Out Of The Vault Christmas Will Put Any Nicktoons Nostalgic In The Holiday Spirit

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon debuted its re-branded classic Nicktoons programming block this week. “The Splat,” formerly “The 90s Are All That” debuted Monday on Nickelodeon’s TeenNick network. Not everybody has been overly happy that it was put out on one of Nickelodeon’s digital networks instead of the main network. That is because TeenNick is essentially a premium network. While those arguing against the decision by Nickelodeon’s heads to keep that classic programming on a premium network have a somewhat valid argument that argument is also somewhat flimsy as Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory teamed up a few years ago and have since released both single season standalone and full season box sets from a number of Nickelodeon’s classic series. Those series include: Hey Dude, Hey Arnold!, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Angry Beavers, Danny Phantom, Rocko’s Modern Life, and The Wild Thornberrys over the course of the past few years or so. The sets have all been made available on DVD in stores and online. It’s anyone’s guess if Doug, Rugrats, Rocket Power, or even the likes of Salute Your Shorts or Are You Afraid of the Dark? will ever get proper DVD releases in stores (since those series are currently only available online). One can only hope that one day Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory will strike a deal that will lead to those latter series each getting their own proper releases. Until then Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have yet another classic Nicktoons release for all the 90s Nicktoons fans out there in the form of the new holiday compilation Out Of The Vault Christmas. This single-disc compilation features sixteen episodes from five of Nickelodeon’s beloved classic animated series. It is just one reason that viewers (especially those without the TeenNick network) will enjoy and appreciate this collection of classic cartoons. It is just one reason that audiences will enjoy it, too. The writing behind each of the compiled episodes is just as important to the collection’s overall viewing experience as the presentation of the episodes in general. As with the previously released Nicktoons Halloween collection, the diversity of the shows’ animation styles rounds out the reasons that viewers will appreciate this latest collection from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon. Each noted element is important in its own right in the DVD’s overall presentation. When set together they show Out Of The Vault Christmas to be a great way for any Nicktoons Nostalgic to get into the holiday spirit.

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s new holiday-themed collection of Nicktoons episodes is a great way for fans of the classic cartoon series to get into the holiday spirit. The central way in which it proves this is in its very collection of episodes. Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have stepped things up in this new collection, offering viewers a grand total of sixteen episodes. That is up from the ten featured in both of the companies’ previous Out Of The Vault collections. What’s more, none of the episodes featured here have been carried over from the respective series’ previous DVD releases but not from the previous Out Of The Vault DVDs. This means that while technically they have been recycled, they also have not been recycled. It’s semantics, yes. But it’s true. Because they have been carried over from the series’ previous season (and full series) sets but not from the previous OOTV sets (as it will henceforth be known), their presentation here makes them quite the boon for anyone that might not have any of the featured series’ previously released box sets. This includes both the series’ single season standalone sets (say that five times fast) and their full-series sets. Considering all of this it shows that the presentation of the episodes tapped for the collection is in itself an important part of the set’s whole albeit just one part of that whole. It gives those that might not have any of the series’ sets a solid start to their Nicktoons collections. Even for those that have some or even all of the previously released Nicktoons sets from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon it still serves as a fun holiday collection. To that extent the episodes that make up the body of the DVD show their importance even more. It is just one reason that audiences will enjoy and appreciate the collection, too. The writing behind the collection’s featured episodes makes for even more enjoyment.

The episodes presented in Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new Nicktoons holiday compilation DVD are in their own right an important part of the DVD’s overal enjoyment and success. Being that the episodes have been recycled only from their series’ respective season and series sets, and that the companies have increased the episode count from ten to sixteen, the episodes more than give viewers reason to check out this new DVD. Of course the episodes are only one part of what makes this DVD so enjoyable. The writing behind the episodes plays its own part in the DVD’s success. That is because while there are some directly holiday-themed episodes presented across the collection’s episodes, there are some that are not so direct yet still maintain at east some hoiday connection. In regards to the episodes whose scripts are directly linked to Christmasnone of those episodes are like the others. A comparison of “Arnold’s Christmas” to “Rocko’s Modern Christmas” and “A Very CatDog Christmas” clearly shows this. “Arnold’s Christmas” is a touching half-hour episode of Hey Arnold! that boasts just as much heart as any of the series’ other episodes if not more. Even more interesting about this episode is that for all of the emotional impact that it offers, at no point did the show’s writers ever allow it to become just another over-the-top, schmaltzy holiday presentation. Instead the writers maintained full control throughout the episode, presenting a very real and relatable story that will tug at the heartstrings of viewers of all ages. On the other side of that proverbial coin, the stories presented in “A Very CatDog Christmas” and “Rocko’s Modern Christmas” both present rather dysfunctional characters who ironically enough still manage to learn the true meaning of Christmas in their own manner. The dysfunction is made clear in “A Very CatDog Christmas” as Cat and Dog end up causing Santa to cancel Christmas because they decide to sell themselves to Rancid’s daughter Rancine. Of course the four-legged friends eventually learn a very important lesson, in turn bringing back Santa.

