|Henry Winkler and Chris Milton on Happy Days.|
I don't particularly look forward to the so-called "very special episodes" of Happy Days, i.e. the serious ones that try to promote a positive social message or teach us all a lesson. Too often, these episodes are preachy, didactic, predictable, and (worst of all) unfun. I'm not a great believer in the sitcom as an agent of social change. These silly shows exist primarily to entertain us, after all. Education is better left in the classroom.
But, from the 1970s onward, the "very special episode" was a hallmark of prime time network television, and Happy Days did more than its fair share. This week, we're covering yet another VSE: Season 8's "Tall Story." The painfully earnest story revolves around a new character named John (Chris Milton), a talented and tall young man who wants to play on the Jefferson High basketball team despite his epilepsy. Unfortunately, John's overprotective father (former NBA player Harold "Happy" Hairston) disapproves. Do you think John ultimately plays on the team anyway? Do you think John's skeptical dad arrives at the Big Game just in time to see his son sink the winning basket? Have you seen a television show before?
So, yeah, it's not the most original episode in the world. But does that necessarily make it bad? Find out when we review "Tall Story" on These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast.