Daily Archives: August 5, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Hey Dude (1989-1991)

The fish out of water story is one of the oldest stories in the human literary canon. When we are in a place in which we are a stranger in a strange land, we have to either go along with the change or remain rooted in the past.

In the Nickelodeon television series, Hey Dude (1989-1991), Ben Ernst (David Brisbin) is a divorced father who has left his East coast, high-stress job behind with his young son Buddy (Josh Tygiel). Purchasing the fictional Bar None Dude Ranch out west, he has good intentions. But like any fish out of water, his vision does always gel with reality. He has four teenagers working for him. Melody (Christine Taylor) is the girl next door who works as a lifeguard and dance instructor. Bradley “Brad” Taylor (Kelly Brown) is a riding instructor who comes from a wealthy family in the Midwest. Danny Lightfoot (Joe Torres), hails from the Hopi Indian tribe and just wants to get along with everyone. Ted McGriff (David Lascher) is always looking for the next scheme. In between Ben and the kids is Lucy (Debra Kalman), who is the ranch hand forewoman and supervisor.

I remember watching this show as a kid. What was appealing was that it was set in a world that was and still is completely different from my own. And like any young person, you look up to those who are older than you.

These days, we talk about diversity and representation on screen. Having a Native American character who is not relegated to a stereotype or a background character was back then and unfortunately, still is revolutionary.

Do I recommend it? I would say so.

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Filed under Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review