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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I want to echo all those who have praised Desi Arnaz--he was simply the best
straight man in show business. Lucille Ball was incredibly funny, but when
you watch her later series, there seems to be something missing--and it's of
course Desi. He's hilarious, and as others have mentioned a real pioneer in
TV production. Throw in his musical ability and he's hard to beat as
performer by anyone (better than Jackie Gleason in my opinion).
As for the show itself, it's timeless. These days it's strange to watch MASH, All In The Family, Maude, they've all faded and seem hopelessly dated. Not so with I Love Lucy, it's just as funny today--no it doesn't deal with abortion, or teen suicide, it deals with funny people who are even funnier when they are together, who have great chemistry together and then the show puts them into genuinely funny situations. In todays politically correct world, one wonders if the thought police would have allowed Lucy to jab at Ricky's accent, or would require some sort of social message about Lucy's role as a housewife. Please. I tend to find more meaning in Ricky singing "I Love Lucy" or Lucy trying to sneak into Ricky's show down at the Tropicana after he's banned her than in all of Maude's tired feminist rants put together.
Lucille Ball changed television forever when "I Love Lucy" hit the air in
1951. It featured a woman as a main character, which was rare back during
that time and age. And the fact that the woman did not listen to her husband
often was even more controversial. Everything the show was was rebellious.
It was also extremely controversial because her husband was Cuban, and back
in the '50's, barely anyone married other races, and if so, the subject was
definitely not the premise for a television show.
So, through the ages, I Love Lucy has had a major impact on generations, and has not slipped into culture like many shows, but has been accepted into culture. Not to mention all the Lucy impersonators who have pageants each and every year. But the thing I remember most, is the famous "Eeeooowww!"
5/5 stars --
Everyone who has already commented has said just about all one can about this extraordinary accomplishment in TV entertainment. I would just like to add this. Some years ago, I saw a comic strip panel that showed the following. We see two gas pumps, one labeled Fred and the other Ethyl. That's it. Evokes a little chuckle. How many shows made the names of their characters so much part of our culture, that 50 years later, a pun like that would be immediately understood by young and old alike? You teenagers out there, do you remember Conklin and Boynton? Or Lily Ruskin and Hilda Crocker? How about Cosmo and Henrietta Topper? Seems to me it is just I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners that have stood the test of time and appealed to all generations. The Bach and Beethoven of TV. Real classics. I am so happy Lucy is finally available on DVD, with plenty of entertaining and fascinating extras.
It is beyond my comprehension how anyone can watch this show and think it isn't funny. Easily the most beloved series in the history of televison, I LOVE LUCY is a timeless milestone classic which will never be equalled. The casting is perfection personified: Ball's attractiveness, grace, vigour & timing are impeccable. Desi was an underrated straight man who was alternately funny himself - and with that inimitable Cuban accent yet. Bill Frawley and Vivian Vance seemed to BE Fred and Ethel Mertz: who else could play these loveable characters so memorably effective as they? Talk about inspired casting! The chemistry between the four is more than amazing: it's phenomenal. Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh were truly gifted writers and Jess Oppenheimer gave the series its certain elusive magical quality which vanished after he left over issues with Desi. The show was still terrific during the latter part of its run, but after Oppenheimer left and Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskoff were added to write the scripts, the show's predictibility was definitely more pronounced. I think Vivian Vance was a truly underrated performer: her timing, delivery, facial expressions and gestures are joys to watch! Lucy herself - to her credit - acknowledged Vance's brilliant talent. P.S. one of my very favourite Lucy moments is during a scene in the lesser-known THE SAXOPHONE. Ball's timing - when she opens up the coat closet to find a strange man hidden therein - is split second perfection: hilariously funny.
It's still the best television series ever created: still playing on about 4 channels all the time here in the Bay Area. Beautiful Lucille Ball is a master of line delivery and facial expressions, never topped. Vivian Vance has the best supporting role in TV history, a warm, funny, sympathetic character. Desi Arnaz offers the first known Latino-Caucasian pairing ever while William Frawley excels as Vance's husband. Almost all shows are classics, even the lesser known ones. Writing is outstanding, dealing with everyday problems that all can still relate to, never dating. Unlike other TV series, it's VERY SLOWLY being released to DVD, accenting its special status. TV Guide gave it a number 2 rating in its 100 greatest comedy television series (following "Seinfeld"). While "Seinfeld" should be in the Top 10, Lucy was and will always be the pinnacle best.
First of all, just about every aspect of this show's premise was
implausible: that Lucy and Ricky would even be married to each other and
that they would be best friends with the much older Mertzes. (Although
William Frawley was 64 when the show started, Vivian Vance was 42, close to
Lucille Ball's age, but Ethel was supposed to be much older). Anyway, the
show worked in spite of, or maybe even because of this.
