Saddle up, fans! Hey Dude has returned once again thanks to the good people at Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. Now in its fourth season, this classic kid friendly sitcom is just as enjoyable as its previous three seasons. Sure, by today’s standards, much of the writing is corny to say the least. But much of it is also very serious. The combination makes for a wonderful sense of nostalgia among those that grew up with this ingenious precursor to so much of the lesser material currently airing on Nickelodeon and its sister stations (Nicktoons, TeenNick, etc.).
Hey Dude Season Four is comprised of thirteen more episodes on two discs packaged quite well. Among this season’s thirteen episodes are plenty more laughs and life lessons that will take any original viewer back. They will also serve as a reminder both for said viewers and their own children of what once made television great. Among the best of the best this time are the episodes, “Magnum Ernst”, “Do The Right Thing”, and “Dudesbury.” The latter pair of the trio both feature Danny, the ranch’s Native American hand as the main character. And while both teach important lessons, audiences will appreciate the different feel of each episode. “Dudesbury” is more lighthearted in its lesson about respecting others’ feelings, while the other—“Do The Right Thing”–is more serious and just as important to society to this day. This episode sees Danny facing off against an archaeologist who wants to dig up an ancient Native American burial ground near the Bar None Ranch and put the artifacts and bones on display. He makes an interesting argument when he asks Mr. Ernst if he would want someone digging up one of his family members and putting them on display for people to gawk at. At another point, the archaeologist makes a rather harsh comment about the land on which the burial ground sits was not Native American land, thus justifying his actions. While this episode was filmed back in the early 1990’s, this is an issue that the Native American community still deals with to this day. So in hindsight, it makes this episode on more worth checking out in Season Four. While the episodes featuring Danny offer their own entertainment and insight, “Magnum Ernst” is nothing but good old fashioned slapstick comedy. It will entertain both kids and adults. Older audiences will appreciate this episode in that it directly pays tribute to the much more classic sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show. Mr. Ernst does quite the job of mirroring the buffoonery of one Deputy Barney Fife. Given Don Knotts can never be beaten in what he did. Many have tried. But actor David Brisbin made for his own share of laughs in his attempt.
The episodes noted comprise just a part of everything that the show has to offer, content-wise in its penultimate season. All thirteen episodes contained in this set’s two discs offer entertainment and life lessons that still ring true for audiences of all ages today. Speaking of the set’s dual disc setting, the set’s packaging is another of its positives. Each of the set’s two discs is placed securely on either side of the case in its own space. This protects the discs from being scratched up and likely helps cut back on the set’s overall cost to consumers. This maintains the integrity of each disc for much longer than perhaps other lesser packaged multi-disc sets from other companies. Together with the set’s enjoyable episodes, it all comes together to make Hey Dude Season Four one more great set for any fan of Nickelodeon’s greatest era. It’s available in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216702.
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