MovieChat Forums > Happy Days Discussion > No sitcom in history dropped in quality ...

No sitcom in history dropped in quality as dramatically as Happy Days.


No sitcom ever dropped in quality as dramatically as Happy Days. The first two or three seasons were absolutely wonderful along with one of the finest Christmas episodes ever done. Of course I'm referring to the episode where Fonzie brags about his huge family Christmas Eve he will be attending and Richie finds him all alone eating ravioli out of a can in the garage. Happy Days is a fantastic show in those early years, by the time it got to Mork from Ork freezing Fonzie at Arnolds, the show was a dreadful mess. Barely recognizable.

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I'd have to disagree. The final season of Laverne & Shirley (1976) was an even sharper decline. Shirley wasn't there at all, but her name wasn't removed from the title. You might say HD had a longer steady decline.

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But Laverne and Shirley was never great like Happy Days was. Not even close. In fact I really can't even remember a single memorable moment on that show. MeTV airs it right after Happy Days and I can't believe how awful it is, and Lenny and Sqiggy just make the show even worse, so YES, it was as awful if not worse than Happy Days but it was never really that good to begin with. "HAPPY DAYS" was wonderful and became horrible and that was my point.

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Great post gargantuaboy. I agree, and it wasn't until subsequent viewings of seasons 4-7 that I realized just how far the show had declined after a few short years.
I didn't realize that the show was declining before season 8! There are many threads on this board that talk about all the weak aspects of those later seasons, and yet now I'm realizing that the first couple of seasons were really the only ones that were worth it and true to what the show originally was.

Others noticed that around the time Mork got there too, and everybody had to have a catchphrase, it became almost a cartoon and a caricature of itself.

The other poster mentions Laverne, which really that is an argument for another time and doesn't even come close to this shows decline. Saying that L&S was bad in the end, ok, but that does not make this show a great one during all those later years which we are now finding were pretty weak.






So: a realistic, down to earth show..which is completely off the wall swarming with magic robots?!

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You know, it's been so long since I've seen those awful Mork episodes, so I went on youtube and watched a little, were any of those supposed to be dream sequences? Could the show really have gotten THAT stupid? There was actually a tv movie about 15 years ago about the making of Mork and Mindee, yes there really was a TV movie that stupid, and it showed the actual moment where Gary Marshall mentions the Mork character to another executive as they are walking through the studio and there is an actor playing Gary Marshall and he says "My son loves Star Wars and he says there should be a Martian on Happy Days!!" It's hard to read that line and not laugh but apparently that really was the reason. They just must have been out of ideas and by that time they just tried ANYTHING.

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The first episode Mork appeared in was a dream of Ritchie's, his other appearance (I think there was only one other Happy days episode with him)I'm sure he was supposed to be real, I truly have no idea why they thought a telekinetic time traveling alien would be a good/acceptable character to put in a show about teenagers growing up in the 1950s that was supposedly rooted in reality

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They completely ran out of ideas and aliens were so popular and that was that. Have you ever really tried watching an episode of Mork and Mindee? It's absolutely dreadful to say the least.

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It was probably an idea along the lines of Gazoo, the Martian in The Flintstones.

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Hilarious and accurate posts!!
Even if it was along the lines of Gazoo, why bring a many-years-old element of a cartoon show that was good but not great, to a show like Happy Days?!?! A show that was #1 in the country by 1976-77 and appeared to not have to resort to such antics as an alien.




So: a realistic, down to earth show..which is completely off the wall swarming with magic robots?!

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Yes, it was pretty silly even for The Flintstones!!!! How could that possibly work on a real show about the 50's? It made no sense.

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Have you ever really tried watching an episode of Mork and Mindee? It's absolutely dreadful to say the least.
I agree. Well, if you have the audience howling with laughter, it makes you think you're missing something. I never liked Robin Williams in general. (the spastic unintelligible speech is supposed to be funny, ok) Actually Pam Dawber had the missed career.

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The reason they believe it was because Robin Williams was a superstar at the time and everybody wanted a piece of him. All anybody then or now ever cares about is a big paycheck and that's it. I watch Mork & Mindy when I was a kid but I can honestly say since it's been in reruns for the last 25 years I don't think I've watched a single episode after its run was done. I still watch Happy Days on Me-TV sometimes when I shuffle through the episode's end find one I like.

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Not sure what year the show was up to when Mork turned up but it would have made slightly more sense to tie it in with the first trips to the moon. Still a bad idea but at least relevant to the era.

Sometimes a movie or tv show plot is so stupid that only the stupid can understand it.

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I agree Laverne & Shirley was terribly awful along the lines of maybe Three's Company which along with Happy Days we're all on the same night for a couple of years. Tuesday nights on ABC. Believe it or not the train wreck that Laverne and Shirley is it was the number one show on television for two years of its run.

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Laverne and Shirley was unfunny and silly, and Happy Days was not witty enough. Was the awful Mork * Mindy also produced by Garry Marshall? I think he appealed to the central U.S. suburban folk who were not demanding.

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Unlike you, who is completely demanding and entitled. Only Lucy is good enough to meet with your approval. How superior of you. If Lucille Ball met you IRL, she would have zero patience.


I thought I was gonna die! - Roseanne Roseannadanna

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When Penny Marshall passed away, I heard a clip on the radio from L&S.
Laverne says one upside to going to the Unemployment Office is you might meet a Doctor.
Shirley says why would a Doctor be at the Unemployment Office?
Laverne says ... (pause) ... "He cured everybody !"
I thought that was genuinely funny.
But Lenny and Squiggy never did it for me, and I love Michael McKean. Wasn't until years later I learned he was one of those guys.

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High Definition had a longer steady decline?

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Isn't that the truth. The show was really good in the first two seasons, and steadily waned in every season after.

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The Fonz's popularity pretty much killed the series, they started to focus everything around him and even gave him magical powers. Then it no longer looked like the era it was set in and became a cartoon.

It became a kids show when in the beginning it could be pretty dark and serious at times.

Sometimes a movie or tv show plot is so stupid that only the stupid can understand it.

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watching early episodes makes you realize what a clown show this became.NEVER watch Laverne and Shirley. EGADS. that was awful.

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That's what happens when people lose their passion and just worry about the big paychecks. I still watched it because it was my favorite show even when Joanie and Chachi left it was probably one of the worst shows on television but I still liked it because it was Happy Days.

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This is the public's fault. Happy Days was going to be cancelled until they made the Fonz a cartoon.

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Yeah, the first season was like TV's version of "American Graffiti" - a nice mix of nostalgia and humor, with a serious attempt to capture a retro 1950's look and vibe.

Once the show became a hit, it all went to crap. It became all about Fonzie sticking up his thumbs and saying "Eeyyy," and a lot of dumb jokes and stupid situations, playing to the live studio audience. I remember it was the same time that "Welcome Back, Kotter" became a big hit - I think they changed the tone of Happy Days to reach the same big, dumb crowd.

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Once the show became a hit, it all went to crap. It became all about Fonzie sticking up his thumbs and saying "Eeyyy," and a lot of dumb jokes and stupid situations, playing to the live studio audience. I remember it was the same time that "Welcome Back, Kotter" became a big hit - I think they changed the tone of Happy Days to reach the same big, dumb crowd.
True. Some people liked that and it fulfilled them. I don't think the fans were necessarily dumb, but a certain type. There was no wit or inspired writing, or "funny" actors. Even Three's Company was funnier.

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Well they're not sitcoms, but.....

Beverly Hills 90210 started out around a 'straight laced midwestern family' getting a job transfer from MN to CA and trying to adjust to their new friends and those friends lives......it ended up WITHOUT the family, but the friends living in that family's house as adults with their own kids??

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series) Started out with teenage girl being called as the 'next' vampire slayer and moving to CA suburb predisposed to paranormal activity....ended with her as adult broke and without significant other, dead mother from mystery 'cancer' and suddenly self absorbed friends.

Yeah I hate it when my shows collapse

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