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Happy Days - The Fifth Season


TITLE: HAPPY DAYS - THE FIFTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 1977-78
MSRP: $39.98
Packaging: Clear plastic snap case
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 27 (half-hour episodes)
Running time: Approx. 11 Hours, 2 Minutes
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio Tracks: English Mono
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English SDH Subtitles
Special Features: 4th Anniversary Special


Introduction:

Relive the original moment that Fonzie (Henry Winkler) rises to the challenge and "jumps the shark," leather jacket, swim trunks and all! Space creature Mork from Ork (guest star Robin Williams) visits the peaceful Cunningham household and newcomers Chachi (Scott Baio) and Leather Tuscadero (Suzi Quatro) take the stage for the first time. These 27 unforgettable episodes feature the whole gang, Richie (Ron Howard), Potsie (Anson Williams), Ralph (Donny Most) and all the good times that made Happy Days Season Five an iconic part of television history.


Episodes:

Season five continued to air on Tuesdays at 8:00-8:30PM on ABC. The show dropped to second place in the ratings with a 31.4 rating. Only its spin-off Laverne & Shirley edged it with a 31.6 rating. Season five saw the addition of Scott Baio as Charles "Chachi" Arcola and Lynda Goodfriend as Lori Beth Allen to the cast. Suzi Quatro also had a recurring role as Pinky Tuscadero's younger sister, rocker Leather Tuscadero. Anson Williams' then wife Lorrie Mahaffey appeared as his girlfriend Jennifer Jerome.

The fifth season premiered on September 13, 1977, with an one-hour episode. In "Hollywood (Part 1)," when a talent scout thinks that Fonzie could be the next big star, the gang heads to Tinsel Town for the screen test. Fonzie auditions with Richie as his reading partner and everyone is suprised by the studio's reaction in "Hollywood (Part 2)." Richie must make a decision that could change his life, but an ever bigger challenge -- involving water skies and a shark -- lies in store for Fonzie in "Hollywood (Part 3)." Fonzie teaches Richie some of the ABC's of romance when he suggests going to the library to meet girls in "Hard Cover." When a truant officer catches Chachi cutting school, Fonzie steps in to help with his young cousin's academic career in "My Cousin the Cheat." Fonzie says "boo" when he has to have his tonsils removed instead of going to a big Halloween party in "Fonsillectomy." Friends become roommates when Richie, Potsie and Raph make a big move and rent an apartment together in "The Apartment."

Pinky Tuscadero's younger sister comes to town looking for a music gig, but her plans hit a sour note when Officer Kirk learns about her past in "Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Part 1)" (aka "Fonzie: Rock Entrepreneur (Part 1)"). Determined to hit the road with Leather, Joanie threatens to un away when Howard refuses to let her go in "Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Part 2)" (aka "Fonzie: Rock Entrepreneur (Part 2)"). Fonzie receives an invitation to a socialite dinner, but the reason for the offer is not what he thinks is "My Fair Fonzie." Richie, Potsie and Ralph want to join a popular fraternity, but to do so, they must first survive Hell Week in "Bye Bye Blackball." Ralph is caught with another guy's girlfriend, and Fonzie arranges for the two to duke it out in the boxing ring in "Requiem for a Malph." Things get messy when an investigative reporting class prompts Richie to write a story about corruption in the sanitation department in "Nose for News." The situation just isn't working when Howard's newly retired father takes a job at Fonzie's garage in "Grandpa's Visit."

Cupid takes aim at Potsie after one date with Jennifer Jerome, and Howard urges the love-struck young man to take things more slowly in "Potsie Gets Pinned." Little Joanie surprises Richie and Fonzie when they try to prepare her for her first car date in "Joanie's First Kiss." Marion begins to worry when her friend is dumped by her husband for a younger woman in "Marion's Misgivings." Richie and Lori Beth crash his new motorcycle, and while she receives only minor injuries, Richie lies in a coma... from which he may never awake in "Richie Almost Dies." Fonzie's dog is acting depressed, and a visit to the vet confirms that his problem isn't physical in "Spunkless Spunky." It's all hearts and flowers -- and love and songs -- when the 14th of February sends Joanie off into musical daydreams in "Be My Valentine." Chachi is considering joining a gang, and Richie and Fonzie take him on a trip down memory lane to convince him not to in "Our Gang."

