BLOGS

Hey Dude: Does the Bar None Hold Up in 2011?

by Mindy Monez July 19, 2011 6:00 am
<I>Hey Dude</I>: Does the Bar None Hold Up in 2011?

Though it's been available on iTunes for years, for those of you who still collect non-digital forms of media, the physical DVD release of Nickelodeon's much-beloved cowboy comedy Hey Dude is finally out this week. Like millions of other children of the '90s, I was a huge fan of the show as a kid, so when we got our hands on a copy of the DVD-set I decided to take a nostalgic look back at the show. What I found was that, in addition to the expected hilariously unfortunate '90s fashion and the awful acting, the show is also so firmly set in the analog age that it's outdated in many other unexpected ways as well. These were the ones that stood out to me the most when I wasn't, you know, obsessing over how stupid the boys are for not noticing that Melody is still so much hotter than Brad (which took up about 95% of my viewing time).

That Staff Would Kill Your Yelp Rating
One thing that doesn't seem strange when you watch this show as a 6-year-old is how the Bar None's hospitality staff consists exclusively of high-schoolers who spend all their on-duty time yelling at each other about their personal crap. All I could think now was how people would destroy the place with negative online reviews about things like Ted jumping around doing offensively stereotypical impressions of Native Americans while Danny Lightfoot cried (an actual episode that happened, if you can believe it). On a related note, the notion of Mr. Ernst, the cheapest business owner alive, not spending all his scenes bitching about Scoutmob, Groupon, LivingSocial and Jetsetter was like watching this scene take place on a different planet in light of today's market.

The Dude Ranch Would Have to Be Ironic Now
It'd be pretty difficult to sustain a thoroughly authentic dude ranch these days -- people's sense of irony is too well-developed, and there's no way the masses would disconnect from their devices for an entire vacation. Now, the Bar None would have to have an on-site shop selling hipster western wear from American Apparel, waterproof iPod docking stations in the delightfully droll outdoor showers and multi-device charging stations installed in the "killer cacti."

The Mess Would Have to Be Rehauled By Bobby Flay
For all of Mr. Ernst's talk of pursuing a 5-star rating, his guests eat all their meals outside on picnic tables, with plastic utensils. Plus, it looks like slop. No self-respecting resort owner discounts the foodies in 2011, so if the show were on now he'd have to spring for Danny Meyer, someone from the Food Network or Todd English to design his menu and dining hall if he wants to boost his travel ratings. And where was Mr. Ernst sourcing his ingredients, anyway? Word gets out that his high-end cowboy chow and craft beers ain't local and he's going to face upwards of three to four very displeased blog posts surfacing.

You'd Need Some Eat Pray Love Appeal Now
The Hopi character Danny Lightfoot only mentions his culture when the staff needs him to do a rain dance during a drought (not joking), but that was all in a pre-Elizabeth Gilbert world. Now he'd have to spend all his time teaching rich white women how to "find themselves" through learning superficial tidbits about his "people." He'd still have to do that rain dance at the request of white people, but now he'd have to mix some Zumba in it and add it to the resort's wellness class offerings (oh -- they'd have those too now).

Leave your Hey Dude (and David Lascher, if you are so inclined) love in the comments!

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