Series Recap

54-48-Ernst-canoeWelcome to the series recap of “Hey Dude”. Here, I’m going to give my thoughts on the series as a whole and the characters, give an update on the cast and crew, and rank the episodes from worst to best.

Before that, though, let it be known that the WordPress editor sucks ass, and it’s the reason (seriously, I tried two computers and three browsers) that this is tardy #5.

So now, before we ride off into the sunset, let’s check in with our friends one last time…


I scoured YouTube while preparing this recap. Here are a bunch of videos that I’ve rounded up for you:

This is a commercial about Ted that most of the cast did (this particular airing is from 1994):

Here’s the first outtakes video, courtesy of Geoffrey Darby:

Here’s the second and final outtakes video, courtesy of Geoffrey Darby:

Here’s a Nickelodeon “O-Zone” promo, featuring “Mork & Mindy” and “Hey Dude”, from 1991:

Here’s “The Wild Bunch”, a western-themed promo from 1993 (this is the ad that I referred to in my “Magnum Ernst” review):

Here’s “the entire Nickelodeon afternoon experience from start till end” (from autumn of 1993, around 1-2 years after my first time watching the series) – basically a collection of commercials and bumpers from the “No More Mr. Nice Guy” episode:

Here’s a small collection of “Hey Dude” ads and commercial bumpers from 1993:

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Jealous Guy” (season 5, episode 06):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Incredible Shrinking Ted” (season 5, episode 03):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Doghouse Blues” (season 4, episode 10):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Baby” (season 5, episode 05):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Amnesia” (season 5, episode 07):

Here are the closing credits from a 1993 airing of “Jealous Guy” (season 5, episode 06) with an announcer voice-over:

Here’s a promo for “Muppet Babies” and “Hey Dude” from 1993:

Probably also from 1993, these are the commercials from the first half of an airing of “Presumed Stupid” (season 5, episode 08):

This is from an undated “Hey-Dude-a-thon”, which included an airing of “Return of Ted” (season 4, episode 08), with narration by David Lascher, in character as Ted, previewing the next episode (“Some Like It Hot” (season 4, episode 11)) over the closing credits. This is followed by video of David Lascher and Christine Taylor, in character as Ted and Melody, introducing the episode in a generic way:

From the same “Hey-Dude-a-thon”, which included an airing of “Some Like It Hot” (season 4, episode 11), with narration by Christine Taylor, in character as Melody, previewing the next episode (“Cowboy Ernst” (season 2, episode 12)) over the closing credits. This is followed by video of David Lascher, in character as Ted, introducing “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12):

From the same “Hey-Dude-a-thon”, David Lascher and Christine Taylor talk over the closing credits of “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12), in character as Ted and Melody, previewing the next episode (“Murder, He Wrote” (season 4, episode 13)):

Here’s a parody “tribute” video (that somehow manages to insult the series). According to a post on IMDb, it was shot on the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, just north of Malibu, California:

Here’s a 2014 tour of the abandoned set, which is still standing – and wasting away – to this day:

Here’s an impromptu mini-interview with some of the cast at the ATX Television Festival (June, 2014), before the panel:

This is the 25th anniversary reunion panel from ATX Television Festival (June, 2014):

Here’s part of an interview with Jonathan Galkin (the “Hey Dude” portion) on “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky” (June 25, 2014):

Here’s a cast reunion spot on The Splat (featuring a clip of Christine Taylor and Kelly Brown at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, which seems to be the April 22, 1991, edition):

Here’s a modern airing of a vintage commercial that the cast did, slightly altered for The Splat:

“Dude of Terror”, a hilarious horror-themed promo, on The Splat:

“Hey Dude” theme song fan tribute on The Splat:

Here are a series of “Hey Dude” 25th anniversary commercial spots featuring most of the cast (sans David Brisbin, Joe Torres, and Geoffrey Coy); unfortunately, they’re recorded by someone pointing a camera at the screen, but better this than nothing:

The Directors

Frederick King Keller directed 31 of the episodes. He’s had a long career of directing and producing (and even some writing), stretching from 1981 to 2014.

Ross K. Bagwell, Jr., directed 34 of the episodes. He had a short career of producing and directing, stretching from 1988 to 1999, working on only three other things besides “Hey Dude”. He died in October of 2008. Read this article.

The Actors


David Brisbin (Mr. Ernst) is still working, racking up 69 acting credits as of this writing. His recent credits include parts in/on “Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces” (2014), “Justified” (2015), and “Idiotsitter” (2016). See David Brisbin on Hey Dude Wiki.


Kelly Brown (Brad) quit acting after “Hey Dude” (see Kelly Brown on Hey Dude Wiki). However, she owns a successful women’s clothing store (for seven years running as of this post), Kelly B Boutique, in Montauk, New York. You can check it out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or, if you’re in Montauk, stop in and say hi. Tell her that the crazy “Hey Dude” blogger sent you. I guarantee she’ll have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.


Geoffrey Coy (Kyle) quit acting after “Hey Dude”. He currently works as a director of marketing. See Geoffrey Coy on Hey Dude Wiki.

Galkin-modernJonathan Galkin (Jake) was on a sketch comedy series called “Way Cool” in 1991 – just after “Hey Dude” ended. Then he quit acting. He currently heads DFA Records (cofounded in 2001). See Jonathan Galkin on Hey Dude Wiki.


Debrah Kalman (Lucy) has been in more things than I realized when I started this blog (and it’s not even all listed across her three IMDb pages; check out her resume). While she took a break to open restaurants and teach, she has now returned to acting. Her recent credits include parts in “Caretaker” and “Vengeance: A Love Story” (2017). See Debrah Kalman on Hey Dude Wiki.


David Scott Lascher (Ted) is still working, racking up 34 acting credits as of this writing. His recent credits include parts in/on “Melissa & Joey” (2014) and “The Boat Builder” (2015). See David Lascher on Hey Dude Wiki.


Christine Joan Taylor (Melody) is still working, racking up 56 acting credits as of this writing. Her recent credits include parts in/on “Arrested Development” (2005-2013), “Burning Love” (2012-2013, in which she played a character named Symphony *wink, wink*), “Sharing” (2015), “Zoolander 2” (2016), “Little Boxes” (2016), and “Zoolander: Super Model” (2016). See Christine Taylor on Hey Dude Wiki.


Joe Torres (Danny) quit acting after “Hey Dude” (see Joe Torres on Hey Dude Wiki). No one knows what happened to him, not even the cast and crew, who lost touch with him after the series wrapped. Rumors persist that he’s a car salesman in New Jersey, a pool shark at The Golden Nugget (a local dive bar in Tucson), or dead (of kidney failure while living on a reservation in Utah). However, a blogger posted this photo, supposedly of himself and Joe, in 2012.


Josh Tygiel (Buddy) made the decision in college to not pursue acting. He currently works for a private investigation firm in Portland. See Josh Tygiel on Hey Dude Wiki.

The Episodes

Okay, here is my authoritative (to myself, anyway, and only until I change my mind, which will probably be immediately after I post this) list of all “Hey Dude” episodes, ranked from worst to best (trust me, it wasn’t easy). Please keep in mind that this is more subjective than usual, because I’m trying to judge 65 episodes instead of just 13. Also, “worst” and “best” episodes are not indicative of what any of us might feel like watching at any particular moment, which largely depends on what we’re in the mood for. No descriptions this time (what more can I say?) and no links (see the separate page that I’m creating for all of the links), just the final word (see previous disclaimers earlier in this sentence):

#65: S3E12: The Bad Seed
#64: S4E03: Magnum Ernst
#63: S1E02: Battle of the Sexes
#62: S4E11: Some Like It Hot
#61: S1E07: Perfect Father
#60: S3E13: Stick Around
#59: S5E12: Double Date
#58: S5E03: Incredible Shrinking Ted
#57: S2E12: Cowboy Ernst
#56: S3E07: Dueling Ranches
#55: S4E06: Secret Admirer
#54: S3E09: No More Mr. Nice Guy
#53: S2E13: Take Me to Your Leader
#52: S5E02: The Legend of Jed
#51: S3E01: Inmates Run the Asylum
#50: S5E07: Amnesia
#49: S2E08: Treasure Teens
#48: S3E10: Killer Ernst
#47: S4E05: Fear
#46: S4E07: Lost in the Desert
#45: S5E04: Rest in Pieces
#44: S3E02: Hey Cinderella
#43: S3E06: Superstition
#42: S5E11: Jake’s Fight
#41: S4E13: Murder, He Wrote
#40: S4E04: Dudesbury
#39: S5E05: Baby
#38: S5E08: Presumed Stupid
#37: S3E04: New Kid on the Block
#36: S4E12: Mr. Moneybags
#35: S4E10: Doghouse Blues
#34: S5E06: Jealous Guy
#33: S5E13: War
#32: S4E01: They’re Back
#31: S2E06: Ghost Stories
#30: S2E03: Our Little Champion
#29: S1E08: The Good, the Bad, & the Obnoxious
#28: S1E13: Pain in the Neck
#27: S1E04: Ted’s Saddle
#26: S2E02: Battle of a Hundred Bucks
#25: S1E11: Suspicion
#24: S2E01: Loose Lips
#23: S2E05: Crash Landing
#22: S1E06: Rehearsal for Romance
#21: S2E07: Teacher’s Pest
#20: S2E04: Bunkmate Battle
#19: S2E11: Bar None Babysitter
#18: S2E10: Superstar
#17: S1E09: Rainmen
#16: S4E09: Do the Right Thing
#15: S2E09: Dan the Man
#14: S5E09: Crush
#13: S4E08: Return of Ted
#12: S1E01: Day One at the Bar None
#11: S1E12: Employee of the Week
#10: S5E10: Low Budget Brad
#9: S5E01: Miss Tucson
#8: S1E10: Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed
#7: S1E05: The Competition
#6: S3E05: Sewn at the Hip
#5: S3E08: Ex-Static
#4: S1E03: Goldilocks
#3: S4E02: Ride, She Said
#2: S3E03: Datenite
#1: S3E11: Melody’s Brother

Halloween Marathon

Wanna watch some “Hey Dude” for Halloween? Here’s my recommended order:

54-54-gang-WTF-2Season 5, Episode 02 – The Legend of Jed
Just a tiny bit of spookiness toward the end of the episode to start things off.

46-33-scaredSeason 4, Episode 07 – Lost in the Desert
Next up: Buddy thinks the staff of the Bar None are pod people! ARE THEY?!?!?!?!?! No.

26-45-Danny-aliensSeason 2, Episode 13 – Take Me to Your Leader
When the ranch is “invaded” by “aliens”, the gang must fend off the attack at all costs!

19-33-killer-ErnstSeason 2, Episode 06 – Ghost Stories
Save the best for last! Is the ranch haunted?! Will Ted survive the night?! No and yes.

The Characters

Here are the characters, ranked from my least favorite to my favorite:

39-40-KyleKyle Chandler appeared in 14 of the 65 episodes – just over one season’s worth of episodes (or just over 1/5th of the series) – and 14 of the 27 episodes of the “Kyle Era” (just over half). He came off mostly as a sexist asshole. There’s little redeeming about him, and he did absolutely nothing to improve the series.

09-24-Cassie-upsetCassie appeared in 12 of the 65 episodes. She’s still better than Kyle, but, then again, I love animals.

01-53-Lucy-pissedLucy appeared in 27 of the 65 episodes (just over two seasons’ worth of episodes or just over 2/5ths of the series) and was mentioned in 3 others. In terms of main characters that have been around since the beginning, she was the most useless. She was supposed to be an authority figure on the “ground level” (Mr. Ernst is often in his office) that could keep/set the kids straight, but there were plenty of episodes that called for that, yet she was nowhere to be seen. I really don’t understand why they wasted her. They didn’t even establish her last name.

06-38-Danny-hat-headDanny Lightfoot appeared in 64 of the 65 episodes. I like him just fine, but he’s the least developed of the longer-serving teens. He got some good character development, but it wasn’t often enough, so the series kind of gave the impression that he was just there most of the time.

26-03-Buddy-shockedBenjamin “Buddy” Ernst, Jr., appeared in 63 of the 65 episodes and was mentioned in 1 other, which means only 1 episode went by without his presence being felt. He was the kid character that the target audience could relate to. Overall, I like him, but he didn’t get many plots to himself. When he did, though, they were pretty good.

03-35-Ernst-worriedMr. Benjamin J. Ernst appeared in 59 of the 65 episodes, had an additional voice cameo in 1 other, and was mentioned in 2 others, which means only 3 episodes went by without his presence being felt. He’s the funny, bumbling authority figure (kind of like Mr. Belding on “Saved by the Bell” or – and this is getting obscure – Gerald on “Boogies Diner”). Despite his occasional buffoonishness and crazy schemes, he genuinely cares for the kids and the ranch.

55-16-Jake-sticksJake Decker appeared in 36 of the 65 episodes. For a character that started as a replacement for Ted, he certainly became an enjoyable character in his own right. He wasn’t Ted. He wasn’t better than Ted (in my opinion). But he was funny and likable.

52-43-Ted-plansTheodore “Ted” Aloysius McGriff appeared in 44 of the 65 episodes and was mentioned (and seen in a photo) in 1 other. How can you not love Ted? He’s goofy. He’s charming. He fancies himself to be a ladies man. He was Zack Morris before Zack Morris was Zack Morris (at least, the “Saved by the Bell” version) – but more tolerable. Lascher’s brief departure from the series meant Ted wasn’t as omnipresent as he should could have been, but he did come back, so it’s all good.

12-38-Melody-delightedMelody Hanson appeared in all 65 episodes. Overall, I love her, occasional mental lapses aside. She’s sweet, perky, and fun. I like that in characters – but not so much in people that I hang out with in real life.

53-82-Brad-smilesBradley “Brad” Taylor appeared in all 65 episodes. She’s my favorite character, bar none. Sure, she’s rich and kind of snobby – but only kind of. What I love about her is her dedication to her friends and her boss and her…grounded ordinariness. Limited exceptions aside, Brad was generally calm and didn’t buy into the bullshit. Her favorite pastime was reading. She loved nothing more than to sit down with a good book, a bowl of popcorn, and perhaps a vibrator. She wasn’t particularly outstanding, but she had a quiet warmth about her that I love.

DVD Set Review


Ah, the DVD set from The Shout! Factory. I was so happy when I saw it. Overall, it’s a good set, and it has a bonus feature (an interview with Christine Taylor), which is one more bonus feature than I expected. That said, I wish Shout! could have dug up all of the publicity photos and made a gallery or something. Or tried to get the commercials that aired on Nickelodeon.

There are some video and audio glitches, and I can’t tell if they’re due to tape damage or encoding errors.

Speaking of encoding, Shout! did not make use of the discs’ full capacity. Here are some examples:

On season 1, disc 2, the episodes were encoded at a constant bitrate of 5,000 kbps. The Christine Taylor interview, by contrast, was encoded at a variable bitrate of 7,100 kbps (meaning it topped out at 7,100 but went lower if the content didn’t necessitate as much). I loaded the DVD files into a dual-layer DVD project in Nero (my DVD burning software). What I discovered was, with or without the interview, Shout! could have fit two more episodes onto the disc. That’s how much space that they left unused! Imagine if they’d bumped up the bitrates on those episodes. They would have looked a bit better – maybe a lot better.

They seemed to gradually get better as the seasons went on (the seasons were each originally released separately). Season 2, disc 1, was 5,300 (constant). Season 3, disc 1, was 5,500 (constant); even then, one more episode could have fit. Season 3, disc 2, was 6,000 (constant); again, one more episode could have fit. Season 4, disc 1, was encoded at a variable bitrate of 8,500 kbps. Even then, one more episode could have fit.

The thing is they didn’t even need to fit extra episodes on the discs, because two discs per season makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is all of that unused disc space going to waste.

I have one more complaint about the DVD set. It’s nice that they included an episode guide, but did they have to print it on the reverse of the cover? You can’t read it!

Final Thoughts

“Hey Dude” was the right series at the right time. It had an interesting setting (a dude ranch, not just summer camp). It had a mix of characters from different backgrounds and of different ages. It was funny, goofy, heartfelt, serious, absurd, and, yes, even dumb at times. It was a little wild and a little strange. But it captured our attention. And it’s still remembered today – as Christine Taylor can attest.

It’s been an interesting journey, going back to a childhood favorite and reviewing it an episode at a time. I’m glad that I went back to the Bar None. I got to hang out with some of my childhood friends. That said, I would never actually want to work at a dude ranch. I’m not a manual-labor person, I despise yardwork, I don’t like being out in the sun, and I clean only when I have to. Working at the Bar None wouldn’t be any fun for me. It would be interesting to stay at a dude ranch on a vacation, but that’s not a priority for me.

I can’t guarantee this blog will ever be updated again. That said, stay subscribed. It’s always possible that I might find some obscure video or photo to share – or even get a hold of the original pilot taped at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch with a different Lucy (that’s what Christine Taylor refers to in her interview on the DVD set, not “Day One at the Bar None“), but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Also, feel free to continue posting comments. Discuss the episodes and the series in general. Share any information that you find. If you were an extra or guest star or someone else involved in the production, please share your experiences. I want this community to continue.