In regards to the episodes that are not directly holiday-themed but still carry some connection to the holidays, even those episodes are just as fun. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters’ episode “Gone Shopp’n” is a prime example of that entertainment. Ickis, Oblina, and Krumm sneak into a department store on the holidays and end up stopping a robbery in their own attempt to scare the mall’s patrons. Audiences will laugh out loud as Krumm harnesses a pair of security dogs and hooks them up to a sleigh. The dogs end up pulling the sleigh a la Santa’s reindeer. It is really the episode’s only connection to the holidays. But it is a funny moment nonetheless. “Monsers Don’t Dance” is yet another example of how this collection’s less holiday-themed episodes make for their own share of enjoyment. It is an episode that the show’s now grown-up audiences will fully appreciate because of the truths presented throughout. This episode makes fun of the likes of Barney and so many other similar performing figures who brainwash kids into buying their products. Every parent out there will be able to relate fully to this episode and in turn will find himself or herself laughing just as much. It’s just one more way in which the work of the shows’ writing makes these episodes so enjoyable. “Arnold’s Thanksgiving” is yet another example of exactly that. Arnold and Helga both learn to appreciate their own families in this episode even despite each family’s rather dysfunctional nature. It reminds viewers that no matter how bad they might think they might have things and how dysfunctional their own families might be, there is always someone that has it worse. It’s a great lesson for viewers to remember whether on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other time of the year. And it reminds viewers even more of why the writing behind each of the episodes featured on this DVD adds to the enjoyment in the DVD’s overall viewing experience.

The episodes featured within the body of OOTV Christmas and the writing behind each episode are both equally important in the grand scheme of the DVD’s viewing experience. Both elements make the DVD enjoyable in their own right. Together, they give viewers plenty of reason to pick up this latest addition to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s OOTV series of releases. While both elements prove equally important in their own right, the animation styles presented in each show proves just as important to the DVD’s overall enjoyment. That is because so few of today’s “animated” series are actually animated in the traditional sense of the word. So many of today’s “animated” series are animated in name only. That is because they are largely crafted on a computer screen rather than an animation cell. There is no identity to said series. The series presented here however are the polar opposite of today’s “animated series.” Viewers that are familair with Nickelodeon’s classic ainmated series will see a clear connection between the early days of the network’s hit series Rugrats and that of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters in watching its episodes. It should come as no surprise since Krumm, Ickis, and Oblina happened to make a guest appearance of sorts in one of the Rugrats’ hallloween episodes. There is also a certain similarity to the animation style presented in The Wild Thornberrys. By comparison, the more rigid style of The Angry Beavers helps to give that show its own identity separate from that of the set’s other shows. CatDog and Hey Arnold! also hold their own in regards to their animation styles. CatDog’s animation style is as close as any of the series come to having a real cartoon-ish look. Hey Arnold! on the other hand presents something of a (believe it or not) more realistic look. From the show’s backdrop that is the city to the look of Arnold and the rest of the characters there is something about their design that makes them look more believable than cartoon-y. It is a great look separate from that of any of the set’s other series. And it is yet another example of why the animation styes presented within each of the set’s show’s plays just as important a role in the set’s enjoyment as the show’s writing and their very presentation in general. It is one more reminder of everything that was once right with children’s mainstream programming just as with the episodes’ writing. Both elements together with the presentation of the episodes themselves make OOTV Christmas a great way for any Nicktoons Nostalgic to get into the holiday spirit.

