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.

2 responses to “Novel: Showdown at the Bar None

  1. Wow, I can’t believe someone wrote that. Wouldnt it have been funny if it had come out during the time of the show and that was the book that Brad or Melody would be reading in bread, talk about meta.

    One thing I like is that it references the first episode, Hey Dude never did an actual flashback did they? I don’t think so. We got some mentions of previous episodes but most of it was forgotten. But it’s hard to blame it for that when many primetime shows of the 80s had horrible continuity. (Try to keep up with the grandkids the each Golden Girl had).

    I agree that it would have been nice to just make up an episode that could be seen as canon. I wonder about the extra scene in the book, it’s nice to have but it’s a bit too similar to Brad and Kyle’s camping trip (though at least the guests don’t turn on them).

    I call complete BS that Lucy is just ten years older.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, “Hey Dude” never had an actual flashback. It had a few references to past episodes (“Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” and “Suspicion” come to mind), but it also had bad continuity between the two “Ted returns” episodes.

      Lucy is “ten years or so” older (I guess Brad is just a poor judge of age). That means 10-20 years older. Still, I wouldn’t buy her as merely 37. That’s my age, and she looks older than me (although I’ve been told numerous times that I look young).


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