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Recently, I watched the four-DVD set highlighting episodes from the
several seasons of this show. Considering that the final years of this
ratings winner ran concurrently with such sophisticated CBS series as
"Mary Tyler Moore" and "Bob Newhart," it is surprising that it lasted
as long as it did. I suppose it filled a void, but seeing Lucy cavort
in what is basically a fifties-format sitcom that played in the
turbulent 60s/70s, is still a bit of a shock.
Granted, the production quality is great, and the near-Technicolor hues are beautiful, but the plots are hackneyed, at best.
Lucy would once again rehash the format in the disastrous "Life with Lucy" misfire of the mid-eighties.
This series plays better than its previous existence as "The Lucy Show," which itself was a mutation of "The Lucille Ball Show." Business considerations in 1968 required Lucy to reformat the show, in order to maintain ownership. Plus, she finally made it a total family affair. Lucie and Desi Jr. are fine in their roles, albeit with a tendency to over-emote. Gale Gordon is an acquired taste, although he is always the consummate professional in whatever shenanigans the script requires.
The "extras" on the DVD set are quite revealing. Lucy was known as being tyrannical on the set, and it is quite evident in the outtakes and behind-the-scenes bits. Also, it is quite disconcerting to watch Lucy blatantly read the cue-cards in almost every episode.
Vivian Vance and Ball always had great chemistry, and the episodes joining the two are among the best. The guest-star format got a bit ridiculous in this series, with seemingly 75% of the episodes revolving around a celebrity.
Gary Morton, Lucy's husband, executive produced the show, as he did its previous lives throughout the 60s. He was also the warm-up for the show, as seen in the DVD extras. I hate to say it, but there was a reason he didn't find the success that many of his fellow Borscht Belt comedians enjoyed. Obviously, Lucy wanted a producer she could control. In the outtakes, you see her yelling "cut" time and time again, and believe me, that practice isn't kosher in the business.
Certainly, I recommend catching a few episodes of this series, if only to see how a top-notch comedienne manages to strait-jacket herself with a format that limits her own talents.
I recently watched quite a bit of a 4-DVD set of "Here's Lucy!"
episodes including extras such as rehearsal footage, syndication sales
tapes, Thalians award show, commentary by Lucie and Desi, Jr., etc.
In spite of Lucy's neediness, bitterness, volume and high vocal pitch, I quite enjoyed her honed technique, especially in the Burton/Taylor episode where she seems to really give a damn.
Also, her clothes are very chic for the most part (nicer than all the other actors' costumes) and I especially loved the once-familiar "fallout shelter" sign in the hallway outside Uncle Harry's office! The dance number Ann-Margret does with Desi, Jr. is something to behold. The Wayne Newton episode, believe it or not, is fun. And Lucy, Lucie and Ginger Rogers dancing the Charleston is cute. Lucy loved a Charleston!
The animated Lucy puppet during the credits is adorable, but you get sick of it if you watch too many episodes!
What I really want to see are "The Lucy Show" (before "Here's Lucy!") episodes and extras, when Viv was Lucy's housemate and there were three kids living with them (not Lucy's own kids).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had the wonderful luck of finding the 24 episode/4 DVD package of
"Here's Lucy" at my local library this week! Overthe past 3 days I have
watched each included show and the DVD extras. I had not seen a "Here's
Lucy" episode since 1978 and it was great to see the ones i have never
seen! I'll tell you all out there this much,if i had to rate "Lucy"
series in a top 5 list,this would be an extremely close 2nd to "I Love
The shows are somewhat topical (for late 60s-early 70s TV) and very well written. No,they're not Shakespeare or a toned down All In The Family",but the shows are simply just "funny". If you don't laugh when you watch this,you may want to see your Dr. to find out if he removed your funny bone or heart! There are plenty of "guest stars" to see and not only do they do the old "Run,it's that red-head" routine,they also do shows that they team up with her and her kids and entertain with song and dance.
Believe it or not,the show is not corny at all! 100% wonderful. I have to say the only odd episode is where Lucy,Uncle Harry,Kim and Craig travel to an Air Force Acedemy in Colorado to see about it for Craig. Very bizarre! Loook for re-runs or the DVD. Well worth it and I give "Here's Lucy" 10 stars!
I have always been a fan of Lucille Ball. She is the greatest commedienne of all time. To see here working with her own children was wonderful. Gale Gordon and Lucy had chemistry. You do not find that too often in a lot of television shows. This by far one of the greatest shows since "I Love Lucy."
