'Laverne & Shirley - The Fourth Season'
(Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / (1978) 2008 / Paramount)
Overview: Set in the 1950s, this half-hour situation comedy revolved around the friendship between bright-eyed, naive and demure Shirley Feeney and brassy, tough-talking, street smart Laverne De Fazio. Two bottle cappers for Shotz Brewery, the duo dated an array of questionable men, tolerated their dippy, loony neighbors Lenny and Squiggy, and forever pursued to "make all their dreams come true."
DVD Verdict: After a 2 year wait / delay between the first season and second season DVD releases, it's nice to see Paramount finally placing "Laverne and Shirley" on the DVD fast track! I hope that the rest of the seasons are also released as quickly as the second, third and fourth! Still, it's a shame regarding the music changes and lack of extras!
Anyhoo, despite personal rancor that later erupted between its energetic costars, Laverne & Shirley was always a showcase for polished, professional comedy and effortless chemistry between characters, giving it the same widespread appeal later enjoyed by Friends. A mid-season replacement with a prime time-slot (following Happy Days at 8:30 Tuesdays on ABC) the show placed its good-natured characters in a variety of standard sitcom predicaments, typically set in L&S's apartment, the "Pizza Bowl" diner run by Laverne's father Frank (Phil Foster), or the Shotz brewery, where some of the show's funniest slapstick humor emerged.
These 23 episodes are guaranteed to please longtime fans on a stroll down memory lane, but newcomers coming straight into this series may not relate to the clean-cut humor of a bygone era. Still, Laverne & Shirley started strong and continued to improve, at least for another season or two, with a variety of popular guest stars.
Some of my personal fav epsiodes include 'Dinner for Four' (12/5/78) where Laverne and Shirley become maids; 'It's a Dog's Life' (12/12/78) where Shirley protects a homeless dog at the pound; 'Oh, Come All Ye Bums' (12/19/78) where Laverne's father cancels his annual charity event; 'The Third Annual Shotz Talent Show' (1/30/79) where the girls perform as.... PUPPETS! This four-disc set represents the best of times for everyone involved come this fourth season. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs but does not come with any Special Features.