Hey Dude - Season 1
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Cmon down to the Bar None Ranch and follow the summer antics of ranch owner Benjamin Ernst (David Brisbin) and his diverse crew of teens as they work and play on a dude ranch in Arizona. Stars Christine Taylor as lifeguard Melody, David Lascher as senior staff member Ted, Kelly Brown as horse trainer Brad, Joe Torres as Hopi Indian native Danny, Debrah Kalman as ranch hand Lucy and Josh Tygiel as Ernsts son Buddy.
Hey Dude premiered in 1989 on Nickelodeon and quickly became a fan favorite with its hip, young cast and comedic if not touching storylines set against an authentic Southwestern backdrop. So saddle up for fun in the sun out on the range with Hey Dude Season One!
Those who grew up in the late '80s to early '90s have a warm spot in their hearts for Hey Dude, Nickelodeon's first live-action show. The teenage employees of the Bar None Ranch in Arizona come back from the off-season to discover the ranch has been sold to a tenderfoot named Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin), whose foolishness drives many of the series' story lines--the ones that aren't driven by innocent teenage high jinks. Ted (David Lascher) is a would-be Romeo with eyes for Brad (Kelly Brown), a rich girl who's also an expert rider. Danny (Joe Torres), a Hopi native, often gets caught up in Ted's hormonal schemes, while Melody (Christine Taylor, who went on to play Marcia in The Brady Bunch Movie) does her best to keep everything on an even keel. Rounding out the cast are Buddy (Josh Tygiel), Mr. Ernst's disgruntled son, who would rather be skateboarding back in New Jersey, and Lucy (Debrah Kalman), a genuine cowgirl who's the only one on the ranch who really knows how the place runs. The plots are pretty silly (frequently involving competition among the teens), the dialogue thin, the acting wooden, and the costumes day-glo bright, but there's a sweetness to it all that hooked young viewers of the time. It doesn't hurt that all the teens have a fresh-faced cuteness. Hey Dude: Season 1 has the first 13 episodes; sadly, the only extra is an interview with Christine Taylor, but her warm memories give the interview plenty of charm. --Bret Fetzer
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This DVD is actually coming from Nickelodeon so I don't think you will be able to find a better quality DVD but for all it's worth it's not that bad. it's still watchable and I still highly recommend this DVD.
I was having a sense of nostalgia and was getting really tired of all this new crap that's on TV currently. So, I bought all the seasons from all the old shows I used to watch on Nick, FOX, and ABC. So far Nick is the only one totally bias of it's past. This brought back SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many memories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This show originally aired from 1989-1991 and was one of Nickelodeon's first scripted shows produced. Right there, it holds a place in television history, right?
The show follows the misadventures of the staff of a dude ranch in Arizona. While all the sets were constructed, it was filmed on an actual guest ranch in Arizona, giving it a very real feeling.
In the first episode, we meet the teen staff. The three returning staff members are Ted (David Lascher) who has just been promoted to senior staff (whatever that means). There's Melody (Christine Taylor) who is the lifeguard at the rarely seen pool. Rounding out this trio is Danny (Joe Torres), a Hopi Indian. The new girl on the block is Brad (Kelly Brown). She's rich yet is working at the ranch because she loves horses. On the adult front, there's Lucy (Debrah Kalman). She's in charge of the stables and is kind but firm.
As the series opens, the ranch has just been bought by Benjamin Ernst (David Brisbin), and he's moved out there from New Jersey with his son Buddy (Josh Tygiel). Mr. E doesn't know his way around the ranch and is often trying to come up with ways to advertise that don't quite work out. He's your typical bumbling adult on a kid's show, but he does have his moments that show he's much smarter than he normally looks.
The plots for these episodes are usually fairly light and fun. The guys take on the girls to prove who is the best. Ted takes on all kinds of odd jobs to buy a saddle he wants, talking his friends into taking care of his regular chores for him. A drought brings a water crisis to the ranch. Brad and Melody have to spend the night in the desert to show they are ready to lead overnight camping trips. And in my favorite episode of the season, Ted and Brad get handcuffed together overnight and must find a way to deal with each other that long.
