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|Index||27 reviews in total|
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!
Although it was called "The Lucy Show," the core of this program was always the interaction between Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance and Gale Gordon. Having key film crew personnel from "I Love Lucy" certainly didn't hurt. The show did lose some punch when Vance left for she,along with Ball and Gordon, were "The Lucy Show Triumvirate". However, I feel the post-Vance episodes were almost as enjoyable for they featured interesting and entertaining guest stars. The "Main Street" episode featuring Mel Torme, Paul Winchell AND John Bubbles is a delight for musical fans. Check out the sequence showing Bubbles dancing with Lucy. Also, these later episodes still featured Gale Gordon who bounced off Lucy just as effectively as Vance did. Plus, the addition of Roy Roberts as Gordon's boss helped for he and Gordon bounced off each other well.
Lucille Ball was a headstrong actress.
When she was doing "I Love Lucy" she always yielded to Desi Arnaz because of her love for him and her respect for his management of the show.
When she did "Lucy Show" everything changed: she was divorced, her voice had changed because of doing the Broadway show "Wildcat" (it wrecked her vocal chords), she got Desilu Studios as part of the divorce settlement and she became a big time b!tch.
Her on screen technique changed changed as a result.
Her presence became totally mechanized: mugging and groaning through every scene.
Her insecurity at not having Desi meant she ruled the set, firing one actor when he stood up to her, using salty language to make people cringe and, finally, making uber-b!tch guest star Joan Crawford cry.
I think the real nadir of the series (and of all of Broadcast TV, really) came when she did that horribly, awful show where she gets drafted because a letter arrives for "Lou C. Carmichael" and her name in the series is "Lucy Carmichael".
The Army insists she be drafted nevertheless, and she gets her hair dutifully buzzed off while sporting a private uniform. Then they put her through boot camp.
STOOOOPID and actually UNCOMFORTABLE TO WATCH.
But it was "Lucy" - so I did.
Thus was the currency of Lucille Ball: even if they were pennies, they were pennies from Heaven.
I LOVE/MISS LUCY RICARDO!!!
I think that "The Lucy Show" should be brought to DVD and released by individual seasons. Paramount Home Video owns the rights to "The Lucy Show" and it would be great if we can have season 1 sometime in 2006. "The Lucy Show" was an excellent sitcom. It ran for six seasons on CBS-TV in the 1960's (1962-1968). It was never out of the top 10 shows during its six-season run. It was the number two show during the 1967-68 season. It earned Lucille Ball four Emmy nominations and two wins for Best Actress In A Leading Role In A Comedy Series during the 1966-67 and 1967-68 TV seasons. I will say that the first three years with Vivian Vance were the best; but the remaining three seasons were just as good. This show established Lucille Ball as the Queen of Comedy and the First Lady of Television. There were 156 episodes produced and when Lucy sold Desilu to Paramount; "The Lucy Show" went with it along with two outstanding TV specials: The Lucille Ball Comedy Hour (1964) w/Bob Hope as guest and "Lucy In London" (1966) which I think was Lucy's best TV special. (I hope that these specials eventually make it to DVD) Unfortunately, the episodes of "The Lucy Show" that are out now on DVD are bootleg copies. There are 30 episodes that are public domain and the quality of the DVDs are not that great. Two episodes are from season one, 21 episodes from season five and seven episodes from season six. I would love to see an officially authorized release of "The Lucy Show" released season by season just like the way Paramount released "I Love Lucy." I love "I Love Lucy" but fans of Lucille Ball would love to see all her shows on DVD. She was one of a kind and a great comedy actress. Till today, there is not one actress on TV or in the movies that can doe what she did on television for over 23 years. PLEASE PUT THE LUCY SHOW ON DVD!
I tend to disagree with many of the previous comments about how the
show was not the same without Vivian Vance. I was just given a four CD
box set of 28 episodes, some black and whites taking place in
Connecticut, but most were the color ones taking place in California.