An Ending…and a New Beginning

So here we are. I’m a bit amazed that I was able to complete this journey. Thank you to all of the readers (whether you’ve commented or not) that have come along with me.

I’ve decided to start up another episode-review blog. I had thought long and hard about what I wanted to review next, from “Clarissa Explains It All” (which I recall watching back in the day, but nowhere near as much as “Hey Dude”, so it’s not particularly nostalgic to me) to “Bubblegum Crisis” (I own the entire franchise on DVD, but I lack the albums, and the music is a big part of the series) to “NASCAR Racers” (a pretty cool series that aired on FOX Kids back in the day) to “W.I.T.C.H.” (another cool series, but there’s a lack of English translations of the extensive Italian comics, the original source material, so comparisons would be lacking) to “Cybersix” (ditto, except Argentinian instead of Italian) to the Mario cartoons (there would have been issues with getting a hold of certain episodes that weren’t released on DVD) to “Sailor Moon” (as much as I love the franchise, it’s much too complex for me to handle) to various Sunbow cartoons (there are issues with episode variants and the DVDs not matching what aired back in the 1980s) to the motherfucking Bible (that seriously needs to be done by someone) – as well as a bunch of other possibilities that came and went very quickly.

Then the answer suddenly hit me one day. I will be tackling the new series, “Riverdale”, which will be airing on The CW starting around January or February of 2017 (according to Wikipedia). It’s based on Archie Comics, and it is, in fact, the first live-action adaptation of the primary Archie characters to make it to series. In short, this is something that many longtime Archie fans – myself included (fan since 1990, one or two years before I discovered “Hey Dude”) – have hoped and waited for, and it’s finally coming. However, you don’t have to wait! The blog is already up, and I will not be reviewing just “Riverdale”, because that would be a sporadic blog! I will also be reviewing other television adaptations of Archie Comics – and even the sole theatrical film so far. In addition to “Riverdale”, the blog will also primarily focus on “The New Archies” (1987) and “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” (1999-2000), usually alternating between the two. In addition, I will review at least one episode each of each of the other Archie Comics adaptations – as well as some other stuff like comics and novels – as a sort of guided tour / sampling of Archie’s history, which will give context for the three primary series. If the blog happens to last long enough (Goddess willing), I might upgrade another series to primary status once I finish one. The Wednesday schedule will continue for now, because that’s comfortable and familiar (just like the characters that I’ll be spending time with) – but also because it’s unknown when “Riverdale” will air at this point. I might have to adjust the review schedule down the road if I need more time to review a “Riverdale” episode, but we’ll get there when we get there.

So now we bid farewell to the characters that we’ve spent sixteen months with, mount our horses, leave the Bar None, and head…to a little town called Riverdale.

Novel: Showdown at the Bar None

Showdown at the Bar None.jpg

Writer: Bonnie Worth
Cover Photo: Chip Simon
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Imprint: Nickelodeon Books
Editorial Services: Parachute Press
Original release date: January 29, 1992

A while ago, as I was approaching the end of the series, I decided to search for “Hey Dude” novels and comics, my reasoning being “Well, ‘Saved by the Bell’ had them.” Imagine my pleasant surprise when I came across this on Amazon. I ordered it immediately, of course, and I read it in early July (finishing it on the morning of July 4, when I woke up earlier than usual).

So what is it? It’s essentially a novelization of “Inmates Run the Asylum” (season 3, episode 01) from Brad’s perspective (but written in the third person) with a brief flashback to “Day One at the Bar None” (season 1, episode 01) and a bit of original material thrown in. No completely new story, sorry.

The story portion of the book is 89 pages long, and it’s divided into 13 chapters. It originally retailed for $2.95 ($3.95 Canadian). I got it for one penny plus shipping.

In this review, I won’t summarize the entire plot; instead, I’ll be comparing the novelization to the aired episode, pointing out the differences as I go.

First, though, here’s the blurb from the back cover:

“Hey dude:
showdown at the bar none

Ted in charge? What could be worse! He turns into Attila the Hun with a cowboy hat! Can Brad stop him? And if she does, will she be in charge? Will there be an all-out war at the Bar None Ranch?

Now the only kid cowboy TV comedy is a book! All the wisecracks and adventures of Nickelodeon’s HEY DUDE are here in SHOWDOWN AT THE BAR NONE-with no commercial interruptions! You won’t want to miss it!”

Chapter 1: Emergency Meeting (novel pages 7-16, story pages 1-10)

This is a new scene. Mr. Ernst wakes the entire teen staff up for an “emergency staff meeting” at 5:00 AM. This annoys Brad. Melody is already wide awake and perky, though. We learn Melody has been working at the Bar None since she was thirteen years old, and “there’s never been an emergency”. Melody wakes up early every morning to swim laps in the pool. She gets out of bed and “pull[s] on her bathing suit” (I guess she sleeps naked). She brushes her hair and urges Brad to come the fuck on.

Brad reluctantly drags herself out of bed and puts on her jodhpurs and riding boots. So is Brad wearing anything up top (like a pajama shirt), or does she go to the meeting with her boobs on full display? (I bet the entire “staff” would “perk up” then!)

We learn Brad’s had horses of her own ever since she could walk and is an expert show jumper. She’s never worked before, so this takes getting used to. Yep, the writer’s treating the series (or at least up until “Inmates Run the Asylum”) as one summer.

Brad thinks about her home life versus the Bar None and doesn’t regret coming here for the summer. At home, she’d be lounging around the pool at her parents’ country club every day, treated like a pampered princess by everybody, and coming home at 5:00 AM after a night of hot fucking.

They meet up with Ted and Danny on their way to the main lodge. Ted ribs Brad about her appearance, but Brad has no tolerance for his bullshit. Ted continues yapping. Brad thinks about the “senior staff” thing and how no one knows what it means. She does find Ted cute.

Brad takes in the desert scenery and atmosphere and wonders about the emergency, but no one knows what it’s about. She admires Danny for his skill with horses but doesn’t understand his tolerance of Ted.

Ted and Danny talk about two of Mr. Ernst crazy schemes (which we’ve never seen before): selling replicas of the ranch inside little plastic snowdomes and throwing a “Come as Your Favorite Cactus” theme party for the guests. Melody remarks Mr. Ernst “has some of the dippiest ideas”. Brad likes Mr. Ernst but agrees he’s dippy. Buddy is specifically stated to be 12, and it seems like it’s saying that was his age (not 11) at the time that he and his dad moved out here “from New York”. It seems the horn on Mr. Ernst’s “jeep” (the novel uses the word generically) plays “Home on the Range” instead of the series’ theme music (as in the series premiere).

When they enter the main lodge, Brad stifles a laugh at Mr. Ernst’s outfit. She observes Buddy is also nerdy and guesses he doesn’t mind his father all that much.

Mr. Ernst thanks them for coming and gets to the point. The scene then conveys the same information about Mr. Ernst’s trip to Reddington as in the scene immediately following the opening theme in the episode. However, here, it’s explicitly stated to be an auction, whereas I had assumed from the episode that it was just a regular sale. Also, it’s next Saturday, which means the novel starts the plot way earlier than the episode.

Anyway, the teens don’t give a shit, and Brad expresses concern about Mr. Ernst’s horse-buying ability as in the episode. Brad doesn’t get to suggest one of them going with him, because Mr. Ernst talks right away about Lucy helping out. We learn Lucy is “chief of staff” and “head wrangler” on the ranch.

Other changes include Mr. Ernst and Lucy planning to stay overnight in Reddington (as opposed to Mr. Ernst having to, because he ran out of gas) and Mr. Ernst having the idea of placing one of them in charge (as opposed to being talked into it). Again, why not pick an adult?

Ted volunteers, and the other teens burst out laughing. Ted claims he’s “worked here longer than any of [them]” and is “a real pro on horseback”. Mr. Ernst agrees, but Brad protests, and then Ted counters. They don’t fight over the keys (obviously), and the dialogue isn’t the same. Mr. Ernst doesn’t even suggest putting Danny in charge.

Ted tries to claim Brad doesn’t know the first thing about ranching and brings up how everyone thought she was a guest when she first arrived. Brad disputes it and lies, so Ted gets Melody to admit even she thought so, which annoys Brad.

As Ted keeps talking, Brad thinks back to the first episode her arrival…

Chapter 2: Brad’s First Day (novel pages 17-25, story pages 11-19)

01-02-Brad-Ted-meetThis is a very condensed flashback to the series premiere. It’s told from Brad’s point of view. She arrives at the ranch. Ted and Brad introduce themselves using their full names (unlike in the episode). Ted mentions he’s senior staff, but there’s no discussion of what that is. Ted doesn’t mention riding, and Brad doesn’t react to it. Ted wants to help her with her luggage, but she refuses, not liking it when guys treat her as if she needs their help all of the time. It’s even worse when they get obnoxious about it. Ted doesn’t fall into the watering trough.

Later, Brad is standing by a window in the main lodge and witnesses Ted and Danny meeting up, which occurs on the porch instead of in the boys’ bunk house. There’s no banter or discussion of fry bread, but the handshake is included. Brad listens in as Ted talks about her. He calls her a tenderfoot and tries to think of a way to impress her. The guys don’t notice her.

Suddenly, they hear a wild neigh coming from the “main corral”. Lucy is the one trying to lead Rocket, who’s referred to as a stallion, into the corral. Ted starts to get an idea, and he and Danny argue over it as they head to the corral.

In the next scene, all of the teens gather in the corral with Lucy – even Brad, dressed in her riding clothes. The continuity of the episode is further altered: Brad had already met Lucy in the main lodge and Melody in the girls’ bunk house. Here, this was before Ted and Danny met up. Melody’s meet-up with the guys isn’t described here. In the episode, Brad and Lucy don’t share any screen time until near the end.

Brad likes both Lucy and Melody, but she doesn’t have much in common with either of them. Lucy is described as being “ten years or so” older than them.

Brad admires Rocket. An “old nag” named Pansy is also here, a good-natured old horse used mostly for children’s pony rides. There’s a conversation between Ted and Danny, which Brad shouldn’t be aware of, because Ted is whispering. Lucy warns Ted against riding Rocket, but here it’s because she overhears Ted discussing riding to impress Brad, not just a general feeling that she has. She heads to the main lodge.

01-25-Danny-Brad-meetTed swaggers over to Brad and wants to give her a riding demonstration. Danny introduces himself to Brad using his full name. Brad doesn’t like being typed as a princess by Ted. Ted wants to take up his own “challenge” of riding Pansy, and the others laugh at him. Ted then switches to Rocket on his own instead of Brad challenging him. Melody and Danny protest, but Ted goes through with it.

As in the episode, Rocket throws him off, and he lands in a “mud puddle”.

01-31-Brad-shoosDanny and Brad rush in and save his ass.

01-46-Brad-Rocket-4Brad rides Rocket, but here she does it to calm him down, not to show off.

01-52-Ted-Brad-groundBrad introduces herself as the new riding instructor. She “kind of” likes Ted “in spite of herself”. Ted asks for her help and then pulls her into the puddle.

As you can tell, the novel combines all three corral scenes into one, it cuts out Brad’s meeting with Melody, and there’s no mention of Mr. Ernst or even the fact that the ranch has a new owner. Also, Lucy doesn’t bust them.

Chapter 3: The Original Bar None Allergy Cure (novel pages 26-31, story pages 20-25)

The smell of coffee drifting through the open windows brings Brad back to the present. Ted’s still talking. Brad knows breakfast is about to begin, and the meeting will have to end.

Brad and Ted argue again, and it devolves into insults. Mr. Ernst breaks it up and says he has a week to decide. You’ve gotta be shitting me. He called an “emergency meeting” to discuss a relatively minor situation that wouldn’t be an issue for another week? Anyway, he tells them to get to work and please the guests.

The teens leave the main lodge, Brad and Ted upset. Melody and Danny decide to skip breakfast in order to avoid the “battle zone”. Danny invites Melody to hang out in the main lodge (which they’d just walked out of), and the scene abruptly ends (that was odd), but it’s the end of the page, so you don’t know the next page starts a new scene until you start reading it.

Ted and Brad manage to avoid each other at breakfast. Brad goes to the corral to organize the morning ride, and Ted goes to the main lodge to check the duty roster. Danny and Melody are killing time until their (unspecified) activities start in another hour. There’s no one else here except the staff, because all of the guests are busy with activities.

The rest of the chapter is basically the “clumsy Buddy” bit from the cold open of the episode – but moved indoors. Buddy trips down the stairs. Melody helps Buddy to his feet and asks him if he okay (she doesn’t do either in the episode). Brad (who’s not present) doesn’t say “Get a life” to the guys. Melody, not Brad, asks Buddy what’s wrong. Comparing the novel to the episode made me realize I was wrong in my review of “War” (season 5, episode 13). There’s actually one more reference to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. That makes a total of four, I believe.

Anyway, Buddy is explicitly stated to be wearing a Yankees baseball cap. I guess Bonnie Worth confused his Mets cap (which he doesn’t wear in the episode) for a Yankees cap, but I don’t blame her, because I did the same thing.

Melody, not Brad, asks “What little things?” The novel has the others be silent when they believe Buddy has a point. Melody then comes “to the rescue”. In the episode, Brad just immediately starts talking. Mr. Ernst trips and falls down the stairs, not from the porch. Instead of heading to the Jeep to go on the trip, he just wants Buddy to come along with him, because he wants to tell him about his idea for “a new way to fold newspapers”. Yeah…

Interestingly, they head toward “Lucy’s bunkhouse”. Lucy has her own bunk house? “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” (season 1, episode 10) seems to indicate she sleeps in the main lodge, but maybe she was there just to make sure that Brad and Ted didn’t fuck like crazed weasels kill each other.

Buddy laments not inheriting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s genes.

Chapter 4: The Trail Ride (novel pages 32-42, story pages 26-36)

This chapter is entirely new material.

On Sunday morning, early riser Melody comes back from her morning swim. Brad gets out of bed and gets dressed. Melody informs Brad that today’s duty roster has Brad and Ted on an Evening Trail Ride tonight with some horses and about fifteen guests. Brad wants Melody to switch with her, but Melody has to lifeguard at the poolside barbecue (which those fifteen guests aren’t attending, I guess) tonight. Brad wants to find a way out of it. She and Ted still aren’t on speaking terms. Melody gets all romantic about Brad/Ted, and Brad, somehow, doesn’t believe Ted likes her. Where has she been this whole time? Anyway, Melody finally gets Brad to admit Ted is “maybe just a little bit lovable”, but Brad denies liking Ted. Melody doesn’t believe it but doesn’t want to argue.

Brad teaches the children’s riding class all morning long and then goes to Mr. Ernst’s office to try to get out of the trail ride. Mr. Ernst puts her on the spot (we learn she usually does less than her share of chores), so Brad bullshits some horse-related duties that she has to see to. Mr. Ernst tells her that she and Ted are the only ones available for the trail ride, so tough shit.

Brad arrives at the corral in the evening, ignores Ted (who makes a show of praising her in front of the guests), goes to the stable, readies her favorite palomino (Duchess), and joins the others. After a bit in which they answer some questions (which Brad tells them to ask, even though she privately knows she’s not an expert), during which Ted bullshits, they head out during sunset.

As the sun sets, the hot, dry air cools quickly. Night is coming.

Brad bullshits her way through a cactus question, Ted tells a tall tale about Desert Pirates and a haunted cavern, and Brad bullshits about the government performing experiments on aliens in a nearby secret facility. A guest reminds them of dinner (seemingly the one that Melody was too busy lifeguarding to take over on the trail ride for Brad, despite the fact that the guests expect to be back from the trail ride in time for dinner), so Brad wants to head back to the ranch but realizes they’re lost.

Chapter 5: Time to Panic (novel pages 43-49, story pages 37-43)

Brad and Ted bullshit some interesting sights while trying to find the trail – to no avail. It’s getting dark, the guests grumble, and Brad starts to panic. Ted and Brad each accept responsibility for getting them lost, and Brad admits she can’t let anyone outdo her in anything. Suddenly, Ted hears a horse approach. Danny arrives, saying they missed dinner, but Ted plays it cool. Danny leads them back to the ranch, and some of the guests ask him questions. Brad and Ted argue with each other and stop speaking to each other again.

When Brad gets back to the girls’ bunk house, Melody is reading in bed. I wonder if it’s erotica. Anyway, Melody gets all wet thinking about some hot Brad/Ted action, but Brad’s fucking pissed and just strips right in front of Melody. Seriously. She even throws her clothes on the floor, such is her anger. She “stomps” her way into her pajamas, flops onto her bed, and covers herself with her pillow. Melody tries to get her to talk, and Brad tells her about how Ted “nearly” got them lost in the desert. No, Brad, there’s no “nearly” about it, and both of you were to blame. Melody makes a Brad/Ted crack, and Brad throws her pillow at her and tells her to shut the fuck up.

Chapter 6: Who’s in Charge? (novel pages 50-54, story pages 44-48)

This is basically the rest of the scene after the theme song from the episode – but with the change of it being another emergency meeting at 5:00 AM. Also, Lucy is present, and Buddy isn’t. Other than Mr. Ernst, the only ones that are wide awake are Melody, Brad, and Ted. Brad and Ted fight over seats and suck up to Mr. Ernst. There’s no arguing; Mr. Ernst just decides to flip the coin, which doesn’t go under the Jeep. Mr. Ernst gives Ted the master keys, and then Mr. Ernst and Lucy drive off. The rest of the chapter plays out pretty much like the scene in the episode.

