After the excellent start to the series in 'One Armed Bandits', things are followed up by another very likeable episode in 'Daisy's Song'.
This is another solid Georgia-filmed episode; as I said on my review for 'One Armed Bandits', although I love all periods of 'Dukes', I feel in a way they lost something when they moved from Georgia to the Hollywood lot after completion of the fifth episode.
The story is quite noticeably different from what would become 'Dukes' norm – but that's why I love these early shows, so much more variety; as much as we all love 'Dukes', I think we can pretty much agree that it became somewhat formulaic later on.
There is little of Rosco, Enos or Cooter in this one (though we do learn that Cooter is a mechanic, something that wasn't mentioned in 'One Armed Bandits'), and relatively little of Boss Hogg himself (something that was the case in several early episodes). As much as I love those characters and 'Dukes' is very much an ensemble piece, it's nice to see them facing other, more varied challenges than the standard "Rosco sent after Dukes for X trumped up charge" that we would so often get later on.
Also of note is that there are no General Lee jumps in this one (something unimaginable in later episodes), though the story doesn't really suffer for it. Besides, the great chase through the junk yard (they sure liked junk yards in these early stories!) more than makes up for it.
And as with the other Georgia episodes, things play more of a gentle comedy-drama than an all-out comedy; some witty moments, but a more serious story. I love the scene between Uncle Jesse and Daisy (they didn't have any direct scenes together in 'One Armed Bandits'), with Daisy sitting on Jesse's knee and asking him how he got to be so wise, to which he answers "What are old men for". It's nice to see the nearby Atlanta used for filming in this one, a nice chance to the standard town sets that would be used from mid-first season.
Ronnie Schell is a great guest star as the crooked Lester Starr, and it's a shame that the he was never used again in the series, as I think the character had more mileage left in him.
Again, being one of the very early episodes, there is a more "adult" element in this one than would become the norm - in this case, a wagon full of prostitutes that the Dukes use as a distraction at the climax of the story. They are never out-and-out said to be hookers – they're termed as "party girls" – but even so, this is the sort of thing that we would never see by the second season.
By the way, in a rarity for the series, Bo wears a red shirt for much of this story instead of his usual yellow one; so Bo and Luke DO have other clothes after all!!
This episode is also very special to me personally; after discovering next-door's stray cable signal coming through the wall (see under my review for 'One Armed Bandits' for more on this!), by this second week of 'Dukes' being shown on $ky One, I had come up with a much stronger set up, and even hooked it up to the family video recorder to record! 'Dukes' originally finished it's UK run on BBC One in 1987 or so, and bar a couple of fifth season episodes that I had recorded on audio cassette for some reason, this was the first solid 'Dukes' I had had in five years!! I must've watched 'Daisy's Song' back about twenty times that week; I literally know every word of this one!
'Daisy's Song' is a great second episode to the series. For a few years my interest in it slightly dipped compared to the other four Georgia-filmed episodes (probably a result of having watched it *so darn much* back when I first recorded it!), but in more recent times, I've come to really appreciate it again. I love the feel and it's many great moments (and wish, as I say on many of these early reviews, that the series could have kept this vibe going), and for that give 'Daisy's Song' 10/10.