Hey. Welcome to my new blog / mental experiment called “Hey Dude Reviewed”. My name is Mark Moore. I’m also known as Tuxedo Mark on the Internet.
I have been following “Saved by the Bell…Reviewed!”, “Full House Reviewed”, and “ALF Reviews”, and I’d been considering doing my own Reviewed blog for a while. I just wasn’t sure which series to pick. Then, one day, I saw this at work:
It was perfect. It’s as if it was meant to be. I had grown up with this series during the three brief periods that my family had cable in the early 1990s. Thinking back on it, I likely never saw an episode when it aired new, but I often didn’t know when things were new or old back then.
I loved this series. I could once boast I had every “Hey Dude” episode on tape. I even typed up and printed out my own episode guide at one point (using brief descriptions as the titles). I no longer have all of my old VHS tapes, but I still have a lot. If, during the course of this blog, I happen to come across an old Nickelodeon commercial or bumper for this series, I’ll do a post on it.
If you want to learn more about my history with “Hey Dude” and don’t mind listening to me talk for over 18 minutes, here’s a vlog that I did after I got the DVD set.
I don’t exactly have a good track record of finishing series that I set out to review (although, let me take this opportunity to formally declare my attempt to review “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, which lasted a whole two episodes before I lost interest, to be cancelled), and the idea of a weekly schedule is daunting to me, but I accept my self-given challenge. However, I will be writing ahead to give myself a buffer, and I’ll make corrections and additions prior to posting.
Created by Dee LaDuke, “Hey Dude” ran on Nickelodeon from 1989 to 1991 for five seasons of 13 episode each, totaling 65 episodes. While I am normally skeptical of “original air dates” for non-primetime series from before the age of the World Wide Web (after all, who would archive such information back then?), I will be including them in these posts, taken from Wikipedia.
“Hey Dude” follows a well-meaning, fish-out-of-water ranch owner, his son, a ranch hand, and the teenage staff at the fictional Bar None Dude Ranch in Tuscon, Arizona. A comparison could be made to the Malibu Sands episodes of “Saved by the Bell” or (and this is really unfair of me) the two dude ranch episodes of “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” (oh, look, I’ve discovered something else that that series ripped off). If you like those episodes, you should like “Hey Dude”.
The series was shot on video tape at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch near Tuscon, Arizona. It was Nickelodeon’s second live-action series after 1984’s “Out of Control”. It was produced by CineTel Films. Casting began in 1988 with local auditions held in Tucson. We’ll meet the characters and the actors that portray them in the first post.
The ranch set was actually built from scratch on the property of the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, roughly a mile away from the main public areas. This was done to not bother the guests and also to create a more western look. Constructed sets include the main lodge, boys/girls bunks, guest lodge (which doubled as the cast dressing rooms), and stable. Abandoned after production, some are still standing to this day, albeit in much disrepair. They are about 15.5 miles east of Tuscon.
Originally released on iTunes from 2008 to 2011, the series made its way to DVD from 2011 to 2013, courtesy of The Shout! Factory. They released The Complete Series box set on March 10, 2015, exclusively at Walmart. I happen to work there, and it certainly caught my attention when a customer brought it through my checkout lane. I purchased it on March 23, and it’s what I’ll be using in reviewing the series.
I haven’t seen any of these episodes since probably the mid-1990s at the latest. I have no idea how well that this series holds up. It’s sure to be quite an experience. So, if you’re ready, start your horse and come along…back to the Bar None.