5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Days (Happy Only in the First Couple of Seasons)
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. The characters were well defined, low key, and the Cunningham family along with the rest of the cast were not caricatures. The show was born out of a segment of ABC's anthology show LOVE AMERCIAN STYLE called...
Published on July 7 2004
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excited, but more so about later seasons
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 years. I know that's hardly a popular viewpoint, but seeing as how I was the president of The Chachi's, a non-profit Chachi fan club, in my high school years, you'll forgive me if I think that...
Published on July 15 2004 by Leonard Snerdley
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Days (Happy Only in the First Couple of Seasons),
By A Customer
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)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. The characters were well defined, low key, and the Cunningham family along with the rest of the cast were not caricatures. The show was born out of a segment of ABC's anthology show LOVE AMERCIAN STYLE called "Love and the Happy Day". Then it was given the go ahead for a tv series with the success of the film AMERICAN GRAFFITTI (which also starred Ron Howard) and because 1970's America had a thirst for 50's nostalgia. The first couple of seasons of HAPPY DAYS are the funniest and the best because it tackled Ritchie Cunningham growing up in the 50's and focused on his relationship with his father Howard (Tom Bosley). Howard Cunningham was a throwback to the traditional "father" characters of 50's sitcoms as was the rest of the Cunningham family. Some of the storylines focused on life of a teen growing up in a 1950's midwest highschool tackling issues of dating, fitting in, and family relationships. If anyone can pinpoint when the show switched gears in terms of losing its point of view and 50's heartwarming nostaligia is the two-part episode, season opener (3rd or 4th season?). Fonzie thought he was losing his cool and had to jump over a bunch of garbage cans with his motorcycle to break some kind of record. Anyone who watched the show regularly would also notice that the Cunningham household set design had changed also. This is because in the first couple of seasons, the show was put on film, but then switched to taping in front of a live audience so they can record the sounds of the cheers and cat-calls when Fonzie appeared in a scene. Also,Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" no longer opened to the show's credits but was changed to the song of the show's namesake. The other notable characters such as Potsie Webber (Anson Williams) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most) were very funny, but one will notice as the show progressed over into the "Fonzie" period (under the direction of Jerry Paris) these characters became too cartoony. The "Potsie" character early on was more of a "Eddie Haskell"-type character and friend to Ritchie Cunningham. When Fonzie became the star of the show, all the other characters were relagated to being nerds. The Fonze (Henry Winkler) was understated in the early episodes and not flamboyant. In essence, he was really cool. However, ratings rose with the popularity of Fonzie and the character took on a life all its own. The Fonze became too over the top and as the series progressed, it wasn't a show about the 50's anymore. It was a show that just happened to be in the 50's, with The Fonze in the foreground. This reviewer would only recommend the first two or three seasons of HAPPY DAYS. The rest of the episodes after these seasons should be called the FONZIE SHOW.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My prayers have been answered,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)I loved watching this series as a little girl, and am thrilled that somebody in Hollywood is finally listening to our suggestions. Happy Days needed to be released on DVD a very long time ago.
Although I was unusual in wanting to be like Fonzie to help others (the apparent early stirings of an activist!) and instead wanted to date Warren 'Potsie' Webber (I still cannot remember why I thought he was hot!) I still loved the series. Even in grad school, I schedule afternoon appointments around the time Happy Days comes on the local station so I can watch the series again.
The first season is special in it's own right because later-discarded older brother Chuck Cunningham, a nice (if prototypical) all American jock is shown. Fonzie is dressed in a windbreaker jacket to soothe network in-house censors who imagined the series would accidentally promote criminal activity among American youth if that character wore a black leather jacket. Plus, instead of the phenomena which he assumed in later seasons, Fonzie himself is a minor character this season; The show was originally supposed to revolve around the Cunningham family's Cold-War era Wisconsin life.
I only hope the studio eventually releases all seasons and does not(as with Charlies Angels, and Angel: The Series)release one or a couple of seasons and then later decide that the public no longer wants to see this show. Syndication on many 2004 cable and network channels clearly indicates the enduring longevity of Happy Days---and so does a leather jacket on permanent display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. All seasons must be released!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Days are here again,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)How can it possibly be over thirty years already since Happy Days first premiered? That fact makes a guy feel very old, for I can't imagine having grown up without Happy Days; fortunately, being able to watch these classic episodes brings back great memories that almost make me feel young again. As a little kid growing up in the 70s, Happy Days was - without question - the show. I was trying to be Fonzie - strutting around, giving thumbs up, and saying Heyyyy! all the time - even before I learned to read. The show remained a constant presence in my life throughout the 1980s, as well, as it was a staple of after-school programming (back before all the talk shows took over). The first season's episodes were never really my favorite - mainly because a lot of changes were made at the start of the second season, Richie was a little wild that first year, Joanie was still a few years away from babehood, Fonzie was basically just a peripheral character, and - let's face it - there was just way too much Potsie in these early shows. In the first season, Potsie was the second-most important character, although Howard and Marion came on strong in the last half of the season.
