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Happy Days - The Fourth Season


TITLE: HAPPY DAYS - THE FOURTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 1976-77
MSRP: $40.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25 (half-hour episodes)
Running time: Approx. 10 Hours, 33 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:

Set in 1950s Milwaukee, this much-loved sitcom is TV Americana at its funniest. Join Richie (Ron Howard), "The Fonz" (Henry Winkler), Potsie (Anson Williams), Ralph (Donny Most), Joanie (Erin Moran) and the lovable Cunninghams (Tom Bosley and Marion Ross) for 25 (half-hour) classic episodes of family entertainment.

Watch as the Fonz reunites with his old flame Pinky Tuscadero in "Fonzie Loves Pinky," which also debuts Al Delvecchio as the new owner of Arnold's; see Potsie come to Fonzie's rescue in "Fonzie's Hero"; and witness the lucky shot that makes Richie a basketball hero in "A Shot in the Dark." Happy Days Season Four will keep the whole family rockin' and rollin' with laughter!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The fourth season of Happy Days premiered on September 21, 1976 with the first two parts (one hour) of "Fonzie Loves Pinky." 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. It became the top ranked this season with a 31.5 rating, with spin-off series Laverne & Shirley finishing in second place with a 30.9 rating. Henry Winkler received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series." The fourth season featured the addition of Al Molinaro to the cast as the new owner of Arnold's, Alfred "Al" Delvecchio. Roz Kelly appeared in the first two (three half-hour) episodes as Pinky Tuscadero. Her sister Leather Tuscadero, played by rock star Suzi Quatro, would show up in the fifth season.

Memorable episodes included "A Mind of His Own," in which when the Fonz can't stop getting into street fights, he goes to a psychiatrist to learn an unusual way to manage his aggression - building birdhouses. When Potsie saves Fonzie from a fire at the garage, the Fonz must obey the "Fonzarelli Code" and agree to Potsie's request - to ride bumper cars, go roller-skating and be best friends in "Fonzie's Hero." Joanie asks Fonzie to be her partner in a dance marathon, but when he has to push his broken-down motorcycle 12 miles to get there, the Fonz may not last through the night in "They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They?" A tough new sheriff wants to run "hoodlums" like Fonzie out of town, but when he starts hassling everyone for minor offenses, the Fonz demands a showdown in "A.K.A. the Fonz." Richie becomes a hero when he scores a lucky shot that wins a championship basketball game in "A Shot in the Dark." When the guys must get physicals to evaluate them for the Army draft, Fonzie's robust health and stamina get special attention from one of the nurses in "The Physical."

Notable guest stars included Roz Kelly as Pinky Tuscadero, Ken Lerner as Rocco and Michael Pataki as Count Mallachi in "Fonzie Loves Pinky (Parts 1-3)." Conrad Janis guest starred as Mr. Kendall in "A Place of His Own." Charlene Tilton played Jill Higgins in "They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They?" Alan Oppenheimer made his first and only appearance as Mickey Malph, Ralph's father, in "A.K.A. the Fonz." Jack Perkins was Bob and Ed Peck returned as Officer Kirk in "A.K.A. the Fonz." Diana Hyland was Adriana in "Fonzie's Old Lady." Lynda Goodfriend guest starred as Kim in "Time Capsule" and "The Graduation (Part 1)." She would play Richie's girlfriend, Lori Beth Allen, in the fifth season. David Ketchum appeared as Coach Pelino in "A Shot in the Dark." Nancy Walker was Nancy Blansky in "The Third Anniversary Show." She would go on to star in the spin-off series "Blansky's Beauties." Dick Van Patten guest starred as Mr. Conners in "The Graduation (Parts 1 and 2)." Danny Butch returned as Spike, Paul Linke was Bruiser and Jason Wingreen played Mr. Haley in "The Graduation (Parts 1-2)." Warren Berlinger appeared as Sgt. Betchler and Linda Henning was Lt. Quinlan in "The Physical." Eddie Mekka guest starred as Carmine Ragusa in "Joanie's Weird Boyfriend." Paul Linke returned as Bruiser and Jack Dodson played Mickey Malph in "Last of the Big Time Malphs."