Chapter 7: The New System (novel pages 55-62, story pages 49-56)

27-09-meetingThis is the meeting in “Ted’s” office. Changes include Ted talking to himself about the “big responsibility” of his job, moving the furniture around, and somehow having time to create a “Mr. McGriff” nameplate (instead of a badge).

After the others arrive, Buddy sets up the easel and pad of paper (it was already set up in the episode). Danny nods as a signal to start the humming. Ted’s four-star task isn’t as funny in the novel as in the episode:

27-12-gold-starsMelody doesn’t say Mr. Ernst will be back in a few hours (obviously). Also, we learn Melody is “so used to following the rules” that she can’t even break a “stupid one” and doesn’t want a demerit, which I guess somewhat explains her shock upon receiving one in the scene in the episode.

Chapter 8: Into the Lake (novel pages 63-67, story pages 57-61)

After breakfast, Brad gives her morning riding lesson, despite not being in the mood. As it turns out, the lesson calms her down a bit. One of the children, an eight-year-old girl named Melissa, manages her first jump.

After the lesson, Brad goes to the girls’ bunk house to change out of her riding clothes and into shorts and sandals. She heads toward the ramada for a snack.

On the way, she sees Danny slumped on a wooden bench in the shade of a mesquite tree, and she sits down next to him. The novel then goes through the scene between them at the hay shack in the episode – but moved to this new location. The dialogue is pretty much the same. The major difference is the removal of Buddy and his eye exam (and thus part of his subplot), so Brad gets Ted’s location from Danny. They head to the lake.

“Brad’s jaw was set, her fists were clenched, and her blue eyes flashed.”

27-20-Melody-rips-citationWe then get the lake scene. I just noticed, in the episode, there’s a bit of an audio glitch when Melody says “Ted, this is boring”, so it sounds like she says “Ted, this is whoring”. Hehehe.

Anyway, the write-and-rip routine is condensed a bit in the novel, and Melody’s cute “parade” comment is removed, but the novel still describes it as a parade in the narration. Ted tries to use a forceful tone. Melody’s line about Mr. Ernst’s return is updated to tomorrow morning, and her reason for stepping in is her duty as a lifeguard, because it’s against the rules to throw people off the dock. Brad says it’s her “personal belief that a dousing in cold water cures some forms of insanity”. Danny adds his grandmother always says it; it’s “an old Hopi remedy”. Buddy doesn’t interrupt to give an update on his dad’s return (obviously). Notably, Brad and Danny blatantly throw Ted into the lake, whereas he just fell off the dock when they and Melody ganged up on him in the episode. Melody doesn’t steal Ted’s citation pad. Ted doesn’t call them traitors.

Chapter 9: The Creature From the Black Lagoon (novel pages 68-73, story pages 62-67)

Melody, Danny, and Brad pass the boathouse on their way back up to the main lodge. Buddy is surrounded by guests that want to rent boats for the afternoon. This really doesn’t have anything to do with the story – except maybe hinting at Buddy taking responsibility for the ranch.

27-24-gang-worksThe rest of the chapter is the beginning of the scene in the main lodge from the episode. There are minor – and inconsequential – differences regarding the teens serving the guests (such as the old couple that Danny talks to in the episode being young honeymooners from New York City in the novel and getting a lot of detail).

27-25-Ted-confrontsWhen Ted comes in, Brad teasingly calls him the Creature From the Black Lagoon (which has been mentioned twice on the series, including Brad comparing Ted to it once). Brad stage-whispers the part about Ted being kicked in the head by a horse instead of just saying it out loud. Ted seizes the register book from the front desk. He doesn’t converse with the guests. He yells “I’m not moving!” at Danny, who imitates a mental health orderly, instead of Melody. Melody, not Brad, is the one that suggests going into Mr. Ernst’s office to come up with a “fair solution”. Brad follows Ted into the office, grabs the master keys from his pocket, and darts back outside instead of remaining outside as in the episode. This still doesn’t explain how (and I admit I didn’t think of it while reviewing the episode) Ted can be locked in the office.

Oh, and Brad has the stupid habit of calling Ted “Teddykins”. What the fuck? That sounds like something that Veronica Lodge would do.

Chapter 10: Brad Takes Over (novel pages 74-81, story pages 68-75)

27-28-girlsThis is the rest of the lodge scene from the episode.

Changes include Brad going back to the front desk (and putting the keys on it, which actually makes it easier for Buddy to swipe them) and interacting with a postcard-buying female guest instead of remaining by the office door, the female guest being the one to say she’ll call the police instead of the male guest on the couch, and the deletion of Buddy’s carrot bit (and thus more of his subplot). Melody mentally compares Ted and Brad to the dictators that they learned about in history class. When Ted calls, we hear what Ted asks her, so she doesn’t repeat it. Brad, not Danny, asks Ted what’s going on.

Oddly, Mr. Ernst’s office is described as being surrounded by the porch, whereas we know from the series that this isn’t the case:

56-11-drummers-156-12-drummers-2We learn Brad plans to lock Ted in the broom closet for the night. Also, hearing a jingling sound, Brad runs out on the porch and sees Ted dangling the keys through a gap in the boards over the window. She then storms back inside the lodge after learning of Buddy’s role. Ted taunts Brad a bit more in the novel, and it makes it sound like there’s no window right next to the office door. Melody says Danny’s one line in addition to her own. Ted calls Brad “Braddikins”. What’s with the stupid nicknames? Buddy letting Ted out of the office (and their banter) is cut, because Brad isn’t present to witness it.

Chapter 11: Revenge! (novel pages 82-88, story pages 76-82)

First, we get the girls’ bunk house scene from the episode. We get a bit of desert atmosphere at the beginning (including a full moon, which actually is not shown in the episode).

27-32-Ted-Buddy-spyIt’s mentioned Ted cut off the power to the girls’ bunk house, because him actually doing it was cut from the previous scene. Melody, Danny, and Brad use a flashlight instead of a lantern. Ted and Buddy’s antics (including the continuation of Buddy’s subplot) when they sneak up are cut, but the novel breaks perspective to let us know they’re outside.

Brad’s opening speech, the banter, and the discussion of details are all cut. Brad directly states her plan. The spies don’t attract Brad’s attention until Buddy laughs at the insult that Danny makes in response to Brad’s “liberty” speech (which she still makes, even though it doesn’t work without the lantern). Ted and Buddy duck down low instead of going off to the side, yet they still somehow avoid detection. Brad sees a jackrabbit outside. Backtracking a bit (in the novel), regarding Melody and Brad’s argument, Melody adds she’s getting sleepy, and Brad humorously thinks Melody’s being stubborn by always insisting everything make sense. Before saying they attack at dawn, Brad admits she’s feeling a little jumpy and suggests they get some sleep. Danny leaves for the boys’ bunk house. Brad doesn’t insist they go over the plan one more time.

27-36-Brad-gun27-37-assaultNext, we get the attack scene from the next day. The talking is cut, but some of Brad’s lines are moved to her thoughts. Ted’s “suspiciously loud” snoring is heard. Brad actually climbs into the office. Ted really is on the couch, and he had the garden hose hidden under the (Navajo) blanket…somehow. Buddy turns on the water full force, and Ted gets Brad, Danny, and Melody wet immediately instead of delaying. Brad has to order Melody and Danny (who have retreated) to come back and attack, and they end up turning on Brad and holding her directly in the line of fire.

After Brad chastises Ted, she silently thinks this never would have happened if she’d been in charge. Melody and Danny’s lines are swapped. She comes up with the plan of action, and he assigns the tasks. Danny doesn’t join Melody in yelling at Brad and Ted. Buddy doesn’t say “Those kids…”, which means less of his subplot.

Brad goes after Duchess first and puts her back in her stable. Ted calls Brad to help him with Rocket. The two of them team up and manage to calm Rocket down and lead him into the corral. (Neither horse was specifically mentioned in the episode, but Rocket’s inclusion here is meant to more fully tie the events of the first episode into this story.) Then they catch the other horses. Ted thanks Brad and says, once in a while, they’re a pretty good team. Brad agrees.

Chapter 12: Now Who’s in Charge? (novel pages 89-91, story pages 83-85)

27-42-gang-doneBrad and Ted, not Danny, get the last horse back into the corral. The guests are just coming to “the mess hall” (something that’s never been mentioned in the series, unless it’s the same thing as the never-seen dining room) for breakfast. During her apology, Brad pats Duchess and feeds her a lump of sugar (despite putting her in her stable earlier). Brad and Ted silently admit the shit that they’d caused had been kind of fun. Brad doesn’t suggest, next time, they vote on who’s in charge.

In the main lodge, Buddy is described as wearing one of his father’s Stetson hats.

After the gang comes by, Melody has a new line: she softly admits Buddy’s a lot more responsible than any of them. There’s no discussion of pocket protectors, Danny doesn’t put the hat on Buddy (obviously), and Buddy doesn’t order them back to work.

Chapter 13: Back to Normal-Sort Of (novel pages 92-95, story pages 86-89)

This is the pre-credits scene at the end of the episode. Mr. Ernst’s “jeep” is the red one from the series premiere, not the yellow one from the episode that this novel is based on:

01-20-skateboard27-01-JeepThey got one new horse instead of a few. Mr. Ernst doesn’t ask about Buddy’s appearance. Brad and Melody don’t join Ted in trying to dissuade Mr. Ernst from hearing about what went on while he was gone. Instead, he says he’s not too busy this morning and suggests they come into his office and tell him about it. Then he immediately heads to his office, so they have no choice but to follow him, nervous.

In the office, Brad sees Ted’s photo still on the desk and cringes. Melody and Danny rush over to the still-damp wall and stand in front of it while Buddy tries to dry it off with the damp Navajo blanket. Ted discreetly moves the furniture back to their original places. The phone rings, and Mr. Ernst is soon caught up in his work. He smiles and waves the kids away, forgetting what he asked them in here for.

Brad thinks “Saved by the bell” and, while Mr. Ernst is distracted, swipes Ted’s picture from the desk. Brad decides Mr. Ernst will never know about the showdown at the Bar None Ranch, and that’s okay, because what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

Final Thoughts

This is an okay novel. It’s nothing great, though. I’m not sure why the author didn’t just write a wholly original story (unless she was mandated to write a novelization), which seems like what she wanted to do.

The new material is okay. The changes to the episode(s), for the most part, are unneeded (and sometimes even nonsensical, such as the garden hose being in Mr. Ernst’s office) and seem to be changes just for the sake of changes. The only change for the better is Brad putting the keys on the desk, because how the fuck did Buddy get them off her in the episode?

Buddy’s subplot was cut down so much (and replaced with a brief new moment that merely hints at his subplot – and only in retrospect at that) that it might as well have been cut entirely if the author didn’t feel like devoting space to it.

I appreciate the novel being from Brad’s perspective, even if that perspective is broken on three separate occasions for no real reason (Brad remembering someone else’s private conversation in a flashback; Brad being absent from a scene that she was present for in the episode, simply because she and Ted are avoiding each other in the novel; and Ted and Buddy outside the window).

As it is, this novel is non-canon, but it’s still undeniably “Hey Dude”. I was hoping for a brand-new canon story, but this is all that we get. It’s worth checking out, and it’s a quick read. Bonnie Worth has also written other books.

Tune in next Wednesday as I take a look back at “Hey Dude” as a whole – and reveal what’s coming up next.

Season 5 Recap

54-48-Ernst-canoeWelcome to the recap of season 5 of “Hey Dude”. Here, I’m going to give my thoughts on the season as a whole and the characters and rank the episodes from worst to best.

Before that, though, remember what I said last week about only three episode review releases being delayed to Thursday? Well, that still holds true, but this recap is number four overall.

It’s partially my fault. I knew I had to go to bed early in order to get up early for work today, but I spent most of Wednesday afternoon reading reviews of episodes 11-16 of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” over at Ranger Retrospective (I spent the morning doing yardwork, but such is my lot in life). I had recently gotten into MMPR through Netflix (never saw it back in the day except maybe a handful of episodes), and I had marathoned episodes 11-16 on Tuesday night. I figured I could relax after the yardwork with some snarky reviews, because I was almost done writing the recap, and surely it would take little time to post, right?


I don’t think it’s WordPress’ fault. I think it’s a problem with Java, but it seemed to affect WordPress last night a lot more than usual. I use Firefox, and WordPress often gives me trouble (delays) with doing things (the mouse cursor turns into that little, blue, spinning circle, indicating it’s busy or stuck), but it was ludicrous last night – to the point that searching for and adding links and pictures became a chore. Every. Single. Time. I eventually just had to give up for the night.

This long explanation basically amounts to: I’m sorry, and I’ll try to keep this shit in mind and give myself more time when posting the series recap.

On to the show…

The Writers

Season 5 saw the final contributions of six writers, three of which had been with the series since season 1 and one of which had been with the series since season 2:

Paul Budra (The Legend of Jed, Amnesia) joined the writing staff this season and wrote two of the sillier episodes. It was his sole paid writing work (that made it to television, anyway). He appeared in a TV documentary about pro wrestler Bret Hart in 1998. How random.

Patrick Maguire (Secret Admirer; Murder, He Wrote; Incredible Shrinking Ted) joined the writing staff in season 4. It was his sole paid writing work (that made it to television, anyway), and he’s done nothing else.

Lisa Melamed (Dan the Man, Sewn at the Hip, Ex-Static, Stick Around, Dudesbury, Miss Tucson, Crush, Low Budget Brad (teleplay)) joined the writing staff in season 2. At 8 episodes, she ties for third place in terms of total contribution to the canon. She always gives the girls something to do, if not in a starring role then at least as strong supporting characters. “Hey Dude” was neither her first work nor her last. She’s had a long career, spanning 1984-2014, as a program coordinator, assistant, executive story editor, writer, and producer (of various kinds).

Clifford Fagin (The Good, the Bad, & the Obnoxious; Suspicion; Teacher’s Pest; Superstar; Datenite; Ride, She Said; Magnum Ernst; Baby) was with the series since season 1. At 8 episodes (I just realized I misspelled his last name in the reviews of the first two, and I apologize for that), he ties for third place in terms of total contribution to the canon. He was also an executive script consultant on the series, and…that’s it.

Judy Spencer (Goldilocks, Pain in the Neck, Our Little Champion, Bar None Babysitter, Hey Cinderella, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Melody’s Brother, Lost in the Desert, Presumed Stupid, Jake’s Fight) was with the series since season 1. At 10 episodes, she takes second place in terms of total contribution to the canon. She had the odd habit of trying to convince us that Melody was the problem, despite evidence to the contrary. “Hey Dude” was her first work. She then wrote an episode of “Doug”, took a long break, and wrote for the series “Student Bodies” from 1997 to 1999. That’s her last work to date.

Graham Yost (The Competition, Perfect Father, Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed, Crash Landing, Ghost Stories, Inmates Run the Asylum, Superstition, The Bad Seed, Fear, Return of Ted, Mr. Moneybags, Jealous Guy, War) was with the series since season 1. At 13 episodes, he contributed the most to the canon, writing a full one-fifth of the series (or an entire season’s worth of episodes). “Hey Dude” (on which he was also an executive script consultant) was his first work (or maybe it was working as a foley artist in a short), but it certainly wasn’t his last. He’s continued working up to the present day, including writing, directing, acting, presenting, and producing (of various kinds).

The Episodes

Season 5 was the first season since season 2 to have a stable cast. Not having to worry about characters coming or going, it could focus on just telling stories. These thirteen episodes offer a variety of character spotlights and stories (and story quality).

64-25-players#13: Double Date
You know it’s bad when Kyle’s the most sensible one in the episode. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Melody, too, but she was such a bitch to Brad that I just can’t. Speaking of Brad, she’s suddenly made out to be the Mac Mommy (with absolutely no build-up to it), and she devolves into Ted-like behavior. Just bad all around.

55-19-Danny-measures#12: Incredible Shrinking Ted
A ridiculous premise. No one would fall for this kind of practical joke.

54-40-Jake-Jed-fight-3#11: The Legend of Jed
Another ridiculous premise. This episode really has no business existing. Kinda funny, though, mostly thanks to Jonathan Galkin.

59-42-Buddy-T-bone-2#10: Amnesia
A pretty funny father/son episode, but the instigating event and resolution was…dubious (to say the least).

56-19-Ernst-office#9: Rest in Pieces
Kinda funny but pretty ludicrous, mostly due to an extreme lack of communication and a lack of willingness on the part of everyone involved to check a medical book, which was somehow needed, because these ranchers had no clue about a common horse disease. Gotta love Mean Melody, though.

63-66-Roy-Jake#8: Jake’s Fight
A funny, albeit senseless, episode. It really could have been solved by just walking away.

57-53-Ernst-baby#7: Baby
A funny and nice episode in which almost everyone gets to shine.

60-39-Ted-defends-1#6: Presumed Stupid
Great performances by Lascher and Brown, but it could have been solved by communication. Didn’t they make a vow to that effect a while ago?

