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

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