Packaging:

This 3-disc set contains all 25 (half-hour) episodes from the fourth (1976-77) season. The packaging follows the same format as the second and third season releases. It comes in Amaray movie-style case with clear outer edges. The cover art features photos of Ralph, Fonzie, Potsie and Richie. This isn't a cast photo, but individual shots that were pasted together. The Happy Days logo in neon pink and light blue is in the center. At the top of the case, there is the Herb's Auto Repairs sign. Ralph's 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup is at the bottom. "The Fourth Season" is written in yellow text. On the back of the case, there is a large photo of Fonzie and Richie with his motorcycle inside Arnold's. There are four smaller shots from various episodes ("Fonz-How, Inc.," "A Shot in the Dark," "Time Capsule") below that. 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 first and second discs. The third disc is held in an embedded holder on the inside back panel of the case. These holders are pretty sturdy, so the discs shouldn't pop out of them easily and become scratched. Episode titles, original airdates and short summaries are listed by discs in the backgrounds, which are yellow and white. The Happy Days logo is at the top of the front inside panel. The episode titles are in pink text, while the original airdates and summaries are in black text. The only thing that I don't like about the case is that there is a black bar at the top and the embedded holder obscures some of the information for discs two and three. 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 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. This is a 3-disc set, so they all have 8-9 half-hour episodes on each.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Season three had some pretty nice menus. That trend is continued here. Once again, the Happy Days theme is played in the background. It loops after 1:13. The main menus feature a different cast member on each. Disc 1 has Richie. Disc 2 features Fonzie. Disc 3 has Ralph and Potsie on two different screens. The Happy Days logo is in pink and light blue below the cast member. There is a jukebox on the right side of the screen that has some animated lights in the background. Episode titles are listed vertically in yellow text on the left side of the screen. The disc number is blue text in a pink bar at the top. At the bottom, there is a "Play All" option in pink. The episode that you highlight is in pink that turns light blue upon your selection. There is a Previews option in the first disc that you can play or skip. 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 improved a little bit over the last few seasons. Season 1 probably had the best quality with some outstanding remastered video. Season 2 took a step back with some grainy scenes. Season 3 improved some over Season 2. Season 4 looks to have the best quality since season 1. Since the show was shot on film, there is some grain, dirt, debris, white specks and static, and other digital artifacts. The scenes that look to be in the worst shape to me are the scenes that were cut out of syndication and put back in for the DVD. Unlike "The Second Anniversary Show" on the third season release, "The Third Anniversary Show" looks to be in much better condition. As usual, the episodes are presented in their original full screen format and in their original broadcast order (except for "The Third Anniversary Show" which was placed at the end). All of the episodes have running times over 25 minutes, except for "Fonzie Loves Pinky" which originally aired over two episodes with the first being the one-hour season premiere. "Fonzie Loves Pinky (Parts 1 and 2)" runs 47 minutes, 18 seconds. 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 Television Distribution 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.

Once again, there is a disclaimer on the back of the case. It says "some episodes may be edited from their original network versions." The second and third seasons had disclaimers that said "music has been changed for this home entertainment version." It doesn't specifially mention anything about music being changed for this release. After a disheartening season 2 DVD release where nearly all of the original music was changed, things have definitely improved on the last two releases. All of the episodes on this release have consistent running times of around 25 1/2 minutes in length, except for a handful of episodes. "Fonzie the Father" runs 25:05. "Fonz-How, Inc." clocks in at 25:25. "Fonzie's Baptism" runs 25:27. "The Third Anniversary Show" has the lowest running time at 24:34 and seems the mostly likely to be edited a bit. As you would expect, these episodes have the original "Happy Days" theme song on them that can also be heard on the menus.

With the help of fellow reviewer Pavan, we went through all of the episodes to see if any music had been changed. Just like the third season release, we couldn't find any music that was listed on the TV.com episode guide that was missing. Thanks to TV.com Happy Days editor anglemark10 for providing the music list on the Season 4 Episode Guide. It should be noted that the music on the list is only from TV Land/syndicated broadcats. Some songs have even been replaced in syndication over the years. We noticed quite a few songs, including some by The Everly Brothers, on this DVD release that didn't appear on the list. If you notice any missing scenes or substitued music, please post in this thread.

