Monthly Archives: October 2015

Season 3, Episode 02: Hey Cinderella

Writer: Judy Spencer
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: April 13, 1990

Two things before I start this review:

1) I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to get this review up, because my computer froze this evening and wouldn’t restart for a while, and I was worried that it had crashed. This had happened earlier in the year as well with no long-term problems. My point is don’t be surprised if I happen to miss a week at some point, because it’s always possible that my comp could crash. If anyone wants me to set up an emergency notification system and has a suggestion, please let me know.

2) Go and see “Jem and the Holograms”. Immediately. Support it. Fucking seriously. This is an awesome, fun, feel-good movie.

This is a first: Ted (David Lascher) isn’t in this episode (neither is Lucy, but that’s no surprise). I’ll speculate why in the next episode.

28-01-Ernst-proudIn the cold open, Mr. Ernst is proud of a banner that he put up to welcome guests known as the Hilliards, but Danny is skeptical.

28-02-Buddy-girlsMeanwhile, Buddy is showing the girls Spider-Man’s wife. He wants to show them the floor plan to Peter’s apartment, but the girls are more interested in the banner.

As Mr. Ernst explains, Mrs. Edith Hilliard is the President of the Daughters of the Pioneers of the Eastern States. She and her son, Richard, should be here in a couple of hours. Brad explains it’s a bunch of partying, gossiping rich ladies that get together once per year. Melody doesn’t seem to like that. Mrs. Hilliard said she might be willing to hold the annual dinner dance right here at the ranch. Mr. Ernst is trying to make it happen, because it would “put [them] on the map with the society crowd”. Why a dude ranch would want to attract snooty (Brad’s word) women (and why Mr. Ernst thinks it would be a good fit at all) is beyond me. The teens quickly excuse themselves.

28-03-signDumbass.

28-04-girls-girlyAfter the credits, the girls are doing stereotypically girly shit. Melody is making a big fuss over the visiting Hilliards, supposedly because Mr. Ernst told them to. Brad doesn’t see the point in making a fuss over “a couple of visiting D.O.P.E.S.”. Melody is interested in the potentially gorgeous Richard Hilliard (the son). Brad met him once when he was 12 and she was 11. The Hilliards came to Grosse Pointe for some kind of charity thing, and Brad’s family gave them a ride back to their hotel. Brad says Richard was “an obnoxious little creep”: he tore her favorite party dress, spilled orange soda in her hair, and then threw up on the chauffeur. Melody tries to dismiss it, but Brad claims Richard did it out of spite.

28-05-Melody-windowMelody sees the Hilliards’ arrival through the window and gets a lady-boner for Richard. Brad has zero interest. Melody can’t find her earrings, so Brad loans her family heirlooms (her mother would kill her if she lost them). Melody asks if Brad has any cheap, fake ones, and Brad feels a bit insulted. Melody refuses the earrings, but Brad insists. Melody excitedly runs outside.

28-06-Melody-name-tagBrad half-assedly calls after Melody, who had forgotten her name tag – and then just puts it on the dresser and leaves. Might this be important?!

28-07-Ernst-HilliardLater, Mr. Ernst is giving Mrs. Hilliard a very detailed tour of the ranch. Look for Danny, someone that’s not meant to be Melody, and Buddy carrying a boat behind them and Danny and Buddy doing some other work in silence during this scene. Nice touch.

Mrs. Hilliard is played by Glenda Erzen. “Hey Dude” was her only acting gig.

Mrs. Hilliard isn’t convinced yet. Mr. Ernst tries to convince her but insults her when he calls them “D.O.P.E.S.”. He apologizes. She says he has three days to impress her. She calls him Benjamin but doesn’t want him to call her Edith. Yeah, she’s the stereotypical rich, snooty, older woman. She has Mr. Ernst take down “that dreadful sign” over the entry. She calls for her son, Richard, who doesn’t want to come over right away.

28-08-RichardRichard Hilliard is played by Joseph Richard Romanov. “Hey Dude” was his first acting gig. He’s had a very sporadic career, acting in only nine things (the last being a short in 2012).

28-09-Richard-MelodyMelody suddenly comes up behind Richard and growls “Don’t move!” She explains she lost an earring, which she describes as a family heirloom. Ah, I get it. This is one of those “misunderstanding” romance episodes.

28-10-Richard-earringMelody is happy when Richard finds “[her] earring”. There’s a funny background gag that I just noticed where the banner is too much for Mr. Ernst to handle. Richard wants Melody’s name, and Melody says “Melody Hanson”, which is about the only truthful thing that she tells him, because she proceeds to lie her ass off for most of the rest of the episode. She mentions orange soda and calls his mother “the head D.O.P.E.”, which he’s fine with. He asks if there are any D.O.P.E.S. in her family.

28-11-Melody-insultsMelody says “My mother is more of a dip.”

The “nice” one, ladies and gentlemen.

Richard completely misses Melody’s rudeness and thinks her mother is the Daughter of an Industrial Prince. Ha. Richard is impressed, and Melody lets him be impressed. When he asks where she’s from, Melody pauses so long that suspicions should be raised (but they’re not), and then she says Grosse Pointe. She then excuses herself and runs away.

28-12-BettyThis random, never-before-seen female staff member that Danny is giving instructions to is named Betty. She’s here for only a few seconds and then is neither seen nor mentioned again, but, unlike the extras in “Take Me to Your Leader”, she at least gets a first name and a line (but the actor isn’t credited). Maybe she’s the one that was seen carrying the boat with Danny and Buddy earlier. I appreciate the effort in showing there are more people keeping the ranch running than just the main characters. I wonder where in the girls’ bunk house that they’re supposed to be sleeping, though. Maybe there’s another room and a back entrance?

28-13-Richard-DannyRichard comes over and asks Danny if he works here. I fucking hate when people do this! Two responses that Danny could give if he wasn’t worried about his job: “No, I wear this badge for fun.” “Yes. I work here. You dumb fuck.”

Anyway, Richard’s upset that there’s no ice in his room (room 6). He finds the ice machine right outside his door to be unacceptable and demands Danny gets the ice. Yeah, Brad’s right about him. Amazing that it’s revealed when Melody isn’t around.

