Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Unclear on the Concept

Viacom will no longer air reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard, a television show about two good ol' boys who "never (meant) no harm" but who gave Boss Hogg and his lackey, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, fits each and every week. The Duke boys drove an orange Dodge Charger called the General Lee, and the General's roof was decorated with the Confederate battle flag that has been put on the national naughty list.

Both TVLand and Country Music Television (CMT) were airing Dukes, but are no longer. TVLand will replace it with reruns of Bonanza, a series free of racism and noted for its enlightened portrayal of Chinese immigrant cooks.

(For the record, I enjoy Bonanza much more than Dukes, because the latter is very very dumb and there's only so much dumb Catherine Bach's legs can erase. Also, although a modern production would balk at the pidgin dialog and servile character forced on Victor Sen Yung in his portrayal of Hop Sing, he was actually allowed a greater and more dignified role than many minority actors on television in the 1960s. An entire episode, in fact, dealt with the injustice faced by Asian people living in the Western United States and its territories during the time in which Bonanza was set.)

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