Happy Days: Season 1 (Bilingual)
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Less than a year after Ron Howard played a college-bound adolescent enjoying a final, summer-of-1962 romp with old friends in American Graffiti, he turned up as high school innocent Richie Cunningham in the memorable, ABC television network debut of Happy Days, set a few years earlier in Milwaukee. The show would last a decade and go through many changes in tone, cast, and character development, but that first season got a boost from the natural perception that it had some things in common with Graffiti: Howard, of course, but also fumbling teenage sex, drag races, drive-in food, pesky little sisters, and laconic greasers.
Happy Days: The Complete First Season is a sweet trip back to the Garry Marshall-produced sitcom's 1974 entry in primetime television, before political correctness would make stories about clean-cut boys fixated on seducing girls unthinkable, and long before older kids were defined by angst on the WB and Fox TV. At least in its first year, before Happy Days developed more of a comic-book feel and energy, the show was about Richie's all-too-human inclination to grow up too fast, to bite off more than he could chew and learn poignant lessons in the process. He was a sympathetic naif, not the charming braggart he later became, and major characters appear to have been created to provide both ballast and motivation. Among them is best friend Potsie (Anson Williams), a superficial hustler who typically incites Richie's enthusiasm for booze, reputed nymphomaniacs, and sophisticated, older girls, and fast-talking Ralph Malph (Donny Most), owner of a fantastic, yellow hot rod. More important are counterparts Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), a vaguely dangerous drop-out, and Richie's exasperated father, Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley), each of whom provides Richie the validation of an experienced male: Fonzie's raw worldliness versus Mr. C's seasoned view of a man's responsibilities. First-season highlights include the pilot episode (co-written by Rob Reiner), "All the Way," in which Richie's typical decency allows him to see past the sex-mad reputation of an amiable girl from school. Season closer "Be the First on Your Block" finds the Cunninghams' plans to build a bomb shelter turning into a popularity contest as Richie's friends vie for a guaranteed spot in the event of nuclear war. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
as a 25 year old. In this first Season Ritchie learns about life from what else, BEATNIKS. There's an episode about the BIG ONE and
Ritchie chooses his friends over what might be. Season 1 and 2 of Happy Days may well be the greatest sitcom ever written and
performed as viewed by pre-teens and teens( now parents ). Where else can you see a Marlon Brando/James Dean in The Fonz
hang around with NERDS and always comes to the rescue. One backward kick and 2 bottles of pop( soda ) come out. Only the Fonz
can make it happen. I guess Fonzy sees something special in Ritchie, Potsie, and Ralph. He digs their music band. Where else will
you see the coolest of cool be so funny. You won't be disappointed.
The first season of "Happy Days" features several differences from its later incarnation, especially as it involves the role of the Fonz. The Fonz was NOT a major character in the initial shows. Watch these episodes and notice he wore a white--not black--jacket. Also, Fonz never strayed far from his motorcycle. And, of course, there's also the matter of Richie's older brother, Chuck, who simply disappeared after a few episodes.
I'm a fan of "Happy Days," and I think some of the serie's stronger writing and more memorable episodes are from the first couple seasons. I especially like the first season, which for some reason maintains a poignancy that the show lost as it became enormously popular.
At this time, it doesn't appear that any commentary will accompany the dvds. It doesn't matter to me because this season stands on its own. Five stars.
In fact, my dad used to remember those Powerhouse candy bars! :)
Richie really wasn't a clean-cut paragon of virtue in Season One. In the very first episode, he set out to go "All the Way" with a girl who had a "reputation.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
i love it.fun to hear the original music since it is the only season with the original music.Published 9 months ago by Diane P.
Happy Days was a show from the 70's (and mid 80's) taking place in the 50's. Now it's a flashback of a flashback....Published 22 months ago by Peter Blake
Happy Days is still a true classic - timeless. It's based in the 50's like Casablanca last forever. Real will done, great actors/actress, great directors, great scripts. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2012 by AHDN
These are ABSOLUTELY the BEST episodes of the series when it actually had the 1950's look the show should have had through the subsequent seasons. Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by Rick Goldschmidt
Sadly, there are many releases that studios are doing this to in order to maximize profits. Watch out for it. Read morePublished on July 17 2004
It's great that Happy Days is finally getting its release on DVD. I hope that it sells well, because while I like these early seasons FAIRLY well, I am anxious to see the later... Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by Leonard Snerdley
Watch the very early episodes of HAPPY DAYS before Fonzie became the main focus of the show. The viewer will see a late 1950's,nostalgic, coming-of-age type show. Read morePublished on July 7 2004
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