The Dukes

TV review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
The Dukes TV Poster Image
Stark reminder of just how uninspiring kids' TV once was.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The good guys always win and the bad guys always lose, usually as the result of some form of immoral or negative behavior, which reinforces positive traits.

Positive Messages

The lead heroes work together as a team and demonstrate positive behavior.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters demonstrate generally positive behavior, with the exception of a tendency toward reckless driving. 

Violence & Scariness

The villains are mean and heartless to the heroes, but there is no violence to speak of, other than occasional broad animated violence played for comedic effect.

Sexy Stuff

The lead female character wears revealing clothing, including a specific type of shorts that were later named in her honor.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this animated adaptation of the Dukes of Hazzard live-action series adheres to television standards typical of Saturday morning fare from the early '80s. There is little that would be considered objectionable for young viewers. Very young children may have a harder time following the show's plotting, which isn't complicated but usually involves some sort of criminal scheme that the Dukes must thwart.   

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What's the story?

Featuring the characters from the live-action TV series Dukes of Hazzard, this Saturday morning cartoon put the Dukes and their cousin Daisy (voiced by Catherine Bach) on a high-stakes race around the world against the despicable Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and his crony Roscoe P. Coltrane (James Best). The Dukes want the prize money to save their family farm; Hogg wants the farm for himself. Hilarity attempts to ensue.

Is it any good?

There was a time in Hollywood when it made sense for Laverne and Shirley to enlist in the military and serve under a talking pig (!), for Fonzie and the Happy Days gang to travel through time (!!), and for the Duke boys to race around the world against Boss Hogg, Roscoe P. Coltrane, and an anthropomorphic dog. It was a frightening time.

Given that the actual Dukes of Hazzard series was never regarded as a high watermark for American popular culture, it's no surprise that this animated spinoff embodies some of the worst that 1980's childrens' entertainment has to offer. The animation itself is crude, the actors appear to be phoning in their performances, and the plotting is the kind of lazy Scooby Doo lite material that production studio Hanna Barbera built into a television empire.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pop culture obsessions. This spinoff aired because the Dukes of Hazzard was a highly popular television series. What are some similar television series airing today that have passionate fans? Is it a good idea to become passionate about one show? Why or why not?

  • This show first aired in the 1980s. How was it different from shows you watch today? Do you think it was better or worse than today's shows?

TV details

For kids who love cars and classics

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