Disc 1:

Fonzie Loves Pinky (Parts 1 and 2)
Included: Potsie sings part of "America, the Beautiful", "You're Sixteen" (played by the band) by Johnny Burnette (1960), "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin (1958), "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" (instrumental) by Paul Anka (1959), "Cry" by Johnnie Ray (1951), Potsie sings the full version of "America, the Beautiful"

Fonzie Loves Pinky (Part 3)
Included: "Cry" by Johnnie Ray (1951), "Grat Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

A Mind of His Own
Included: "Bird Dog" by The Everly Brothers, "Tequila" by The Champs (1958), "Personality" by Lloyd Price (1959), unknown song/possible score, "I'm Walkin'" by Fats Domino

Fonzie the Father
Included: "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters (1958), "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" (sung briefly by Ralph), "Who's Sorry Now" by Connie Francis (1958), Fonzie sings part of a Hawaiian song, Group sings "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow"

Fonzie's Hero
Included: "Personality" by Lloyd Price (1959), an unknown instrumental, an unknown instrumental, "Pretend" by Nat King Cole, Fonzie sings "Aloha O'e", Richie and Al sing "Aloha O'e"

A Place of His Own
Included: Richie sings "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino four different times

They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They
Included: "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters (1957), "Cry" by Johnnie Ray (1951), Fonzie sings Zippity Do Da, "Venus" (played by the band - sung by Potsie) by Frankie Avalon, an unknown instrumental (played by the band twice), "Rockin' Robin" (played by the band) by Bobby Day (1958), "The Anniversary Song" (played by the band - sung by Ralph), an unknown instrumental (played by the band), an unknown instrumental used for the Kasatsky (played by the band)

Disc 2:

The Muckrakers
Included: "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers, "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" (instrumental) by Doris Day (1956), "Sh-Boom" by The Crew Cuts (1955) (played by the band), "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and The Pacemakers (1963) (played by the band)

A.K.A. the Fonz
Included: "Bird Dog" by The Everly Brothers, "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers, Cast sings "Moonlight Bay" at the piano

Richie Branches Out
Included: several Christmas instrumentals

Fonzie's Old Lady
Included: "Personality" by Lloyd Price (1959), "Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole (1955), "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" (instrumental) by Paul Anka (1959), Richie sings "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino, "I Only Have Eyes For You" by The Flamingos (1957) (sung by Adriana), "It's Late" by Ricky Nelson (1959) (played by the band), "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin (1958) (played by the band twice)

Time Capsule
Included: "Get Happy" (briefly sung by Potsie) by Ruth Etting (1929), "Lollipop, Lollipop" (sung by everyone in the vault) by The Chordettes (1958), "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (briefly sung by Potsie)

The Book of Records
Included: "Personality" by Lloyd Price (1959) (first scene background music), "Tequila" by The Champs (1958) (playing on the jukebox at Arnold's), "Young Love" by Tab Hunter (1957) (playing in the second scene as backgroud music)

A Shot in the Dark
Included: "The Great Pretender" by The Platters (1954) - ??? (heard something very softly in first Arnold's scene), "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers (heard briefly on the jukebox as Fonz banged it), "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" instrumental (banged by Fonzie on the jukebox), unknown instrumental (heard during the game when Richie returns), unknown instrumental (after Richie misses the free throw)

Marion Rebels
Included: "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" by Doris Day (1956) (played softly at Arnold's after first break), "Who's Sorry Now" by Connie Francis (1958) (played softly at Arnold's shortly after the previous song), "Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole (1955) (at the end at Arnold's when Howard and Marion dance)

Disc 3:

The Graduation (Part 1)
Included: "I Love a Parade" (sung by Al) then instrumental version plays (at the promo), unknown instrumental (at the prom), more replacement instrumental music (after Fonzie is done speaking...it seems Al is singing but it is muted), "Deeply" (sung by Potsie), unknown instrumental (after Potsie is done singing), "Goodnight Sweetheart" (sung by Al) (last dance)

The Graduation (Part 2)
Included: Graduation instrumental (briefly heard), "Pomp & Circumstance" instrumental, "Hail Jefferson High School" (sung by Potsie really fast, as the school song), Graduation instrumental (when calling out the names of the graduates)

The Physical
no known original music used

Joanie's Weird Boyfried
Included: "McNamara's Band" (sung by Potsie at Arnold's on the first scene), "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" (sung by the band), "I'm Walkin'" by Fats Domino (when Joanie goes to Arnold's dressed older), "Young Love" by Tab Hunter... then the instrumental version plays in the background?, mystery style instrumentals (fight scene, etc.)?

