|Anson Williams and Allan Rich on Happy Days.|
Season 6 of Happy Days is bizarre. What other word can I use to describe it? These 27 episodes (airing between September 1978 and May 1979) vary wildly in tone from one week to the next. The show's writers seem to be trying every possible approach, from soapy melodrama ("Fonzie's Blindness," "Kid Stuff") to Saturday morning escapism ("The Claw Meets the Fonz," "Fonzie's Funeral"). What unites these stories? Really, only the dependable cast of regulars. I wonder if even they were confused by these scripts. Cowboys? Gangsters? An exorcism? What's going on here?
I don't mean to say that Season 6 is bad. In fact, I found it quite entertaining for the most part. But the series had lost all direction by this point. It isn't even particularly nostalgia-driven anymore, though there are still occasional golden oldies on the soundtrack and scattered references to TV shows and movies from the past. We're miles away from Season 1 and even further away from the original, quaint 1972 pilot. Interestingly, this was pretty much the end of Happy Days' stranglehold on American popular culture. The show would tumble from the Top 10 the next season, never to return.
This week on These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast, we're reviewing the Season 6 finale, "Potsie Quits School." The plot has hapless college student Potsie Weber (Anson Williams) confronting a stern, dictatorial anatomy professor (Allan Rich). It's my theory that this episode is the show's direct response to CBS' The Paper Chase, which was airing against Happy Days on Tuesday nights that year. Naturally, like most Potsie-centric episodes, this one features a big musical number, namely the immortal "Pump Your Blood."
I hope you'll join us for our review of "Potsie Quits School." This podcast also contains our overall thoughts on Season 6 and our picks for the Top 5 episodes of the year. Enjoy!