58-42-Kyle-Ted-2#5: Jealous Guy
The Ted/Kyle rivalry over Brad (such as it is) comes to a boil. Entertaining, but it suffers from a lack of build-up, which we’re left to assume happened off screen. Brad got a badass moment, which was awesome.

65-70-race#4: War
An over-the-top episode but funny in a ridiculous kind of way. As a series finale, though, it wasn’t that good.

61-33-picnic#3: Crush
A cute episode about Buddy having a crush on Melody, but it seems weird that they waited until near the end of the series to do it.

62-32-Brad-Melody#2: Low Budget Brad
A great episode, but it came too late, and it feels weird because of it.

53-84-waiting#1: Miss Tucson
The best episode of the season. Brad really gets to shine.

The Characters

56-33-Ernst-aloneMr. Ernst appeared in all 13 episodes. His crazy schemes continued to be downplayed this season (“Crush” being an exception). He had a lot to do, even though his involvement varied by episode. He faced his mortality in “Rest in Pieces“. He revisited a painful moment from his past in “Baby“. He lost his memory at a crucial moment and relived his youth in “Amnesia“. His past was explored in “Jake’s Fight“. Overall, this was a good season for Mr. Ernst – and an improvement over last season.

53-82-Brad-smilesBrad appeared in all 13 episodes. She had a lot to do. She competed against Melody to make a point in “Miss Tucson“. She came up with the prank in “Incredible Shrinking Ted“. She explored motherhood in “Baby“. She was the focus of the Ted/Kyle feud and dealt with a bad romance in “Jealous Guy“. She accused and distrusted Ted (unjustly) in “Presumed Stupid“. She dealt with a major lifestyle change in “Low Budget Brad“. She went out with Kyle but degraded herself with Ted in “Double Date” (her worst moment of the season; yes, worse than “Presumed Stupid”). She competed against Ted in “War“. Overall, this season had more bad for Brad than season 4 did, but it also had a lot more good. Season 5 could be called “the Brad season”.

65-52-Kyle-bellsKyle appeared in 6 of the episodes – just under half. He supported Brad and was on friendly terms with both her and Ted in “Miss Tucson“. His rivalry with Ted (such as it is) reached boiling point in “Jealous Guy“. He was useless in “Low Budget Brad“. He gave bad advice to Jake in “Jake’s Fight“. He went out with Brad in “Double Date” and actually seemed to be the most reasonable of the bunch. He was on Brad’s team in “War“. Overall, I guess you could say this was Kyle’s best season, but that’s not saying much.

64-10-Jake-bowsJake appeared in all 13 episodes. He had a lot to do. He supported Melody in “Miss Tucson“. He was central to the deception in “The Legend of Jed“. He faced a bully in “Jake’s Fight“. Overall, this season was better for Jake than last season.

56-32-Lucy-WTFAs before, the season’s least valuable player has to be Lucy. She appeared in 4 of the episodes and was mentioned in 1 other, which is worse than last season. She set the teens straight (after inadvertently causing the problem) in “Rest in Pieces“. She gave Melody obvious advice (which Melody had already considered) in “Crush“. She fixed the loudspeaker and congratulated Jake in “Jake’s Fight“. She went to a rodeo with the teens in “Double Date“. This is the worst season for Lucy in terms of actually mattering.

58-12-Ted-faceTed appeared in all 13 episodes, the first time that he’d done so since season 2. He had a lot to do. He supported Brad in “Miss Tucson“. He thought he was shrinking in “Incredible Shrinking Ted“. He explored fatherhood in “Baby“. He fought with – and helped – Kyle in “Jealous Guy“. He was the focus of suspicion and distrust in “Presumed Stupid“. He tried to help Brad in “Low Budget Brad“. He was a dick by using Melody in “Double Date” (definitely his worst moment this season). He was comedically obsessive but also resolute in “War“. Overall, a good season for Ted.

53-78-Melody-thinksMelody appeared in all 13 episodes. She had a lot to do. Her insecurities were explored in “Miss Tucson“. She instigated the cover-up in “The Legend of Jed“. She had a hilarious turn as a mean girl in “Rest in Pieces“. She was the focus of unwanted attention in “Crush“. She had a heart-to-heart with Brad in “Low Budget Brad“. She took a psychotic turn in “Jake’s Fight“. She was used by Ted but managed to get back at him in “Double Date“. She was taken “prisoner” in “War“. Compared to last season, season 5 was a step up for Melody.

55-15-Danny-cardsDanny appeared in all 13 episodes, but none of them focused on him. He was there and did stuff, but he was just along for the ride. I suppose he had the most to do in “War“, or at least it was the most memorable. Overall, this season was a step down for Danny compared to last season.

65-06-Buddy-caughtBuddy appeared in all 13 episodes. His involvement varied by episode. One of them was nothing more than a silent cameo. He fought for his dad’s life (or so he thought) in “Rest in Pieces“. His relationship with his father was further explored in “Amnesia“. He experienced funny feelings in his private area in “Crush“. He was a spy and double agent in “War“. Overall, this season was better for Buddy than last season.


A few videos to tide you over:

Here’s “the entire Nickelodeon afternoon experience from start till end” (from autumn of 1993, around 1-2 years after my first time watching the series) – basically a collection of commercials and bumpers from the “No More Mr. Nice Guy” episode:

Here’s the second and final outtakes video, courtesy of Geoffrey Darby:

Here’s a parody “tribute” video (that somehow manages to insult the series). According to a post on IMDb, it was shot on the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, just north of Malibu, California:

Here’s a fan-made Brad/Ted music video (featuring “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley).

Here’s a 2014 tour of the abandoned set, which is still standing – and wasting away – to this day:

Here’s the full reunion on HuffPost from May 7, 2014. The YouTube video that I’d linked to earlier was a highly edited version.

That’s it for season 5. You’re probably expecting the series review next Wednesday, but you’d be wrong. I have one more story to review.

Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Tune in next Wednesday (and I mean it this time)!

Season 5, Episode 13: War

Here we are: the final episode of “Hey Dude”. When I first started this blog, I had doubts about being able to finish it. It had taken me almost six years to review 34 episodes and 26 comic stories of “Captain N: The Game Master” – on my own Captain N site. It had taken me nearly six months to review the 13-episode “The Legend of Zelda” animated series. I managed to review two episodes of “Neon Genesis Evangelion” before losing interest. What I’m getting at is I didn’t exactly have a good track record with reviewing stuff. I decided to take on the challenge of reviewing “Hey Dude” for two reasons: 1) to get in on the Reviewed blog trend and 2) to revisit a favorite series from childhood. Now, that journey is nearly at an end, and I can truthfully say I’ve kept to a weekly schedule. Only three episode review releases were delayed to Thursday: “Dueling Ranches” (season 3, episode 07). “Secret Admirer” (season 4, episode 06), and “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12).

Let’s check in with the gang one more time and see what they’re up to.

Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: August 30, 1991

A couple notes about the episode before the review:

This episode has a 1991 copyright.

This episode runs the “standard” running time (25:21).

65-01-Ernst-sleepwalksIn the cold open, Mr. Ernst is sleepwalking.

65-02-Buddy-Jake-MelodyBuddy, Jake, and Melody follow him into the main lodge.

Jake teaches us the word “somnambulist“, which Buddy takes to be some kind of horrible insult. Cute.

65-03-Melody-ErnstMelody tries to keep Mr. Ernst from bumping into things.

65-04-Ernst-money65-05-Ernst-tosses-moneyMelody insists they gotta stop him. Buddy, grabbing the money, asks “What’s the rush?!” Melody admonishes him and, via a sound effect that’s placed a bit too early, rings the bell on the desk. This wakes up Mr. Ernst. He’s confused, and the second thing that he sees is this:

65-06-Buddy-caughtBuddy tosses the money and runs upstairs, leaving his dad more confused.

65-07-breakfastAfter the credits, at breakfast in the following morning, Jake informs Kyle of what happened. Apparently, Mr. Ernst careened off the wall in the lodge, which I guess is something that he did before initially leaving the lodge, since we didn’t see it. Either that, or Jake’s exaggerating.

The girls arrives. Danny hears bells.

65-08-Jake-pointsJake points and excitedly exclaims Santa’s here. Melody informs him that it’s just Mr. Ernst wearing a bell. Mr. Ernst comes over and mentions his “somnambulistic escapades”. Kyle is confused, because all that he heard about was the sleepwalking.


Melody asks Mr. Ernst how he’s feeling. He’s fine except for a knuckle burn (from bumping into a wall). Danny asks about the box of bells.

65-10-bellsMr. Ernst brought bells for everyone to ring if they think he’s sleepwalking, because it seems to be the only thing that wakes him up. He wants them to make sure that “each member of the staff” has one of these.

Ted comes by with a box containing pieces of red and blue paper and…

65-11-trophy…the Smelt Trophy!

The what, you ask? Why, only the most coveted never-before-mentioned object among the three longest-serving teen staff members! As Ted explains, it’s named after the previous owner of the Bar None, Mr. Smelt. Wow, they actually established the previous owner’s last name. On the trophy is written: “The Smelt Trophy – awarded annually to the Bar None Champion Capture the Flag Team”. Last year’s winner is also written on the trophy: the Red Team.

65-12-Danny-Melody-cheer-1Danny and Melody go into a little cheer: “We are the Red Team!”

65-13-Danny-Melody-cheer-2“They are the dead team!”

65-14-Danny-Melody-five-165-15-Danny-Melody-five-265-16-Melody-fist-165-17-Melody-fist-2Ted explains they play a version where each team hides their flag sometime after dark, and they have until dawn to find the other team’s flag and hoist it up the flagpole. Brad would rather sleep than stay up all night.

65-18-Melody-spyMelody is really into it, though (especially the spy aspect), and tries to talk Brad into it. Brad wishes there was more at stake. Ted explains it’s “an old Bar None tradition” that the captain of the winning team becomes senior staff. That’s how he got the job. Brad had figured his parents bribed Mr. Ernst. Okay, so Ted is still “senior staff” (whatever that means), even though he had gone away and come back? Okay, whatever.

65-19-Ernst-sleepwalksMr. Ernst is pissed, because they failed his “test” (pretending to sleepwalk) by not ringing their bells. He tells them to stay alert. This is hardly authoritative, though, considering, foolish though it had made him seem, he had taken off his own bell. Brad asks Mr. Ernst why he made Ted senior staff. Mr. Ernst explains Mr. Smelt had recommended him for the job, saying Ted was a good, hard worker, and Mr. Ernst had believed him. After Brad presses the issue, Mr. Ernst remembers the “Capture the Flag” thing. He tells the teens to use their bells and leaves.

Brad’s in and asks when they start. Ted says they gotta pick teams and wants to break up “the old team”, because “it wouldn’t be fair” to Brad, Jake, and Kyle. Brad takes issue with this. Melody says they’ve played together and know the game. Danny adds they’re “a lean, mean flag-capturing machine”. Okay. Ted adds it’d be a “massacre” and had brought the paper, so they can choose teams fairly. Brad’s insulted and basically declares it’s the old versus the new. Ted agrees. The Blue Team does an impromptu cheer, which is just chanting “Blue!” repeatedly.

Oh, good, the scene’s over. Okay.


The writer of this episode (a writer for this series since season 1, mind you) is very clearly saying the entire series occurs during one summer (there’s no other way that Brad could not have known about the game, setting aside the question of where the trophy’s been this whole time). This is, of course, completely fucking impossible. It’s not just the fact that Brad remembers returning guests. It’s not just the fact that Buddy was 11 and then 13. It’s the fact that most episodes occur over multiple days. If each episode occurred over the course of one day (and avoided making problematic references), then, yes, you could fit 65 episodes into a single 90-day summer – with room to spare. However, one summer simply cannot hold all of the episodes as written and taped. I can’t believe they managed to rape the entire timeline in the final episode. For it to make any kind of sense, you have to do some serious rearranging of episodes. For starters, you have to put all of the key episodes (including this one) in the first summer (this also allows for the “fighting for senior staff” aspect of the episode to make sense, since there are plenty of episodes still to come). Then you have to spread the rest of the episodes out across the entire following summer (at minimum). Goddess, I’m getting a headache.

65-20-Red-Team-preparesLater, the Red Team runs down to the dock, and Melody and Danny mock-salute Ted. Ted came up with a design for this year’s flag and, naturally, gives the other a bunch of sheets of paper, even though the design is presumably on just the top sheet.

65-21-Danny-upsetDanny and Melody are pissed, because Ted drew “Timmy the Magic Shrimp in the clutches of the evil Lobster King”. Danny quits in protest. Melody follows suit. Ted’s like “What the fuck, assholes? That’s a motherfucking eagle clutching a lightning bolt like a fucking badass.” He also gets Timmy’s title wrong.

65-22-Danny-pissedDanny corrects him. Ted asks what the big deal is. Danny will fix the flag design and brings up the show. Melody gets excited, because it was her favorite, airing on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM (Danny silently agrees, which makes no fucking sense, because they’re from different time zones). Melody gets Danny to sing the theme song with her:

65-23-Melody-Danny-sing“Isn’t he just the cutest little imp? He’s Timmy!”

Ted turns their focus back toward the “mission”:

65-24-Ted-weightHis “training program” was adapted from the Navy SEALs manual, including swimming a quarter-mile underwater with twenty-pound weights tied to their feet and jumping blindfolded off the bell tower. Melody says Ted’s gotten worse from last year. They argue over it. Melody says they’re playing Capture the Flag tonight, “not invading Sicily“. What an odd, outdated reference. Wouldn’t comparing it to invading Iraq be more current?

Danny says he wants to join the Blue Team.

65-25-Blue-Team-trains-1Brad is leading her team in thrilling exercises, such as “turn the other cheek”.

65-26-Blue-Team-trains-2This is followed by the Blue Team’s cheer.

For some reason, Buddy’s playing, even though he isn’t an employee.

65-27-Blue-Team-crossesWhen Brad sees “the evil Red Team” approach, she leads her team in making finger crosses against them. What’s with Brad’s Christian references suddenly? I mean, yeah, they’re flippant, but it still seems kind of odd.

65-28-Blue-Team-finger-liftsTed accuses them of spying, but Brad says they’re training and proceeds to lead her team in finger lifts. Ted says they’re “gonna lose big time”. Brad says they’ve “got a little something up [their] sleeve, so, even if [they] lose, [they] win”.

65-29-Melody-TedMelody gets Ted’s attention, but I can’t hear what she’s saying, and I don’t know why she’s doing it. It doesn’t go anywhere.

Anyway, Kyle, dumbass that he is, is about to spill the secret, but Brad and Jake shush him.

Ted says he’s “got a little something up [his] sleeve, too”. Danny insults Ted, which gets a laugh from the Blue Team. Ted informs Danny that he’s changed; he never used to be this mean. Danny blames Melody for being a “bad influence”. Melody hits Danny.

The Red Team starts to leave. Melody asks Ted what he meant. Ted says they have a “friend” on the Blue Team. Melody gets excited about the spy aspect, but Ted shushes her. Danny wants to know who it is. Ted says not here and has them follow him.

65-30-Melody-Danny-sing-2“Isn’t he just the cutest little imp? He’s Timmy! Oh, yes, he’s Timmy! Timmy, Timmy, Timmy, Tim the Maaagic Shriiimp!”

As the scene changes, you can hear Danny (I think) says “Hi, folks! I’m Timmy!”

65-31-flag-loweredAt twilight, Mr. Ernst lowers the American flag in what we’re meant to assume is a daily ritual, despite never seeing it before. Why not just leave it up? It’s not like the teens couldn’t lower it when they play their game. Besides, what about the Arizona state flag that we also see on the flagpole in multiple episodes?

65-32-gangThe gang comes by as Mr. Ernst folds the flag. When he finds out that they’re gonna play Capture the Flag, he’s concerned about them doing it at night in the dark and puts an end to their plans. They protest. He cites the danger of getting hurt and the effect on his insurance rates, which is a perfectly reasonable explanation. They continue protesting. He suggests playing tomorrow, when it’s light out. They protest again. Mr. Ernst apologizes but forbids them playing Capture the Flag. As he walks away, Brad whines about it.

65-33-Red-Team65-34-Brad-confidentTed says the Blue Team is lucky, because they would have “lost bad”. Brad claims her team would have “creamed” the Red Team. Ted theorizes the Blue Team put Mr. Ernst up to cancelling the game. Despite the absurdity of this, Melody seems to agree with him. Brad disputes it and claims they would have beaten the Red Team even though their flag would have been “right under [their] nose the whole time”. Ted claims the Blue Team would have been able to see their flag but not do anything about it. Brad is still confident.

65-35-Ted-chicken65-36-Brad-chickenTed proposes they play and thinks Brad is chicken. Brad agrees to play – for senior staff. Ted is unsure, so Brad accuses him of being chicken. Ted agrees to Brad’s terms.

The Blue Team walks away, doing their lame cheer, and Ted engages in some tough trash talk. Melody tells him to calm the fuck down.

65-37-Ted-warTed declares this is war.

65-38-Danny-lookout65-39-Red-Team-warAfter the commercial break (which comes very early in this episode),…for fuck’s sake, not this again.

Oh, well, at least Melody isn’t into it. She complains about the cold. Danny and Melody are bored and “couldn’t care less about” who becomes senior staff. Melody adds it’s not fun anymore.

