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Happy Days - The Third Season


TITLE: HAPPY DAYS - THE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: November 27, 2007 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 1975-76
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running time: Approx. 9 Hours, 40 Minutes
Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital - Restored English Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

The best-loved TV sitcom of all time returns! Take a memorable trip back to the rockin' 1950s with Happy Days Season Three. Catch up with greaser Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) and the whole gang for more rock-n-roll antics and family fun. Join the Fonz and Richie on their hilarious double-date with Laverne and Shirley, and don't miss Fonzie's daredevil motorcycle jump over 14 garbage cans. This new fun-filled, four-disc DVD set contains 23 third season episodes plus a special feature "The Second Anniversary Show." Packed with wholesome adventures, music and laughs, enjoy hours of classic family entertainment with Happy Days Season Three.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The third season of Happy Days premiered on September 9, 1975. It continued to air on Tuesdays at 8:00-8:30 P.M. on ABC. For 9 seasons, it would air on that day and in that time slot. Happy Days would crack the top 30 in the ratings for the second time. It finished the third season in 11th place with a 23.9 rating. It would become the top-ranked program the following season. A series of changes happened at the start of the season. Richie's brother, Chuck, mysteriously disappeared after the second season and was never mentioned again. The third season saw the addition of Pat Morita as Arnold (Matsuo Takahashi) to the cast. After filming the first two seasons with a single camera and without a studio audience, they began to film before a studio audience and used three cameras. This required them to rearrange the layout of the interior of the Cunningham home and Arnold's. Fonzie moved into a small apartment over the Cunningham garage. After using "Rock Around the Clock" as the theme song for the first two seasons, they switched to an original composition of "Happy Days" that was performed by Pratt & McClain.

Memorable episodes included "The Motorcycle," in which Richie and Potsie try to hide the truth about a hit-and-run after Ralph accidentally demloishes Fonzie's one and only love - his motorcycle. When Mr. Cunningham asks Richie to go on a blind date with the daughter of a plumbing manufacturer, Richie asks an overly amorous Potsie to take his place in "The Other Richie Cunningham." When Richie is bullied and embarrassed by two tough guys at the Drive-In, he turns to Arnold for judo lessons, but only Fonzie can provide a better method of self-defense in "Richie Fights Back." When Richie and the boys stage a sit-in at Arnold's to protest the town's 10 p.m. curfew, they wind up in the slammer charged with breaking and entering in "Jailhouse Rock." When Richie falls into a dating slump after reaking up with his girlfriend, Fonzie sets him up on a double-date with two experience girls - Laverne and Shirley in "A Date with Fonzie." When Richie and the boys rent a cottage at Lake Whitehead for spring break, they pretend to be Tunisian businessmen in order to impress some older girls in "Three on a Porch." Joanie falls head-over-heels for Potsie whe he sings a love ballad at band rehearsal in "They Call It Potsie Love." When the Fonz refuses to be "uncool" by wearing glasses for his astigmatism, he blindly drives hi motorcycle right into Lake Michigan in "Sight for Sore Eyes."

Notable guest stars included Jack Smith as himself in "Fearless Fonzarelli (Parts 1 & 2)." Ned Wertimer appeared as George McKinnie in "The Other Richie Cunningham." Ken Lerner guest starred as Frankie and Jeff Conaway was Rocko in "Richie Fights Back." Ken returned as Frankie in "Fonzie the Flatfoot." Ed Peck made his first appearance as Officer Kirk in "Jailhouse Rock." Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams make their first appearances as Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney in "A Date with Fonzie." They would return in "Football Frolics" and "Fonzie the Superstar." Amy Irving guest appeared as Olivia in "Tell It to the Marines." Rance Howard (Ron Howard's father) appeared as the Announcer in "Dance Contest." Dick Van Patten played Hunsberger and Richard Stahl was Van Alden in "Fonzie the Salesman." Kristoff (credited as Christoff) St. John guest starred as Booker Brown in "Football Frolics." June Lockhart appeared as Judge MacBride in "Two Angry Men." Clint Howard (Ron Howard's brother) played Moose in "Bringing Up Spike." Jack Dodson guest starred as Dr. Malph in "Sight for Sore Eyes."


Packaging:

This 4-disc set contains all 24 episodes from the third (1975-76) season. The packaging follows the same format as the second season release. It comes in an Amaray movie-style case with clear outer edges. The cover art features a superimposed photo of Ralph, Fonzie (on his motorcycle), Richie and Potsie in front of Arnold's. The Happy Days logo is in neon pink and light blue at the top and "The Third Season" is written in yellow text at the bottom of the case. On the back of the case, there are four rectangular screenshots from the episodes. These include photos from the beauty contest episode, a shot of everybody in Hawaiian shirts, Fonzie talking to Ralph who is in his roadster and Arnold teaching Richie judo. Some classic cars are below those screenshots. A short synopsis of the set and the DVD specs are provided. A tiny record and the Happy Days logo is on the spine of the box. There is a plastic holder in the middle of the case that holds the second and third discs. The first and fourth discs are in an embedded holder inside the case. The embedded holders appear to be much sturdier than what they used on the second season set, so the discs should't pop out of them easily and become scratched. Episode titles, original airdates and short summaries are listed by disc in the backgrounds, which are light blue in color. The disc number is in a record, and the episodes are listed in their own individual column. The episode titles are in red and the rest of the text is in black. Continuing the trend of other recent CBS DVD/Paramount sets, the discs are very plain looking and just have the show logo on them and have a silver background. The Happy Days logo on them gives a hologram-type effect when you turn them into the light. Photos of the cast on the discs would have looked much nicer. Each disc holds 6 episodes.


Menu Design and Navigation:

These are the best menus that they've used so far. Instead of using static menus with photos, this time they are animated. It starts with a record starting to play in a jukebox. The Happy Days theme can be heard in the background. The Happy Days logo is flashing in neon pink and light blue like you see in the opening credits. The jukebox illuminates in different colors as the theme song is played. When the theme is finished, the needle goes off the record. The episode titles are listed vertically in yellow text in a box on the right side of the screen. A "Play All" button is available for those who want to watch the episodes without any interruptions. Chapter stops are available within the episodes, but no separate scene selection menus are offered.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality has gone up and down from release to release. Season 1 had some outstanding remastered video. The episodes couldn't have looked much better. Season 2 took a step backwards with some episodes that didn't look to remastered and some scenes appeared very grainy. The third season video quality is sort of a mixed bag. Some scenes look very good. Other scenes have a lot of grain, dirt, debris, black dots, white specks and static, and other digital artifacts. The scenes that look to be in the poorest shape to me are the scenes that were cut of syndication and put back in for the DVD. The episodes are certainly all watchable, although "The Second Anniversary Show/Special" appears to be in terrible shape. It looks like somebody recorded it in 1975. I just wish that they could have been fully remastered and cleaned up. As usual, the episodes are presented in their original full screen format and in their original broadcast order. For the closing logo enthusiasts, you will be disappointed to see that the Paramount logo is gone. There is just the Miller-Milkis Productions embedded logo and the new CBS Paramount Television logo.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio has been restored and seems to be better than the video quality. The volume is at a good level, and the dialogue is easy to understand. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.

Now onto a section that you've probably all been waiting for: the music. I'm very pleased to say they've done an outstanding job in this department. It is really a remarkable turnaround from the second season set, which had nearly all of the original music replaced except for about 5 songs. On the back of the packaging in very small text, it says "Music has been changed for this home entertainment version." One thing that hasn't been changed for this release is the theme song. After using "Rock Around the Clock" as the theme song originally for the first two seasons, they used an original composition of "Happy Days" by Pratt & McClain. The season 2 DVD release used the seasons 2-10 theme over the opening credits instead of "Rock Around the Clock."

With the help of fellow reviewer Pavan, we went through all the episodes to see what music exactly has been changed for this release. We couldn't find any original music missing for the episodes that appear to be complete (with running times of over 25 minutes in length). The episode running times range from 21:43 to 25:35 in length. There are basically 3 episodes on the set which appear to be missing some scenes. "A Date with Fonzie" (the first episode with Laverne & Shirley) runs only 23 minutes, 35 seconds - so that appears to be missing about 2 minutes of footage. "Fonzie's New Friend" runs only 21 minutes, 43 seconds, so that episode appears to be a syndication print and is missing about 4 minutes of footage. Finally, "The Second Anniversary Show/Special" runs only 22 minutes, 16 seconds. It appears to be a syndication print and is missing about 3 minutes of original material. It should also be noted that the closing credits have the title cards for "recording artists contributing to the series" this time around. They had been removed for the second season set, since most of the original music had been replaced.

Thanks to anglemark10 for providing a list of the music for the season three episodes. Please note that his list is compiled from the TV Land broadcasts. Some songs have even been replaced in syndication over the years. I've added a few additional songs that I've heard on local channels to the list. For this DVD set, it appears that a few songs that aren't even heard in syndication have been brought back for this release. If you notice any missing scenes or substituted music, please post in this thread.

Disc 1

Fonzie Moves In
Included: "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers, "Perfidia" by The Ventures

Motorcycle
Included: "Cry" by Johnnie Ray, "I'm Walkin" (instrumental) by Fats Domino, "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" by Doris Day

Fearless Fonzarelli (Part 1)
Included: "All Shook Up" (sung by Richie, Ralph, and Potsie) by Elvis Presley; "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley

Fearless Fonzarelli (Part 2)
Included: Richie, Ralph and Potsie sing "To Know Him Is To Love Him" twice

The Other Richie Cunningham
Included: unidentified female vocal; "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin

Richie Fights Back
Included: "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley; unidentified male vocal; "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers

Disc 2 Jailhouse Rock
Included: "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley; "Earth Angel" (instrumental) by The Penguins; "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin

Howard's 45th Fiasco
no known original music used

Fonzie the Flatfoot
Included: "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by The Everly Borthers; "Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole

A Date with Fonzie:
Included: "Great Balls of Fire" (sung by Potsie) by Jerry Lewis; "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley
Not Included: unknown - this episode runs only 23:35 - there's an abrupt fade-out after Laverne and Shirley's first scene, so that could be a missing scene

Three on a Porch Included: "I'm Walkin" by Fats Domino; "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers; A fake foreign-language version of "Rock Around The Clock" (sung by Richie, Ralph, and Potsie) by Sonny Dae & The Knights

Fonzie's New Friend
Included: replacement instrumental; unknown instrumental; "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers; "Honeycomb" (sung by Potsie) by Jimmie F. Rodgers
Not Included: unknown - this episode runs only 21:43 - there is about 4 minutes of missing footage

Disc 3

They Call It Potsie Love
Included: "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" (sung by Potsie) by Jerry Lee Lewis; "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" (sung by Potsie) by Paul Anka; "I'm Walkin" by Fats Domino; "Secret Love" by Doris Day

Tell It to the Marines
Included: unknown instrumental; "Cry" by Johnnie Ray; "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers; "My Prayer" (instrumental) by The Platters

Dance Contest
no known original music used

Fonzie the Salesman
Included: "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin

Football Frolics
Included: "Bird Dog" by The Everly Brothers; Richie, Ralph and Potsie sing "He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and "The Hokey Pokey"

Fonzie the Superstar
Included: "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin; "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" (sung by Arnold) by Bill Murry and the Hayden Quartet; "Heartbreak Hotel" (sung by Fonzie) by Elvis Presley

Disc 4

Two Angry Men
no known original music used

Beauty Contest
Included: "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers; "Birth of the Blues" (sung by one of the contestants) by Frank Sinatra; "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (sung by Potsie)

Bringing Up Spike
Included: "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers; "Houng Dog" by Elvis Presley

Sight for Sore Eyes
Included: "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers; "Bird Dog" by The Everly Brothers; unknown instrumental

Arnold's Wedding
Included: "Bird Dog" by The Everly Brothers; "Earth Angel" by The Penguins (instrumental); "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers; "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" (instrumental) by Paul Anka; unknown instrumental

