Saturday, May 08, 2004

The Dukes of Brazoria County?

Hollywood might make a movie based on the TV show The Dukes of Hazard.
It could be a moneymaker or it could flop, like The Alamo.
It's a risky business. A risky BIG business.

Is there a better bet? Heck, yeah, right under our noses.

A reality TV series. A reality TV series right here in Brazoria County, Texas, USA.

The Dukes of Brazoria County would be a top 'o the Nielsen Ratings bell-ringer.

The idea hit us like a sledgehammer last week when a deputy who ran unsuccessfully or sheriff was summarily fired. His apparent crime was complaining the Brazoria County Sheriff's Dept. was run by "a good old boy network."

It's hard to pin down exactly how a good old boy network operates, but
that's what The Dukes of Hazard TV series was all about. Everybody was a good old boy and just had a lot of fun adventures. The theme song, as sung by the late Waylon Jennings, set it up at the beginning of each weekly episode: "Just some good ol' boys, never meanin' no harm ..."
There were lots of car chases and fellows with thick Southern accents who said "dang" and "heck" a lot. Cars regularly soared over various obstacles (rivers, fallen trees, other vehicles, people).

Devotees of the TV show, however, are breaking out in hives over talk concerning changes the moviemakers might make, such as removing the Confederate flag from "General Lee," the orange Dodge Charger that was as important to the show as any of the actors.

Causing further concern is talk that the character of Boss Hawg, portrayed on TV by a fat white guy, would be be portrayed in the movie by an African American.

Fans of the TV series, as far as we can tell, aren't upset that Jessica Simpson could play the comely Miss Daisy character, since Ms. Simpson fills out a pair of cut-off blue jeans quite nicely, but opinion is divided whether Ashton Kutcher is right for the role of Bo or Luke, the fun-loving guys who were always getting into mischief. Kutcher's increasingly public role as a follower of Kabbala, the trendy, new wave Jewish brand of spirituality, might make it tough for fans of the TV series to accept him as a New South redneck who drives real fast on rural dirt roads. Along with the Confederate flag removal and putting an African American actor in the sheriff's role, all this could really hurt the box office receipts since Hazard fans consider tampering with the TV show's traditions utter heresy.

A reality TV show, however, would avoid both all those potential pitfalls.

Just stick a lot of those teeny tiny cameras everywhere and watch what happens in the Brazoria S.O.
The financial benefits would be enormous, both to the department's officers, who are severely underpaid, and to the County of Brazoria, which is always crying it's too po' to pay law enforcement wages that are competitive with happenin' places like Lake Jackson.

There's always interesting stuff going on in the sheriff's department. They deal with a lot of nutballs, like the Angleton fellow who went on a week-long drunk and stole an airplane, only to crash it into some powerlines and, miraculously, walk home and go to bed, like it was all in a day's work. Something like that could be stretched into two or three episodes.

Stuff's going on at the jail all the time, too. The reality TV cameras could show the bothersome Gu'mint inspectors always nosing around, finding stuff that doesn't work and putting it in their reports.
The celebrated shakedown of the out-state-prisoners that put Brazoria County on the map several years ago could be revisited to let America know that no one meant any harm. This could be accomplished via flashback videos and current in-depth interviews with the Emergency Response Team boys who might reminisce about the behind-the-scenes backstory none of us knew at the time.

If things got a tad slow at Sheriff's H.Q., the teeny tiny cameras could be moved down to the courthouse in Angleton, where's there's always high drama and a lot of backstabbing going on. And that's just at the county commissioners meetings!

With Sheriff Joe King going into retirement at the end of the year, what's he got to lose? Nada. What's he got to gain? Everything!

As the real-life reincarnation of Boss Hawg, King could become the nation's darling as the silver-haired Texas Sheriff who wears a straw Stetson at a jaunty angle and still has the boyish figure put on a pair of tight-fitting Wranglers in the morning. He rides a horse, too, just don't go near him with any Silly String. There's another episode right there -- how Angleton outlawed parade-day Silly String after the sheriff's horse threw him during a Silly String attack. And, hey, we almost forgot! He wears cowboy boots too! America loves cowboy boots! And cowboy hats!

In the reality TV series, whenever anything goes wrong, King could just look exasperated, shake his head and yell at his put-upon Chief Deputy, "Dadgummit, Charlie, why'd he do THAT!"

Look what The Apprentice did for the obsequious Trump wannabes, who are now fielding job offers left and right. Even the most obnoxious losers are going to be filthy rich!
The Dukes of Brazoria County is just the ticket to retirement for our celebrated sheriff and the underpaid men and women in uniform who serve under him. It'd be a real economic boost to the county, too. Tourists would flock here, buy our gas, stay in our cheap motels and eat in our fine dining establishments.

If the county really gets it act together, there'd also be lots of souvenirs for fans of the TV show to buy: Caps, T-shirts, posters, drink holders, coffee cups, ash trays, fake badges, coloring books, yo-yos, remote control General Lees with a Stars 'n Bars decal on the hood. Cha-Ching. The possibilities are endless!
If I'm Brazoria County, I'm on the phone ASAP Monday a.m. to CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX, pitching the idea. And if they don't bite, there's always the WB.