Hollywood ruined the television#039;s #8220Dukes#8221;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2006

Once again, Hollywood has taken a perfectly good storyline and a perfectly good show and turned it into something the kids can't even watch.

The recent movie release of &#8220The Dukes of Hazzard” was nothing but a shame and a disgrace against the original made-for-TV series of the 70s and 80s.

I, like so many others, grew up watching the original series as a teenager, and, like millions of other teenaged girls, I had that famous poster of Bo and Luke Duke hanging on my bedroom wall. No one came close to John Schneider and Tom Wopat, whom I met around

1988 when he came to a festival held at Greenville Academy.

With all of my Dukes' memories firmly intact, I admit that I was very wary when I heard that a new movie was going to be made. I was afraid that they would do exactly what they did. They ruined it.

When the movie came out on video, the only thing I could rent was the unrated version. That made me very angry because I knew that it would contain all kinds of things that I really didn't care to see or hear.

And I was right.

I don't understand why Hollywood insists on including every piece of profane language they can possibly think of in its movies. And, yes, the new &#8220Dukes of Hazzard” was full of profanity, so much, in fact, that I almost turned it off and gave up on it. But, I didn't. I wanted to see just how much damage they had done. I guess it's like watching a train wreck-you just can't take your eyes off of it.

Besides the miles and miles of endless bad language, there is the nude girls' dorm room scene, which served absolutely no other purpose other than having naked women on the screen. Need I say more?

My biggest disappointment came, however, when Willie Nelson, who played patriarch Uncle Jesse, was shown smoking marijuana at the end of the movie. This completely unnecessary scene was both negligent and damaging all at the same time.

How can they possibly expect kids to watch this and have the same respect for Uncle Jesse's character that we had in the 70s and 80s? There is just no possible way.

Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville played Bo and Luke Duke, while Jessica Simpson portrayed Daisy. Of course Catherine Bach, the original Daisy, made the famous &#8220Daisy Dukes” short shorts famous, and Jessica Simpson carried on the tradition as expected. However, her video, &#8220These Boots are Made for Walking,” is nothing more than an empty-headed effort to show this pretty young woman washing a car in a bikini. Gee, how original of an idea is that?

And, as for Rosco P. Coltrane, the lovable, comical sheriff who loves to &#8220cuff ‘em and stuff ‘em,” Hollywood got a dud in M.C. Gainey and his straight-faced portrayal of the bumbling lawman.

It just goes to prove that you shouldn't mess with something that works, and the TV series of &#8220The Dukes of Hazzard” worked. It worked because along with the car jumps, the car crashes, Daisy's flirtations with Enos, and Boss's schemes, there was a decency and a goodness surrounding all of the characters and their actions. There were lessons to be learned and principals and morals to be taught. Family and love were two institutions that always came out on top. But, throw in plenty of profanity, some really crude jokes from Uncle Jesse, add Luke running from a half-naked woman's room, Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) smoking marijuana, and add some nudity, and welcome to &#8220The Dukes of Hazzard” 2005.

Let's hear it for 21st century remakes.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at regina.grayson@greenvilleadvocate.com.