The Second Anniversary Show/Special
Included: unknown instrumental, "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley; "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley (instrumental), unknown instrumental from the episode where Fonzie dances with Richie; "I'm Wakin'" (instrumental) by Fats Domino

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the running times:

Disc 1
---------
Fonzie Moves In (09/09/75) (25:33)
The Motorycle (09/16/75) (25:04)
Fearless Fonzarelli (Part One) (09/23/75) (25:32)
Fearless Fonzarelli (Part Two) (09/30/75) (25:34)
The Other Richie Cunningham (10/07/75) (25:34)
Richie Fights Back (10/14/75) (25:34)

Disc 2
---------
Jailhouse Rock (10/21/75) (25:33)
Howard's 45th Fiasco (10/28/75) (25:34)
Fonzie the Flatfoot (11/04/75) (25:34)
A Date with Fonzie (11/11/75) (23:35)
Three on a Porch (11/18/75) (25:34)
Fonzie's New Friend (11/25/75) (21:43)

Disc 3
---------
They Call It Potsie Love (12/02/75) (25:35)
Tell It to the Marines (12/16/75) (25:34)
Dance Contest (01/06/76) (25:31)
Fonzie the Salesman (01/13/75) (25:32) *
Football Frolics (01/20/76) (25:24)
Fonzie the Superstar (01/27/76) (25:03)

Note: This is a typo inside the case. It could be 01/13/76. Various online episode guides list the original airdate as 11/13/75.

Disc 4
---------
Two Angry Men (02/03/76) (25:15)
Beauty Contest (02/10/76) (25:34)
Bringing Up Spike (02/17/76) (25:23)
Sight for Sore Eyes (02/24/76) (25:23)
Arnold's Wedding (03/02/76) (25:13)
The Second Anniversary Show (01/12/76) (22:16)


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no special features included for the third consecutive time. They actually call ""The Second Anniversary Show/Special" a special feature. This episode, however, originally aired as part of the third season and is shown in syndication in the third season. Not only is the video quality for this episode terrible, it is incomplete. It looks like it may been from a VHS tape source or a damaged print. It runs only 22 minutes, 16 seconds. Hopefully we will see some real special features on future releases.


Final Comments:

What a difference a season makes! CBS DVD/Paramount has addressed many of the issues that fans had with the second season set. Only 5 out of about 50 original songs were included on that release. For the third season, we didn't see any original music missing for the 21 episodes that look to be completely unedited. Some songs that were replaced on the season 2 set are found on this set. There are even some songs on the DVD that aren't heard in syndication. All of the original artists are represented this time around: The Everly Brothers, Johnnie Ray, Fats Domino, Doris Day, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole and many more. All of the songs by Potsie and "the band" appear to be completely intact. The show really has that '50s feel again when nearly all of the original music is included. They've also used sturdier embedded holders that should hold the discs better. The menus are animated and feature the theme song on them for the first time. They didn't cut the same corners like they did on the second season set.

There are still a few issues with the set and some room for improvement. This set does have at least 3 episodes that look to be edited and are missing 2-4 minutes of original footage. I'm not sure if the missing footage was because of music licensing issues or damaged prints, but it is a little disappointing to see some edited episodes. It is not that big of a deal that "The Second Anniversary Show/Special" is edited and in terrible shape because that was just basically a clips show. The other two episodes that are missing footage, "A Date with Fonzie" and "Fonzie's New Friend," are a bit more puzzling. Another issue I have with the set is the video quality. The first season had outstanding remastered video. The second season didn't look quite as nice and had some grainy pictures. I would say the third season looks better than season two, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. These episodes should be receiving the same kind of restoration treatment that shows like "I Love Lucy" have received. These sets could also benefit from some special features like bloopers, network promos and cast interviews. Let's hope that they continue to release the seasons about every 6 months and with as much as the original music as possible.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 11/26/07

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000UX6TKM/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=214308

For much more information on the show, visit the sitcom site that started it all for us in 1997:
Happy Days Online


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