So much of my TV-watching personal history has to do these harmless stories told about squeaky-clean teenagers. Also from the folks at Nickelodeon, Hey Dude only shot new episodes for a couple of years (1989-1991, to be exact) but they ran reruns in syndication for many, many more years.
It’s set on the fictional Bar None Dude Ranch, and follows the lives of the owner’s son, a female ranch hand, and four summer employees. There is a running romantic plotline between the uptight city girl, Brad, and the enterprising, ladies’ man Ted. Melody, played by Christine Taylor (Zoolander, Dodgeball, Tropic Thunder) was an all-American girl next door who did a lot of Kelly Kapowski gyrating in a bathing suit.
In fact, Hey Dude has a lot in common with another half-hour comedy about teenagers, Saved by the Bell. The characters fulfill the same TV tropes in both series, and the fare is pretty light, except in a handful of “very special” episodes (it was the ’80s and early ’90s, after all).
Hey Dude was like a soap opera primer, for those not quite ready for the likes of Beverly Hills, 90210, but a little too old for Captain Planet and the Planeteers.