65-40-Danny-no-watchContinuing a proud tradition on this series, Danny checks his non-existent watch (on both wrists!) before announcing dawn is about a half-hour from now and threatening to go to bed if they don’t try to get the Blue Team’s flag. Melody tiredly agrees. Ted says he “just made contact” with their spy, who informed him that the Blue Team’s flag is hidden in the girls’ bunk house under Brad’s pillow. Melody wants to know who the spy is, but this is a “need-to-know” operation. Melody wants to throw Ted in the lake. Ted explains the plan, but Melody deserts when she learns it involves her repelling off the roof. As Melody heads to the “hay shed” (it’s “hay shack”) for some sleep and sarcastically asks if she could get shot, Ted yells after her. Danny, for a reason that even he doesn’t know, is still with Ted. Ted modifies the plan.

65-41-Brad-BuddyIn the girls’ bunk house, STOP IT! I swear Brad is just as obsessive as Ted.

Anyway, Buddy brings back some useless recon photos that he took from the bell tower.

65-42-Brad-Buddy-2This temporarily cost him his vision.

Neither team has been able to find the other’s flag yet, and Brad brainstorms.

65-43-Melody-caughtKyle and Jake come in with a “prisoner of war”.

65-44-Melody-torturedTo make her talk, they “torture” Melody with one of Mr. Ernst’s cassette tapes, featuring “Dave, master of the nose flute”.

More annoyed then anything, Melody reveals the location of the Red Team’s flag: in the lodge, above the fireplace, booby-trapped with alarms to wake up Mr. Ernst. Brad isn’t discouraged, though.

65-45-Ted-DannyOkay, moving right along…

After going over the plan and some banter (during which there seems to be someone asking “Whaaat?”, but it doesn’t sound like Ted or Danny), they hear Brad insulting Ted. Ted’s ticked, and Danny gets in a small dig at him.

They launch their assault on the girls’ bunk house (I’m beginning to think this episode is ridiculous), Danny giving a stereotypical Native American war cry. The series does this shit every so often.


65-47-Melody-tied-upI’m pretty sure that this is highly illegal, and the entire motherfucking Blue Team would be arrested in real life.

65-48-recordingTed wonders where Brad is, and Melody reveals he fell for a recording (which actually very obviously sounded like a recording from outside).

65-49-Ted-noteTed finds a note under Brad’s pillow: “Dear Former Senior Staff, Better luck next time. Your friends, The Blue Team”

Ted is pissed and plans to murder “Buddy, the weasel” (their spy). Ted calls him a “stinkin’ double agent”, but being a spy meant being a double agent; Buddy was actually loyal to his team.

Anyway, Melody hits Ted in frustration.

65-50-mouse-traps65-51-Red-flagThat doesn’t look anything like what Danny or Ted described. Jake still “recognizes” it as Timmy the Magic Shrimp, though, so I guess Danny did a total redesign. Jake loves the show, and Kyle agrees.

Note what seems to be a boom mic.

65-52-Kyle-bellsKyle, dumbass that he is, rings the bells out of curiosity. Brad admonishes him.

65-53-Buddy-flies65-54-Brad-shoves-BuddyAfter some arguing and banter (Jake and Kyle get a funny moment in, and Brad gets a cute moment in), Brad launches Buddy toward his death the flag.

65-55-Ernst-sleepwalksThree failed attempts and some banter later, Mr. Ernst sleepwalks downstairs.

65-56-Ernst-BradMr. Ernst walks repeatedly into his office door. The others want to just leave him and go for the flag, but Brad proves, one more time, how much that she cares for her boss by going over and turning him.

They fuck around for a bit with that, leaving Buddy in a precarious situation:

65-57-Buddy-traps65-58-Ernst-Buddy65-59-Buddy-drops-bellAfter Brad breathes a sigh of relief, dumbass Buddy takes out his bell and drops it, just because Jake happened to mention Mr. Ernst not wearing his bells – as a good thing. Seriously, how fucking stupid is Buddy?

65-60-Ernst-wakesNaturally, this wakes Mr. Ernst up, and he’s confused over what he sees:

65-61-hiBrad is so fucking adorable.

Mr. Ernst demands to know what the fuck is going on. Jake, the resident specialist in psychology, tells Mr. Ernst that he’s dreaming (which seems to make Brad a bit more nervous). Mr. Ernst disputes it.

65-62-evidenceJake lists the “evidence”. By the way, I don’t know if it’s merely a nervous habit of Brad’s or Kelly Brown’s, but she seems to cross her legs while standing when she gets nervous – at least in this episode.

Mr. Ernst buys it (somehow).

65-63-Brad-walks65-64-Brad-walks-2Jake has Brad lead their “little dream warrior” upstairs. Brad does this trippy, “dreamlike” walk toward Mr. Ernst to aid in the deception.

65-65-Brad-ErnstBy the way, this is the third reference to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise in this series. Add in the reference to the “Halloween” franchise and various other horror films, and you could say it’s a “Hey Dude” tradition – much like pillow fights, hitting, eye-rolling, getting wet, and checking the time on non-existent watches.

65-66-Ernst-BradMr. Ernst pauses and asks Jake what the dream means, but Jake doesn’t even wanna guess.

Brad leads Mr. Ernst to the second set of stairs and lets him go the rest of the way himself (there’s a limit to her caring).

They have two minutes to get the flag, get it up the flagpole, and win the game. Buddy is reluctantly ready for another go, but Jake and Kyle go into the stupid “Blue!” cheer and lose control of the rope, sending Buddy to his doom.

65-67-oopsThis alerts the Red Team, so they brainstorm.

65-68-Ted-strippedThis leads to Melody and Danny stripping Ted – and tickling him. Somehow, they correctly guessed the flag was inside Ted’s jacket. Danny guesses Brad must have “snuck” (not a word) in earlier and hidden it. HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT WORK?! There’s no way that Ted wouldn’t have noticed – or felt – the flag.

Anyway, there’s just one problem:

65-69-Blue-flagThe “dork” defies Brad’s expectations by vowing to fly the flag. This excites Melody and Danny.

65-70-raceIt’s a real nail-biter of a race as the two teams race toward the flagpole with less than a minute to go.

65-71-Ted-Brad-knocked-outTed and Brad collide and knock each other unconscious! What now?!

Oh, following Melody’s orders, Danny and Kyle “cover” them with the flags. That makes sense.

65-72-Ernst-arrivesMr. Ernst arrives, having fully woken up, gotten dressed, and walked outside in a little over two minutes.

65-73-Melody-stretchesFollowing Jake’s lead (though it was likely her idea in the first place), Melody lies her ass off about all of them sleeping outside last night under the stars. “Brad and Ted just haven’t woken up yet.” Riiight, and how is she going to explain herself if they end up being dead?

Mr. Ernst buys it, despite the fact that Ted and Brad, the loudest protesters of the cancellation of the Capture the Flag game, are “sleeping” by the flagpole with flags on top of themselves.

65-74-Ernst-KyleMr. Ernst asks for a volunteer to raise the American flag up the flagpole, and Kyle volunteers.

Melody asks Mr. Ernst how he slept last night, and he says wonderful – except for “this very strange dream” that he had “just before” he woke up. See? It really was just over two minutes. Anyway, he proceeds to relate details of the “dream” until…

65-75-Ernst-WTFBuddy passes it off as the “latest style”, which Mr. Ernst accepts as proof of “getting old”. He tells Melody that he’s just glad that he “didn’t have another sleepwalking episode”, and I’m sure that she’s happy to let him believe that.

65-76-Ernst-looks-upAs Mr. Ernst looks up at the American flag, he says “Ah, and so begins another glorious day at the Bar None Ranch. You know, kids, I sure am glad I – I came here.”

So am I.

The teens agree.

Mr. Ernst asks them to wake up Ted and Brad before any guests see them and tells Danny to wash his face.

65-77-Ted-Brad-woken65-78-gang-walks-awayAfter Mr. Ernst leaves, the others help (a suddenly conscious) Ted and Brad to their feet.

As they walk away, each of them claim victory.

65-79-gangThe pre-credits scene at the end, later that day, has Ted and Brad returning from a visit to the doctor, who couldn’t find any sign of concussion. They’re all clear. Danny insults Ted. Brad points out that Danny’s changed and gotten meaner, which Ted, of course, immediately agrees with, and so does Melody. Jake basically says they all engaged in “brainless behavior” last night. Buddy has red welts from the mouse traps. Brad and Ted admit they got “a little carried away”.

65-80-gang-trophyDanny had the trophy engraved while Ted and Brad were seeing the doctor: “The Purple Team” (combination of red and blue and also the color of their bruises).

Kyle asks what Ted and Brad decided about senior staff. Since it was a tie, Ted wants to keep it. Brad wants them to share it, and they argue about it. Melody interrupts the argument, leaving this particular plot point unresolved. Cliffhanger! Seriously, though, how could Brad make a case to Mr. Ernst for being made senior staff, considering it was the result of a game that he had forbidden? Also, we never learned just what being senior staff means – except more money.

65-81-Ernst-walkingAnyway, Melody thinks Mr. Ernst is sleepwalking, and she and the others call, run toward him, and ring their bells.

65-82-Ernst-walking-2Nah, he’s just cleaning his hands or something.

65-83-Ernst-scaredThe teen mob scares him, and…

65-84-Ernst-trough65-85-teens-arrive65-86-Ernst-splashesI guess this kinda-sorta brings things “full circle”, because he had (partially) fallen into a trough in the series premiere:

01-39-Ernst-trough65-87-gang-ErnstJake gets the last clear line of the series: “It’s just a dream!” This is followed by something that I can’t understand. Mr. Ernst doesn’t speak in the final scene, but I think he lets out a yell as he falls back into the trough right before the credits, technically getting the last “word”.

65-88-final-shotAnd that’s all.

As a normal episode, this episode was pretty good. It was funny and entertaining, albeit absurd and manic, which has certainly happened before. As a series finale, though, well, it really wasn’t (and I honestly don’t know if it was taped last or not). It’s just another day at the ranch. There’s no sense of closure. No going home for the fall. About the only thing in this episode that brings the series full circle (aside from revisiting the Ted/Danny dynamic and bringing together all of the ingredients for a good Melody sandwich) is Mr. Ernst’s little speech toward the end.

It’s nice that everybody got to participate, though. Yep. Absolutely everybody. They didn’t leave anybody out at all………………………

Fuck, they forgot to include Lucy!


And…I guess that’s all that I have to say about this episode.

Tune in next Wednesday for the review of season 5.

Season 5, Episode 12: Double Date

Writer: Stephen Land
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: August 23, 1991

A few notes before I get into the actual episode:

This episode has a 1991 copyright.

This episode runs one minute shorter than the “standard” running time (24:21 versus 25:21). I’m not sure why it’s shorter, but it makes it closer to the running time of an early episode.

The writer of this episode, Stephen Land, was a producer on this series (his first work), credited here as “senior producer”. Indeed, he has been an “executive producer” on a shit-ton of stuff over the years, continuing to the present day. However, this particular episode was the only thing that he ever wrote (that made it to the screen, anyway), and dear Goddess does it show. But we’ll get to that.

64-01-Jake-adIn the cold open, Melody and Buddy come over and find Jake “advertising” his new services on the windmill. Apparently, people are “always” asking Jake questions (Melody and Buddy are unaware of this), so he’s decided to profit off it. People are gonna have to pay up for his “pearls of wisdom” (he gives $5 as a price, but it’s unclear if this is his universal price). So I guess Jake is the new Answer Man. After some banter, Melody reveals she met a cute guy and wants to know if anything will happen (translation: she craves cock). Jake claims he’s psychic. Melody immediately calls him out on his bullshit. Jake tells both of them to think of something without telling him what it is. They agree. Jake correctly guesses Melody’s guy is blonde, he works at “The Pork Rind Hut” at the mall, and his name is Dirk. Melody is excited (she should be scared, because it proves Jake was watching her at the mall), but Jake tells her to forget about him, because he escaped from jail last week. Jake correctly guesses Buddy was hoping Jake would answer his question that they were bantering about earlier. Jake proclaims he’s psychic and can see the future:

Jake claims he knew this would happen. Suuure.

64-05-JeepAfter the credits, Lucy, Kyle, Brad, and Ted return from a rodeo.

64-06-welcomeMr. Ernst, Melody, and Danny excitedly come out. Mr. Ernst asks how it went, and Danny asks who won.

64-07-victoriesLucy says it was “a proud night for the Bar None”, because they’ve got two champions. Kyle licks Brad to orgasm, and Lucy and Brad suck Kyle’s cock. All of this orgasmic bliss sickens Ted, who goes off to hurl. Melody is concerned. Lucy and Kyle explain Ted’s saddle came loose, and he fell into a big pile of shit – in front of all of the girls from the Double O (I think) Ranch.

Melody asks Brad about the cute guys from the “Pantano Academy”. There’s an East Tucson Charter School Campus of Tucson International Academy. It’s located at 450 North Pantano Road. It’s a K-12 school. I guess Melody’s familiar with them. Anyway, Melody’s upset that Brad got gangbanged while Melody was cleaning bathrooms and also gets jelly and/or sick of Brad’s luxe life.

Mr. Ernst tries to make him, Buddy, and Melody playing Old Maid sound like a win over Brad’s riding win and orgy, which doesn’t help matters.

Mr. Ernst wants to whip up a batch of his tuna and marshmallow s’mores (we now know where Buddy gets his unusual tastes from), which no one else wants. Lucy says they all ate at the rodeo, and Melody says she’s on “that all-lemonade diet”. Kyle wants to go and get his new CD player (he has to show up Ted, I guess), and they all start to run away, but Mr. Ernst suddenly thinks to show them slides (more than three trays’ worth) from his accounting class 15-year reunion. He says the Beaver was there, and he had snappy comebacks and balanced cheese doodles on his nose. The others quickly leave.

Before we move on to the next scene, let’s look at some clues in this scene that Mr. Senior Producer doesn’t know shit about the characters:

1) Brad is now excitedly participating in rodeos alongside Kyle, whereas she had been staunchly opposed to rodeos when Kyle was first introduced.

2) Kyle compliments Brad on her riding.

64-08-flierThe next day (I guess), Jake is handing out fliers for his business, because Mr. Ernst made him take down his sign.

64-09-Ted-JakeTed comes by and learns about Jake’s new business. Not wanting Jake to think he needs advice about girls, Ted (very poorly) bullshits a story about his “friend”. His “Asian pen pal” (“Ted-wusaki” of Tokyo) likes a girl (“Brad-wong”), and everything’s going great until a new guy (“Kyle-chang”) comes to work with them. Everything changes. Brad-wong and Kyle-chang start hanging out, doing things together, and “flirting every second”. Jake guesses Ted’s “friend” wants to get back in control. Ted confirms. Jake quotes Tennyson and “Absence makes the heart grow fonder“, which irritates Ted and makes me wonder how Jake can get away with charging people for this bullshit. Jake finally suggests using jealousy. Ted thanks Jake and stiffs him on the bill.

64-10-Jake-bowsBefore we move on to the next scene, let’s look at more clues that the wannabe writer has no fucking clue about the characters:

3) When have Brad and Kyle done anything together when they weren’t both assigned to it?

4) When have Brad and Kyle ever flirted, much less “every second”?

64-11-Melody-cleansLater, Melody is cleaning out the “toxic waste fill”. Ted comes by. Melody informs him that they (she and Brad, I guess) found half of a pizza that Ted left in here last summer. Ted lets her keep it, and she sarcastically thanks him. This indicates the girls are massive slobs (just like the guys), because they haven’t cleaned their bunk house since last summer!

Melody informs Ted that Brad is in the lodge on phone duty. Ted actually came to see her. She says she hasn’t cashed her check yet and doesn’t even have any money for herself.

64-12-Melody-thingWHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

64-13-Ted-gifts-MelodyTed brought Melody a gift: the new CD by the Fine Young Cannibals, a band that Melody really likes. The band has released only two studio albums, the second of which was released in the U.S. over two years before this episode aired. A remix album had been released in late 1990, containing only two non-album tracks (interestingly, one of the remixers shares my name). A compilation album was released in late 1996, which is still a bit too old (even by my timeline for the series) to be considered a new album. Nice job, writer.

64-14-Melody-hairAnyway, Melody thinks it’s a joke and threatens to murder Ted if she’s on “one of those funny home video shows“. Ted acts all innocent. Melody points out that her birthday is not until July, and…what?!?!?! This does not work for two reasons:

1) It’s a fucking lie. Melody’s birthday is in September.

2) It places this episode in June. JUNE! That does not fucking work at all! You do recall the Christmas in July party from season 4 and the August 14 date from five weeks ago, right?

We could shift the 1991-taped episodes into the following summer (1998 according to my timeline), which would make the teens legal adults, and that’d be fine. It still doesn’t fix Melody’s birthday statement, though. Clue #5 that the writer doesn’t know the characters. It’s as if this entire episode takes place in an alternate universe.