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s new collection of Christmas-themed Nicktoons episodes is a great way for fans of the classic shows to get into the holiday spirit this year and any year. That is thanks in large part to the fact that none of the episodes presented in this set have previously been presented in the companies’ previous OOTV collections. They have been presented only in the shows’ previously released season and full series sets. Whhat’s more, Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have given audiences sixteen episodes this time instead of the ten episodes each presented in the previous OOTV collections. The various animation styles presented within each show serves as a reminder of everything that used to make animation so great. It gives each show its own identity separate from the others. Each element exhibits its own importance over the course of the DVD’s nearly four hour run time. All three elements combined make OOTV Christmas yet another collection of cartoons from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory that will get any Nicktoons Nostalgic in the holiday mood. It is available now in stores. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Say Hey For Hey Dude: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

It has been nearly twenty-five years since the classic live action, teen-centric series Hey Dude wrapped up its five-season run on Nickelodeon. One of a small handful of live-action series on Nickelodeon during its time on the air, it was Nickelodeon’s answer to NBC’s Saturday morning kids’ series Saved By The Bell. In 2011, Shout! Factory resurrected Hey Dude, releasing the first of the series’ five seasons on its own stand-alone box set. Shout! Factory didn’t waste any time getting the series to its now grown up fans after acquiring its distribution rights, either. From 2011 to 2013, all five seasons were released in their own stand-alone box sets. Now as a final hurrah, Shout! Factory will release all five seasons in one complete series box set on Tuesday, March 10th. It is not the first of Nickelodeon’s classic series that Shout! Factory has released in full nor will it be the last. There is still at least one more set to be released in the form of The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series. And hopefully that box set will make its way out before the year lets out. That’s an issue for another time. For now, the fact that all five seasons of Hey Dude have been compiled into one box set is in itself a huge positive for fans. It’s not just about ergonomics, either. There is even more to it than that. And that will be noted shortly. Also worth noting is the writing that went into the series’ sixty-five total episodes. The show’s then younger audiences could just as easily relate to the stories behind each episode as those presented in Saved By The Bell or any other teen-centric series on television at the time. This is the case even though its setting was supposed to be a dude ranch. The writers were still able to craft a whole series of stories from the show’s premiere to its finale that were just as entertaining as they were accessible to audiences. While both the show’s writing and the box set’s full collection of seasons are equally important, just as important to note is that each of the discs that make up the show’s five seasons have been specifically marked within their respective seasons. This reduces any confusion for audiences. And together with the inclusion of a complete episode list inside the box’s cover (specifically on the front and rear cover), it rounds out all of the set’s positives. By itself the separation of the seasons (and the companion episode list) within the box is one of the strongest reasons for fans to pick up this Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Together with its full complement of episodes and the writing behind said episodes, all three elements together make Hey Dude: The Complete Series a must have for any fan of this modern classic series. They also collectively make it one of the year’s best new box sets for children and families.

When it was announced four years ago that Shout! Factory would release the first of Hey Dude’s five seasons, the show’s now grown up fans were understandably rather excited. That is because Shout! Factory had already released the first season of both The Wild Thornberrys and Rocko’s Modern Life with quite the positive results. And the first season of Hey Arnold!, CatDog, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters were all on the way, along with the first and second season of The Angry Beavers and the first season of Danny Phantom all within a matter of months. So it was obviously just one part of a virtual tidal wave of releases thanks to a deal struck between Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. It was a deal that has since gone on to see the full series sets of almost all of those other shows see the light of day in stores and online. The only shows involved in that deal that still have yet to see full releases are The Wild Thornberrys and Hey Dude. But on Tuesday, March 10th, audiences will finally be able to strike Hey Dude from that list as it will finally see the light of day. Hey Dude: The Complete Series is just as impressive as the previous full-series box sets released by the partnership between Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon. The most obvious reason being that it is indeed the show’s full series run. All sixty-five episodes of Hey Dude are spread across ten discs in this box set. This is important for two reasons. The first reason that it is important is simply for the purpose of ergonomics. Instead of having to fill space with five separate stand-alone DVD box sets, all five seasons have been placed into one box. The one box saves space versus the five stand-alone sets. The reason that it saves space is the smart packaging of the series’ discs, which has for a long time been the standard for Shout! Factory’s multi-disc sets. The discs are placed one on the inside front of the box, another on the inside rear, and the rest on either side of a set of plastic “plates.” It saves space and protects the discs from scratching one another. On another level, the stand-alone season sets are not exactly easy to find unless fans order them online. With the upcoming release of Hey Dude: The Complete Series exclusively in Wal-Mart stores nationwide, fans won’t have to worry about hunting for this season or that one. They are all presented in the one box. As if the ergonomically sound box and the inclusion of all five seasons within the one box isn’t enough, fans are being given quite the price break with Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Each stand-alone season set prices at roughly $20 plus tax versus the approximately $30 price tag for the complete series set. It’s yet another huge positive for the set that is sure to make quite a few of the show’s fans very happy. It is hardly the last of the positives to the set, either. The writing behind the series is just as worth noting in its enjoyment and success.

