This season is where TONS of pivotal stuff happens.
Providing a none-too-subtle critique on the Fonziemania then certainly sweeping the country, the three-part "Hollywood" bluntly warns that todays fads can also vanish as quickly. The cast themselves already understood this and apparently took everything in stride, it was more for the viewing audiences at home. Henry Winkler DID however get to show off his then-favorite sport, waterskiing. And we learn where the now-iconic phrase "Jump the shark" came from. Yes, it is this very episode. How is this for enduring pop culture prominence??
We are first introduced to Lori Beth in "Hard Cover". Anybody who's a devout fan of the show/grown up with it, knows that the two eventually do marry and have kids. But this is the very first episode where they meet. It is a historic occasion!! It's also historic because the Fonz getting a library card supposedly made library card registration shoot up big time!!
Another important person we meet is Mork from Ork (Robin Williams) in "My Favorite Orkan". Mork and Mindy was actually a spin off of Happy Days and Mork's original mission was to bring back a specimen from 1950's Wisconsin!! Uh-oh. Everybody is very glad Orson gave him another assignment. The original ending of this episode is shown though and the alternate ending later created and reshot is not included as an 'extra' after Mork and Mindy was picked up as it's own distinct series. Rats!!
The series has some stand out episodes which do successfully still place it in a prior era.
Marion and Joanie discover the Feminine Mystique (and the eventual founder of the National Organization for Women) in "Rules to Date By" I am sure "'curfew" at the University of Wisconsin women's dorm ("Hard Cover") looks especially awkward today. None of the RHA staff in the dorms I ever stayed in during college even cared if I was in bed.
And a biker accused of snatching a purse is openly treated unfairly by a jury just because of the color of his skin in "Fonzie for the Defense". This is especially poignant when the series is supposed to be set during the emerging civil rights movement. As a working-class 'hood' Fonzie has had more regular contact with blacks than the middle-class Cunninghams. He sees what happens more often than they do. Being on the jury now means that the fictitious character could have a chance to influence others? This influence should then be applied to noble endeavors--but that people will not necessarily listen to him just because he is the Fonz!! This too is another important lesson from the series.
Richie plays "woodstein" and uncovers corruption in his City government for a college journalism assignment ("Nose for News") years before Watergate!! The college professor is pleased he is not accepting things merely as they seem to be. Mr. Cunningham blows off the harassment from the City and is very proud of his son.
There are a couple of episodes with Suzi Quatro, who honesty attempted to be Pinky Tuscadero's cousin Leather. She paved the way for other women such as Kathleen Hannah and Courtney Love But during these episodes she frequently came across as a cross between late- life Elvis and Marie Osmond. The wardrobe was obviously a producer decision and not hers. She had to accept it to get ANY role whatsoever promoting herself as a singer on this particular television series. She looks visibly uncomfortable with the Dallas Cowgirl cheerleader backup singers. It's not her at all.
I really feel for her, they did not know how to successfully integrate a 'recurring' sexy female singer character into what had then become a blockbuster family phenomenon. Having her run around in leather and tight pants herself acting like a hood was now not going to work. She needed to go onto another show--or even a bit part on a movie. Just anything else anywhere else would have been an improvement for her career. .
The only glaring flaw with this set (and the reason for the minus one star) is that its also the season with Chachi introduced too. This was the era of 'big three' and the writers were supposed to know how to readily entertain entire families. They did not need a little kid tagging after Fonzie and the college kids he gave advice to. It was annoying then and it's stupid now. Shame that the DVD does not have a feature to delete Scott Baio from episodes!!.
- Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, Multiple Formats, NTSC, Subtitled
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Paramount - Uni Dist Corp
- DVD Release Date: 20 May 2014
- Run Time: 687 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B00HW3L9MG
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
3,538 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #943 in TV Shows (Movies & TV)