I found the early episodes unappealing, in many ways, especially coming off of I Love Lucy. Bear in mind, I was born in 1959, so I viewed all of the black and white Lucy's in re-runs. I did not like the setting in Danfield, CT. Lucy did not seem to fit in there well, the children did nothing for me and as far as Vivian Vance, I had already seen their best antics on I Love Lucy. I Love Lucy is a show that only comes about once in a lifetime and they were so good, I did not think this aging team, now getting into their 50's, were as good and many were just repeats. I just watched the Shower Installation episode, which is considered one of the funniest, and again, I didn't think it was that funny. I saw this comedy routine on Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges. I did like the day they both went to a farm and William Frawley was there and Vance said to Lucy, "hey this guy looks familiar, doesn't he?" They did continue to get great guest stars and that was a saving grace. I may not be the best critic, because I rarely saw the black and white episodes in re-runs.
What I did get to see live and then in the early 70's in re-runs, were the color shows from 1965-68, when Lucy relocates to California. Here, the kids and Vance were gone and Lucy got to do her own antics and since she was so enormously funny and talented, I liked watching her solo with either famous actors and comedians or with some of the supporting cast from earlier Lucy's like Mary Jane Croft and Mary Wickes, to name a few. Gale Gordon was splendid as the straight man to Lucy's foils and the way he yelled MRS. CARMICHAEL!!! The show was sunny and colorful and the apartment stage set seem to fit her now 60's style much better as does Southern California. Yes, there were some marginal episodes, but many great ones as well. My favorite being Mary Wickes as Aunt Agatha. Bear in mind that the last two years of this show, 1967-68, it was number two in the ratings, higher than any of the ratings when it took place in Connecticut.
All in all the show had many funny moments and again, I liked seeing Lucy solo. When Here's Lucy came along in the fall of 1968, with Vance, Lucy Arnaz and Desi Jr. as well as Gale Gordon, the show was better and funnier with many good episodes both on CBS and NBC. All of her shows lasted six seasons, the norm for a good comedy.
I cherish all of the work she did throughout her 23 consecutive years on television. She and all of her cast will always be missed forever.....
This was Lucy's first series after the Lucy-Desi break-up. In many ways
though it followed the same formula as I Love Lucy in that the comedy
was set up just as well and Lucy is just as funny. Her character was
developed as one that actually hit the times well.
Lucy was portrayed here as a single woman and still energetic enough to pull it off. Folks like Garry Marshall were among the talented writers enlisted to do scripts and many of the scripts were very funny. Lucy with her talent added to all of them.
Famous guest stars littered the shows, from her second encounter with legend John Wayne to Jack Benny and the first physical sighting of his famous vault where he squeezed his first dime. Gale Gordon was a great support actor as Lucy's boss at the bank she worked at during the series. That was the difference between this series & I Love Lucy is that most of the time Lucy was trying to keep her bank job with Mr. Mooney instead of trying to be a star.
It is a subtle change but important to note that Lucy could still be funny in different situations. Viven Vance is always a delight when she is on this show. She could not be on all the time due to some health problems she had but she did appear a lot. Ratings for this show were number 1 until it's last season when NBC stripped a gear & Laugh-In came on board.
The black and white episodes were the funniest of the entire series. Maybe this has to do with Vivian Vance, who was better here than in the "I Love Lucy" show. I always thought that Viv was the glue that held those earlier episodes together. Who could ever forget the episode about "Crazy Crunch" or of the Christmas episode about "Chris Crinkle".
Add my opinion to the others...Vivian Vance added a great deal of class to all the "Lucy" shows. None was more evident than in "The Lucy Show" when she departed (much too soon). After Vivian left the show it was apparent that Lucy needed a sidekick and various guest stars tried to fill Vivian's shoes but none came close. Once the show was broadcast in color, Lucy doing too much (such as running Desilu) started acting with too many broad strokes thinking that whatever she did would be funny. It wasn't. Some of the later shows were actually embarrassing to watch and you realized that not only were the writer's out of ideas but Lucy should have ended this show years before.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While the show was very good, I can't give it a **** rating because it
didn't reach the comedic limits of the original "I Love Lucy" show of
With her marriage to Desi Arnaz over, Lucy had to move on with her life, but continue her successful television career. Reuniting with Vivian Vance and joining with Gale Gordon, the trio created a funny hit. Widowed Lucy and divorced Vivian move together, while Lucy works for Gordon in a bank. Gordon is as overbearing as ever, but he often was a great foil for Ball. The show succeeded because Lucy was still able to cook up her schemes with Vance. While it was true that Desi Arnaz and Bill Frawley were missing, the show was a commercial success. It provided us with a never ending fix for our love for Lucy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(UPDATED 4/26/11) At first I was glad to have a handful of the first
few seasons with Vivian Vance episodes, thanks to TV reruns and a home
video release with 25 uncut episodes with episodes from seasons 1, 2,
3, and 6 (or 5) by Columbia House in the 90s, but now I am so excited
that CBS finally released this show in full season sets on DVD, uncut,
with tons of extras and beautifully remastered.