28-14-girls-corralThe next day (I guess), at the corral, Melody is asking Brad about her school history and taking notes on her left palm, which isn’t odd at all. Brad does ask, and Melody simply says it’s interesting to her. She also says they’ve been bunkmates for “such a long time”, and there’s still so much that they don’t even know about each other. This might be an indication that this scene occurs in the next summer after the previous two seasons, but I’ll save my speculation for a later review.

Anyway, we learn some more of Brad’s background. She went to equestrian school (the Clairewood Academy, spelling uncertain; it doesn’t seem to exist) until the sixth grade. Then she went to boarding school (the Madison School; there are a few Madison schools in Michigan but none in Grosse Pointe, and they don’t seem to be boarding schools; the middle school is called Wilkinson), which she hated, but she got to do a lot of riding, and they also went on a lot of “really neat” school trips, such as to Switzerland for a ski weekend. Once, Melody went on a school trip to Washington, DC, which Brad has never been to (I went on a six-day school trip there in June of 1992, right after 8th grade ended and before I started high school). Brad doesn’t know foreign languages. She can say “Paris is great” in French, and she can say her name in seven languages.

28-15-inkBrad asks about the ink all over Melody’s hands, but Melody is dismissive of it and gets Brad to let her borrow one of her sweaters. Brad tries to give Melody her name tag back, but Melody puts it off. What? It’s another day (I think). She forgot it again?

28-16-guys-upsetAnother interesting background detail is in this scene: Danny and Buddy are seen working. After Brad asks about Richard, and Melody compliments him and walks off, Danny and Buddy come over, and Danny doesn’t even wait until Melody is out of earshot before insulting Richard. Buddy tells Danny that he (Danny) should have punched Richard. Brad feels justified in her earlier description of Richard but, for whatever reason, doesn’t go and tell her best friend.

28-17-boatLater, Melody and Richard have taken a boat out on the lake, and Melody is passing off Brad’s history as her own. For some reason, Richard is familiar with a teacher at the Clairewood Academy, even though Brad gave the impression earlier that Richard isn’t from Grosse Pointe. Anyway, Melody somehow bullshits her way through it.

28-18-Melody-Paris1“Paris is great.”

28-19-Richard-Paris“I got very sick in Paris.”

28-20-Melody-Paris2“Paris is great.”

28-21-dinner-discussionLater, Mr. Ernst and Mrs. Hilliard are discussing dinner. Mr. Ernst suggests chili. Mrs. Hilliard wants cracked crab. Buddy calculates (nice touch) the per-person price difference, and Mr. Ernst tries to push chili.

28-22-almost-caughtThey cross paths with Melody and Richard. In real life, this would be where Melody’s not-so-elaborate deception is exposed, but we’re not even at the commercial break yet, so Mr. Ernst doesn’t rat Melody out in order to keep Mrs. Hilliard impressed with the “decent clientele”.

28-23-DiniThe next day (I guess), Brad briefly talks with another random, never-before-seen female staff member named Dini (DEE-nee, spelling uncertain). She gets a line, but this actor is also uncredited.

28-24-noteDanny passes along a note from “that rich jerk” to “the girl from Grosse Pointe”. Of note, Brad often seems to call Danny “Dan”. Anyway, without addressing Melody by name, Richard wants her to meet him at the “love swing”. Um, interesting name for it. It was just a swing as far as I could tell. Anyway, Brad is confused, apparently not putting Melody’s crush and personal questions together.

28-25-Brad-RichardAfter the commercial break, Brad meets Richard at the “love swing”. Richard is confused, and they get into an argument. Richard seems to recognize Brad, but Brad pretends she doesn’t know him or Melody. She seems convinced he likes Melody and gives him the letter to get to her.

There’s something odd on the left side of the screen just before the scene ends – as if they had tried one type of scene transition before deciding on another.

28-26-Melody-caughtLater, Brad catches Melody, who has decided to borrow more of Brad’s clothes and necklace. Despite Brad saying “Feel free to borrow whatever” in the series premiere, Melody is nervous, so Brad has to reiterate it. Melody is getting ready to go out with Richard. When Brad asks what they talk about, Melody basically removes all doubt that this is a retread of “Rehearsal for Romance” (season 1, episode 06). As Melody is leaving, Brad confronts her about her lies but is vague about whether she told Richard the truth or not (at least, it’s vague to me). Melody tries to explain. We learn Brad’s mother is a D.I.P. (Brad, while claiming to not care, says the D.I.P.S. blow the D.O.P.E.S. out of the water). Brad says Richard will freak upon learning the truth. Melody says she won’t tell him; he’s here for only one more day, and then she’ll think of something else. Great plan, Melody. Brad says she never lied (like this) to impress a guy. Brad convinces Melody to tell Richard the truth and says, if he likes her, it wont matter. Brad tosses Melody’s name tag to her, but Melody doesn’t put it on right away.

28-27-solutionOutside, Richard and his mother are being snooty about the ranch. Mr. Ernst and Buddy come over. Their dinner solution is “pre-fab crab”, “an incredible crab-like substance”. Mrs. Hilliard takes Mr. Ernst to guide him, and Buddy goes along.

28-28-Melody-shuts-up-DannyMelody finds Richard and nervously tries to tell him the truth but is interrupted by Danny regarding her table duties at lunch. Somehow, Richard doesn’t learn the truth right here and now, and Melody has Danny fuck off.

28-29-Melody-truthRichard initially gets the wrong idea and gets jealous of Danny. Melody has Richard promise nothing will change, no matter what. After he promises, Melody tells him the entire truth, and then the asshole suspects her of golddigging, dumps her ass, and says his room needs towels.

28-30-Melody-upset 28-31-Brad-cleansLater, while Brad cleans a room, Danny insults Richard. Buddy explains Danny waited on the Hilliards at lunch today, and they sent everything back. Danny says they did it twice. Buddy reiterates Danny should have punched Richard. Danny ponders a way to get back at them without losing their jobs but is dismissive of Buddy’s question of a “weird Indian curse”. Brad ponders a way as well. Melody arrives and apologizes for being late. Brad sends the guys off to vacuum. In other words, “Fuck off. Girl talk.” Melody relates what happened and blames herself for lying, which greatly angers Brad. She tries to make Melody see what Richard really is and calls him a moron. Richard had been vague to Melody about how his family had made his family fortune, so Brad clears it up.