The physical and financial elements of Hey Dude: The Complete Series by themselves make this new box west well worth the purchase. They aren’t the only reasons that fans of the classic Nickelodeon series will want to add the set to their DVD libraries. The work of the show’s writers makes it even more worth the purchase. Hey Dude’s writers keep their audiences fully engaged with a wide range of stories throughout the show’s five-season run. From a comical battle of the sexes early on in the series’ run to Mr. Ernst getting amnesia with comical results in the series’ final season to Danny having to make an important choice regarding his roots in Season Four’s “Do The Right Thing,” the writers showed time and again throughout Hey Dude’s five seasons that they knew how to move their audiences and make them laugh, too. They show that talent just as much when the ranch hands have to take care of a baby they think has been abandoned in “Baby” and in the comical Season Two finale “Take Me To Your Leader” in which everyone thinks that aliens have invaded the ranch. That episode is sure to have any viewer laughing with its old school comic elements. The episodes noted here are just some of the examples of why the writing behind Hey Dude makes the series’ upcoming box set so enjoyable. Every season of Hey Dude exhibits the talent of the show’s writers. And audiences will see that for themselves when they purchase Hey Dude: The Complete Series. They will see throughout the show’s five seasons just how many laughs and moving moments it offered then and still offer today. They will also see just how important the set’s physical and financial elements are to the whole package. In seeing all of that, audiences will agree even more so why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is indeed one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

The physical and financial elements of Hey Dude: The Complete Series coupled with the work of the show’s writers makes fully evident why every fan of Hey Dude should add the series’ full series set to their personal libraries. They show, too why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. For all of the value and importance of those elements, there is still one more element worth noting that makes this box set such a joy for audiences. That last element of this set that makes it so enjoyable and such a success is the fact that the discs from each season’s set are clearly marked. It would have been easy for the people at Shout! Factory to just toss all ten discs into the box and called it with the set’s companion episode list printed on the inside of the box’s cover art. But being that Shout! Factory is the leading name in the world of home entertainment, that didn’t happen. The discs from each season are clearly marked. That combined with the companion episode list wholly eliminates any chance of confusion for viewers trying to find specific episodes. The partnering of those two elements makes for one final, solid part of the whole that makes Hey Dude: The Complete Series a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. Combined with all of the other noted elements, they show in whole once again why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is so deserving of being called one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family and why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment.

Hey Dude: The Complete Series is the perfect final statement from Shout! Factory for this modern classic live-action, teen centric series from Nickelodeon. Smart packaging, equally smart writing and a complete episode prove that argument. With any luck it won’t be the last of Nickelodeon’s classic series to be released by Shout! Factory. God forbid it is. But if it is, then it is a great way to go out as it shows once again what once made Nickelodeon so great and what still makes Shout! Factory the greatest name in home entertainment. Hey Dude: The Complete Series will be available on Tuesday, March 10th exclusively in Wal-Mart stores across the country. More information on this box set and others from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory To Release Hey Dude: The Complete Series This Spring

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Pull out those cowboy hats and boots, folks. It’s time to saddle up one more time and head back out to the famed Bar None Ranch. That’s because this spring, Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory will finally release Nickelodeon’s classic live action teen-based sitcom Hey Dude in its entirety.

All five seasons of Nickelodeon’s Hey Dude will be released in one single DVD box set on Tuesday, March 10th. The answer to NBC’s own famed and beloved Saturday morning teen sitcom Saved By The Bell, Hey Dude was the polar opposite of that other sitcom. Rather than take the standard high school backdrop and stories, Hey Dude put a group of teens out in the wild west (so to speak) and watched them work and grow together. While it may have been a teen-centric sitcom, the show’s scritps along with its backdrop and the cast’s acting completely set it apart from Saved By The Bell and all of the other teen based sitcoms and dramas of the day. Now the show’s original audiences will get to experience that originality for the first time again along with a whole new generation of audiences. Those original audiences will be reminded with this set, of what once made programming for younger viewers so great while today’s younger viewers will see potentially for the first time what once made such programming great.