This show stars the legendary Lucille Ball, and Vivian Vance. Ball plays a widow, Lucy Carmichael, who has two children--a teenage daughter named Chris and a younger son named Jerry. Vance plays her roommate/best friend named Vivian Bagley. She also has a younger son named Sherman. They live in Danfield Connecticut. The first season is in black and white and it's like I Love Lucy just without Ricky and Fred. Both Vance and Ball have great on-screen chemistry together and Lucy still has her comedic timing. How did she do it while running Desilu Studios at the same time? Lucy and Viv get into a lot of wacky misadventures--like getting stranded in the middle of a lake on a used boat they bought, working at a malt shop filling in for Chris, getting trapped in a shower stall filled with water, installing a TV antenna on the roof, and becoming volunteer firemen (and setting the fire station on fire!) Also co-starring with Lucy was Charles Lane who played the curmudgeon Mr. Barnsdahl who managed Lucy's money at the bank.
In the second season (1963-1964) the show was now in color (the second and third seasons originally broadcasted in black and white but filmed in color.) Gale Gordon now co-starred alongside Lucille, and would later co-star with her for the next 23 years. He played Theodore Mooney, the president of the bank Lucy later worked at and was always annoyed by Lucy. Lucy and Viv (if not just Lucy) still got into wacky misadventures such as starting their own Kiddie Party business, digging for "embezzeled money" in Mr. Mooney's backyard in the middle of the night, working in a summer camp kitchen, trying to rescue Mr. Mooney's pet bird from a telephone line, digging through cakes to look for Lucy's lost contact lens, and being turned into wicked witches in one of Lucy's nightmares.
At the end of the third season in 1965 Vance left the show, tired of playing second fiddle to Lucy and making the commute from California to Connecticut (where she lived) every week. At the beginning of the fourth season Lucy got re-located to California, where coincidentally, Mr. Mooney did too--much to he and Lucy's chagrin. Lucy's son got enrolled in military school and her daughter went to college. It was also explained that Vivian had gotten re-married and still lived on the East Coast. She would guest star in 3 or 4 later episodes. These episodes mostly involved Lucy working at the bank with Mr. Mooney and meeting various celebrities like John Wayne, George Burns, Paul Winchell, Sheldon Leonard and Carol Burnett. Also co-starring with Lucy was Mary Jane Croft who played a few characters on I Love Lucy and who would also on Here's Lucy. Mary Jane was like Viv 2.0. The fifth and sixth seasons weren't as good as the Vivian Vance years, but they did have their fair share of funny episodes like Lucy making 1500 dollars for new furniture by buying 3,000 cans of baked beans (thanks to a special "return for double your money guarantee") Lucy accidentally getting drafted into the army, convincing Mr. Mooney that she's sick so she can leave work to go to a sale, flying to London, getting hypnotized, babysitting baby chimps, and rallying to save a tiny town from being turned into a freeway. Most of these episodes from season 5 and 6 are on DVD but in public domain so it's the same 30 episodes on all the DVDs. They are also very poor quality. Only two episodes from the first season are included--Lucy and Viv install a shower and Lucy and the Barbershop Quartet.
Also in a season 4 episode, there was a special cameo by Bill Frawley who played Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy. He was a horse trainer. Lucy went to see a horse that her late husband left her and as the trainer walked away, Lucy said "he reminds me of someone I used to know!" This was Mr. Frawley's last appearance on TV in October 1965 before he died the following March.
It may not be as funny as I Love Lucy but it was one of the highest rated shows on TV. 4/5 stars. Buy the season DVDs and you will not be disappointed.
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