28-32-Brad-tp“TP for your bunghole.”

28-33-Melody-amusedIt’s not something that they like to talk about. Ever. Melody feels a little better. The girls get to work.

28-34-Richard-BradWhile Brad’s alone, Richard comes over to talk to her, having finally remembered her. We learn Bradley’s last name is Taylor (at least, this is the first time that I can recall them mentioning it). After some unpleasant small talk, he gives her his phone number. He’s leaving today and says “people like [them]” “belong together”. Brad calls him out on his treatment of Melody. He says Melody is “N.O.K.” (“Not Our Kind”). Brad is embarrassed to say she’s used the expression once or twice, but she says that was a long time ago, and she’s not that person anymore. She lets Richard have it. Melody comes back and is delighted at what her friend did. She insults Richard. Richard tells Brad to call him and walks off. Melody is angry and wants to get back at him.

28-35-Melody-Brad-tpBrad decides on something really humiliating.

28-36-trunkThe pre-credits scene at the end, on the next day (I guess; I thought Richard was leaving yesterday), has Danny bringing bags for the Hilliards’ chauffeur to load into the trunk while the girls laugh in amusement.

28-37-agreementMr. Ernst is happy that he and Mrs. Hilliard have come to an agreement. He pushes her to sign the agreement, but she’s reading it and has Richard check to make sure that they’re loading the trunk correctly.

28-38-Brad-flirtsBrad flirts with Richard, claiming to have changed her mind and requesting his phone number, and he gives her a prewritten paper. I bet she’s going to call him to laugh and make fun of him. You’ll see why.

Mrs. Hilliard signs the contract to Mr. Ernst’s delight but then expects him to “get rid of these horrid little teenagers”.

28-39-teens-shocked 28-40-Ernst-tearsMr. Ernst tears and crumples up the contract and then tells “Edi” and her D.O.P.E.S. to find some other place.

28-41-Ernst-car 28-42-car-tpThe girls somehow managed to tp the Hilliards’ rented Lincoln.

What’s up with the shadowy dog in the shot? Has Cassie returned?!

28-43-gang-tpSo ends another day at the Bar None.

The wolf/coyote howl at the end of the closing credits is back to normal.

This episode was a bit mixed. Melody seems like an idiot that forgot her lesson from “Rehearsal for Romance” and had to relearn it. Still, we got some nice background details on Brad, which fleshes her out a bit more, and it’s nice that she’s portrayed as a person that grew up in a snobby environment but, for the most part (lack of cheap, fake earrings notwithstanding), managed to overcome it and grow into a decent human being¬†that stands up for her friends.

Season 3, Episode 01: Inmates Run the Asylum

Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: April 6, 1990

Welcome to season 3. I’m guessing there was some kind of break in production, during which season 2 was assessed, and things were tweaked. There’s little evidence of that here, though; the episode comes across as just another episode that could have occurred immediately after “Take Me to Your Leader”. If the original air dates are to be believed, this episode aired a little over two months after that one (the season 2 premiere supposedly aired one week after the season 1 finale), but that’s the only indication of a new season.

27-01-Jeep 27-02-gangIn the cold open (where we first see the new Jeep, which is the only indication in this episode of a change), Mr. Ernst has called a meeting of the teen staff.

27-03-Buddy-tripsMeanwhile, Buddy is clumsy. This is going to be a recurring subplot in this episode. Buddy is convinced he’s turning into his dad, inheriting his clumsiness, bad ideas, and mannerisms.

Ted and Danny make fun of Buddy, but Brad tells them to get a life. Brad is already my favorite character this season.

Anyway, they try to assure Buddy that it’s just a coincidence until…

27-04-Ernst-trips 27-05-Ernst-groundThe opening credits remain the same as in season 2.

After the credits, the gang has helped Mr. Ernst to his feet. He’s going to be gone for the entire day. He’s on his way to Redington to look at some new horses. Redington is a ghost town, the remnants of which are located on a ranch, around 42 miles (a 90-minute drive) from Tucson. I’m not sure why he’s going there to look at horses for the ranch. Surely, there are closer places that sell horses.

Brad asks Mr. Ernst if he’s ever bought horses before. He hasn’t, but he has computer printouts with everything that he needs to know. I’m guessing he printed the information from a program, because the World Wide Web was still in the development stage at this point and not up and running.

Brad wants “one of [them]” (meaning herself) to go with Mr. Ernst, but he shoots it down and says Lucy is already over there, scouting things out; she had insisted on going. In other words, Lucy’s not appearing in this episode.

27-06-keysTed asks who will be in charge in Mr. Ernst’s absence. Mr. Ernst doesn’t see the need, but Ted convinces him. Brad and Ted each argue for the keys. Mr. Ernst wants to give the keys to Danny, but Brad and Ted object. Mr. Ernst wants the two of them to decide, but Melody and Danny object.

27-07-Ted-in-chargeAfter some arguing and time wasting, Mr. Ernst’s coin toss declares Ted to be in charge. Mr. Ernst has reservations, and Ted has to pry the keys from his hand.

Why is this even a plot? Why didn’t Mr. Ernst already leave the keys with someone? And why wasn’t it an adult staff member (they exist; we sometimes see them in the background)?

Before he leaves, Mr. Ernst reminds Ted to fix the gate on the main corral, because the horses almost got out last night.

As soon as Mr. Ernst drives off, Ted calls a mandatory meeting in “[his] office” in fifteen minutes and then has Buddy follow him. Brad is in disbelief and says this is gonna be a nightmare, but Danny calls it an opportunity, comparing Ted to a substitute teacher. He and the girls start hatching ideas as they go off to look at Danny’s squirt gun collection. Yeah…

Better yet, just ignore Ted and go and do your chores.

27-08-badgeWhen the fuck did Ted have time to make this badge?

27-09-meetingThe others arrive. Ted says they’re four minutes late, so they each get four “demerits”, but knocks it down to two, because they’re “not used to the new system”.

27-10-deputyTed has his “deputy” help to explain how discipline under him differs from the “old regime”.

27-11-gold-star 27-12-gold-stars 27-13-demerit 27-14-Danny-gunRather than, y’know, just leaving, the gang annoys Ted by humming and squirting water at him. He picks up on the substitute teacher thing, he apparently being the worst offender in his school. Ted confiscates Danny’s squirt gun.