An alien named Mork, who comes from the planet Ork, visits Earth looking for life forms to study, and he picks Richie in "My Favorite Orkan." Fonzie's girlfriend makes a living as a ballet teacher, but he has trouble accepting that she may be happier performing professionally in the Big Apple in "Do You Want to Dance?" It's Fonzie to the rescue when Al will be receiving the Man of the Year award from the Sons of Italy, but doesn't have a date for the event in "Second Wind." Tension is in the air when Howard and Marion argue about women's rights, and Richie and Lori Beth break up after a fight in "Rules to Date By." When he and Howard are selected for jury duty, Fonzie isn't sure that the case is as cut and dried as it appears to be in "Fonzie for the Defense." Fonzie promises to tell Lori Beth something that no one knows about the Cunninghams when she writes a paper on the typical middle-class family.

Notable guest stars included Lorne Greene (uncredited as himself), Talia Balsam, James Van Patten, Laurette Spang, Suzi Quatro (recurring), Morgan Fairchild, Judy Landers, Audrey Landers, Danny Thomas, Rance Howard (Ron Howard's father), Dr. Joyce Brothers, Christopher Knight, Robin Williams and Barney Martin.

Once again, there is a disclaimer on the back of the case. It states: "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions. Music has been changed for this home entertainment version." Season four didn't specifically mention anything about music being changed, but it's clear there is much music substituted on the fifth season release. Unfortunately, nearly all of the original music heard on the jukebox at Arnold's has been replaced with other songs/instrumentals. There may be a few original jukebox songs included, but I didn't recognize them. There are also some songs heard on the radio that have been replaced. They did a very good job with the original music on the fourth season release, so it's disappointing to see it mostly replaced here. There are also at least three short (under 20-30 seconds) scenes involving music that have been edited out. There are two issues with Suzi Quatro songs. The original Happy Days theme song is used on all of the episodes. I will detail the music changes and edits I noticed below. The original music list provided by anglemark10 is available on the episode guide at TV.com . If you notice any missing scenes or substituted music not listed below, please post in this thread.

Disc 1:

"Hollywood (Part 1)"
"The Great Pretender" by The Platters is replaced by an unknown song. Potsie briefly singing "Venus" is included. There is a possible replacement instrumental on the jukebox. Potsie singing "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" is included.

"Hard Cover"
"Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino is replaced by an unknown song on the radio. "It's Late" by Ricky Nelson is replaced by an unknown song on the radio.

"My Cousin the Cheat"
"It's Late" by Ricky Nelson is replaced by an unknown song (the same song is used in other episodes). "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson is replaced by unknown song/instrumental. "Who's Sorry Now" by Connie Francis is replaced by unknown song/instrumental. "Pretend" by Nat King Cole is replaced by unknown song/instrumental.

"The Apartment"
"It's Late" by Ricky Nelson is replaced by unknown song. "Tea For Two" (instrumental) from No No Nannette is replaced by unknown instrumental. "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" by Paul Anka is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. "The Great Pretender" by The Platters is replaced by unknown song/insturmental.

Disc 2:

"Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Part 1)"
"Young Love" by Tab Hunter is replaced by an unknown song/intstrumental. "Cat" performed by Leather and the Suedes is included. "All Shook Up" performed by Leather and the Suedes is included. "Heartbreak Hotel" played by Leather and the Suedes is included.

"Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Part 2)"
"Heartbreak Hotel" performed by Leather and the Suedes is included. "Devil Gate Drive" performed by Leather and the Suedes is included.

"My Fair Fonzie"
"I'm Walkin" by Fats Domino is replaced by an unknown song. "Never Be Anyone But You" by Ricky Nelson is replaced by an unknown song. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" by Elvis Presley is replaced twice by unknown songs/instrumentals.

"Bye Bye Blackball"
"Kansas City" (instrumental) by Wilbert Harrison is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental; "Pretend" by Nat King Cole is replaced by uknown song/instrumental. "Who's Sorry Now?" by Connie Francis is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental.

"Requiem for a Malph"
"Calendar Girl" played by the band is included. "Down by the Old Mill Stream" sung by the Cuningham family and Fonzie is included. "Yakety Yak" (instrumental) by The Coasters replaced by an unknown instrumental.

