What kind of woman could possibly make the oh-so-tough Arthur Fonzarelli fall hopelessly in love? We find out in the three-part opener of Happy Days – The Complete Fourth Season in one of the great names of the small screen, Pinky Tuscadero. Pinky (a stunning Roz Kelly) shows spunk as a female version of Fonzy (Henry Winkler in his career-making role), and it’s surprising she wasn’t used more in the series run. Perhaps CBS felt fettering Fonzy with a regular gal-pal took away from his enigmatic qualities, which he would eventually lose anyway in the show’s eleven seasons.
Other developments in the fourth season: Joanie (Erin Moran) goes from cute kid to sexy young woman; Potsie (Anson Williams) continues to fashion himself a crooner; Ralph Malph (Donny Most) still plots and schemes to find any girl that will give him the time of day; Richie (Ron Howard) holds it all together, mixing his psychologist’s edge with a wide-eyed naivety; and Pat Morita leaves Arnold’s hangout in the capable hands of Al Delvecchio (Al Molinaro).
From 1974 to 1984, Happy Days was one of the most successful shows on television, striking while the iron of nostalgia was hot for the 1950’s and riding it for a full decade, spawning three spin-offs along the way. An enjoyable escape to a simpler time with a more modern, realistic sensibility, Happy Days is a show past, present, and future generations can embrace… as long as we’re not talking about jumping any sharks.
The video presentation nears flawless in execution. Colors really pop, blacks are deep. I cannot remember watching Happy Days in the past or present on a TV broadcast and it actually looking this good. Kudos to
Dialog levels are solid as well. Nothing fancy, just a crisp, clean monaural presentation. The “Happy Days” theme is really strong in both catchiness and volume. My only complaint would be we’re treated to a lot less original music and more painful renderings from Potsie Webber’s flat singing voice. This omission detracts slightly from the feel of the series’ debut season, but not enough to squander the magic.
The most disappointing attribute of the set is
Fans of the show are in for a treat with the audio/video presentations sparkling better than the original incarnations ever did. It’s the lack of extras that are liable to leave them in an uproar. Luckily, 23 classic episodes of laughter, friendship, family, and nostalgic fun are here to stave off the disappointment.