The Groovy Agent's Pad

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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!)

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