The Groovy Agent's Pad

Like classic/retro comics, music, tv, movies, sci-fi, fantasy, etc., etc., and etc.? Then hang out with The Groovy Agent as he makes the universe safe for all the cool stuff that has come before...and even makes a little room for cool stuff yet to come!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Groovy TV! (Part 1)

Recently, on the Retroland message boards, someone started a thread for folks to list their favorite episodes of Happy Days. Now Happy Days is one of Groove's all-time favorite shows, so of course, I had to chime in. Here's my list (special thanks to TV.com for having this wonderful episode guide ready for fanatics like me to reference!):

"Richie's Cup Runneth Over" (Richie and Potsie go to a stag party)

"Fonzie Drops In" (Fonzie goes back to school)

"Guess Who's Coming to Christmas" (Richie invites Fonzie to spend Christmas with the Cunninghams)

"Fonzie's Getting Married" (He was going to, but he found out she was a stripper...)

"Fonzie Moves In" (Right into the room over the garage. And Happy Days' ratings skyrocket)

"Motorcycle" (Ralph accidentally totals Fonzie's bike)

"Richie Fights Back" (Thugs humiliate Richie, so he takes karate lessons--from Arnold)

"A Date with Fonzie" (The introduction of Laverne and Shirley)

"Three on a Porch" (Richie, Ralph, and Potsie go to Lake Whitefish to chase girls--posing as "Tunisian camel jockeys")

"They Call It Potsie Love" (Joanie develops a crush on Potsie)

"Fonzie the Superstar" (Fonzie "sings" "Heartbreak Hotel")

"Time Capsule" (Fonzie, the boys, and their dates get locked in the vault at Cunningham's hardward.)

"A Shot in the Dark" (Richie gets his ten minutes of fame as a basketball star)

"My Favorite Orkan" (Introducing Mork, from Ork)

"Fonzie's Blindness" (After accidentally being hit in the head by Al, Fonzie's blindness might not be temporary)

Now, these are in no particular order (except it's pretty close to the order they were televised in), and I could name a lot more, but these are the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned.

Happy Days started out in 1974 as a showcase for Ron Howard, Tom Bosley, and the 1950s. My whole family loved it (though a few of the first two season's episode were considered "racy" at the time), but it drew abysmal ratings. It might have bitten the dust after season 2, except everyone (Young Groove included) really, REALLY dug Henry Winkler's Fonzie. When he moved into the attic apartment at the Cunninghams', making him a member of the family in the process, Fonzie-mania took off, and the show lasted until 1984.

My favorite seasons are seasons 3 and 4. Almost every show was a classic. It was funny, the characters and acting was great, and the show was about as perfect as it could be. Happy Days slipped a little when Richie, Ralph, and Potsie went to college in season 5 (some say it "jumped the shark"--and that term was invented for Happy Days, y'know), but it was still one of the best shows ever.

Until... Season 6. Richie and Ralph left. Though Fonzie was the star, our two favorite redheads must've been the heart and soul, because Happy Days became a very different show. New characters came and went, but there was no chemistry like in the old days. It was still fun to watch, but not nearly as much so. When Chachi and Joanie got married, and Mr. C said "Goodbye" by toasting "Happy Days", I was sad to see the show go, but knew it was way past time.

Will there ever be another show like Happy Days? A show about the 50s, produced in the 70s, and still fun to watch in the 2000s? I doubt it. But hey, anyone with the talent to try, please go for it! Meantime, I'll just laugh along with the classic re-runs (and they'd better keep coming, TVLand!)

(NOTE TO ALL MY "FANS": No new post next week. Ol' Groove is going on vacation! See ya in a fortnight!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another Groovy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Cheryl Ladd, Ol' Groove's favorite Angel! (Charlie's Angel, that is.) During the first season, I started off like most everyone else, as a Jill (Farrah Fawcett) fan. As the season progressed, I was most captivated by Kelly (Jaclyn Smith), and there I would have remained...if not for the season two introduction of Jill's younger sister, Kris (Cheryl Ladd--duh!). Kris pretty much combined the best of Jill and Kelly, along with a vulnerability--and even a dash of silliness--the other Angels lacked. Of course, it was the personality of Ms. Ladd coming through to create such a fun character!

As time passed, I learned just how talented she was. The lady can sing! the crown jewel of my 15th birthday swag was a copy of her Think It Over album. I later learned that she had provided the singing voice for Melody in the Josie and the Pussycats cartoon. Cool!

She's still going strong, making tons of TV movies and guest appearances. Many happy returns on your birthday, Ms. Ladd. In my eyes, your halo will never tarnish!

(P.S. If any of Ol' Groove's loved ones are reading this, Charlie's Angels Season 3 is out on DVD. Now you know what to get me for MY birthday!)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Groovy Birthday!

Today is John Byrne's birthday. Now, anyone who's into comics knows who this fella is...one of the best writer/artists ever! Oh yeah, he's controversial (he has opinions--don't we all?--and a public forum to air them--don't a lot of us?), he's a lodestone when it comes to attracting attention on the Internet. But I don't care! His art during the Groovy Age was, imho, the grooviest of all! From his Rog-2000 back-ups in E-Man, to his work on Doomsday +1, to his jump to Marvel and Iron Fist, Star-Lord (Marvel Preview #11 is the single greatest comic EVER!), Marvel Team-Up, the Champions, X-Men (the Phoenix Saga!!), Power Man/Iron Fist, Avengers, Marvel Two-In-One, Captain America, and beyond (beyond the Groovy Age, that is--Fantastic Four, Superman, Next Men, X-Men: the Hidden Years, All-New Atom, anyone?), Mr. Byrne has totally and consistently entertained Ol' Groove. Happy Birthday, Mr. B.! And here's to many more years of great comics!

And you don't have to take my word for how great his art is. It pretty much speaks for itself: