Paramount // 1979 // 653 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // April 10th, 2012
"Schlemiel, Schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated."
Consider Laverne & Shirley: The Fifth Season a season of wanderlust.
First, the series moved from its home from Tuesday (following Happy Days) to Thursday, its ratings going from number one to somewhere below the hallowed Nielsen top thirty. Then the girls quit their jobs at Shotz brewery and join the army. Frank and Edna make their way to the altar. Squiggy moves out on Lenny. And Laverne moves in on Carmine; that's right, the "Big Ragoo" finally gets a little sum sumpin!
In other developments this, Misses Feeney and De Fazio travel south of the border for a Mexican vacation, and north of the border on a train bound for Canada, setting up a two-part mystery (* "Murder On The Moosejaw Express"). Lenny and Squiggy dress in drag so they can join a fight between girl gangs. And Carmine dons a spangly tux -- complete with ruffled, powder blue shirt -- while in the employ of a loan shark.
Not to worry, Laverne & Shirley fans, the 24 episodes that make up this four-disc collection contain all the elements that made you love the show in the first place: The conversations invariably escalate into screaming matches, and the characters routinely find reasons to leap on top of each other. There's singing, there's dancing, and of course, there's the (fourth annual) "Shotz Talent Show."
More good news: Paramount delivers the best looking season of transfers yet, and the 2.0 mono audio is so clear I didn't even need the English SDH subtitles -- which is not to say that I don't consider them an essential part of any DVD collection.
More importantly, Season Five marks the debut of Laverne & Shirley bonus features! The first is "Shotgun Wedding, Part 1," actually a Happy Days episode that leads to this season's premiere, "Shotgun Wedding, Part 2." There are also episodic promos, and a three minute gag-reel featuring instances of muffed lines and (bleeped) profanities. Okay, these aren't the best extras in the world, but they're a start, right?
Season Five features celebrity cameos from Charlene Tilton (Dallas), Vicki Lawrence (The Carol Burnett Show), Pat Morita (The Karate Kid), Art Garfunkel, and a pre-Cheers Ted Danson. What's the likelihood the number of celebrity cameos will increase in Season Six, when the whole Milwaukee gang up and moves out to Hollywood? Stay tuned!
Guilty of mixing Milk with Pepsi. Sentence commuted.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 653 Minutes
Release Year: 1979
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Episode
* Gag Reel