Hey Dude: The Complete Series will be released on DVD on Tuesday, March 10th. It will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores across America. Pricing information for the box set is not currently available. However, audiences can keep up with that information as well as information on other titles from Shout! Factory online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Nickelodeon, Shout! Factory Finishing Off Another Classic Nicktoon Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon established a partnership only a few years ago that has seen some of the network’s greatest classic series, called Nicktoons, get full, proper releases. Almost all of those classic Nicktoons has seen releases in separate seasons and complete series box sets. Now what is one of the last of those series sets will be released next month in the form of CatDog: The Complete Series.

CatDog: The Complete Series will be released on DVD Tuesday, October 14th. The series’ complete four-season, sixty-eight episode run will be released in one complete multi-disc set. It will retail for MSRP of $29.93. After this release, the only full series sets that are left to be released under the companies’ current partnership are The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series and Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Audiences can keep up with the latest on all of these releases online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Hey Dude’s Final Season A Fun Finale

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

The end is here for the Ted, Brad, Melody, Mr. Ernst and everyone at the Bar None Dude Ranch.  The final season of Nickelodeon’s classic 90’s teen-based sitcom, Hey Dude hits stores today in a double disc set.  Hey Dude is just as entertaining in its final season as it was in its first.  This time around, the kids at the Bar None learn even more lessons all while entertaining audiences all over again.  Ted and Kyle learn the importance of teamwork this season.  The gang also learns the perils of parenthood when a forgetful mom accidentally leaves her baby at the ranch.  And in the series’ final episode, the Bar None staff plays a game of capture the flag that pits Ted, Danny, and Melody against Brad, Kyle, Buddy and Jake.  The ultimate outcome leads to quite the surprise for viewers.  One can only wonder what potential Hey Dude could have had should it have been picked up for another season.  Sadly, audiences will never know that as the show’s final episode wasn’t necessarily a finale and the show wasn’t renewed after its fifth season.  At least these final episodes are available to bring back the childhoods of the show’s original audiences in place of any longed for new episodes.

The scripts for the episodes included in Season Five are full of laughs and important lessons.  This is something that sadly exists far less in children’s programming than in this and other shows from the 1990s.  This makes this final set of episodes that much more important for adults that originally watched this hit series as children in its original run on Nickelodeon.  The lessons of parenthood and teamwork presented in the final season are just as prescient today as they were in their original airings.  This is especially the case today as it would seem that teen pregnancy and abortion have become such hot topics.  Brad, Melody, Ted, Danny, and the rest of the gang learn just how tough parenthood is when a guest of the ranch accidentally leaves her baby at the ranch.  Parents can show this episode to younger audiences and show them just how tough it is, and connect that to they themselves being parents.  Who knows, maybe this episode could help serve as a deterrent from teens engaging in risky behavior.

The lesson of teamwork taught in “Jealous Guy” is timeless.  Ted and Kyle are forced to work together in this episode after the ranch’s jeep breaks down out in the desert.  The two are anything but friends at first.  But they realize over time that they have to overcome their differences if they want to survive.  This is a lesson that rings just as true today as it did in the early 1990s.  It’s obvious that the show’s original audiences have forgotten this lesson.  Proof again that grown-ups could benefit from this episode just as much as their children. 

The final episode of Hey Dude was just as silly and entertaining as the final season’s other episodes.  It also teaches its own valuable lesson about learning what’s really important.  It does this through a script centered on a game of capture the flag between the ranch staff.  Brad and Ted become so obsessed with earning senior staff status that they will do whatever it takes to win at a game of capture the flag that determines who will be the new senior staff.  The episode’s conclusion could actually be interpreted in two manners.  On one side, it could be argued that the lesson is the classic be careful what you wish for lesson.  That argument could be made in the fact that both Ted and Brad get what they want.  But it comes at a cost.  On the other hand, it could also be argued that the lesson taught here is of the dangers of letting a game get out of hand.  Both of these lessons could even apply.  One or the other doesn’t necessarily have to stand alone as the primary lesson.  They both work whether by themselves or in tandem.  It’s one more positive that makes this show enjoyable even in its final episodes. 

