After the death of her husband, Lucy Carmichael and her friend, the recently divorced Vivian Bagley, move into a house together with their children. The series follows the adventures of the widow Lucy as she grapples with the comic complications of life on her own, and with her job working as the personal secretary to the impatient and grumpy banker Mr. Mooney. Written by
Jonanthan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>
At the start of Season 5, the opening sequence featured Lucille Ball's head on an animated jack-in-the-box. Ball hated this sequence and it was changed back to the Season 4 version, which showed clips of Lucy in a kaleidoscopic fashion. This sequence remained until the end of the show's run. The "jack-in-the-box" sequence has never been shown in syndication since the 1970s. See more »
I am in complete agreement with the majority of the previous reviewers in that the first two seasons in black-and-white with Vivian Vance playing Vivian Bagley (television comedy's first divorcee) where undoubtedly the finest of the series. I am second to none in my admiration for Lucy, but after Vivian's character vanished, I thought the shows got more grating, annoying, repetitious and less funny as a rule. Vance was indeed a great co-star for Ball, they played off each-other beautifully and had genuine "star chemistry" between them. Mr. Mooney yelling at Lucy Carmichael got to be distractingly boring, uninspired and plain stupid. I have always been a great fan of Vivian Vance: in my thinking she was a vastly underrated comedy performer who had a unique voice, delivery style and physical mannerisms. Lucy was indeed fortunate to have had Desi finding Vivian playing in a play in La Jolla back in 195O. Lucy wouldn't have been nearly as successful without the special magic this actress brought to Ethel & Viv!
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