"Nose for News"
"Yakety Yak" by The Coasters is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. Potsie briefly singing "Lady of Spain" is edited out of the episode.

"Grandpa's Visit"
"Tequila" played briefly by the band is edited out of the episode. "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," "Sonny Boy," and "When the Saints Go Marching In" played by Cap Cunningham and his band are included.

Disc 3:

"Potsie Gets Pinned"
"Summertime Summertime" by The Jamies is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. "Young Love" by Tab Hunter is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. Potsie and Jennifer singing a song is included.

"Marion's Misgivings"
Potsie and the band performing "Wild One" by Bobby Rydell is included. Leather and the Sudes performing "I May Be Too Young" is included. "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" by Elvis Presley is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental.

"Richie Almost Dies"
Leather singing "Believe" at the piano at the Cunningham home as a montage of video clips of Richie is shown is replaced by a piano instrumental version without the vocals. In the original unedited episode, they show Leather singing the beginning of the song on camera. That has been edited out of the DVD. It's disappointing that the vocal version wasn't included. From what I have read online, it was written specifically written for the show. It has never been released as single or on any of Suzi Quatro's albums.

"Spunkless Spunky"
"Cry" by Johnny Ray is replaced by an unknown instrumental.

"Be My Valentine"
Potsie and Jennifer performing a song is included. Ralph singing "My Funny Valentine" is included. Chachi singing "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" is included. Howard and Marion singing "I Remember It Well" is included. Richie and Lori Beth dancing to an instrumental is included. Al singing "Isn't It Romantic?" is included.

"Our Gang"
"Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets is replaced by an unknown instrumental. "The Great Pretender" by The Platters is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental.

Disc 4:

"My Favorite Orkan"
"It's Late" by Ricky Nelson is replaced by an unknown song. "Blueberry Hill" sung briefly by Richie and Mork is edited out of the episode. I didn't hear Richie singing "Blueberry Hill" in any other episodes this season, so it's possible it was removed elsewhere. "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin is replaced by an unknown instrumental.

"Do You Want to Dance?"
An original song on the jukebox at Arnold's is likely replaced by an unknown song.

"Second Wind"
Al singing and playing his ukulele is included. All of the original songs on the jukebox at Arnold's have been replaced by unknown songs/instrumentals: "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin, "Kansas City" (instrumental) by Wilbert Harrison, "Never Be Anyone But You" (instrumental) by Ricky Nelson, "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" (instrumental) by Paul Anka, "A Teenager in Love" (instrumental) by Dion and the Belmonts, and "Summertime Summertime" by The Jamies.

"Rules to Date By"
Potsie and the band performing "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" is included. Leather and the Suedes and the band's performance of "Johnnie B. Goode" by Chuck Berry is replaced by an unknown instrumental. It's very odd to see Leather singing, but there are no vocals. I'm surprised they didn't edit out this entire scene, but this way is probably better than not including it at all.

"Fonzie for the Defense"
"Personality" by Lloyd Price is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. "I'm Walkin" by Fats Domino is replaced by an unknown song/instrumental. Richie and later Richie, Ralph and Potsie singing "The Three Caballeros" is included.

"4th Anniversary Special"
Most of the original music in this episode has been replaced by other songs/instrumentals or edited out. Missing or replaced songs include "Cry" (instrumental) by Johnnie Ray, "Calendar Girl" (instrumental) by Neil Sedaka, "You're the Cream in My Coffee" by Ruth Etting - sung briefly by Fonzie, "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" (instrumental) by Paul Anka. They did include "On Moonlight Bay" sung by the Cunninghams and Fonzie at the end of the episode.

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

Disc 1
---------
"Hollywood (Part 1)" (25:12) *
"Hollywood (Part 2)" (25:23) *
"Hollywood (Part 3)" (25:06)
"Hard Cover" (25:38)
"My Cousin the Cheat" (25:38)
"Fonsillectomy" (25:36)
"The Apartment" (25:13)

Note: "Hollywood (Parts 1 and 2)" originally aired as an one-hour episode.