That the writers and all behind Hey Dude would maintain the standard of teaching lessons while entertaining through the show’s final season makes this classic worthy of praise.  The lessons in each of the final episodes combine with the continued comedic elements to make this final season a fitting closing to the series, even if the final episode was just another episode.  It would have been nice to have had some closure.  But beggars can’t be choosers.  And because of that, it makes this another welcome addition to any classic Nickelodeon fan’s home library.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/217488

To find out about all of the latest releases from Shout! Factory, audiences can go online to http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial and “Like” it. 

To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Hey Dude Season 4 Offers Thirteen More Episodes Of Laughs And Lessons

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

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.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The west gets even wilder in Hey Dude Season 3

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon in the 1990’s was largely known for it’s classic Nicktoons programming.  And as much as the network rested on the backs of those classic cartoons, it also had programming aimed at older youths in the form of Salute Your Shorts and Hey Dude.  Those shows were really the precurors for so much of the programming aimed at tween and teen audiences today.  While fans of Salute Your Shorts are still waiting patiently for that show to receive a proper release, fans of Hey Dude have already seen the release of that show’s first two seasons.  And next week, Hey Dude Season Three will also see the light of day.  Hey Dude Season Three sees Mr. Ernst’s newphew Jake come to the ranch, and try out for a game show.  the problem is that his superstitions almost sideline him.  Also, the Bar None crew has to face off agasint the Snake Eyes Ranch crew in a baseball game.  The fate of the Creedence Creek rests in the balance.  And when Mr. Ernst sets up a pro wrestling match to help raise money for the ranch, he gets a lot more than he bargained for.   Wrestling legend and Super Mario Brothers Super Show star Captain Lou Albano guest stars.

One of the best episodes from Hey Dude’s third season is “Superstition.”  In “Superstition”, Danny and Buddy convince Jake to try out for the game show, “Brainbusters” since it will be coming through town.  At first Jake says no.  But when he sees a penny face up on the ground, he changes his mind.  Neither Danny nor Buddy think much of the penny incident.  But then when they start prepping for the tryouts, Jake starts to get even more superstitious.  From citing “bad luck days” to even more outlandish traditions, Jake almost ends up not going to try out.  And then, after Mr. Ernst tries to prove to Jake that his superstitions are unfounded, things go totally wrong.  In the end, Jake finally admits to himself and the rest of the ranch hands that his superstitions are really just a way that he deals with stressful situations.  Jake ends up going to try out.  He gets on the junior edition of the show since he’s not 18.  But the real funny moment here comes when Danny and Jake have to carry Buddy back in.  He got to shake Tawny Dawn’s hand.  When he did, he froze up.  There’s one more funny moment after this to close the episode.  But that will be left to audiences.

The topic of superstitions was not really new to tv shows in the 90’s.  But Hey Dude managed to make its own original episode from the plot element.  Another episode style that was familiar to 90’s tv shows was the competition episode.  And Hey Dude had that, too.  In “Dueling Ranches”, the Bar None is forced into a baseball match after Melody accidentally hits a baseball onto the truck of the Snake Eyes Ranch head man.  The center of conflict here is that the guys at the Snake Eyes ranch are trying to dam the Creedence Creek so that they can make a monster truck track.  Mr. Ernst reveals to the staff that he’s never actually played baseball save for a single at bat a long time ago.  Of course, the fate of the creek rests on Mr. Ernst.  And in the end, he hits the game winning hit to save the creek.

In one of the show’s more original episodes, Mr. Ernst sets up a pro wrestling match when it turns out that the money is in need of money.  Mr. Ernst sets up the match, and even gets wrestling legend/Super Mario Brothers Super Show star Captain Lou Albano to appear for the event.  Everything works out at first.  That is until Mr. Ernst gets a call that the Masked Marauder won’t be able to make the match. The problem is that if the Marauder doesn’t make the match, there would be no match, and the ranch would lose all the money it made from ticket sales.  If that happened, the ranch would go out of business.  So Mr. Ernst ends up having to don the mask and cape of the Maked Marauder to ensure the match goes on.  And of course, Mr. Ernst surprisingly comes out the winner over Captain Lou.  How that happens will be left for viewers to discover for themselves.

With Season Three in stores next week, Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon are halfway through the show’s run.  It only ran for a total of five seasons.  So fans who have yet to pick up the first two seasons of this great teen Nick originator will get a great introduction to what was a fun non-animated 90’s Nick hit with this season.

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