I highly recommend this set to Lucy fans. I think it is very well
produced and I appreciate the voice over's done by Luci and Desi Jr.
However.....If I were to suggest a few things, I would rather have this show released in a complete season by season format instead of selected episodes. For instance, the Mary Tyler Moore shows would be a good example of how to release this as they are being released (although very very slowly) in a season by season packaging format. I'm not sure this will happen with "Here's Lucy" but it would sure be nice.....so here's hoping for some future volumes of this great show on DVD. Highly recommended to all even though I wished they would release ALL the shows instead of selected episodes. I give it 10 stars!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was a mere child when "Here's Lucy" aired first run on television and
I loved it. But here's the thing: my mom and dad...hated it. Why? They
were BIG fans of "I Love Lucy" and by the time this came on, they
thought Lucy was all worn out without Ricky and the Mertzes, and it was
time for her to go to pasture. Me? I never saw "I love Lucy" (A few
years later when I entered grade school and would come home for lunch,
it would be on in repeats and that's where my interest for that show
came in!) so I had no previous opinion of her work.
But not me - I was a child and this appealed to me like Saturday Morning Cartoons. I loved the little dancing doll of Lucille Ball. You ask me, the whole show should have been that dancing doll at my young age.
I loved the overblown colors, I didn't get ALL of the humor but I liked watching Lucy, and her teen children. That's what appealed to me the most:The teens. As a child who had quite a bit to go towards teen-hood, watching these teens interested me as adults did at the time. And if you ask me, that's basically what this series was about: a single mom trying to raise her "hip" teen children and having a really crappy job with a really crappy/silly boss. It was the "sign of the times" and "Here's Lucy" was reflective of it.
Now here's the thing: I don't quite remember the "guest stars" - maybe that could be because I didn't know WHO they were. My parents knew ALL of them and maybe that is what influenced them the most about this show - where it did nothing for me.
There's the 'generation gap' for ya - those that know and have established views and those that don't and like what they see for the first time. For my generation, this was fun for its time - even though re-watching it NOW, as an adult...I can see what my parents were talking about. But even so, I still loved that dancing doll of Lucille Ball.
I am lucky where I am they air "Heres Lucy" on weekdays so I have seen many episodes. Here's Lucy isn't as good as "I Love Lucy" but it does have its laughs. I am a fan of Lucille Ball, and Gale Gordon, and I think they did a good show. The only thing which I dislike about the series is the singing and dancing acts. Also the show relies a lot on guest stars. There are episodes which will make you laugh and others which aren't as funny. It is nice seeing Lucy work with her kids though. I can't really compare this show though to "The Lucy Show" since I have only seen about thirty episodes most of being color. But overall this series is very well done. Not as good as "I Love Lucy" but its still worth watching.
If you have fond memories of "Here's Lucy" from your childhood, the
easiest way to retain them is never to re-watch this series. The plots
are trite; the jokes are flat; and the overacting by both Lucille Ball
and Gale Gordon is painful to watch.
At one time, Lucy had been the queen of television comedy, but that had been with the benefit of talented writers and a brilliant cast. Without those, Lucy is left to rely only on physical comedy, and that alone cannot carry a show, no matter the laughtrack volume.
I'm convinced that the only reason this series was a ratings success on CBS was that viewers had been watching some version of Lucy on Monday nights since the early '50s, and they were unaware that they could change the channel.
Recently I was volunteering at the local library sorting used donations. These used items are resold to pay for community programs such as guest speakers. Volunteers have first chance to purchase donated items. I was intrigued when I came across a VCR tape with the written title "Nude Painting". I was intrigued and purchased the tape thinking it was a program on how to paint nude models. However, I was treated to an 'Here's Lucy' episode where Lucille models to help a frustrated painter sell his paintings. The painter was portrayed by Danny Thomas. This was first time I had seen the show 'Here's Lucy' and I was impressed. I had expected a corny outdated show instead I was treated to a pretty good comedy show that made me laugh. Whether I was laughing at myself for being fooled, or at the comic routines I don't know.
Lucille Ball is the greatest comic of all time. Here's Lucy was a fun, campy show. It was great to see Lucy, Gale, and Lucy's kids all acting together. Fans now have the complete series of I Love Lucy and The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour. I would love to see Here's Lucy released as season sets on DVD. I hope to see complete series releases of The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life With Lucy. All of these shows are important parts of Lucy's television history. If you haven't voted yet, please do so at tvshowsondvd.com. Maybe we will get some good news on a future release!! The more votes, the more fans can show their enthusiasm!! Can you imagine owning all the Lucy shows in your own collection?!?!?
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