27-15-citationIn Ted’s mind, Danny’s already over ten demerits, which means a “citation”, which is worth “one free hour of labor”. Brad can’t believe this. Me neither. Ted expresses his disappointment in Danny and warns the girls before leaving to “tend to the guests” and having Buddy follow him.

27-16-Brad-gunBrad wants to shoot Ted, but Melody, for whatever reason, dissuades her and says they just have to wait until Mr. Ernst returns.

27-17-Brad-rips-citationDanny, for whatever goddamn reason, is upset at getting a citation, but Brad rightly rips it up. Ted then returns and gives everyone citations. WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY PUTTING UP WITH THIS?! JUST IGNORE HIM!

27-18-hay-shackLater, Brad meets Danny at the hay shack and asks if he’s seen Ted. He has, and he’s got the citations to prove it. Ted had given Brad a citation for not rolling up Melody’s tube of toothpaste (yes, it’s covered in the demerit system). That’s…frightening. What’s Ted doing in the bathroom with them?

27-19-eye-chartBrad has “Dan” go over to Ted’s “deputy” with her. Buddy is worried that he’s going blind (as well as bald). Brad asks for Ted’s location. He’s down at the lake with Melody. The phone rings…out by the corral (that’s one loud ringer). Brad has Buddy go to answer it and has Danny come with her.

27-20-Melody-rips-citationAt the lake, Ted and Melody are going through a write-and-rip routine. Why is she putting up with this?! Brad confronts Ted. Ted wants Brad and Danny to get in the lake, so he can test Melody’s life-saving skills. Brad and Danny want to push Ted into the lake. Melody wants them to stand Ted until Mr. Ernst returns. Buddy comes by. Mr. Ernst had called. He ran out of gas. He’s at the gas station, which is closed (at this time?!). He won’t be able to get any gas until tomorrow. Buddy leaves. Ted is overjoyed, but the others are upset.

27-21-Ted-falls 27-22-Melody-bookAfter Ted is deposited in the lake, the others run off, Melody gleefully stealing Ted’s citation pad.

27-23-Ted-wetTed calls them traitors just before the fade to commercial.

27-24-gang-worksAfter the commercial break, the gang is working in the main lodge.

27-25-Ted-confrontsTed comes in and confronts them (specifically Brad). You know what would solve this, Brad? A punch to the motherfucking face. Why don’t you do it? Instead, Brad tries to get the guests to ignore Ted. Ted summarily “fires” Brad, Melody, and Danny. Brad says Ted was kicked in the head by a horse, forgot to take his medication, and has “terrible delusions”. Ted gets insane (if he wasn’t there already), and Brad suggests going into Mr. Ernst’s office to come up with a “fair solution”.

27-26-Ted-lockedYep, that’s a fair solution. Not as fair as homegrown gang violence but fair.

Brad sends Danny to nail the window (or windows) shut. Ted begs the guests to call the police, but they ignore him.

27-27-Buddy-carrotEven Buddy has apparently turned on Ted. He offers Ted a carrot, but Brad has a rule against “feeding the animals”. Did I mention Brad is my favorite character so far this season?

27-28-girlsBrad wants Melody to take care of her stuff around here, so Brad can “concentrate on running things”. I take it back, Brad. The girls argue for a bit. Ted calls the front desk. Melody answers and passes the call to Brad. Ted insults Brad over the phone. Wait, so they didn’t recognize Ted’s voice over the phone or see him calling?

27-29-Ted-panelTed has found the main switching panel for the entire ranch and proceeds to dick with the phone system and the power for the main lodge, and he shuts off the power to the boys’ and girls’ bunk houses.

27-30-Ted-keysBrad can’t find the keys (I guess she’d taken them off Ted earlier), and Ted reveals he has them, courtesy of his “faithful deputy”.

27-31-Buddy-moneyYeah, Ted gave Buddy five bucks.

Brad tries to get into the office, but Melody and Danny get her away from the door.

JUST FORGET ABOUT THE FUCKTARD IN THE OFFICE AND GET TO YOUR CHORES!

Ted has Buddy let him out of the office.

27-32-Ted-Buddy-spyThat evening (wow, that’s a rather large time jump), Ted and Buddy spy on the others.

27-33-Brad-planBrad is going over the plan to “take back control of the ranch at all costs”. Fuck this show…

Anyway, the plan is they attack through a window, Melody and Danny distract Ted with the squirt guns, and Brad gets the keys. For some reason, they know what Ted does whenever he gets a set of keys (which I guess is a common occurrence): carelessly flings them about, leaves them hanging around, and loses them. Ted makes a noise, and Brad almost catches him and Buddy.

Melody asks why they’re doing this (which is what I’ve been asking all along), but Brad says “this is about fighting for what’s right, this is about freedom…

27-34-Brad-liberty-1 27-35-Brad-liberty-2…this is about liberty.” FUCK YOU.

Danny and Melody are sick of this shit. Brad declares they attack tomorrow at dawn. Ted and Buddy leave. Brad goes over the plan again.

27-36-Brad-gunThe next day, FUUUUUUCK…

27-37-assaultDespite the fact that Ted was last seen with the keys and his “loyal deputy”, Brad believes the stuff under the blanket on the couch is Ted, asleep.

27-38-Ted-Buddy-hoseIt isn’t.

27-39-gang-hosed 27-40-Melody-gun 27-41-gang-runsSuddenly, some added sound effects let the gang know the horses have escaped from the corral, because Ted didn’t fix the gate. Danny suggests two of them gather up the horses while the other two fix the gate. Melody assigns herself and Danny to fixing the gate and Ted and Brad to getting the horses. Brad and Ted are upset at her assuming authority, but Melody and Danny yell at them. As they go off, Buddy says “Those kids…” and walks off.

27-42-gang-doneLater, Danny gets the last horse back into the corral. Ted and Brad have been talking, and Brad apologizes to Melody and Danny for both of them. Danny and Melody accept. Brad says, next time, they vote on who’s in charge, and Ted agrees. Melody suddenly wonders who’s been running the ranch this whole time (well, really, just while they were rounding up the horses, not during all of the other screwing around), and they run off to the main lodge.

27-43-Buddy-clothesBuddy has completed the transformation into his father, clothes, pocket protector, and answering the phone with “Howdy-doo” (callback to “Suspicion” (season 1, episode 11)).

The gang comes by, proud but also somewhat amused. Buddy wants to take care of the business that will be sending him to college and expresses pride in his dad.

27-44-Buddy-hatDanny completes the outfit, and Buddy orders them back to work. They obey “Mr. Ernst”.

The pre-credits scene at the end has Mr. Ernst arriving back at the ranch. They got some nice horses, and Lucy will be bringing them in later on this afternoon (after the episode ends, so they don’t have to pay her).

27-45-guestsTwo guests pass by, remarking about “the loony one” and asking about his medication. The guests (I assume it’s them and not any of the other speaking guests in this episode) are played by Ron Ford (or Don Ford) and Vicki Kinney. “Hey Dude” was their only acting gig.

Mr. Ernst questions the teens about these things, but they’re nervously dismissive of it and get away as fast as possible.

27-46-Ernst-Buddy-1 27-47-Ernst-Buddy-2“Those kids…”

27-48-Ernst-Buddy-3 27-49-Ernst-Buddy-4So ends another day at the Bar None.

The wolf/coyote howl at the end of the closing credits is different. I like the older one better.

This episode was so over the top, much like “Take Me to Your Leader”. This really should have been a non-issue from the start. That said, it’s kind of funny in a ludicrous way.

Season 2 Recap

MV5BMTYyODU2NzM3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODI3MTMyMjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Welcome to the recap of season 2 of “Hey Dude”. Here, I’m going to give my thoughts on the season as a whole and the characters, rank the episodes from worst to best, and supply some information that I’d come across.

Departing Writers

Season 2 saw the final contributions of two writers that had been with the series since season 1:

Alan Goodman (Day One at the Bar None, Ted’s Saddle, Employee of the Week, Bunkmate Battle, Treasure Teens) and Michael B. Kaplan (Battle of the Sexes, Rehearsal for Romance, Loose Lips, Battle of a Hundred Bucks) have each written and produced many things. Goodman even got an acting credit in, and Kaplan got a composing credit in.

The Episodes

Season 2 continued in the same vein as season 1. These thirteen episodes feel like a continuation of what had come before and offer a variety of character spotlights and stories (and story quality).

25-59-gang-celebrates#13: Cowboy Ernst
It’s nice to see the struggle as the kids try to help Mr. Ernst realize the Bar None is where he belongs, but his “out” from the ranching business is ludicrous, so it brings the episode down. However, even this is better than “Battle of the Sexes”, so it indicates how much better that this season is, overall.

26-25-Ernst-runs#12: Take Me to Your Leader
A ludicrous b-movie plot that somehow gets into “so-bad-it’s-good” territory. Ted and Mr. Ernst are the highlights.

21-09-Brad-digs#11: Treasure Teens
It’s unrealistic that real teens would get excited over something like this, but I like the underlying reason that Mr. Ernst gives for writing poetry.

19-11-captive-audience-2#10: Ghost Stories
Another fun, “scary” episode. Ted and Melody are the stars in this one.

16-21-Melody-picture#9: Our Little Champion
A nice Melody episode, but it has a confusing message that diminishes it. Some good Melody and Mr. Ernst moments.

15-39-hats#8: Battle of a Hundred Bucks
Childishness and selfishness rear their ugly heads when money is involved. Still, a pretty funny episode with a hilarious resolution.

14-33-oath#7: Loose Lips
Ah, gossip. Nothing good can come of it. Still, the charades scene between Ted and Melody is hysterical.

18-09-Ernst-Ted-plane#6: Crash Landing
This is the only truly suspenseful episode of the season. Ted has an idiot moment, and Melody is just a plain idiot. Still, it has some good production values, and I like the scenes in the mine shaft.

20-29-flowers#5: Teacher’s Pest
Overall, a sweet episode with realistic concerns by Ted and Buddy. You can see how Mr. Ernst and Miss Andrews (and David Brisbin and Laura Innes) really care for each other.

17-13-room-divided#4: Bunkmate Battle
Pretty realistic episode with a bit to be learned for (almost) everyone – while also managing to be funny.

24-06-Ted-holds-Noelle#3: Bar None Babysitter
Pretty funny all around, silly subplots and all.

23-10-Melody-meets-Bobby#2: Superstar
Melody has a celebrity crush. Brad’s not interested. Ted is jealous. Overall, a good episode.

22-27-Brad-Albert#1: Dan the Man
Yeah, the Danny episode is my favorite. Yeah, it surprised me, too, but this is genuinely a great episode with good performances from Torres and Brown.

The Characters

20-30-Ernst-loveMr. Ernst appeared in all 13 episodes. His crazy schemes continue this season. His subplots are comedic. Episodes where he’s more of a focus are a mixed bag. Thankfully, for every “Cowboy Ernst” and “Take Me to Your Leader”, there’s a “Crash Landing” and a “Teacher’s Pest”. Brisbin also has nice dramatic moments in (the end of) “Our Little Champion” and “Treasure Teens”.

23-26-Brad-bunsBrad appeared in all 13 episodes. She’s usually paired with and/or contrasted against Melody. She gets caught up in the madness in “Treasure Teens” but is a voice of reason in “Take Me to Your Leader”. Her friendship with Danny is highlighted in “Dan the Man”, during which Brown gives a good performance. She has a subplot in “Teacher’s Pest”, but it isn’t given much screen time, and her predicament (whether to leave the ranch or stay) is resolved off-screen. Overall, Brad is probably the most human character, and, even though she’s rich, she’s the most relatable – for me, anyway.

19-30-Lucy-storyAs before, the season’s least valuable player has to be Lucy. She appeared in 9 of the episodes and was mentioned in another, which, granted, is more than last season. Her main functions are to offer sage advice and be a strict authority figure. She’s the voice of reason. However, she barely plays any role in any of the episodes, and no one listens to her advice most of the time. She judges a silly “battle” over money between the teens. She tells Ted a ghost story that creeps him out. She finds a sick horse, Uncle Albert, in time for his life to be saved and motivates Mr. Ernst to exercise. She restrains Ted’s violent urges, thus possibly saving Danny’s life. The most that we learn about her is she knows and loves ranching and doesn’t want to do anything else with her life.

