The Lucy Show: The Official Fourth Season ... Arrives on April 26th, 2011!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Theodore J. Mooney, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    The main color photo of Lucy on the artwork is hideous. Hopefully it'll change before being finalized. As far as future seasons go, I'll pick them up, but I WON'T like it!! ;)
     
  2. Theodore J. Mooney

    Theodore J. Mooney Supporting Actor

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    Must this be turned into ANOTHER thread of bashing The Lucy Show? When will this be enough for you? I think we all get the picture now.
     
  3. Theodore J. Mooney

    Theodore J. Mooney Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, that main one doesn't even look like Lucy! I would have much rather they used the photo of "Lucy at Marineland" with Lucy crying beside that dolphin. That pic, I think, goes along with her classic crying bit. Then not to mention that episode got the first publicity shot for the season and was the very first Lucy episode to be shown in color.
     
  4. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Well, sad to say, I can bash The Lucy Show as much as I want, and I intend to continue doing so. I envy people who grew up watching it when they were too young to see that it was really dumb and not very funny -- and had no memories of I Love Lucy to compare it to.


    I'm not exaggerating when I say there are more funny lines in one episode of I Love Lucy than in an entire season of The Lucy Show or Here's Lucy.


    That picture of Lucy crying among the dolphins was on the cover of TV Guide in 1965. I think that was the last time she did her classic cry. She had to change the character of Lucy pretty drastically or face a lawsuit from Jess Oppenheimer, the creator of the original Lucy Ricardo character. If she had had any sense and wasn't such a tightwad, she'd have paid him a royalty.
     
  5. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I don't know why, but my interest is brewing for these other Lucy shows.


    Even though I'm going to turn 49 this year, I don't recall seeing many episodes of Lucy's other TV shows. I am a huge fanof I LOVE LUCY, and I do own all the seasons, as well as the LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR.


    I must say, reading these latest posts from Joe Lugoff doesn't exactly make me want to rush out and buy HERE'S LUCY or THE LUCY SHOW.. but I am interested. I'd like to hear more opinions.
     
  6. Theodore J. Mooney

    Theodore J. Mooney Supporting Actor

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    Well, he is one of those hardcore I Love Lucy fans that, unfortunately, hates her later shows. I guess his whole goal in bashing them left and right and thread after thread is to persuade someone like you that her other shows aren't worth your time. I say ... don't take anyone else's word for it but give them a chance and judge for yourself. You may find out that they are not all bad as some people make them out to be. Just sayin'.
     
  7. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    While virtually everything Joe all-too-bluntly says is true, there's still some enjoyment to be had from the later seasons of THE LUCY SHOW and HERE'S LUCY if you're a fan of Lucille Ball. While neither show can hold a candle to I LOVE LUCY, few comedy series can. But it's fun to see the comedy troupers of the golden age of TV comedy work with the Lucille Ball stock company of players (Gale Gordon, Mary Jane Croft) and the various guest stars (Jack Benny, Milton Berle, etc.) give the admittedly stale material their all.


    The later seasons of THE LUCY SHOW are the poorest, because she has no family around to ground her in some semblance of reality. Things actually improve a bit when the format changes to HERE'S LUCY, because now she has children once again and she's related to the Gale Gordon character, which gives a rational explanation for why these two people who irritate each other so work together.


    But years of yelling, scotch and cigarettes took away a lot of her Lucy Ricardo charm. There's no continuity from show to show and no effort to create tangible characters. Each show tends to play like a skit you'd see on Carol Burnett's show; in other words, totally cartoonish and devoid of reality, with what little plot there is usually designed to be just an excuse to get Lucy to interact with whatever guest star is featured this week. And everyone's playing it like they're in a cavernous theatre rather than a relatively intimate TV studio.