The only relationship they ever really played up was Brad and Ted. They have the usual snipping relationship characters often have when denying they have feelings for each other.
As you can see, the plots of the show are fairly standard fair. While there's no laugh track, I'd definitely say it borders on the sitcom side of the spectrum. The stories are light and fun with everything being wrapped up by the end of the 25 minute episode. This is good escapism - nothing more and nothing less.
I hadn't seen the show for quite a few years, so I was surprised at several things that jumped out at me. For one thing, this is obviously low budget. The sound echoes at times and a few of the sets look cheap. The 80's fashion and hairstyles are pretty obvious at times, too, especially Ted's mullet. I have a feeling these might be a turn off if I weren't already familiar with the show, but as I got caught up in reuniting with these old friends, I soon didn't notice these flaws at all. In fact, they added to the charm.
Then there's the acting which is...adequate. There's a reason that most of the cast pretty much only did this show. It's not that the acting is bad enough to push you out of the show. But when the actors have to do much that shows range, they appear to really struggle. Again, as I get caught up in the show, this isn't something I regularly notice, so it's not super bad, but it is noticeable. The exceptions are Christine Taylor (yes, Mrs. Ben Stiller) and David Lascher who are the only two to have gone on to other things. Again, it's not that the rest of the cast isn't watchable. These two are just the best actors of the bunch.
This show produced a bunch of short seasons, so season 1 consisted of only 13 episodes. They're presented here on two discs in their native stereo and full screen. I would have been happy with just the episodes, but there is a bonus feature - an almost 17 minute interview with Christine Taylor talking about her memories of working on the show. She seems to recall it with fondness, although she never realized just how popular it was.
Those with my fond memories of Hey Dude! will love watching season 1 again. The characters are entertaining enough that it overcomes the poor production values and iffy acting.
The thirteen episodes of Season 1 are:
1) Day One At the Bar None - When horse-crazy Bradley arrives at the Bar None Ranch, everyone thinks she's a great guest. Ted McGriff's efforts to impress Bradley are unsuccessful.
2) Battle of the Sexes - Who's a better rider, a better cook, better at catching fish - Ted and Danny or Melody and Bradley? They agree to disagree in a comical "Battle of the Sexes."
3) Goldilocks - Buddy Ernst finally finds something to like at the ranch: a yellow-maned pony named Goldilocks. When Buddy learns that his father plans to sell the horse, he and Goldilocks head out into the heat of the desert.
4) Ted's Saddle - Ted's selfishness and desire for a saddle that once belonged to John Wayne get him in trouble.
5) The Competition - Brad and Melody want the chance to lead overnight camping trips in the desert, but only one of them can do it. Who will it be?
6) Rehearsal for Romance - Sixteen-year-old Melody's fondest wish comes true when a "college man" asks her out on a date. Will she use Ted's ridiculous date coaching to help her through this momentous evening?
7) Perfect Father - Ranch owner Ben Ernst never has time for his 12-year-old son Buddy, but when two crooks try to rob the guests, father and son team up to save the day.
8) The Good, The Bad, & The Obnoxious - One of Bradley's snooty friends from private school shows up at the ranch, much to Brad's embarrassment.
9) Rainmen - Danny does some soul-searching when the ranch's well runs dry and he must decide whether to help his friends or remain true to his Native American heritage.
10) Ted & Brad Get Handcuffed - Finally, Ted has the perfect scheme to get very, very close to Bradley - only the scheme backfires.
11) Suspicion - The kids at the ranch suspect a ranch guest of foul play - maybe even murder.
12) Employee of the Week - To encourage hard work and positive attitudes, Mr. Ernst sets up a competition to see who's the "Employee of the Week."
13) Pain In the Neck - Ted's fascination with girls sends Danny crashing to the ground from a tall ladder. Now it's Danny's turn to have Ted wait on him.
Christine Taylor AKA Ben Stiller's Wife is beautiful as always.
I really liked the show growing up and now to watch it I can see it's a little cheesy and kind of bad acting
The Quality isn't top notch but it's very nicely put together and the DVD covers are detailed so that's good an least the whole series is out to buy.