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." Over the course of the next fifteen shows, he came home drunk (accompanied by a stripper) from a Marine's bachelor party, got arrested after he snuck out of the house to attend a drag race, put himself through "The Deadly Dares" in order to join The Demons, used a fake ID to get into a strip club, lost his band mates' money in a poker game, came close to leaving home with a bunch of beatniks, almost got a tattoo to impress a girl, and almost got himself into a rumble with The Dukes. Of course, he learned important lessons from all of his adventures - except the lesson that he should stop going along with all of Potsie's hare-brained schemes and plans. There are some truly classic moments in these first 16 episodes, such as Fonzie selecting Richie (in drag) to dance at the sock hop, Richie's first drunk in "Richie's Cup Runneth Over" and Richie's blind date with a really tall girl in "Because She's There."
The gang's all here for the most part, but Ralph Malph is just a jokester you see at Arnold's or parties/dances, and Fonzie is largely just the local king of cool. Both characters' presence tends to increase as the season progresses, but the only real character development we see of Arthur Fonzarelli comes when Fonzie decides to go back to high school in "Fonzie Drops In." Then, of course, there's Chuck, the infamous oldest son of the Cunninghams who simply disappears after this first season. The question is not really why his character was purged from the show with such Stalinist diligence; instead, it's why was he ever there to start with? He did nothing on the show except dribble a basketball.
It's interesting to see how the show became a little more serious as the first season drew to a close. While thoughts of making out with girls were never far from Richie's mind, we witness a rather poignant example of growing up when Richie and Howard square off over the beatnik way of life, see the show take racism head-on in "The Best Man" when Howard has his black army buddy's wedding at his house in spite of his neighbors' protests, and take a moment to reflect on the dangers of the nascent Cold War and the A bomb back in the 1950s.
I hope this Happy Days Season One collection sells like hotcakes because I want all of the other seasons ASAP. I like the next few seasons better, but a lot of fans probably have a special love for these early episodes. If you're a rabid Fonzie fan, don't expect to see the Fonz you know and love in these first season shows, though - there are only glimpses of the central character he would become. Keep in mind, as well, that there are only 16 shows in this first season - Happy Days debuted on January 15, 1974. There are also no extras whatsoever included on these 3 DVDs, a fact which is quite disappointing. Frankly, that means this collection is overpriced. At least we have the episodes themselves, though - and that is a treasure in and of itself.
5.0 out of 5 stars The only filmed Season!,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that the first season was filmed and not video taped. This means that there is a lot more shooting on location and outdoor scenes. Much of the action takes place in the parking lot at Arnold's. In the later years the show becomes much more claustraphobic as video tape makes it necessary to have most of the scenes take place inside Arnold's or inside of the Cunninghams home. Remember the term "Video Taped before a live studio audience," it's kind of hard to take a studio audience outside to film a scene. Ouside location shooting only happened in later years during sweeps weeks - the Pinky Tuskedero demolition derby, the trip to California - where the term "Jumping the Shark" comes from, The episode where Fonzie jumps the buses in Arnold's parking lot. Most of the later outside shots are "second unit" stuff, meaning that sound was added later, and you often see only the backs of peoples heads, but don't see them talking. The first season, on the other hand, has major plot points happening anywhere they naturally should, there are no contrived outside sequences, but just effective acting and directing wherever needed. All of these were far and few between in later seasons, but in this great first season we get some really nicely filmed understated acting that was the genesis of some american icons.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time Favorites,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)I am glad to find this on TV again I was looking then I found out it was on at 10 AM here and I am very Happy.This is the greatest Family Show and the Fonz along with Richie,the Cunnighams and the boys are good.I kind of wish they would have kept Fonzies cousin Spike on and Richie's brother Chuck on.
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay! I can't wait!,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)The first season of Happy Days is my favorite one-really original. I really love the song 'Rock Around the Clock' at the beginning and the very first episode on Love American Style, so cool! I hope that one is on this DVD.
In fact, my dad used to remember those Powerhouse candy bars! :)
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, I can't belive it!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)This is kind of creepy actually. I was complaining about the lack of a Happy Days DVD just the other day! It's about time this happened, Happy Days is a classic. I can't wait till this DVD is released. Get up the money and order this today. If you like quality television, you won't be disappointed!
5.0 out of 5 stars Before it jumped the shark. . .,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)"Happy Days" was one of the most popular television series in the 1970s. The premise focused on Richie Cunningham, a high school kid living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1950s. Everyone knows about Fonzie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the Cunninghams. What most people forget is the serie's initial focus was on the relationship between Richie and Potsie. In fact, the premise for "Happy Days" arose from an episode on "Love, American Style," entitled "Love and the Happy Day." That episode also featured Ron Howard in Richie's role.
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)Cant wait for this DVD.This show is a classic.Ron Howard,Henry Winkler made this show a classic.To have it uncut will be great.I Plan on buying the whole series.Way to go go Paramont.Now How about The Brady Bunch?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST SEASON of the series!,
This review is from: Happy Days: Season 1 (DVD)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. The LIVE audience ruined the show and the actors started to act differently because of it. THANK GOD they start these series sets with the FIRST SEASON because this is the only one I am buying.
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Happy Days: Season 1 by Peter Baldwin (DVD - 2004)
CDN$ 22.99 CDN$ 19.98