    If you can accept it for what it is, (skillfully performed sketch comedy), and for what it isn't (great writing and direction a la I LOVE LUCY) you may find THE LUCY SHOW worth your while. But it probably does help to have been exposed to it at a very early age. If just seeing the likes of Iris Adrian or Mary Wickes walk on stage brings a smile of recognition to your face, you'll find pleasure in these shows. If you've never heard of Iris Adrian or Mary Wickes, you may want to Netflix it first.


    I'm in for the whole run myself.
     
  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I still get a kick out of seeing the greats, so I'll get the remaining seasons of both later series. But Joe is right about the quality of the writing and directing. But comedy is all subjective to a large degree anyway. Someone's painful groan may be someone else's belly laugh. I find I'm enjoying Here's Lucy a bit more than The Lucy Show, except for Lucie and Desi, Jr. They're almost painful to watch many times. But the guest stars are top drawer and I usually get at least one laugh from an episode. But I certainly have nothing but praise for teh way both series are being treated on DVD. They look and sound spectacular and the extras are great. They'd deserve my support for those reasons alone, but Lucy and the great guest stars make it a no brainer, even though neither will ever rank as one of my favorites series.


    Here's hoping they change the cover to the Marineland pic!
     
  9. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Joe Karlosi, you know me from another Forum, and our tastes don't always coincide.


    But it has to be faced as a fact that I LOVE LUCY is always ranked at or near the top of lists of the greatest sitcoms in TV history, and THE LUCY SHOW and HERE'S LUCY are never mentioned on those lists.


    As I said above, younger people (like Theodore J. Mooney, here, whom I envy) who grew up watching THE LUCY SHOW and/or HERE'S LUCY have fond nostalgic memories of them and tend to overrate them. You know we all tend to do that to things we loved as kids, such as cheesy horror movies.


    However, I do like the first two seasons of THE LUCY SHOW. Her writers quit after that and there's a distinct plunge in quality starting in Season 3 -- the format changed for Season 4, and things got even worse -- and Lucy's voice gets deeper and less flexible and that's hard to take, too.


    A fan of I LOVE LUCY has to watch THE LUCY SHOW Seasons 4-6 and all of HERE'S LUCY in a certain frame of mind. They have to forget I LOVE LUCY ever existed. The shows tend to get surreal in the way GREEN ACRES and so many other late 1960s sitcoms did.


    There might be a laugh or two along the way -- Lucy is always interesting to watch, because her timing was always so good. Sometimes Mr. Mooney/Uncle Harry gets a decent line. But Joe Karlosi, I bet you a bottle of Vitameatavegamin you won't think much of the late TV career of Lucille Ball.
     
  10. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Ditto to what Rob_Ray and JohnMor said.


    Lucie and Desi, Jr. are embarrassing to watch -- strictly high school, if that. There's no way they'd have been hired professionally at that point if their mother wasn't the nepotist she was.


    In the Season 2 HERE'S LUCY episode where Kim and Craig are riding in the trailer and she accidentally dumps oatmeal or whatever it was on his head, she's terrible. It doesn't look like an accident at all -- it's like she's thinking, "Here's where the script tells me to dump oatmeal on his head," so she dumps it.


    I'm pointing this out because her mother -- who I assume was there while that scene was rehearsed -- was one of the greatest actresses in all history (maybe the single greatest) when it came to making something like that look real. Didn't she give advice to her daughter? Did she give the advice but her rebellious daughter rejected it and wanted to do it her own (lousy) way?


    It's just one example of many where it seems no one was really in control of the show or really cared. They seemed to think at that point Lucy's fans would watch no matter what garbage she threw at them, so why should they knock themselves out?


    However, I can't imagine anyone older than five laughing at something like that. I don't mean the slapstick per se -- I love it when it's well done, by Lucy or The Three Stooges or comedians of that caliber -- I mean because it was so poorly done.
     
  11. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    I find it impossible to think that anyone somehow grew up with only The Lucy Show and/or Here's Lucy and not I Love Lucy also on their TV dial. Sure these shows aren't as great as I Love Lucy, but they're not nearly as bad as Reba or She's the Sheriff.
     
