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Happy Days - The Complete First Season

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:48 AM   #1
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Default Happy Days became one of the biggest hits on TV by selling its soul

http://www.avclub.com/articles/happy...n-tv-by,84232/

Quote:
Garry Marshall faced a dilemma in the second season of Happy Days. The series, which had initially been an attempt to honestly depict a wistful look back at adolescence (Marshall told the Associated Press in 2004 that it was his “artistic period”), had been a minor Nielsen hit in its first season, but it was sinking like a stone, falling out of the Top 30 and toward certain cancellation. He had one last shot at making the series a success, though it would destroy almost everything he’d set out to create. What he came up with was almost terminally dumb, but it made the show one of the biggest hits in television history, one of the ultimate case stories TV fans can point to when it comes to art versus commerce. Marshall and the show’s other producers took a charming little single-camera comedy about the trials of growing up and made it a loud, kid-friendly, multi-camera comedy more about gimmicks than intelligent storytelling or nuanced characters.

And it worked.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
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I became a fan during the third season and loved the show as a kid. I still like HD, but I was watching some season three episodes the other night and found myself thinking, "Everyone is shouting their lines, especially Fonzie."
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
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And that's why I love HD. The first 2 seasons were good but the show didn't become great until season 3.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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The debate about the show's format change has gone on for a long time and will probably continue, but if the show hadn't changed, it probably would have been cancelled.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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i don't see what the big deal is; they just changed the camera-style and added a studio audience - there really wasn't that much of a difference in the characters or the writing (that came much later over time)
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robyrob
i don't see what the big deal is; they just changed the camera-style and added a studio audience - there really wasn't that much of a difference in the characters or the writing (that came much later over time)

The performances became louder and the comedy more broad, because they were playing to a live audience. In the theater, you have to project and say your lines louder so that the people in the back rows can hear you. And that's what multi-camera sitcoms with live audiences do.

I think too, that Fonzie was a cooler character in the first two seasons. He was more subtle and didn't have to shout how great he was to everybody. In fact, in some early episodes, he had very little dialogue and relied more on his presence to project cool.

Because I started watching during the third season, the early episodes seemed different to me. I didn't understand why at the time, but they had a different style and were more subdued, more nuanced.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Thong
I think too, that Fonzie was a cooler character in the first two seasons. He was more subtle and didn't have to shout how great he was to everybody. In fact, in some early episodes, he had very little dialogue and relied more on his presence to project cool.

Because I started watching during the third season, the early episodes seemed different to me. I didn't understand why at the time, but they had a different style and were more subdued, more nuanced.

I didn't see HD until around the third season either at about age 10. At the time, I must say that I loved the show and the Fonz. Like you, whenever I saw an episode from the first 2 seasons, they seemed a little strange. In later years, however, I would see the earlier episodes and think they were great! My favorite "tough-guy" episode from that era was when Fonzie rescued they guys from the gang in the pool room after they stole Potsie's bike. That was classic!
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showfan
I didn't see HD until around the third season either at about age 10. At the time, I must say that I loved the show and the Fonz. Like you, whenever I saw an episode from the first 2 seasons, they seemed a little strange. In later years, however, I would see the earlier episodes and think they were great! My favorite "tough-guy" episode from that era was when Fonzie rescued they guys from the gang in the pool room after they stole Potsie's bike. That was classic!

TOTALLY AGREE with you! This was my favorite episode Too.
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Fonz was cool but even he could not beat up a gang all by himself (at least in seasons 1 and 2)
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Television
And that's why I love HD. The first 2 seasons were good but the show didn't become great until season 3.

To a degree, yes in that Happy Days didn't really become the show that most of us are familiar with until Season 3. But it's hard not to argue that Garry Marshall in effect, dumbed down Happy Days to keep it on the air. Ironically, the first two seasons, with the single camera, the more realistic design of the house (as opposed to the "fake" sitcom look and more obvious sets) and the occasional sweetly sexual overtones, actually hold up better.
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