felonious mayhem, going so far as to rob banks and jewelry stores, swindle landowners, incite kidnapping, and plot payroll heists. Of course, he also spends half his time still trying to frame the Dukes for one thing or another, including feisty cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach) and grizzled Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle)--Boss Hogg's former moonshine partner. And, yes, he's more intent than ever on grabbing the Dukes' property, along with everything else.
A familiar face returns in the fifth season: Deputy Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer), gone from the series since 1980 but now rejoining the burlesque that is the office of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (James Best) and his goofy underling, Deputy Cletus Hogg (Rick Hurst). Season highlights include "The Revenge of Hughie Hogg," in which Boss Hogg's ever-scheming nephew (Jeff Altman) makes a return appearance, this time with his eye on defeating Roscoe in the latter's re-election bid for top lawman. (Hughie being Hughie, he blackmails his uncle into supporting his run.) "Ding, Dong, the Boss Is Dead" finds Coy and Vance actually helping Boss Hogg escape an old moonshine runner's certain revenge by staging their diminutive nemesis' funeral. "Comrade Duke" concerns a Russian gymnast who seeks asylum at the Dukes' farm. Bo and Luke return in time for a few adventures, capping the season with "Daisy's Shotgun Wedding," in which the overprotected beauty strikes out on her own and is snatched away by a moonshiner's son, who wants to marry her. --Tom Keogh
- 22 episodes on eight discs
- Hazzard County Stunt Team: Reunited and in Your Face!: the original stunt team pays tribute to coordinator Paul Baxley
- Cooter's Place: Keeping the Dream Alive: Visit Ben Jones' shrine to all things Hazzard
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In hindsight, the introduction of "Coy and Vance Duke" into the storyline wasn't the great disaster it was in 1982. Schneider and Wopat walk off the show to strike over issues related to merchandise royalties, and the show clamors to hire two new individuals to fill the huge gap. Granted, the replacement cousins were no Bo and Luke, but hey, the character of Coy (played by Byron Cherry) was quite likeable and down-home like, and the change in roles allowed the show to experiment a little.
Rick Hurst ("Deputy Cletus") stayed on the show as Sonny Shroyer ("Deputy Enos") returns from his failed spin-off series, and it's great that we have both deputies on several of this season's early shows until Hurst finally departs. Secondly, the comedic talents of "Boss Hogg" (Sorrell Booke) and "Sheriff Rosco" (James Best) are second to none in the fifth season, as the two really stepped it up to ease the absence of Schneider and Wopat. The two really carry the weight of the season, and they do it hillariously!
Not only that, but one of the best episodes of the show's entire run, "Witness: Jesse Duke", shows the great talent of Denver Pyle ("Uncle Jesse"), and the chemistry of the "new Dukes" finally gels within the storyline and with the rest of the cast, only to be gone in the next episode.
Otherwise, the stories found in this season are very good, and afterall, Bo and Luke do return towards the end. In fact, another unique element here is the episode "Welcome Back, Bo & Luke", which features Bo, Luke, Coy and Vance on screen all together in this episode only.
A big thanks to Warner Brothers for continuing to release THE DUKES OF HAZZARD sets on DVD. Another thanks to Warner for making these single-sided discs (at an unbeatable price). Now if Warner would only re-release the first 3 seasons with the single-sided configuration!
With stars Tom Wopat (Luke) and John Schneider (Bo) in a contract dispute with the show's producers, the powers that be decided to go out and find a couple of replacement parts if you will, for the General Lee. What they came up with was Vance (Christopher Mayer) and Coy (Byron Cherry). It was obvious they were going for look-alikes to play the other set of Duke cousins, as opposed to finding the best actors, because these guys were certainly not the best actors. Then again, the Dukes of Hazzard was never known for being a showcase for Oscar-caliber acting.
As the fifth season began, viewers learned that Bo and Luke were heading off to race on the NASCAR circuit, at the time not nearly the juggarnaut it is today. Of course what seems strange to me watching now (though it didn't strike me as a little kid) is that the Duke boys were on parole, which meant they couldn't leave Hazzard County. Remember all those times with Sheriff Little chasing the boys for being parole breakers? If that's the case, how could they leave Hazzard to race and when they return still be on parole? A good question that never really gets answered.
With Bo and Luke gone, Vance and Coy show up and take over the 1969 Dodge Charger known as the General Lee. They move onto the Duke farm with Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) and cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach). And while the two main characters are different, many of the stories remain the same.
The Dukes find themselves in the middle of many of Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane's (James Best) sticky messes. The "law" of Hazzard County certainly isn't the fine upstanding type, but deep down, both the sheriff and Boss Hogg are decent people, as we see in an episode where Uncle Jesse is blinded while foiling a robbery and the pair are genuinely sympathetic.
Of course Vance and Coy have to find ways to spoil Boss Hogg's schemes and through 18 episodes, the "new" Dukes do just that, teaming with mechanic Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones), Daisy and Jesse to keep Hazzard County on the straight and narrow. Pretty much it's the same old thing in Hazzard County: Boss Hogg and Rosco try to swindle people and the Dukes put a stop to it. Of course Boss and Rosco always find bad guys to pin the blame on.
Then, in episode 19, Bo and Luke triumphantly return to Hazzard, fresh off a big win on the NASCAR circuit and ready to settle back into their lives in the sleepy Georgia county. And Boss and Rosco continue to try and swindle residents. Some things never change.
There was however another change in season five. Deputy Enos Strait returned from (failed) spin-off land in California and assumes his role with the police department, teaming with fellow deputy Cletus Hogg for the first part of the season. That is, until Cletus mysteriously disappears, with no real explanation given, except for a mention of a vacation in one episode. Again, another question that doesn't really get answered.
This should have been a great season for extras. It would have been nice to hear about what the cast thought of the changes around them, what the stars were looking for, how producers went about replacing them, how the fan reaction led to them returning. Unfortunately this is not discussed at all in the extras. There is a reunion of stunt personnel and a tour of Cooter's Place, a Dukes memorabilia store. These aren't bad extras, but it really would've been nice to have an inside look at just what happened in season five.
Overall, I can't give this too bad a rating, because there are extras, and the quality of the reproduction seems good, especially for an older show. And really, I can't rate anything that has Waylon Jennings too bad anyway.
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them I've seen time and time again.