Anyway, Melody guesses Ted wants her to clean his socks “again”, but Ted assures her that he has money and clean laundry. We learn Ted and Melody have known each other “for a long time”. Ted eventually gets around to asking Melody out on a date on Saturday night. Melody finds it “really weird” and accuses Ted of doing this to make Brad jealous. Ted denies it and says he and Brad are “through”. Melody admits she likes Ted “a lot” but “never really thought about” going out with him. She claims Ted and Brad were always “the thing”.

64-15-Melody-unsureMelody is unsure. Ted suggests a movie or dinner. He’ll even pay (for dinner; he doesn’t commit to paying for the movie). Melody wants to see “that new scary movie about those miniature lizard people who attack that cute college basketball team”. Y’know, that sounds like something that Buddy would enjoy. Why’d you let him dump you, Melody?

Ted claims he wants to see the movie, too. Melody wants him to promise this has nothing to do with Brad. Ted claims Brad and Kyle can “live happily ever after”. Melody agrees to the date on Saturday night. Ted leaves. Melody sniffs the pizza box and takes it outside.

64-16-Melody-pizzaBrad comes by with a flower box and tells Melody of her intention to murder Kyle. We learn Kyle’s last name is Chandler. Nothing like waiting until the next-to-last episode to establish a main character’s surname. Well, at least they’ve established it, unlike some other series.

64-17-Brad-MelodyAnyway, Brad explains she just got her pictures back from the rodeo, and Kyle took it upon himself to draw ugly faces on all of the pictures of guys (except for his) while she was helping some guests in the lodge. Brad calls Kyle immature and believes he’s possibly worse than Ted. Melody guesses it’s because Kyle likes Brad a lot and doesn’t know how to act around her. We learn Kyle drew diapers and a pacifier on Ted’s picture. Melody guesses Kyle doesn’t really know how Brad feels about Ted anymore, and she thinks “a lot of people are wondering about that right now”. Is the episode going meta? I bet, in 1991, there were viewers that wondered about Brad/Ted, too, particularly since it had been six weeks since he had pursued her. Brad seems to think of Ted as a friend but doesn’t want a serious boyfriend right now – “at least not until college”. *stares at episode* You gonna behave? Not gonna rape the timeline? Anyway, I suppose this could be the summer between graduating high school and starting college. Still doesn’t explain Melody’s birthday, though, and, yes, it still pisses me off.

64-18-Brad-Melody-2Brad admits she just wants to have fun and lots of friends. Melody then takes a roundabout approach of trying to gauge Brad’s feelings of Ted dating someone else. Brad doesn’t care and adds Kyle asked her to a movie (which I guess she’s going with him to, despite currently wanting him dead). Melody wastes some more of the running time until finally admitting Ted asked her out, which Brad doesn’t believe and then tries to talk Melody out of. Melody goes off on Brad for guessing Ted’s trying to make Brad jealous, even though Melody had thought the exact same fucking thing. This makes Melody want to go out with Ted more than anything else. They argue about it a bit more, and Melody claims Brad is, “one by one”, “claiming them all”. Clue #6 that the writer doesn’t know shit about the characters. Brad hardly ever dates. When she does date, it always ends badly. When she wants to date, it might not even happen. How does that amount to Brad “claiming them all”?

Melody adds she’s no longer going to cover Brad’s chores, so Brad can practice riding. Brad tells Melody to go out with Ted. Melody is “glad” that she has Brad’s “blessing”. Brad suggests Melody go out with Ted on Saturday night, the same night that Brad’s going out with Kyle. Melody suggests making it a double date. Brad agrees and…

64-19-Brad-Melody-3Yeah, really fucking mature.

Brad goes into the girl’s bunk house, and Melody immediately regrets suggesting a double date.

64-20-Brad-KyleAfter the commercial break, on Saturday night, Kyle drives the Jeep over to the girls’ bunk house, checks his hair, picks up Brad, and gives her “a little something”.

64-21-Melody-TedTed’s not to be outdone, of course. He even rags on Kyle about the “weeds”. Even the girls get into it over the size of their bouquets.

64-22-Melody-walletAfter more arguing (including where to go), Kyle mentions he has money, so Ted mentions he’s “loaded” and asks Melody to carry his wallet. Ted wants to drive, but Kyle points out that Mr. Ernst gave him the keys.

64-23-girls-bouquetsBrad’s having second thoughts, but Melody’s looking forward to it. The girls go off on their double date with their bouquets instead of putting them in water.

64-24-Golf-n-Stuff64-25-players64-26-Melody-puttsThey end up going to Golf-n-Stuff (a.k.a. Golf N’ Stuff) in Tucson. This marks the first and last time in the series that part of an episode was taped “in town”, the second and last time that the characters were seen “in town” (I have a feeling that the restaurant scenes were taped at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch), and the third and last time that the characters were in a populated area other than the Bar None (I’m counting T.R.O.T.).

Going here was Ted’s idea, and Melody compliments him on it. Ted reminds her that they get an employee discount, and what in the goddamn fuck? How could such a stupid line be written, story-edited, rehearsed, and taped without anyone noticing the inherent stupidity of it?

64-27-Brad-TedAnyway, Brad takes notice of Ted’s money-saving ways, and Ted tries to brush it off.

64-28-Kyle-MelodyKyle asks for the score.

64-29-Kyle-WTFBrad expresses confusion, and Kyle catches on to the fact that Ted’s been altering the scores. Ted admits to it, and they argue over technicalities.

64-30-Brad-puttsBrad is up, and Ted does this thing where he suddenly moves sideways. It goes unaddressed, but I’m wondering if he was trying to scare her and ruin her shot.

64-31-Ted-helps-BradKyle gives Brad some advice, so Ted goes for the hands-on approach:

This annoys their respective dates.

64-32-Brad-whacks-TedBrad also gets sick of it and whacks Ted with her golf club.

Ted and Brad argue. Melody expresses concern for Ted. Brad hits her ball, which hits someone (uncredited) off screen. Ted and Brad continue arguing. Ted insists he’s always bailing her out. Brad disputes that and adds knowing Ted “has been one unending string of disasters”. Brad references the events of “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” (season 1, episode 10). Kyle laughs, and Melody playfully hits him. Kyle expresses surprise at the incident. He hasn’t been told about the infamous handcuffing incident yet, but he’s been told about the “mob guy” incident?

Brad and Ted continue arguing about the handcuffing incident as Ted tries to take his shot. You know what that means!

64-33-leg-crampLeg cramp!

64-34-arm-spasmArm spasm!

After some back-and-forth of this, Kyle and Melody break it up. Melody suggests going to the movies, so they don’t have to talk. Kyle actually hopes they won’t be charged for playing (they haven’t paid yet). Ted takes issue with this, because he’s “in the lead”. Ted takes his shot:
64-36-Ted-victoriousTed is victorious.

64-37-Kyle-smilesHowever, Kyle has a mischievous smile as he writes down the score. Don’t worry, though, it’s never brought up.

64-38-music-discussionLater, they’re discussing their music tastes. Ted hates classical music and is a “rock and roll” guy. Brad (a Bon Jovi and Phil Collins fan and a blaster of loud rock muzak) disses rock as being for people six and under. Melody interjects she likes both classical and rock (she doesn’t mention her love of rap), but they don’t pay her any mind, because this is a Ted/Brad argument.

Ted says Brad is too old and makes a reference to “21 Jump Street“. Melody interjects she loves that show (translation: “We have so much in common, Ted! Please pay attention to me! I might reward you with a blowjob later!”), but Ted ignores her and asks for Brad’s age (he doesn’t know by now?), which she refuses to give. Kyle asks for the score, and Melody’s wondering about it, too.

64-39-Ted-tickles-BradTed starts tickling Brad. After learning Kyle’s in the lead, Ted wants to “see” the score card. Melody holds onto the card, and Kyle thanks her. Ted and Brad would rather stand and argue than move on to the next hole. We learn, where Ted grew up, they played in the street. Ted and Brad completely ignore Melody and Kyle in favor of arguing. Ted gets in a funny, stereotypical, East Coast, upper-crust impression.

Kyle hates watching them fight, but Melody corrects him that it’s what Ted and Brad do instead of flirting. She guesses Ted is about to drive his club into Brad’s holes and informs Kyle that the two of them are being used. Melody wants to get even.
64-43-Ted-BradTed and Brad are too busy arguing – and playing “What’s that on your shirt?” – to notice Melody and Kyle abandoning them without money or a ride home.

64-44-Ted-Brad-groundBut it doesn’t stop there! Brad successfully counters with “Your shoelaces are untied” to tie the game!

64-45-Ted-Brad-worriedTed and Brad agree they’re equally clumsy and only then realize they’ve been abandoned. They blame each other, and then Brad suggests going to the manager and explaining the situation.

64-46-Ted-Brad-slavesHa. Well, at least the manager (or whoever) will drive them home when they’re done. Brad hits Ted and blames him. Ted blames Brad.

64-47-Ted-Brad-splashWater fight!

The (uncredited) manager (or whoever) yells from off screen for them to knock that shit off.

Brad says they both look “like a couple of idiots” and “really screwed up this time”, hurting two of their best friends. Ted doesn’t blame them for leaving. Brad is not looking forward to the “serious groveling” that they’re gonna have to do when they get back. Ted wonders why they fight so much. Brad doesn’t know, but it doesn’t really feel like fighting to her, and Ted agrees. Brad says she has to hit Ted or…do something else to him (which she stops herself from saying, leaving Ted curious). Brad avoids answering by pointing out “money” in the water. When Ted takes a closer look, Brad pushes him in.

64-48-Ted-Brad-splash-2As they resume their water fight, Ted makes clear his intention to murder Brad.

64-49-Ernst-JakeThe pre-credits scene at the end, on the following day (Sunday), has Mr. Ernst using Jake’s service…for some reason. Jake signals time’s up, leaving Mr. Ernst without the answer of how long to grow the sideburns (thank Goddess we never see that). Jake gets him to come back later for another session.

64-50-Brad-Ted-JakeBrad and Ted come by with “a really serious problem”, so Jake charges $20 (that’s with the employee discount), which Brad makes Ted pay.

Brad lays out the problem (without going into detail). Ted adds Kyle and Melody aren’t talking to them and asks Jake what to do. Jake suggests showing them that they’re sorry by going to Mr. Ernst and volunteering to clean all of the bathrooms for the rest of the summer – with a toothbrush (the way that he likes it). They refuse. Jake says, if they’re really sorry, they’ll do it, and Brad seems to agree. Ted still refuses. Jake lets them know “Jake has spoken”. Brad reminds Ted that this is all their fault, and she doesn’t want Kyle and Melody to be mad at them “all summer”. Brad gets a reluctant Ted to go to Mr. Ernst with her.


64-52-Jake-congratsSo ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty bad. It dicked with the timeline, it got Brad’s character wrong, it resurrected the Ted/Brad/Kyle love triangle after a seemingly definite end, it wanted us to assume a lot of build-up occurred off screen, and it made everyone except Kyle (of all people) seem really immature, despite these characters supposedly knowing each other for a long time already.

Oh, well, let’s see if the series can go out on a high note.

It’s the final countdown!: 1!

Season 5, Episode 11: Jake’s Fight

Writer: Judy Spencer
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: August 16, 1991

This episode has a 1991 copyright.

This episode is on the DVD, in terms of data files, after “Double Date”, but the episodes are listed in the correct order in the episode selection menu.

63-01-Ernst-LucyIn the cold open, Mr. Ernst is fixing the intercom speaker at the ranch’s entrance. Wait, what? Since when have they had an intercom here?

Anyway, Lucy comes by, having finished the schedule. Wait, what? Lucy does the scheduling? Yeah, actually. It’s an obscure detail that they remembered.

63-02-roll-barrelMr. Ernst is happy to see Danny and Jake having “plain, old-fashioned, non-violent fun”. He praises the staff and likes to think he’s been a positive influence on them.
63-04-Ernst-Lucy-2He changes his mind when he realizes Buddy was in the barrel.

63-05-three-boys63-06-Shermie-warns-guestAfter the credits, two boys sit at a table for lunch, and another boy warns the one in the Raiders cap that he “can’t sit” in “Roy’s place”. Brad points out that there’s plenty of room elsewhere. The kid goes on about Roy Bigelow being a badass and tries to scare the Raiders kid with a story. The Raiders kid doesn’t buy it. The kid warns the Raiders kid against doing three things: 1) staring at Roy, 2) touching Roy, and 3) spilling anything on Roy. Also, Roy always scratches his head before pounding somebody. The Raiders kid still doesn’t buy it and tells the Roy fanboy to fuck off.

Skipping ahead a bit, the Roy fanboy is named Shermie. Shermie is played by Sean Robison, who doesn’t seem to have an IMDb entry. His acting is pretty bad.

Kid no. 1 (the one in the Raiders cap) is played by Daniel Andre (credited in the episode as “Danny Andre”). He had previously played a Snake Eyes player in “Dueling Ranches” (season 3, episode 07).

Kid no. 2 is played by John Martinez, and there are so fucking many of them that I have no idea if he has an IMDb entry or not.

63-07-Roy-arrivesRoy shows up and looks “intimidating”, so the Raiders kid scoots over. Roy is played by Sean Kennedy, and there are so fucking many of them that I have no idea if he has an IMDb entry or not.

Shermie cleans the bench before Roy sits down. Roy asks if the Raiders kid is staring at him, and the Raiders kid quickly breaks eye contact. Roy takes the kid’s plate and admonishes Shermie for providing him with a dirty glass. Shermie apologizes. Roy swipes the second kid’s drink. When the kid protests, Roy stares at him, and the kid backs down.

Brad comes by and tries to extend customer courtesy while also admonishing Roy for taking the kid’s glass. Roy tries to get the kid to “admit” he gave him the glass. Brad calls Roy out on taking the glass. They get into an argument.

63-08-Brad-pissedJake comes by, trying to diffuse the situation, but then Roy pisses Brad off by calling her a “babe”.

63-09-Jake-BradJake takes Brad aside and admonishes her for arguing with the guests. Fuck you, Jake, she was justified. Roy is an asshole, he was rude to her, and she stood up for herself.

Besides, this is part of who Brad is. Continuing from last week, let’s pause for a bit and discuss Bradley Taylor, the people person. She doesn’t exist. We know Brad hates serving people and argues with guests. Hell, she was ready and willing to lose her job by arguing with Kyle when she thought he was a guest. Any personal relationships that she’s developed with fellow staff members aren’t strong enough to make her want to hold on to this job. Standing up for herself is more important to her. While I have a much thicker skin than she does (I don’t care what people say or think about me) and can hold my tongue (she sometimes does and even apologizes for nothing, but Jake blames her anyway), I don’t fault her for speaking out. Jake doesn’t understand this is who Brad is.

On top of that, Brad mentions Roy has been terrorizing all of the Young Buckaroos, and Jake actually says that’s “still no excuse” for Brad to “lose it”. Yes, it fucking is. Jake wants to try psychology (his “specialty”) on Roy. Jake has Brad take care of the burgers while he handles the tables. Brad agrees but tells Jake to watch himself.

63-10-Shermie-RoyRoy demands ketchup from Shermie.

63-11-Jake-waitsHe also gets pissed at Jake for waiting on someone else before him, because “Roy Bigelow does not wait”. He even pounds the table in frustration. Villain’s a bit over the top this week, ain’t he?

The kid to Roy’s left even wants Jake to serve Roy first as a “personal favor”, but Jake refuses. Roy accuses Jake of staring at him. They talk about it for a bit.

63-12-Jake-pats-RoyThen Jake pats Roy. They discuss that as well, and Roy threatens to beat Jake up. Brad arrives with the burgers, and she and Jake fight over who gets to serve them.

63-13-burgers-spillOh, shit.

63-14-Roy-dirtiedOh, shit!

63-15-Roy-scratchesOH, SHIT!

63-16-Roy-shoves-JakeJake apologizes. Roy shoves Jake and says he “just went on the endangered species list”, which is so hokey that I just can’t take Roy seriously.

63-17-Brad-intervenesBrad tries to intervene, and…what the hell? Jake is taller than Roy. This shouldn’t even be a tense moment.

63-18-Ernst-RoyMr. Ernst and Buddy pass by, and Shermie warns Roy, who gets all smiley. If Roy was ready to beat up a Bar None staff member, why’s he worried about the nerdy boss? He’d get kicked off the ranch and possibly arrested regardless.

Oh, and Mr. Ernst doesn’t even notice the food on Roy.

Roy decides “now’s not the time” and postpones the fight: “3:00. The corral. Be there.”

Or don’t. Problem solved.

63-19-Brad-explainsBrad even makes fun of this line when she relates what happened.

63-20-Jake-worriedJake believes he’s gonna die.

Melody believes “Roy really can’t be that bad. Nobody could.” Did she forget about the robber that was gonna put her in the mine shaft?

63-21-Melody-DannyDanny says, in Arts and Crafts, Roy poured glue all over a girl and bonded her to the wall. Wait, wait, wait. I find this difficult to believe. Roy participated in Arts and Crafts? Anyway, why didn’t Danny report him?

Buddy saw Roy shaking down kids for protection money ($5 per hour). Buddy got the “economy plan” (3 hours for $14.50). Why didn’t Buddy report Roy? WHY HASN’T ANYONE REPORTED ROY?!

Jake hopes avoiding Roy will make Roy forget about him.

63-22-Kyle-JakeOh, hey, Kyle. What are you gonna contribute this week?