Fonz-How, Inc.
Included: "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters (1958) (first scene at Arnold's), "Raunchy" by Bill Justis (1957) (played by the band), "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley instrumental (played by band twice)

Spunky Come Home
Included: "Are You Lonesome Tonight" by Elvis Presley (1960) (played at Arnold's), "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley (1956) (played briefly when Fonzie smacked the jukebox), "Pretend" by Nat King Cole - played as instrumental?

Last of the Big Time Malphs
Included: "I'm Walkin'" by Fats Domino (1957) (first scene, at Arnold's), "The Great Pretender" by The Platters (1954) (primarily instrumental), "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin (1958) (heard softly in the bathroom at Arnold's)

Fonzie's Baptism
Included: "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers (heard in the first scene at Arnold's), "Faith of Our Fathers Living Still" (sung by Richie, Potsie, Ralph and Joanie), "Pretend" by Nat King Cole (1953) (last scene)

The Third Anniversary Show
Included: Clips from previous episodes
Note: This episode runs about a minute shorter than the other episodes, so it is possibly edited a bit.

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

Disc 1
---------
Fonzie Loves Pinky (Parts 1-2) (09/21/76) (47:18) - originally aired as an one-hour episode
Fonzie Loves Pinky (Part 3) (09/28/76) (25:35)
A Mind of Their Own (10/05/76) (25:34)
Fonzie the Father (10/19/76) (25:05)
Fonzie's Hero (10/26/76) (25:36)
A Place of His Own (11/09/76) (25:34)
They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They? (11/16/76) (25:33)

Disc 2
---------
The Muckrakers (11/23/76) (25:35)
A.K.A. The Fonz (11/30/76) (25:35)
Richie Branches Out (12/07/76) (25:35)
Fonzie's Old Lady (01/04/77) (25:34)
Time Capsule (01/11/77) (25:37)
The Book of Records (01/18/77) (25:34)
A Shot in the Dark (01/25/77) (25:36)
Marion Rebels (02/01/77) (25:36)

Disc 3
---------
The Graduation (Part 1) (02/08/77) (25:36)
The Graduation (Part 2) (02/15/77) (25:36)
The Physical (02/22/77) (25:36)
Joanie's Weird Boytfriend (03/01/77) (25:35)
Fonz-How, Inc. (03/08/77) (25:35)
Spunky Come Home (03/15/77) (25:37)
Last of the Big Time Malphs (03/22/77) (25:33)
Fonzie's Baptism (03/29/77) (25:27)
Happy Days: 3rd Anniversary Show (02/04/77) (24:34) *

* Note: This episode was actually the 17th episode that aired this season, although it was shown on a different day than usual. They've placed it at the end and called it a "special feature." This episode is aired in syndication.


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there haven't been any special features on any of the four releases. They actually call "The Third Anniversary Show" a special feature. This episode, however, originally aired as part of the fourth season and is shown in syndication. At least this episode has much better video quality and looks to be more complete than "The Second Anniversary Show" from the third season release. There is 3 minutes, 46 seconds worth of previews for some other CBS DVD/Paramount TV on DVD releases.


Final Comments:

Happy Days became the #1 ranked program in the country this season. It would remain in the top 3 for 2 more seasons. The fourth season is known for the addition of Al Molinaro as Alfred "Al" Delvecchio to the cast. I always liked Pat Morita as Arnold, but I think Al was funnier and seemed more friendlier to everybody. There was a sort of a mixed bag of episodes this season. I don't think they started very strongly with the "Fonzie Loves Pinky" episodes, but they picked up the pace with episodes like "Fonzie's Hero," "They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They?" and "A.K.A. the Fonz." There were a few clunkers like "Fonz-How, Inc." and "Spunky Come Home," but the same could be said for every season.

CBS DVD/Paramount has done another pretty good job with this release. All of the known music is present in the episodes. We couldn't find any replaced music. There are probably some minor edits or music substitutions here and there, but this set is a major improvement over the second season and even more complete and intact than the third season. I'm glad that they listened to the fan's complaints after the second season release and included as much of the original music as possible on the third and fourth seasons. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the fifth season. The fifth season saw the introduction of Scott Baio as Chachi Arcola and Lynda Goodfriend as Richie's girlfriend, Lori Beth Allen. It had the three-part "Hollywood" (aka the "Jump the Shark" episodes), the introduction of Suzi Quatro as Leather Tuscadero and Robin Williams first appearance as Mork. It would be great if we started seeing two seasons released per year like they did in 2007.


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

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

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 12/06/08

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001E6JC26/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=237215

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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