Almost every episode was good, except for some weak ones during the first season. And even though the show is over 50 years old, it doesn't seem dated like other old shows. It's still fresh and entertaining, even after repeated viewings.
There are many well-known stories that have to do with Lucille Ball's vanity. She didn't want Ethel to wear nice clothes, so as not to overshadow Lucy. Vivian Vance's wardrobe was purchased off-the-rack in department stores, and Lucille Ball's was designed especially for her. And then there's the rumor that Vivian Vance was contractually obligated to be at least 25 pounds heavier than Lucille Ball. When Vivian Vance returned from summer hiatus one season having lost weight, Lucille Ball said, "You're looking a little too good there, Viv, we're going to have to fatten you up real quick."
Not enough credit goes to the underrated Desi Arnaz. He was a brilliant, talented, and very, very funny man, but not in the same exaggerated over-the-top style of Lucille Ball. His facial expressions are priceless, especially when his eyes literally pop out of his head. It's too bad that he was overshadowed by his more famous wife. Even his daughter, Lucie Arnaz has been known to say that "my mother gets all the credit, but my father was the brains behind the show."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Decades after the ultimate popularity of the series,what more is
thereto say about "I Love Lucy" ?
This show was one of,if not the very first,well put together sitcoms in TV history. The show is the original blueprint for what most sitcoms in the future would later become. There's really no bad episodes of this show and that's due not just to Lucille Ball but to Desi,Vivian and William as well!
It's the original re-run that launched the idea of syndicated re-runs for constant replay on local station and then on Nick At Nite & TV Land. Although some references on the show might make younger viewers scratch their heads,the comedy and stories are pretty timeless.
One of the best things about the Lucy character for me is not just her hilarious attempts at getting into Ricky's act but the way she,a woman of the 1950s,stands up for herself as a woman. I also like when the stories get sentimental when focusing on either their anniversary,the birth of the baby.
I especially like the scene in the Hollywood show,where Lucy's been offered a studio contract and she's been guilt tripped by Rick & the Mertzes about the fact she'd have to stay in Hollywood while they went back home to New York.
Imagining her career and then the sadder parts of being away from her family all come out in wonderful facial & body expression. Which demonstrated that she's not just a comedian,she was also an actress. (I hated that she gave up that once in a lifetime chance though.)
One last little thing to note,in the episodes where the Ricardos & Mertzes move to Connecticut,there is a Grandfather clock by the front door of Lucy & Ricky's home.
I've noticed that this clock never says any other time but 12! In one show Ricky comes home from work at what should be evening but,of course,the clock still says 12.
I never noticed that until the other day.
Oh well,even a great show like this can make mistakes. (End)
This was the show that truly invented the situation comedy. Lucy was the show that truly put forth a situation each week and built a plot around it. Whether it was switching jobs, breaking into show business or just getting into trouble, Lucy and Ricky were just the couple for this show. I always enjoy watching it whenever its on, especially the episodes from the "Little Ricky" era. This show is a timeless classic that will always span the generations.
The great female comedian Lucille Ball performed Lucy Ricardo who got herself in some strange situations in this comedy show that ran from 1951 to 1957.Desi Arnaz played her husband Ricky and the neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz were played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.I Love Lucy may be nearly fifty years old but the humor in it is timeless.It works no matter how old the show was.The actors were great and everything else was also great in this show.Everybody should watch I Love Lucy no matter how old or young you were.
The series, "I Love Lucy" could be the most classic T.V. show in the history of television!! Lucille Ball incorporated slapstick stunts in situations that would utterly appall many insufferable people!! The cast is great!! Comprising of; Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, her real life husband, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley.. Originally, the parts of Fred and Ethel Mertz were suppose to be played by Gale Gordon ("Here's Lucy") and Bea Benederitt ("Petticoat Junction").... While both of these performers were very talented, they sought other avenues, and Vivian Vance and William Frawley stepped in!! From there, the television audience could not imagine any two other people playing the role of the Mertz couple!! "I Love Lucy" was very successful for many reasons, one being that the ethnicity recognition sparked a behavioral candor which was identifiable with many people who watched television !! Special guest stars contributed to the popularity of this show tremendously!! Desi Arnaz, who was very talented, became a likable element on "I Love Lucy".. Yet, first and foremost, Lucille Ball, (An RKO Queen) and her wiles of chicanery, are what symbolized the auspicious trademark to this program!! Lucy was the lovable mischief maker who garnered a camaraderie with the small screen viewer!! Her later shows were classic as well, but, "I Love Lucy" was the show which most sticks out in everybody's mind as the stellar sitcom in Lucille Ball's career!! For years and years "I Love Lucy" has been enjoyed by generations of television viewers, and it will continue to be enjoyed by more and more generations in the future!! "I LOVE LUCY" IS TELEVISION!!
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