Oh, he tries to convince Jake to fight Roy. I should’ve seen that coming. Fuck you, Kyle.

Ted and Danny agree with Kyle for whatever fucking reason (penises, most likely).

Danny then immediately contradicts himself (it’s amazing) by suggesting Jake run to Mexico.

63-23-damage-163-24-damage-2Some tape damage.

Kyle tries to convince Jake that he can’t back down, because he’ll be “living in shame” for the rest of his days. Not if Jake’s not the kind of person that cares what other people think of him.

Jake says he’s not a coward, but he’s never been in a fight before. He “forgot” about his “fight” with “Jed”. Kyle wants to teach Jake how to fight, but Ted claims he “used to be pretty tough back in the old neighborhood”. Kyle counters a man that “grows up in the West” “knows these things”. Ted calls Kyle “Cowboy Bob” and himself “Rocky”. Kyle tries to show Jake a fighting stance and tells him to dance around.

63-25-Jake-dancesJake does part of a Jakedance (even though he doesn’t refer to it as such). Ted shoves “Michael Jackson” onto the couch. Ted and Kyle argue over who has fighting skills, and Kyle actually asks Ted how many fights that he’s been in, seemingly forgetting he and Ted went at it – twice – not long ago.

Melody breaks up the argument and suggests talking to Roy. No one takes her suggestion seriously, and Brad calls Roy “impossible”. Melody believes her approach is correct and talks herself up as really nice (Danny gets a cute joke in). Melody speechifies about the power of nice and goes off to talk to Roy, leaving the others concerned.

Roy is hanging out on the corral, even though the fight doesn’t start for quite a while. Shermie is talking up Roy’s upcoming victory…to Roy.

63-26-Melody-Roy-JeremyMelody comes by and introduces herself. Roy insults her. Shermie tries to get Melody to leave, because “Roy does not have time for this small talk”. Roy has Shermie run a lap (seriously).

63-27-Melody-RoyMelody brings up the “disagreement” between Roy and Jake. Roy announces his murderous intentions. Seriously, he says “I gotta kill him.” Melody tries to be all understanding, which seems to surprise Roy. She tries to psychoanalyze him, and he seems to agree. Melody calls herself a “people person”. She agrees with Roy that she’s nice (well, she’s definitely not modest). Roy says he hates nice, and nice people “are insult to” his intelligence.

63-28-Roy-scratchesOh, shit.

Melody asks Roy if he’d beat up a girl.

63-29-Roy-shoves-Melody-163-30-Roy-shoves-Melody-263-31-Melody-trough-163-32-Melody-trough-2No, he wouldn’t.

Right before the cut to the next scene, Melody screams something that sounds like it belongs in the next scene (or maybe it’s just a poor use of ADR, since Melody’s lips clearly aren’t moving). I can’t understand it, but it sounds an awful lot like “Fuck off!”

63-33-Melody-kill“Kill him!”

Okay, that, I understand.

63-34-Melody-Jake63-35-Melody-pissedMelody is fucking pissed and wants to go all terrorist on Roy. Seriously, she talks about killing Roy herself and asks for explosives. This would never appear on a children’s series today.

Melody also gets mad at Danny for trying to say “I told you so”, and then she complains to Jake about having horse spit in her hair, and, yeah, that’s fucking disgusting, but why didn’t Melody stop to at least change into dry clothes before coming back to the main lodge?

Jake asks Melody for any other ideas, and Melody suggests machine guns and concussion grenades. She sees no other way of dealing with “this psycho”. What an ironic statement. To borrow a phrase from Mighty God King, Melody Hanson is motherfucking psycho bugfuck crazy. Massive kudos to Christine Taylor for selling this performance.

Melody adds Roy Bigelow should be staying at the Vlecks’ place, because they “deserve each other”. This inspires Jake to call the Vlecks and get them to deal with Roy.

63-36-Melody-DannyRight before the (unusually fast and abrupt) fade to commercial, Melody grabs hold of Danny and professes her excitement at how the Vlecks are gonna “get” Roy.

63-37-Lonnie-Jake-KarlAfter the commercial break, holy shit, it’s Lonnie and Karl Vleck! I’d never expected to see them again! Paul Olmer is back for his third and final appearance as Lonnie Vleck, and ditto for Don Wyllie as Karl Vleck. IMDb doesn’t credit them for their appearances in this episode, hence my confusion. I admit it’s a nice feeling when the Internet doesn’t spoil me, and I end up being surprised as a result.

After some banter, Jake tells Lonnie what he wants him to do, and it sounds good to him, but why didn’t Jake bring it up over the phone? Did he just say “Hey, can you two come over? I wanna talk to you”, and then they got on their horses and rode over to the Bar None, not knowing what to expect? Also, if Jake needs just Lonnie, why’s Karl there? I know the real-world answer: comedic duo.

63-38-negotiationsLonnie and Karl have a “Vleck conference”, which worries Danny. The Vlecks want something from them. They’d raised a collection but, to Jake’s surprise, collected only $4. Jake offers to throw in some free drum lessons. Dumbass, if you believe your life really is at stake (which it isn’t), pay up out of your own pocket.

They’re gonna leave, so Jake desperately asks them what they want.

63-39-girls-no“Fuck no!”

By the way, the girls didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. They were in the scene at the beginning but got out of the way when Lonnie and Karl dismounted, probably because they didn’t want them to mount them.

Also, sorry to disappoint, but Vic and Valerie don’t appear in this episode. Jake does ask Lonnie and Karl about them, but they don’t answer.

63-40-Jake-criesAnyway, after a bit of gay humor, Jake starts “crying” and telling the girls that he told “Shermie the weasel” to tell Roy to meet him, and Roy’s gonna be here “any minute”. What happened to 3:00 at the corral?

A concerned Melody takes Brad aside to discuss it, and Jake immediately drops the act.

63-41-dealBrad lays out the terms: one date, not to exceed three hours, no kissing, no hand-holding, and they reserve the right to not talk to the idiots or watch them eat. Melody adds “you” have to swear to not tell “a single soul” about this, which is so vague as to be legally useless. Jake swears, and Karl and Lonnie say it’s a deal.

63-42-Buddy-heraldsBuddy comes by and heralds Roy’s arrival.

63-43-confrontationRoy’s not intimidated and has Shermie say Lonnie has to prove he’s “worthy” to “fight Roy Bigelow” by taking “the test of strength”. Jake’s like “What the fuck?” Lonnie, however, agrees.

63-44-test63-45-Lonnie-knocked-outYeah, Roy got Lonnie to knock himself out (somehow). Roy tells Jake that “Roy Bigelow always wins” (notice how he and Shermie often refer to him by his full name?), and he’ll be waiting.

63-46-meetingAt 2:30 PM, in the boys’ bunk house, they discuss it. The dates are off, which is a good thing.

63-47-Jake-hidesMelody tells Jake that hiding underneath the bunk bed – much like murder, fighting, lying, and buying back your clothing – is not the answer. I love how this has become a recurring thing with her. She wants to get Jake “ready for this fight super-fast” by hunting down one of Ted’s protein bars from when he was “on that body-building kick”. We never saw this, unless she’s referring to this, but that was last summer, so ewww. Jake makes a joke, and I love Brad’s little laugh. Melody finds a bar that’s “a little stale-looking” but “probably still effective”. Jake says it’s “the most disgusting thing” that he’s ever eaten. He tosses it on the floor near Brad, and she kicks it away and brings up confronting and taking control of your fears – from “Jake’s Guide to Life”. Ooh, nice try, Brad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.

Danny wants to “evaluate the situation, step by step”, which succeeds in eating up some more of the running time.

Brad demands Jake talk to Mr. Ernst. Melody agrees. Jake wants them to keep quiet, because it’s his problem.


It’s 2:45 PM, and Jake’s begging Mr. Ernst to intervene.

Hey, what’s Mr. Ernst’s old computer doing on his desk? Buddy had fucked it up, and he’d gotten a new one. I kinda had a feeling that the change might not last.

63-49-Jake-loves-ErnstMr. Ernst believes Jake’s blown this out of proportion but agrees to talk to Roy’s parents.

63-50-Ernst-leavesMr. Ernst talks himself up and says he’ll be back in five minutes.

Hey, check it out: another random female staff member on desk duty.

63-51-Ernst-kill“Kill him!”

Yeah, Roy’s dad beat Mr. Ernst up while Roy’s mom held him down in the dirt. They’re “a fairly excitable bunch”.

63-52-Jake-ErnstMr. Ernst wants Jake to defend “the Ernst family honor”. The “Ernst motto” (other than “We like math”) is “An Ernst never backs down”, which Jake doesn’t remember.

Mr. Ernst goes through “the old equipment bag” (which we’ve never seen before).

63-53-Ernst-swordDamn, feelings of inflicting violence are running high in this episode, aren’t they?

63-54-Ernst-glovesMr. Ernst relates backstory on how boxing turned him from a weakling into a “tough guy”. When he discovered his “skills” as a “pugilist”, he found all of the confidence that he needed. This seems to be consistent with what we learned in “Killer Ernst” (season 3, episode 10). Jake is skeptical. There seems to be some bad ADR or an audio glitch as Mr. Ernst starts to demonstrate.

63-55-Ernst-demonstrates63-56-Ernst-tiredThe joke is Mr. Ernst tires himself out, so he’s nowhere near in as good a shape as he thinks he is. Jake thanks him anyway.

63-57-Buddy-JakeBuddy comes in and wonders what the fuck happened to his dad. Jake says he’s resting, and they leave the office.

63-58-gangThe gang meets in the main lodge. Ted says they have a plan, but Jake wants them to call his parents, leave a message on the machine (nice bit of consistency), and tell them that he loves them. He apologizes to Buddy for all of those “mean things” that he did to him at “the Ernst family get-togethers”. Buddy says they weren’t that mean. Jake’s relieved, because he’s really not that sorry. Jake leaves Danny his drums and Ted his book collection. Ted would really rather have the drums, which earns him slaps from the girls, but he claims he’s “just kidding”.

63-59-Jake-ticketTed hands Jake a bus ticket to Phoenix. Danny’s aunt lives there. He’d already called her, and she said Jake can stay there as long as he likes. Brad packed Jake a bag, and Melody packed him a bagged lunch for the bus ride.

63-60-Jake-disguiseBuddy puts a “disguise” on Jake (to fool Roy), and Kyle adds a fedora. Kyle says Jake better hurry, because they got him a ride to the bus terminal. Jake feels like he’s letting them down, but Melody says they just want him to be okay; that’s the most important thing. They send him off.

63-61-Roy-practicesAt the corral, Roy practices his moves, and Shermie talks him up.

63-62-Melody-talksThe two kids from lunch – as well as some others, who were also at lunch – have shown up to watch the fight. Melody tries to convince them that there won’t be a fight.

Shit, IMDb is slacking on this episode! The Young Buckaroos are played by Holly A. Dixon, Katherine Hansen, Neil Atchley, David Stadnick, Troy Sims, and K. C. Yasmer. Hansen and Yasmer previously appeared in “Lost in the Desert” (season 4, episode 07) and “Presumed Stupid” (season 5, episode 08). Dixon, Atchley, Stadnick, and Sims don’t seem to have IMDb entries.

If you’re wondering why I’m having so much trouble with the actors in this episode, it’s because IMDb’s page for this episode credits only David Brisbin and Daniel Andre.

63-63-Shermie-MelodyMelody talks with “Shermie the weasel”. She hates him, because he’s Roy’s friend, “and that’s all that matters”. Shermie admits they’re “not exactly friends” and reveals every kid in school used to beat him up before he started hanging out with Roy. Now, “nobody dare touch Roy Bigelow’s buddy”. Melody points out that , in return, Shermie acts like his slave, and Roy treats him like dirt. Shermie says taking “a little abuse” is better than getting beat up all of the time. Melody sarcastically says “it’s a really great system”.

It’s 3:01 PM, and Roy tells Melody that it looks like Jake ain’t showing up, but…

63-64-Jake-arrives63-65-Melody-JakeMelody wants Jake to go and catch the bus, but Jake is “through running”. He hands Melody the fedora. Why’d he bring that, of all things, to the corral?

63-66-Roy-JakeRoy offers Jake “one shot for free, just for showin’ up”. Jake says he’s not gonna fight Roy. Roy is confused. Jake says he’s not scared of Roy and invites Roy to beat him up. Jake points out that everyone’s so scared of Roy, and that’s how he works. They just do whatever he wants them to do. That’s why Roy Bigelow always wins, but not this time. Jake again invites Roy to beat him up and “impress” the guests; he won’t stop him.

63-67-Roy-163-68-Roy-263-69-Jake63-70-Roy-3Roy won’t let Jake “look good in front of everyone”. Roy declares the fight is “officially postponed” (which disappoints the kids), but then he quickly changes it to “off” until he he says different. Jake refuses to get out of his way – twice. Not willing to let Jake look good, Roy has to walk around Jake.

63-71-Roy-ShermieEven Shermie seems to have learned to stand up to Roy, blatantly staring at him (though he doesn’t admit it) and walking away from him. Blink, and you’ll miss it, but Melody smiles at this. Roy goes after him, but we don’t learn what happens.

63-72-Jake-passes-outAfter learning Roy’s gone “for good” (how do they know this?), Jake faints. Ha. Kyle checks on him.

63-73-Lucy-fixesThe pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has Jake repeating the same joke that Ted didn’t get back in “Rest in Pieces” (season 5, episode 04), perhaps for Kyle’s benefit, since he wasn’t there.

Lucy is re-fixing the intercom speaker, because something that Mr. Ernst did shorted out the entire system. I guess this was a “subplot”.

Lucy is proud of Jake for the way that he stood up to Roy, but that raises the question of where Lucy was during all of this.

Kyle asks how Jake knew “Roy Bigelow” would back down, and Jake admits he didn’t, but it was a “pleasant surprise”. Yeah, Jake was extremely lucky that Roy didn’t beat him up – or make good on his threat to kill him. I don’t know if Jake’s brave or stupid. Wait, I do know. Jake could have just avoided Roy entirely.

63-74-barrel-rollsLucy spots a barrel rolling and is upset that Mr. Ernst is gonna have a fit once he sees Buddy doing this shit. Another “subplot” that I was unaware of.

63-75-chasing-barrelThey all chase after the barrel, which hits a rock. Danny admonishes Buddy.

63-76-BuddyBuddy arrives, having heard them call him.

63-77-Ernst-dazedHa. It turns out that Mr. Ernst had Buddy roll him in the barrel, and he had so much fun that he wants to do it again.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was okay. It was kinda funny, but it really made no sense. Why do Jake or the others care what other people think of him? He could have simply dismissed Roy’s threat as the non-issue that it was and simply not given a shit what a bunch of kids thought of him.

Anyone notice how disjointed that the cast was in this episode? Ted didn’t show up until six minutes in and then disappeared again until minutes before the fight. The Vleck kids put in cameos. Brad missed the fight entirely. Lucy was in only the cold open and the final pre-credits scene, which really have nothing to do with the main plot. It’s so weird, and it’s proof that you can’t have this many characters in a 25-minute (including themes) episode.

Kyle was his usual useless self, trying to pressure Jake into the fight and getting into it with Ted over fighting (at least it wasn’t over Brad). He could have been cut easily. Was it in Geoffrey Coy’s contract that he be in a certain number of episodes?

Overall, an average episode, but be sure to be on the lookout for the direct-to-VHS porn sequel: “Roy Bigelow: Five-Dollar Gigolo”. Three hours of action for only $14.50!

It’s the final countdown!: 2

Season 5, Episode 10: Low Budget Brad

Writer: Grant Dobbins (story), Lisa Melamed (teleplay)
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: August 9, 1991

This episode has a 1991 copyright.

This is the third episode in what I call the “Brad trilogy” – a series of three female-written episodes that focus on Brad, whether in the main plot or in a subplot.

Well, okay, only the teleplay was written by Lisa Melamed, a regular writer for the series since season 2. The story is credited to Grant Dobbins, someone that has no IMDb page. Really strange. This is the only instance in the series (that I can recall) of an episode having separate story and teleplay credits.

62-01-preparing62-02-Jake-powders-ErnstIn the cold open, a skeptical Danny is helping Jake create a video (featuring Mr. Ernst) to send in to “Vacations of the Wealthy and Well-Known” (no doubt a local knock-off of “Runaway with the Rich and Famous” that airs on some shitty, low-powered independent station in Tucson) in the hope of luring them to the Bar None, since they’re looking for a new place to shoot. Danny seems to give the impression that no wealthy and well-known people have ever come to the Bar None, but he forgot Bobby Rogers from last summer.

62-03-Ernst-richAs you can expect, Mr. Ernst hams it up for the camera, speaking in a faux East Coast old-money accent and referring to himself as “Benjamin Ernst of the New Jersey Ernsts”.

Danny doesn’t do his job of flipping the cue cards, causing Mr. Ernst to pause, but Jake just keeps rolling, because fuck retakes.

62-04-Buddy-Ted-trashBuddy and Ted walk past the camera on garbage detail (which includes a dead animal) at a comedically timed moment.

Jake yells at them and finally decides a retake is needed.


62-06-Melody-noAfter the credits, on another day, Jake is pestering Melody to pretend she’s rich and star in his stupid video.