  12. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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  13. Rob_Ray

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    Desi Arnaz is perhaps the most underrated member of the I LOVE LUCY cast as a performer. Everyone gives him his due for his creative abilities behind the camera, but he is an expert comedian and the perfect foil for Lucille Ball. One of the many things that makes I LOVE LUCY the classic that it is, is the fact that Lucy had two of the greatest comedy foils in the business working with her, one as a romantic partner and one as a best friend. Whether she's in cahoots with Ricky in a plot against the Mertzes, or she's partnered with Ethel in a battle with the husbands, Lucy's supported by the absolute best. And Bill Frawley can't be overlooked either. An absolute perfect foursome.


    Two things about HERE'S LUCY: Definitely watch them in order if you want to see the talents of Lucie Arnaz blossom before your eyes. The seeds are there from the beginning, despite the mechanics showing, as Joe L. pointed out, but she gets better and better as the years progress and it's a joy to watch her evolve.


    In addition, Bob and Madelyn come back during the last three seasons and the writing *does* improve as a result. It's never on a par with I LOVE LUCY, but episodes like LUCY IS N.G. AS R.N. give the cast really good comedy material to work with and for once we don't have to rely on the Carters running into Wayne Newton (again!).


    Two things about THE LUCY SHOW, SEASON FOUR: Despite the fact she hated working with Lucy, I can watch Joan Blondell in anything, from 1930's SINNER'S HOLIDAY through 1979's remake of THE CHAMP. She's the consummate pro who makes any material she's handed that much better just because she's performing it.


    And Ann Sothern also falls into this category. She seldom had decent material on her own shows, but she could deliver the goods, nonetheless. Nobody got drunk with Lucy better than Ann Sothern. If she hadn't been a star in her own right, she would have made a great Ethel Mertz. All she has to do is call Gale Gordon, "Mr. Money" and I'm on the floor.
     
  14. Brent S

    Brent S Second Unit

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    A third thing, probably my favorite moment in Season 4 - Bill Frawley's cameo
     
  15. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I just ordered the first seasons of both shows.
     
  16. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    Target has a wrapped set of Season 1 & 2 of Here's Lucy for under $20
     
  17. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    THANKS! I just cancelled HERE'S LUCY Season 1--- I'll go to Target and see if I can snag the 2-pack!
     
  18. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Besides being funny in his own right, Desi Arnaz was one of the greatest straight men in history, and the books tell us he was the real genius behind I LOVE LUCY. I love all four of the main characters, but Desi was the only one to not even get an Emmy nomination for his performance. He really was terribly underrated.
     
  19. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Lucy had every intention of replacing Vivian Vance with another chubby blonde. It was obvious that Ann Sothern was going to be the one, with her Countess character becoming a regular. Apparently her demands were more than Lucy was willing to meet, so that was that. (The same thing happened with Desi and "The Mothers-in-Law," and Ann was replaced with Kaye Ballard.)


    Then it was going to be Joan Blondell, but she absolutely detested working with Lucy. At that point, Lucy decided to go solo, with only Mary Jane providing an occasional sidekick for her.


    As much as I love Lucy, I always liked her better with a partner than alone. I'm not sure why.
     
  20. Rob_Ray

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    I know why. Because the Lucy character could be obnoxious and irritating at times and you need another female character who can be her equal, standing up to her and being the audience's surrogate by saying things like "That's the wildest idea you've ever had. Count me out!" She never had that with Mary Jane. Mary Jane was Lucy's stooge. A classic example: When Lucy dashes out of her apartment in "Lucy the Bean Queen," she leaves Mary Jane there. When she returns hours later after having run amok at the Bean factory, Mary Jane is *still there* waiting patiently on the foyer steps! She obviously had no life outside of being at Lucy Carmichael's beck and call.


    My favorite Ethel line from "Bullfight Dance" is "For once the bull will be full of Lucy!" You need lines like that once in a while to provide a counterpoint to the side of Lucy that a friend of mine calls "Pushy Lucy."
     

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