Disc 2
---------
"Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Part 1)" (aka "Fonzie: Rock Entrepreneur (Part 1)") (25:35)
"Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Part 2)" (aka "Fonzie: Rock Entrepreneur (Part 2)") (25:38)
"My Fair Fonzie" (25:39)
"Bye Bye Blackball" (25:39)
"Requiem for a Malph" (25:27)
"Nose for News" (25:17)
"Grandpa's Visit" (25:37)

Disc 3

---------
"Potsie Gets Pinned" (25:38)
"Joanie's First Kiss" (25:25)
"Marion's Misgivings" (25:27)
"Richie Almost Dies" (25:29)
"Spunkless Spunky" (25:37)
"Be My Valentine" (25:38)
"Our Gang" (25:37)
Disc 4
---------
"My Favorite Orkan" (25:18)
"Do You Want to Dance" (25:40)
"Second Wind" (25:38)
"Rules to Date By" (25:29) "Fonzie for the Defense" (25:33)
"4th Anniversary Special" (24:53) *

Note: The "4th Anniversary Special" actually aired after "My Favorite Orkan." It was produced as the final episode of the season.


Packaging:

This 4-disc set contains all 27 (half-hour) episodes from the fifth (1977-78) season. The packaging is similar to what was used for seasons two-four. It comes in a clear plastic snap case. The cover art features a photo of Fonzie in his leather jacket with a black t-shirt and Richie in his red and white University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee jacket. There is a photo of Fonzie on water skis from the "jump the shark" episode at the bottom. The neon purple and light blue Happy Days logo and the top of a jukebox is in the center of the case, with "The Fifth Season" printed in white text below it. On the back of the case, there are four small photos and one larger photo. The four smaller photos have Howard and Marion, a publicity photo of Winkler as Fonzie giving the thumbs up, Mork, and Howard laughing at Richie who is covered in feathers. The larger photo features Al serving drinks to Ralph, Richie and Potsie, who are wearing their OKN fraternity caps. A short synopsis of the season and the DVD specs are provided. A tiny record and the Happy Days logo is on the spine of the box. Opening up the case, there is a plastic holder in the middle of the case that holds Discs 1-2 and Discs 3-4 back-to-back. Thankfully there is no embedded holder in the back of the case this time. The episode titles are sorted by disc and printed in dark blue text. A light blue background is used. Unfortunately, they didn't include any original airdates for this season. It's interesting how they used "Fonzie: Rock Entreprenur (Parts 1 and 2)" in the episode descriptions, but they used the alternative title "Fonzie and Leather Tuscadero (Parts 1 and 2)" on the disc and menu. There is also a minor typo in the episode descriptions. They list "Fonsilectomy," but the proper title "Fonsillectomy" is used on the disc and menu. The discs use the neon style Happy Days logo. The disc numbers and episode titles are printed on them. 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. Discs 1-3 each contain 7 episodes. Disc 4 includes 6 episodes.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very colorful and easy to navigate. They didn't use the theme song in the background for this season. The main menus feature different cast members on each disc. A large jukebox is used in the background of the photos. Fonzie on water skis is used on Disc 1. Disc 2 has a photo of Fonzie giving the thumbs up. Howard and Marion in her belly dancing outfit are used on Disc 3. A less-cropped photo of Fonzie and Richie that is used on the cover art is used on Disc 4. There are blue brick-like objects used in the background. The neon purple and light blue Happy Days logo is at the top of the menu. The episode titles are listed vertically in white text. The option you highlight is in yellow text and turns purple upon your selection. A Play All option is available. Fonzie is pictured on the Subtitles menu where you can turn on the English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. Chapter stops are placed at the appropriate places. When you first insert Disc 1, there are previews which you can play or skip. The previews (4:49) for other CBS DVD/Paramount releases are very old. They promote their general TV DVD releases, I Love Lucy - The Complete Series on DVD, and Seasons 3 of Happy Days (which was released way back in 2007!), Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality is on par with the fourth season. It doesn't have outstanding remastered video quality like the first season, but it's improved over the second and third seasons. 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. The episodes are in their original 4x3 aspect ratio. They are mostly presented in their original broadcast order. "Hollywood (Parts 1 and 2)" originally aired as an one-hour episode, but they are split into two parts on the DVD. They oddly placed the "4th Anniversary Special" as a special feature separate from the other episodes. 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 audio is your standard English Mono track. It doesn't appear to be restored or remastered, but it sounds fine. The volume is at a good level, and the dialogue is easy to understand. English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are available on all of the episodes.


