Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rush's Complete Dukes of Hazzard Project

Your pal and mine, Rush Pedder recently shared some Dukes of Hazzard thoughts with me.  I thought they were so good, they deserve to be shared with the world.  Luckily, I have the means for sharing Dukes thoughts.  Take it away Rush:


Oddly enough after selling my Dukes of Hazzard collection I got interested again in the show. Not that my love of the show ever left, but it had been several years since I watched an episode (besides my annual Christmas eve tradition of watching "The Great Santa Claus Chase" episode). I was inspired to watch everything in chronological order, this way I would force myself to watch even the not so great episodes. Below are my comments:

my order of viewing
1. every television episode of the show
2. all the TV DVD extras (minus commentary)
3. Reunion! movie
4. Hazzard in Hollywood movie
5. Dukes of Hazzard 2005 movie (starring Larry Franks)
6. DOH the Beginning movie
7. Moonrunners
8. TV DVD commentaries

- after suffering through the Coy and Vance shows, THE stars of the show was not Boss, Rosco, Daisy of the General...its Bo Schneider and Luke Wopat. period. you can remove any other characters/actors except for them

- Sorrell Booke and James Best never got the credit they deserved for their comedy - hidden jem of the show

- the 2005 movie is terrible - if that version of the Dukes was on TV in 1979 the show wouldn't have made it past Covington

- 2006 movie is even worse...finding the General at the bottom of a lake? this movie was a missed opportunity

- Moonrunners is fun only because of the sprinkle of Dukes references - Bo was the family mule lol

- The chrome strip - I know I know, I ramble on too much about it. but it was too obvious after awhile not to notice. even John Schneider references it on a commentary. the strip is there as early as the first episode and is inconsistent until season 3 where it stays for good. episodes in the first 2 seasons shows both versions in the same show. now seriously, I ask you, if the chrome strip was on 75% of the episodes, why was it not featured on 30 years of die casts except for the Danbury Mint? Now the chrome strip was not on the reunion movies or theatrical versions. BRING BACK THE CHROME STRIP!! lol. I think it looks better.

- Where did they get the trunk interior design for the Auto World General that was released a few months back? every time the trunk was open on the show I was looking out for that design and never saw it.

- Speaking of the AutoWorld GL, the 01 numbers are too thin. it more closely resembles the Reunion! letters. I know the General was inconsistent over the years on the show but the majority (and best looking) had fatter 01's.

- I also read the David Hofstede book along the way - excellent reference but I wish someone would write a more expanded volume

- I didnt watch The Dukes cartoon series because I saw that my bootlegged copy is worse quality than I thought - Ill have to get the official one from Amazon soon

- I think the real success of the Dukes was lost in all of the post show movies except for Reunion!. Think of all the reasons why the show was amazing and most of those are missing from the movies, including Moonrunners. you know the reasons: action, drama, sex, fun, family, comedy, unique concept (criminals are heroes).

- I am ever so thankful for the DVD format - most of my previous Dukes watching experiences were done via worn out VHS taped from TNN. so it was nice watching all the shows in broadcast order, complete non syndicated epsoides in much improved quality. I remember some episodes on my VHS collecion were flawed (missing parts of the middle when TNN had a broadcast flaw, chopped off beginnings etc) plus a few episodes I didnt record and were missing

- After watching all the bad movies then watching the TV show again for the commentaries I was shocked how much better the TV show is. it was like watching a local dive bar band then going to see Springsteen

- I was again amazed how excellent the TV series really is - its nice to confirm that the show is still amazing after all these years and holds up very well. what a fun project to complete!

1 comment:

  1. Here are the answers to your Auto World General Lee questions:

    1) The chrome strip. The design team had a plan to use chrome foil to simulate the chrome vinyl top trim, however, it was said that the only option available to use was silver paint. This would have looked terrible so it was axed. Besides, the design team felt that it would be easy to add with Chrome Bare Metal Foil if one so desired.

    2) The trunk design was simple. The Chargers used on the show rarely had factory fresh trunks and that is how these models are designed to appear. The design team wanted that bare and empty trunk look but with the way the models are designed the parts such as factory spare and jack "plug in" to holes in the trunk pieces. If the parts were just simply removed the car would have looked unfinished as these holes would have been visible. A fair compromise was to just use the factory 69 Charger trunk mat to cover the holes. I'm sure at least one General Lee on set had the factory mat in there, lol.

    3) Reference photos, placement guides, location guides, and exact measurements were sent to the factory in China to help replicate the "01s" to be the most accurate. Unfortunately it seems none of these tools were used and the factory simply stretched the previous Ertl 01 design to appear taller. Believe me, a lot of trial and error graphics were completed and something seemed to be getting lost in translation. What was produced was as good as it got from the factory and I can tell you it could have been way, WAY worse.

    I know the AW General Lee isn't perfect, but I still hold strong that it is the best and most accurate General Lee replica in any scale. Believe me, it was not a lack of knowledge or passion by the design team, that's for sure. Unfortunately, it was a combination of a new, over-promising factory and a limited budget that held this car back from being as amazing as originally designed.