|Marion Ross attempts to seduce Tom Bosley on Happy Days.
In the middle of its highly rated fifth season, Happy Days decided to give some characters other than Fonzie (Henry Winkler) an opportunity to shine. That trend continued with "Marion's Misgivings" from January 24, 1978, which focuses on the marriage of middle-aged suburbanites Howard and Marion Cunningham (Tom Bosley and Marion Ross). I don't know if it was a creative decision on the part of the producers or simply an effort to mollify the other actors in the cast, but it made a nice change of pace from the sitcom's "all Fonzie, all the time" formula.
The plot of "Marion's Misgivings" has Marion worried that her husband Howard will grow tired of her and leave her for a younger woman. Of course, Howard's not going to do anything like that, but Marion can't help but be concerned after the same thing happens to another (unseen) couple in their social circle. Distraught, she turns to Fonzie for advice on spicing up her marriage. Fonzie tells Marion that the Hooper Triplets recently dressed up as Huey, Dewey, and Louie during a date with him. Marion isn't ready to dress up as a cartoon duckling quite yet, but she does attempt to dress up as Arabian Nights storyteller Scheherazade to please her husband. It both does and doesn't work.
Apart from putting the spotlight on its older characters, "Marion's Misgivings" also stands out because it includes one of my favorite Happy Days tropes: the dream sequence. How Happy Days loves its dream sequences! These moments allow the writers to break the normal rules of the show and have the characters act in ways they normally wouldn't. The actors seem to enjoy these sequences, too, which makes them extra fun to watch. In this case, Marion has a dream in which she is a little old lady while Howard remains youthful and vigorous, carrying on like a rowdy college boy at Arnold's. At one point, Howard even flirts with rocker chick Leather Tuscadero (Suzi Quatro). When is that going to happen on Happy Days, outside of a dream?
You can find out what we thought of "Marion's Misgivings" by tuning in to the latest episode of These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast. If nothing else, it'll distract you from current events for a while.