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no real special features included. None of the previous seasons have included any, so this is no big surprise. They call the "4th Anniversary Special" a special feature, but it's really just a flashback episode that aired as part of the fifth season. Some syndication promos and a gag reel/bloopers would have been nice to see.

One alternate scene could have been included with the "My Favorite Orkan" episode with Robin Williams. They included the original second to last scene where they show Robin Williams as a normal guy asking for directions at the front door after Richie woke up from his dream. The original and episode on the DVD ends with Chachi running into Arnold's to tell the guys something. When ABC ran the episode for the second time the following August after Mork & Mindy was announced for the fall schedule, they added a scene at the end where Mork talks to Orson and tells him that he made people forget about him, let Fonzie go, and he was heading off for a mission in 1978. This alternate scene has been shown in syndication.


Final Comments:

It has been an extremely long wait for Season 5 of Happy Days on DVD. Season 4 was released way back on December 9, 2008. It seemed like they were never going to release more seasons. The DVD releases have been a mixed bag. Season 1 was the best release with the most complete and highest quality/remastered episodes. They followed that up with a very poor release for Season 2. Seasons 3-4 had a few problems, but they were mostly complete. Unfortunately, they have taken a huge step back with the fifth season release. The die-hard fans will be largely disappointed with this release.

Season five was a very solid season as far as the quality and variety of episodes. Lori Beth and Chachi were two key additions to the cast. Suzi Quatro as Leather Tuscadero was a fun recurring character. Some may say this is the season the show "jumped the shark," but there were quite a few memorable episodes after the season premiere. The highlights of the season were "Hard Cover," "The Apartment," "My Fair Fonzie," "Bye Bye Blackball," "Requiem for a Malph," "Potsie Gets Pinned," "Joanie's First Kiss," and "Richie Almost Dies." This season also featured the first appearance of Robin Williams as Mork.

I would like to say it has been worth the long wait for the fifth season, but this is a very disappointing release. They did such a good job with the fourth season release by including most of the original music. I was expecting more of the same. Unfortunately, they have replaced almost every original song heard at Arnold's or on the radio with generic songs/instrumentals. They also have edited out at least three short scenes involving the cast performing music. These edited scenes are less than 20-30 seconds long, but it still hurts to lose them. Although you get to see most of Suzi Quatro's performances, there are two songs which are not the same as they originally aired. "Richie Almost Dies" is one of the most powerful and emotional episodes of the series. Unfortunately, you won't get to hear her singing "Believe" over the montage of video clips of Richie. The scene just doesn't have the same impact with a piano only version. They also replaced "Johnnie B. Goode" in "Rules to Date By" with a generic instrumental. It's a bit comical to see Leather singing, but you hear no vocals.

CBS DVD/Paramount has done such a wonderful job with their recent Blu-ray releases of I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show. It's a shame Happy Days hasn't received the same type of deluxe treatment. Those shows don't have the same issues with music licensing, but they never would have released those in edited form. The most frustrating issue is that they used many of the same artists and songs in the fourth and fifth seasons of Happy Days. Most of the original music was included on the season four release. The same artists and songs have been replaced on the fifth season release. You won't hear Bobby Darin, Paul Anka, Fats Domino, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole, Ricky Nelson, The Platters, and others in the fifth season. If music licensing issues were really the reason for the long wait, why didn't they just release it with replaced music and edited episodes years ago? Some fans may not care about the original music. Despite a few minor music scenes being edited out, the DVD release will be fine for them. If you are a purist like me who likes to see every episode as close to the original as possible, this will be a very difficult set to watch. Even though several minutes are cut out of syndication, you do get to hear most of the original music and cast performances that way. I would like to see more releases like the first and fourth seasons. They have shown they are capable of including most of the original music. They should do it the right way with all of the seasons, even if they have to price them higher than an average season. There seems to be a belief that most casual fans won't pay more than $30 for a season, but I think the die-hard fans who want complete and unedited episodes would be willing to pay a premium.


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: 3.5/5
Overall: 2.5/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 05/19/04

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00HW3L9MG/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=324873

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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