23-31-Ted-upsetTed appeared in all 13 episodes. As before, he has a lot to do. It’s impossible to list only a few highlights. He gets a major (and potentially fatal) case of the stupids in “Crash Landing”, but he does something legitimately nice for Brad in “Dan the Man” and also supports her in “Teacher’s Pest”. With 39 episodes left, surely there are many great Ted moments to come on this series.

16-39-Melody-aloneMelody appeared in all 13 episodes. Oh, Melody, what did this season do to you? She’s a total idiot in “Crash Landing” and “Take Me to Your Leader”. Fortunately, she did something legitimately nice for Brad in “Teacher’s Pest”. Her starring episode was “Our Little Champion” (during which Taylor gives a great performance), but I get the feeling that the episode wanted us to view Melody as being “changed” by “fame”. That simply wasn’t the case. Melody was treated as a hot commodity by her “friends”. Only Mr. Ernst eventually saw through the bullshit. Melody also has a nice comedic plot in “Superstar”, and we get as close to a Melody/Brad romance as we’re gonna get. She also gives a “chilling” performance in “Ghost Stories”.

22-18-Danny-ashamedDanny appeared in all 13 episodes. While he and Ted are usually paired together in plots (whether opposing him or, more likely, being dragged along), his relationship with Brad was explored in “Dan the Man” (the one Danny-centric episode this season) and, to a lesser extent, “Loose Lips”. “Dan the Man” features a great performance by Torres, and we learn about Danny’s upbringing. He also has a humorous subplot in “Bar None Babysitter”.

20-33-Buddy-gagBuddy appeared in all 13 episodes (but one of those, the season premiere, was just a silent, pre-credits cameo). His involvement varies by episode. He has good roles in “Crash Landing” and “Teacher’s Pest”. “Battle of a Hundred Bucks” has him heavily involved in a comedic resolution. He’s also heavily involved in “Bar None Babysitter”, but he’s an annoying jerk. His subplot in “Dan the Man” is pretty funny. He instigates the panic in “Take Me to Your Leader”, but he also helps to save the ranch in “Cowboy Ernst”.

16-13-Cassie-livesCassie appeared in 1 episode and then was dropped with no explanation. Goodbye, Cassie.

That’s it for season 2. Tune in next Wednesday as we head into season 3!

Season 2, Episode 13: Take Me to Your Leader

Writer: David A. Litteral
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: January 26, 1990

Before I start on the episode, I have an interesting note about the writer, David A. Litteral. This episode of “Hey Dude” was the only thing that he ever wrote. I guess Litteral isn’t that literary. Thank you, I’ll be here all night. He was also an assistant director on the series for around a third of the episodes. In 1992, he was a second assistant director on a movie called “Netherworld”. And that’s it. That’s his entire career.

26-01-Buddy-detectorIn the cold open, Buddy is using a metal detector to search for…buried treasure? Loose change? I don’t know. He finds junk. Wait. Danny had suggested using a metal detector back in “Our Little Champion”¬†(season 2, episode 03). Where the hell did Buddy get one? Anyway, he eventually comes across…

26-02-alien 26-03-Buddy-shocked 26-04-alien-2 26-05-alien-3Buddy runs away.

At 45 seconds, that’s the shortest cold open so far. Well, I’ll give the episode this: it doesn’t waste any time in setting up the premise.

26-06-group-searchAfter the credits, Mr. Ernst, Lucy, and the teens have been searching the area but have found nothing. There’s a humorous bit where Lucy claims she can track a road runner doing sixty in a sandstorm (look for Mr. Ernst laughing and nodding behind her). After some banter about weird guests, Mr. Ernst says the problem is the weird comic books that Buddy’s been reading. Ted defends the comics, and he and Danny talk about a particular series (likely made up) for a bit. Buddy runs off in frustration. There’s a recurring “joke” in this episode that starts in this scene: the characters constantly increase the height and number of arms of the alleged aliens in their descriptions. It’s not particularly funny.

26-07-Melody-BuddyLater, Melody finds Buddy throwing rocks in the lake and checks up on him. He claims to be fine. Melody tries to come up with an alternate explanation (a bad dream), but Buddy insists it was real. He gets upset and runs away. Melody theorizes maybe it was a desert mirage.

26-08-Melody-alien 26-09-alienIt wasn’t.

26-10-Melody-alien-2 26-11-alien-2Melody has a stereotypical idiot-moment as seen in horror films. She runs down to the dock and realizes she has nowhere to go before she runs back up the stairs, pauses for a moment to look at the alien, and then runs away. This kind of behavior really pisses me off. Rule #1: put as much distance between you and the bad guy as possible. You’re not going to do that by running down to a large body of water!

26-12-Ted-girlsLater, Ted insists Melody made the story up to not make Buddy seem like an idiot, but Brad warns him as they approach Melody, who’s visibly upset. Brad says Melody wouldn’t make it up. Ted asks for proof. Keep in mind that all of this is said within earshot of Melody. Ted then tries to pass himself off to Melody as the believing one (in opposition to disbelieving Brad). Do television and movie writers not understand the power of the human ear? You can’t just expect the audience to believe “the character didn’t hear that”.

Ted then yells support to Buddy (who’s on the other side of the lake with his dad) and then turns around and laughs.

Danny and Lucy come by (on the other side of the lake). Danny asks Lucy for her opinion. Lucy thinks it’s a big practical joke by Buddy and Melody (which is a reasonable conclusion, based on their personalities). Danny says he’d like to meet an alien and then jokes for a while. Mr. Ernst comes by and asks if they’ve found anything. Lucy makes a joke and guesses Danny is about 5’7″. Mr. Ernst suggests splitting up. He sends Buddy back to the lodge, Brad and Ted to the south side of the ranch, and Lucy and Danny to the north end. He momentarily thinks someone is next to him. Not Buddy, because he’d already sent him off. And Melody is by the dock on the other side of the lake. He really is absent-minded, isn’t he? Anyway, he’ll cover the east and the west. He guesses aliens would be peaceful emissaries, nothing to be scared of. As if on cue, Ted scares Mr. Ernst by calling out to him. Ha. They apparently didn’t hear which side that Mr. Ernst wanted them to check. Ted jokes for a bit as the scene ends and quietly says “Well, it beats working.” I like this. It’s perfectly within Ted’s mindset, and it also demonstrates not saying aloud what you don’t want others to hear.

