'Laverne & Shirley - The Second Season'
(Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / (1976) 2007 / 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 long wait, fans finally got Season 2. It's full of fresh, classic episodes, such as Laverne learning to drive and nearly demolishing half of Milwaukee. There are also crossover guest appearances from Henry Winkler as the Fonz and Ron Howard as Richie, to the delight of those who are also fans of "Happy Days."
Despite the real-life rivalry between Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams,they start freshly with the second season of 'Laverne & Shirley' in the fall of 1976 (this 'Happy Days' spin-off premiered the preceding January). Laverne DeFazio (Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Williams) are still best friends and roommates living in a Milwaukee apartment and capping bottles at Shotz Brewery. Still dropping into the girls' apartment frequently are Lenny (Eddie Mekka) and Squiggy (David L. Lander). There's also the landlady Edna Babish (Betty Garrett, late of 'All In The Family') and Laverne's father (Ed Marinaro) who are now a couple.
The episode "Future Models" is wildly hilarious. Remember the one with Laverne learning to drive? This also has the laugh till it hurts "Guinea Pigs" episode where the girls loan their bodies to science. Harry Shearer from Spinal Tap (before there was a Spinal Tap) is in that one. Of course, Michael McKean (Lenny) was also in that pseudo band. I could go on and on. I'll sum it by saying I love the funny lines (especially the Lenny and Squiggy ones), and campy, crazy situations and laughs this series packs.
However, if you enjoy purchasing these box sets for the extras, you'll be sorely disappointed as there aren't any here! I can just imagine all the bloopers they'd have, taping Cindy Williams' and Penny Marshall's physical comedy scenes, and how much fun they'd be to watch. I'd be willing to bet if they added these little things, a lot more people would end up buying them! But, alas. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.