62-07-Ted-fixes-JeepShe refuses, so Jake complains to Ted, who, along with Danny, is fixing the Jeep. Did it break again? Or, if we move last week’s 1990-taped episode, maybe it’s still broken.

Melody gets in a good putdown of the much-maligned polka-dot shirts (which she seems to take ownership of). She also says she’s taken long family trips in the station wagon and played “count the out-of-state license plates”. Sounds thrilling.

62-08-Danny-noDanny doesn’t give a shit about Jake’s stupid video and refuses to star in it.

62-09-Ted-yesTed volunteers to star in the video, because he’s great at bullshit. For some reason, Melody tries to talk to Jake as he’s getting the camera ready. Is she trying to talk him out of it? If so, why?

62-10-Ted-starsSo Ted, with oil on his cheek, tries to act all suave and shit. Things go downhill when he says his mom got sick on the Mayflower. Jake gets him to hurry the fuck up. Ted bullshits about a safari in Africa and doesn’t even sound like he’s not making it up on the spot.

62-11-Ted-MelodyMelody steals the spotlight by poking fun at Ted’s story through a quote from “The Wizard of Oz”. There’s a slight audio glitch while she does this.

Jake wants to keep going (because fuck retakes), but Ted can’t remember what he was talking about.

62-12-Brad-videoBrad arrives on her new horse and insults Ted.

62-13-Brad-noJake tries to get Brad to star in his stupid video, but she initially refuses.

Side note: I really love Brad’s outfit.

Jake convinces her to talk, so she mentions a “last-minute” trip to the Winter Olympics one year.

62-14-Brad-starsSo, without any introduction, Brad starts talking about the view from the helicopter and how she wanted to suck off the entire Swedish team.

62-15-Ted-facesTed pulls Ted shit. Brad and Jake ignore him and keep going, because fuck retakes. None of these assholes know how to make a video, do they?

One year, Brad’s family went on a “fabulous” excavation to Mesopotamia (because they had other people doing the digging for them).

62-16-Brad-Sir-Barney62-17-Melody-pets-Sir-BarneyJake abruptly cuts her off, I guess because he thinks he has enough footage. He’s also skeptical of her stories, but Brad insists they’re true. Melody backs Brad up, because she’s seen thousands of pictures (such as Brad on a camel, Brad climbing an alp, and the Mona Lisa smiling at Brad).

Melody tells Brad that, while she was working the front desk, her parents called and want her to call them back. Brad doesn’t make returning their call a priority (because she’s rich and shit).

After Brad leaves, Ted and Danny talk about Brad’s family’s wealth. Y’know that new horse? Her parents had bought him for her specifically because she had given Charisma away last month.

Brad comes back with her horse and tells them to give her a break. For some reason, she singles out Danny as not being able to spoil her good mood. We learn it’s her day off, and her horse is named Sir Barney. What’s the significance of the name, and did she name him? She hadn’t named Charisma.

Brad excuses herself to go to “retail therapy” (shopping). Danny wants Brad to spend the nice day outside instead of in a mall. Ted makes fun of Brad’s spending habits. Brad leaves. Ted and Danny banter about Brad a bit and then try out the Jeep (we don’t see the result).
62-19-Melody-shockedLater, Melody is shocked at all of the stuff that Brad’s bought, and Brad encourages her to “indulge a little bit more”. Melody tries to make Brad realize her good fortune. They talk about Brad’s spending and overconsumption for a bit, and it basically amounts to:

Melody: “Share!”
Brad: “No! Share bad! Stuff good!”

Brad gets all of this from her father, whose monetary philosophy is “If you’ve got it, spend it.” Melody’s monetary philosophy is “If you haven’t got it, try not to want so much.” Veronica and Betty, everyone.

Y’know, we haven’t really seen or heard much of Brad’s clothing collection since the series premiere, so it’s nice that they’re addressing it again.

62-20-Buddy-shockedBuddy knocks, and Brad invites him in. He’s just as shocked at Brad’s purchases as Melody was. He lets Brad know her parents called again, and they want her to call them back. Brad’s kind of dismissive of it again.

62-21-goldfishBuddy has a goldfish in a bag, and Melody asks him about it. Black Beauty is Buddy’s new pet. He had mentioned Brad’s two horses to Mr. Ernst as a hint. Buddy leaves.

62-22-ceremonyBrad invites Melody to watch Brad’s favorite part: “the ceremonial cutting of the tags”. Melody gives a sarcastic excuse, which Brad doesn’t pay attention to, because she’s too busy looking for scissors. Melody leaves to serve dinner. Brad says “Don’t work too hard.” Fuck you, Brad, I hate when people say that. Even Melody’s irritated by it and lets Brad know (not that it matters to Brad).

The next day (I guess), Jake’s losing hope of ever drawing the shitty TV series to the Bar None. They banter for a bit.

62-23-Brad-arrivesBrad comes by and says “Hey, dudes.” Cute.

Ted has something to give to her.

62-24-Brad-JakeJake wants to tape Brad doing something interesting. Brad suggests he follow her around for a while, and they’ll see what happens. Ted makes fun of it, and Brad gets on his and Danny’s case, calling them jealous. Judging by Danny’s “Horse of the Month Club” joke, I think we can assume season 3 was June, season 4 was July, and season 5 is August.

Ted gives Brad a telegram. Brad is excited, because three of her friends are traveling around the world this summer, and she thinks it’s from them.

62-25-Brad-Jake-2Jake’s excited, too, because opening a telegram is “a high-class thing” that he can tape Brad doing.
62-27-Brad-shockedJake asks Brad to emote.

62-28-Brad-pissedBrad tells Jake to shut the fucking camera off.

Ted asks what the telegram says. Brad angrily tells him that it’s none of his business. Danny makes a sarcastic joke regarding the seriousness of the telegram, and Ted and Jake laugh.

62-29-Brad-pissed-2Righteously fucking pissed, Brad tells them that her father lost his job, and her family is broke. She asks them if they’re happy, and then she runs away.

As the episode fades to commercial, Danny needlessly says he shouldn’t have made that joke. Y’think, Dan?

62-30-Brad-lakeAfter the commercial break (which comes very early in this episode), Brad goes and sits by the lake, wishing to be alone.

62-31-Brad-Danny-MelodyDanny and Melody come by. Danny apologizes (twice) for making jokes, expresses sorrow for her dad getting fired, and brings up positive things (Brad’s health, the sky, the air, and a great horse). Brad doesn’t accept his apology nor necessarily agree with him. She just wants privacy. Danny leaves, seemingly somewhat upset. I can understand both perspectives. Brad just had a life-altering event occur and wants to be left the fuck alone. Danny apologizes for his behavior and tries to cheer Brad up, and she tells him to fuck off. Both are hurting, but I have to side with Brad, because she’s the one whose life has been turned upside-down. I know the last thing that I’d want to hear in that situation is “Look on the bright side”.

62-32-Brad-MelodyUnlike Danny, Melody doesn’t respect Brad’s desire for privacy and insists on hanging out and talking. Brad spoke to her parents earlier. Melody insists on knowing the details, and Brad reluctantly gives them (kudos to Kelly Brown for selling this). Basically, big-ass contract that Daddy’s been jerking off over fell through, leaving everyone involved out of a job and the Taylor family broke (they don’t do the savings thing). Melody insists it’s “no big deal”, and Brad handles this way better than I would (which would involve a punch to the face). Brad feels she’s left with nothing (not even an identity of her own). Melody says she’d do anything for Brad, but she can’t help Brad identify who she is and what she has.

Let’s pause for a bit and discuss who Bradley Taylor is. From what we’ve seen and been told, she’s a nobody that’s a somebody solely due to her family’s wealth. She attended hoity-toity schools throughout her life and dealt with the occasional bitch. Her one talent is riding horses. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life (somehow, professional competition, full-time riding instructor, and working in the family business (whatever that is) don’t cross her mind). Her one real hobby is reading (usually trashy erotica). She doesn’t have much of a romance life. There are hints here and there that she’s involved in theater, though it’s uncertain to what extent. That’s it. That’s Bradley Taylor. Up to this point, she’s defined who she is by her possessions. She has to redefine herself, and she doesn’t know how.

Interestingly, Brad mentions Kyle, even though he hasn’t appeared in this episode.

Brad also says she can’t go to private school anymore, because it’s too expensive, so she’ll lose her friends back home (she has no friends that aren’t upper-class, it seems); she also says she’s sure they’ll have to move. Melody says a lot of things could change by then (I guess she means September). Brad says, right now, she can’t pay for her new clothes, and she can’t ask her parents to, not that they could now anyway. She asks what she’s gonna do.

62-33-Brad-SquadTed and the others come by with the answer: the Brad Squad, dedicated to fully converting Brad into a middle-class girl.

Oh, look, it’s Kyle, putting in his first appearance since he and Ted had it out. Well, at least he and Ted seem to have stuck to giving up pursuing Brad.

Anyway, Brad’s skeptical, but the others cheer her on. Brad declares herself, “starting now”, to be “the new Brad, low-budget Brad”.
62-35-card-destroyedSo, of course, they wait until the next day to destroy Brad’s credit cards.

Brad decides to keep the cards as a souvenir, and Ted tells Danny to keep Brad away from the crazy glue.

62-36-adviceDanny advises replacing a bad habit with something else, and Kyle suggests riding Sir Barney whenever Brad’s tempted to shop. I totally believe the “real cowboy” would give such stupid advice. Brad gets the basic point, though.

62-37-pop-quizTed administers a self-designed pop quiz to test Brad’s mindset. There’s a cute joke when Ted says “vis-à-vis”, and Brad pleads with him to not say “Visa”. There’s also some fun “quiz” background score going on. Anyway, Brad does poorly. Despite seemingly doing her own laundry at the ranch, she’s still used to dry cleaning. She’s also still used to having food delivered instead of cooking herself. Yeah, other than popping popcorn, Brad likely can’t cook. Brad does manage to say she’d walk instead of taking a taxi, but Ted likes to give her a hard time, and that’s as close to flirting as they get.

62-38-Melody-receiptsMelody informs Brad that she and Jake managed to return all of Brad’s new purchases, even without the tags on them. Brad thanks them and says she was too embarrassed to go back there. Apparently, the salesgirl (singular, which means Brad bought everything in one store) took it “bad” when they informed her that Brad wouldn’t be coming back anymore.

62-39-Jake-pondersJake, over Melody’s objection, mentions a stupid idea to Brad involving cutting off and velcroing on her sleeves, depending on the weather. He even considers marketing the idea. Everyone else (except Ted, whose reaction we don’t see) thinks it’s a stupid idea. Jake and Danny go to wash the dishes, and Kyle goes to muck out the stalls. Brad asks Kyle to check on Sir Barney for her…for some reason (I guess just to make Kyle seem useful). Danny wishes Brad good luck.

62-40-Brad-MelodyMelody asks Brad if she’s talked to her parents again. Brad talked to her mother and is upset that her mother is considering selling a painting that Brad’s (presumably maternal) grandfather left her, even though it made her feel he was in the room with her, and it won’t mean anything to the strangers that will buy it.

62-41-figuresMr. Ernst comes by. As the good accountant that he is, he’s taken the liberty of running a bunch of figures and printing them out for Brad to look at. Basically, Brad has high monthly expenses and a shit-ton of outstanding debt, and her monthly Bar None “salary” (she’s salaried?) doesn’t come close to covering it. Mr. Ernst says there’s no charge for this. Well, ain’t that nice of him?

62-42-looks-badTed suggests “drastic measures”.

62-43-Danny-guestThat means an auction.

62-44-Kyle-JakeYeah, test that microphone! Earn that paycheck, Kyle!

By the way, nice touch with Jake reading. Is it one of his books or one of Brad’s pieces of “fine literature”?

62-45-Brad-TedBrad brings by some more stuff and wants to return to her bunk, but Ted tells her to stay as part of the letting-go process. He also ribs her on her ironing. Who usually does it for her? Melody?

62-46-auction-1Ted starts the auction.

62-47-auction-2He doesn’t exactly make Brad feel better.

First up is a “stupid-looking hat”:

62-48-auction-3And the divide between them keeps on growing.

62-49-auction-4Next up is one of Brad’s riding trophies, which she really doesn’t want to part with. So why’d she bring it out? She won it. It had cost her nothing.

Anyway, some fatass buys it to use it as a hood ornament.

The running joke is Ted is devaluing all of Brad’s stuff.

None of the people that speak up at the auction are credited.

62-50-auction-5Melody’s pissed that Brad is selling her peach angora sweater without ever having let Melody borrow it. The “blonde barracuda” bids $10…

62-51-auction-6…and shuts everyone else up.

62-52-Brad-Melody-fightBrad suddenly bids $11. Amusingly, Ted (of all people) calls it “highly unorthodox”. Melody bids $12. Brad bids $15. Melody bids $17.50. Brad bids $18. Melody yells at Brad to give it up and insists buying back her clothing – much like murder, fighting, and lying – is not the answer. Brad demands to know, “once and for all”, what is the answer. Melody tells her to “let it go”.


62-55-Melody-wins62-56-ice-skatesNext up are Brad’s ice skates. She’s insulted over a $5 bid and tries to get guests to up their bids. Ted mentions her father lost his job.

62-57-Jake-cameraThe next day (I guess), the camera’s on the fritz, and Jake tries to get it to work.

62-58-Brad-cameraJake runs into Brad, who bullshits about doing her laundry in the corral. This raises an interesting question. Where are the actual washers and dryers that people use at the Bar None?

Anyway, Brad’s upset at the invasion of privacy, and Jake gets a funny line in about friends not leaving each other alone. Finally, Brad reveals the truth:

62-59-hoarderShe bought back all of her shit – at more than what she’d originally paid for it (the guests are “ruthless”). Jake and Brad discuss it. Brad had the auction for her parents, not herself. She’s been thinking about them a lot. They’ve always been so generous, and she’s always taken it for granted. She just wanted to give them something back to show them what they mean to her. Now, she’s worse off than before. Jake tells her to call them up and tell them what happened, because “it is the thought that counts”. Brad says it’s not enough; she has to do something (just as her friends did for her).

62-60-Jake-Brad-Sir-BarneyBrad is gonna sell Sir Barney, and Jake can’t talk her out of it. Jake runs off.

62-61-Brad-Sir-BarneyThere’s a touching moment when Brad quietly says “I’m gonna miss you.” I wonder if Kelly Brown ad-libbed this.

62-62-Brad-bedLater, Melody comes into the girls’ bunk house and finds a depressed Brad avoiding the world. She’d mailed the money from Sir Barney home to her parents. She’d had Mr. Ernst sell him, and she says it was the right thing to do, but it still hurts. Melody wants Brad to meet the people that bought Sir Barney. Brad doesn’t want to, but Melody takes her by the hand and pulls her outside.

62-63-new-ownersYeah, Mr. Ernst and the rest of the gang chipped in and bought Sir Barney. It was Ted’s idea after Jake had mentioned Brad’s intent to sell. Mr. Ernst adds Sir Barney can stay at the Bar None rent-free. Well, ain’t that nice of him?

62-64-Brad-ridesBrad is overwhelmed with emotion, and she finally understands the kind of riches that she has.

62-65-Brad-SquadAs Brad takes Sir Barney out for some “exercise”, the Brad Squad cheer themselves, and Danny calls dibs on the next ride.

62-66-Just-FolksThe pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has Jake taping a video for a different shitty series: “Just Folks”.

62-67-Danny-interruptsDanny interrupts, because somehow he didn’t see they were taping.

62-68-Jake-DannyJake gets on his case and then explains his new approach. They get into it for a bit over the merits of doing this. Jake mentions Brad went into town to pick up a package, and Ted and Melody went with her. Danny leaves. Jake gets ready for take 2.

62-69-Buddy-fishOh, look, even Black Beauty got drafted into doing this stupid video.

62-70-Brad-carBrad arrives in her brand-new car, which her father bought her, because the deal came through after all, and he got his job back. Well, it’s nice to know Brad didn’t have to apply the lessons that she’s learned.

Brad speeds off, hands-free, and Melody admonishes her to keep her hands on the fucking wheel.

62-71-Jake-excitedJake’s excited, because they can do “Vacations of the Wealthy and Well-Known” after all, and he ditches the “folks” to chase after Brad.

62-72-folks-abandonedSo ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was very nice. We finally got more snobby Brad (which is a rarity on this series), and she had to learn to appreciate what she has.

The only problem – and it’s a big one – is we’ve already seen Brad’s generosity and kindness (hell, the episode was referenced in this one), so to suddenly have self-absorbed, spoiled, selfish, rich bitch Brad in this episode feels weird. This episode should have been written and taped way earlier in the series (like, season 1). It’s as if this Grant Dobbins person (possibly some corporate suit) suddenly said “Hey, I got this great story idea where that rich bitch character learns a lesson. One of you write it.” It was an answer to a question that viewers had long stopped asking.

Oh, and Kyle? Fuck him. Why was he even in this episode? He didn’t show up until the second act, and then his contributions consisted of generic motivation, giving Brad stupid advice, checking on Sir Barney (off-screen and for no apparent reason), testing a microphone, and spouting maybe one or two other lines of exposition.

It’s the final countdown!: 3