26-13-Ernst-alienLater, Mr. Ernst is walking along and whistling to himself. Two aliens pass behind him, but he sees nothing when he looks.

26-14-Ernst-runsDeciding he’s looked enough here, he runs over to the west side “where everybody else is”. What? He was supposed to search the east and west sides.

26-15-Ted-BradTed is surprised that “Bradley” is agreeing with him about this being a waste of time and makes a big deal about it. He claims this is the first time all summer that she’s agreed with him. I’m pretty sure that there have been more times, but I don’t recall anything specific offhand.

26-16-Ted-tack-roomTed checks the tack room and feed room.

26-17-Ted-shockedHe finds something terrifying and warns Brad.

26-18-Ted-troughHe then hides in the…horse trough.

26-19-mirrorYeah, Ted was scared of his own reflection. He tries to cover for it by claiming Brad “failed” his “reaction test”. She doesn’t buy it.

26-20-Ernst-gateMr. Ernst accidentally(?!) swings on the gate while looking for Ted and Brad at the corral. He looks around for a while but can’t find anyone, but then…

26-21-Ernst-aliens 26-22-Ernst-shocked 26-23-aliens 26-24-Ernst-screams 26-25-Ernst-runsMr. Ernst half-heartedly “screams” and runs away.

26-26-gang-panicsThe next day (why’d it take so long?), amid the panic and confusion, Mr. Ernst attempts to bring calm and order as he convenes a meeting in the main lodge.

Here’s an error that I picked up on immediately back in the day: Mr. Ernst calls Brad “Kelly”. I’m surprised they didn’t do a retake or at least ADR the shot. Heck, maybe no one caught it until it was too late (if at all).

26-27-Ernst-in-commandFor fuck’s sake…

Anyway, General/Commander/Whatever Ernst addresses his “troops”. He was up at “0600 hours” this morning, in contact with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines (he first called the president, but the White House doesn’t accept collect calls). They all hung up on him. There’s a lot of time wasting (Danny asks if he called the Coast Guard; Ted asks if he called Ted’s Uncle Wilfred, Kalamazoo’s recognized authority on anything strange or weird).

26-28-Ted-ErnstAs senior staff, Ted is declared Mr. Ernst’s second-in-command (why not Lucy?). There’s some more time-wasting on saluting and “my plan” versus “our plan”.

26-29-Lucy-speaks-upLucy interrupts to appeal to logic and say they’re letting their imaginations get out of hand. The gang starts arguing. Mr. Ernst settles them down and starts to go over the threefold plan (consisting of three barricades), but the plan falls off the easel, and the gang starts arguing again.

26-30-bellsAfter the commercial break, Danny and Melody have set up string and bells. You’ve gotta be shitting me. 1) How is this going to help against the aliens? 2) Wouldn’t the guests complain? Come to think of it, where are the guests during all of this? We never see any. Come to think of it, I don’t think we see any extras at all. Maybe everyone left, because the staff was doing this bullshit instead of their chores. I can picture it now: horse shit piling up in the corral, Brad being a no-show for Brad’s Breakfast Ride, children drowning in the swimming pool. Way to go, Colonel/Major/Whatever Ernst.

26-31-Danny-falls-1Oh, yeah, everyone has to be roped together in pairs. This puts a damper on Melody’s plan to masturbate.

26-32-Danny-falls-2Another thing about the bells: it’s not covering anywhere near the entire grounds of the ranch – and not even the entire grassy area. To come back to my original point, what good are string and bells against aliens from another planet?!

26-33-Melody-alienAnyway, Melody says they have to check the empty rooms (which likely means all of them at this point) and brings up Mr. Ernst’s “safety first” rule. After some arguing over who goes into the room first (Melody doesn’t want to have her head bitten off first; I guess she wants the satisfaction of seeing Danny’s decapitated corpse before she dies), Danny goes in to check a room, and this leads to a “hilarious gag” of Melody missing an alien walking right behind her, panicking, and pulling Danny out of the room. It’s so hilarious that they do it twice. They discuss Melody’s fear for a bit, and then Danny pulls her into the room with him. Melody quickly leaves the room. Ted and Brad come by. Ted pats Melody on the back, scaring the shit out of her. Unfortunately, Danny is standing in front of her and blocks most of her reaction. Brad questions the necessity of the ropes and asks about going to the bathroom (which should have been addressed back in “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed”). Ted pulls Brad close to him and says “Safety in numbers, Brad.” Very risque for a children’s series. Brad threatens him. How did Brad agree to be roped together with Ted, anyway? It’s unclear whose idea that the ropes are, but Ted seems to take the credit for it. Unfortunately, like the earlier shot, this moment is ruined somewhat by Danny (and Ted’s big stick) blocking it.

26-34-Buddy-maskAfter some banter, they go off to search elsewhere (fuck the guest rooms, I guess). They come across Buddy, whose gas mask is stuck. Yeah, Ted is ordering gas masks for everybody in case of germs or deadly diseases. So he ordered only one for Buddy so far? Or went into town to buy it? Or found it lying around the ranch somewhere? And is he paying for these masks himself or using ranch funds?

26-35-Melody-panicsMelody panics and has Brad feel her forehead and check for spots. After Brad insults Ted a bit, Ted says they got a call (or maybe gotta call) about barbed wire to circle the ranch and “stop the invasion – or at least slow it down a little”. For fuck’s sake, Ted – and Mr. Ernst. The Bar None is not the “first line of defense”. The aliens could simply go outside the ranch grounds to start conquering the planet. Brad points out the futility of protecting themselves from advanced aliens with “jingle bells” and barbed wire. Ted ignores her. Melody sides with Ted.

26-36-Ted-Brad-holeLater, the gas masks having arrived (same-day delivery?), Ted and Brad are digging a hole. Brad complains. They’ve dug 35 holes. Ted says they have “only 29” left. They get in a brief sand fight. It’s unclear whose idea that the holes are. Ted repeats what Mr. Ernst had said about Ted’s order being Mr. Ernst’s orders, but he also says Mr. Ernst wants the holes, so…beats me. Brad points out the stupidity of the holes. Ted says they’re camouflaged, and he’s made a map. While he mentions the map, Brad says something that I can’t understand. It looks like Kelly Brown is speaking with someone off-camera.

26-37-Ernst-maskMr. Ernst comes by, and there’s a gag where Ted and Brad can’t understand him, and Brad tells him to take his mask off. Mr. Ernst compliments them on the “alien holes”, but he can’t find any. Ted says they’re camouflaged and has him consult the map.

26-38-Ernst-holeMr. Ernst accidentally falls into a hole and points out Ted’s error.

26-39-moon 26-40-planThat night, after the orange moon has risen, Ted has apparently dropped the ropes requirement (Brad probably threatened to take a hacksaw to his dick). His plan is to be in the barricade while Danny and Melody are in the outpost. They protest. Ted points out that he’s second-in-command and wants them to salute him (they don’t).

26-41-guys-shake-BuddyBuddy arrives, his gas mask stuck again, so Ted and Danny pick him up, turn him upside-down, and shake him, which Melody doesn’t approve of. She’s also shocked when Danny suggests (and Ted agrees to) using the hacksaw. Fortunately for Buddy, the mask comes off at that moment. Danny claims he was “just kidding”. Ted gives Buddy a “direct order” to not wear the gas mask again and asks him for a salute (Buddy stupidly gives it). Ted has them follow him.

26-42-Ernst-flag 26-43-barricadeFor fuck’s sake…

This is the barricade. Mr. Ernst calls “Outpost 1” (there’s more than one?) over a walkie-talkie.

26-44-outpostFor fuck’s sake…

This is “Outpost 1”. Danny reports all’s quiet on the western front. It’s dark, and Melody’s scared – especially when someone or something triggers the bells. Danny grins and goes to have a “close encounter”, saying they’ll be back to get Melody. Melody suspects mind control and goes to get help.

26-45-Danny-aliensWork those fingers, Danny.

26-46-barricade 26-47-barricade-2Melody reports to Mr. Ernst, who is shocked. Ted, stick in hand, wants to “go get him!”

Pay close attention to the two barricade screencaps above (and the one a bit earlier). They added two random, nameless female staff members to the barricade, presumably to “bolster the ranks”. They didn’t appear earlier in the episode (to say nothing of earlier in the series). We don’t know who they are. They don’t say anything. They don’t do anything. I wonder what the casting call and director’s instructions were like. Melody did mention “all the other girls in the bunk house” back in “Ted’s Saddle” (season 1, episode 04). I guess these are two of them. Enjoy them while you can. I’m willing to bet we’ll never see them again after this scene. The extras aren’t even credited.

26-48-Lucy-stopsLucy prevents them from “storming off like a wild mob”.

26-49-Ernst-insistsMr. Ernst insists on rescuing Danny.

26-50-Melody-panicsMelody panics, believing the aliens might take over their minds, too. Mr. Ernst wants them to “jam their signals” by filling their minds with thoughts, so they can’t get in.

26-51-barricadeWow, that one girl really looks like she doesn’t want to be there. The other girl doesn’t even show up in the shot.

26-52-Ted-attacksAn “alien” arrives (behind the barricade), and Ted’s ready to Rodney King his ass (yes, I know that’s an anachronism), but Lucy stops him.

26-53-Danny-possessedIt’s Danny. He seems to be controlled by the aliens, but Ted realizes something’s up when Danny (intentionally?) gives the aliens’ home planet as the one from the comic book series that he and Ted had been discussing earlier. Danny eventually admits he was pretending. Brad claims she knew all along. Melody is relieved.

26-54-aliensThe “aliens” arrive.

26-55-Ted-readyLucy restrains Ted.

26-56-Boyd-LesterThe “aliens” are really Boyd and Lester. They’re with the government and are conducting “hush-hush tests” on these new spacesuits. Okay, assuming NASA (which isn’t mentioned by name in the episode) tests spacesuits out in the desert (for endurance against extreme conditions or whatever), why would they do it on the property of a dude ranch? Why didn’t Boyd and Lester open their helmets before confronting the staff members to give them an explanation? None of this makes any sense!

Boyd is played by Larry Bennett. “Hey Dude” was his second and last acting gig, the first being a role in a movie called “Beyond Dream’s Door” in 1989. He was also an executive producer on a 2002 movie called “Hip! Edgy! Quirky!”. That’s it.

Lester is played by David K. Young. “Hey Dude” is his only acting gig. This is his first of two appearances. He shows up in a later episode as Bobby Bulp.

No, I don’t know which guy is which.

26-57-Space-AgencyDanny explains he saw the name of their agency (“Space Agency”) on their backpacks. Okay, this explains everything. NASA isn’t involved. Space Agency is. I bet Space Agency is run by the same guys that run the Alien Task Force on “ALF”.

Danny goes off to change out of the spacesuit that Boyd and Lester had let him borrow. Mr. Ernst tells them that they’re always welcome at the Bar None and then claims to his staff that he “knew what was going on all the time”, and it was a test of their “civil defense preparedness”. Lucy points out how they “almost batted a home run with their friend’s head, because they let their imaginations run wild” and mock-salutes Mr. Ernst before storming off. This might be the single coolest thing that Lucy’s done so far.

26-58-Ernst-embarrassedSeriously, that other extra just disappeared.

26-59-gang-barricadeThe pre-credits scene at the end has Danny returning to the barricade and the gang claiming Mr. Ernst had called the space agency (Space Agency), and they have no one named Boyd or Lester working for them. They get Danny to believe the guys really were aliens but then admit they’re getting him back for the stunt that he pulled earlier.

Melody wonders about intelligent life up there. Brad is open to it up there but worries about it down here. It takes Ted a while to realize she’d insulted him, and he laughs it off. He and Danny talk into the closing credits, but I can’t understand what they’re saying.

26-60-aliens-creditsOh, I guess those guys were aliens after all.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was so over the top. No rational people would behave in this manner. You know how this situation would be handled in real life? “Hello, Tucson Police Department? There are two strangers in what look like space suits scaring people out here on the Bar None Dude Ranch. Please send someone over.”

The only really cool parts about this episode are the nicely “creepy” (in a humorous way) music and shots of the aliens. Like “Ghost Stories”, it’d be a good addition to a light-hearted “horror” marathon on Halloween.