I Love Lucy… new perspectives

This is the last week of blog posts isn’t it? WooOOoOOoOoo We made it, well done you guys!

My family has seen a lot of Lucy, considering I’m pretty close to being an addict, so for my last post I asked them all to give me their opinions of the show. This way you guys can get an idea of what I Love Lucy is like from three people who’re aren’t as obsessed with it as I am.

Brother:

My brother (Jovun) started watching Lucy with me when he was 4 (he’s 8 now), and he loves it nearly as much as I do. His favorite character is Lucy; he says she’s funny because “she always makes Ricky mad”. Harpo Marx (“Lucy and harpo Marx”) is his favorite episode; he says he likes the part where Harpo plays “take me out to the ball game” on his harp, and the famous ‘mirror scene’ where Lucy is caught dressed as Harpo. Last December, after watching the mirror scene way too many times, Jovun dressed up as Harpo Marx, tying a string to his derby and everything, and he learned/performed the entire mirror scene for us J Talk about a proud sister moment. The songs (especially Babalu) are another reason he loves the show.. I was watching the beloved rogue a couple years ago, it’s a silent film with quiet music playing in the background, and my brother- 5 years old at the time- walks in and says casually, “that’s Humoresque”. I’m sitting there thinking ‘what’s he talking about’ then I realized that the song playing in the back was in fact Humoresque, and Jovun had remembered it from the “Bullfight Dance” episode. I was totally astonished to say the least, and I never considered it, but I gotta agree with him in that most of the songs on my playlist are ones performed (NOT lip synced) on I Love Lucy.

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Sister:

Simun, my sister, is very unresponsive to everything. We don’t get along well at all, but even she can’t manage to hold back laughter when I’m watching Lucy. She says she doesn’t care who her favorite character is; the most I got out of her was “Ethel, because she eats a lot”, but whenever we’re watching she laughs the most at Fred’s cynical remarks. I asked her about her favorite episode and she replied, “Why do I have to answer that, the chocolate one ‘cause they eat…” yes, food is the only thing that she admits enjoying. When I asked why she liked the show I got, “it’s funny or something, I don’t know”. Aaand that was an unproductive use of time, because I probably could’ve guessed most of her answers  -_- Despite her resistance to talk, however, I can tell when she does or doesn’t like something, and she definitely does love Lucy.

Dad:

I asked my Dad which character he liked best and he said, “Lucy, of course”… “She does dumb things, overreacts, and screws up all the time”. The chocolate factory scene, from “Job switching” is his favorite, and he likes the show because it isn’t about teenagers dating. I know I didn’t get much, but he was working out, and watching football at the same time so I guess it’s better than nothing :p

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Mother:

My Mom was asleep, but as soon as she heard me ask my dad she got up to answer the questions herself lolol. Like me, her favorite character is Ethel; she likes her reaction to everything Lucy does, and how she’s honest about Lucy’s “stupid ideas”. Being a wife, she said she also likes when Ethel ignores Fred and “fixes him up”, she’s calmer, and she doesn’t imitate people like Lucy does. “First Stop” is her favorite episode, she loves everything from when the beds move across the room, to when their steering wheel goes missing. Other reasons she likes the show include, just four characters being able to do such a funny show for such a long time, it’s “simple”, and you can watch it as a family without having to change the channel every 5 min. As she went I got down the words “good, clean, and funny”.

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That’s it, my final blog post. If you guys could let me know which blog post you think I should hand in that’d be swell!! Well, thanks for reading about one of my few obsessions… ciao babes 

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I Love Lucy… The Seasons

This week’s blog will cover the six seasons of I Love Lucy, including some of the complications and guest stars. Let’s begin shall we…

Season 1:

The 35 episodes of season one are used as an introduction to the TV series. About ten of these episodes involve Lucy trying to get into Ricky’s shows, while the rest develop the friendship between the Ricardos and the Mertzes as well as how each of the characters feels about their spouses. At this point, Ricky is playing the struggling musician, Lucy the ambitious housewife, and Fred and Ethel their, also ambitious, landlords and best friends.

My two favourite episodes (cause I just can’t choose one) are “The Gossip” and “Pioneer Women”. As an East Indian girl, gossiping is definitely something I can relate to :p However the way the plot comes to a complete and surprising- the first time you watch it- end, and Lucy’s silent display of gossip that anyone, regardless of age or language, can enjoy are also some of the best parts of “The Gossip”. “Pioneer Women”, on the other hand, displays a time that people who we consider ‘old school’, considered old school; in other words, the Ricardos and Mertzes made a bet forcing them to live as if it were the 1890’s.. “the gay 90’s”, they called it. This episode also has a clever ending, and it’s just a hilarious way to see how people, of a time we don’t even think about, actually lived.

Here’s a video of some funny moments of season 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Kcq1K-51M

Season 2:

Season two, the season of controversy. In 1952 Lucy was pregnant with her second child; something that might not be considered an issue today, but back then an actress could be fired for getting pregnant before her contract expired. Lucy overcame this, and many of the 31 episodes of season two revolved around her pregnancy- a word that was not allowed to be said on television. Instead, Lucy was ‘having a baby’, or it was ‘her condition’, the word pregnant was never used once throughout the entire show.

The episode I like best is “Ricky loses his voice”, an episode before the pregnancy. This is an episode where Lucy takes over one of Ricky’s shows as he is bed ridden, and his boss is out of town; of course neither Ricky nor his boss know about it. Lucy, Fred, and Ethel put together a 20s act. Fred and Ethel sing “Carolina in the Morning”, and Lucy surprises Ricky playing the ukulele and singing “Has anybody seen my gal”, and they finish it off with a Charleston dance. Once again, I love when they go back in time to an era that we rarely see on television anymore.

Funny lines of season 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjlxQ1Y5iZ0

Season 3:

The episodes of season three had no particular theme to them, but there was a huge controversy behind the scenes as Lucille Ball was accused of being a communist. Her party affiliation was listed as communist in the late 30s, but she had never voted red, or had been a part of the communist party. The newspapers were covered with Lucille Ball being listed as red in 1953, and I Love Lucy was on the rocks. Before one of their episodes Desi Arnaz addressed the I Love Lucy studio audience saying something along the lines of.. Lucy is not, and has never been a Communist. In fact the only thing red about her is her hair, and even that isn’t legitimate (she used a ton of henna rinse haahaha) (Lucille Ball: Finding Lucy). As she made her appearance, the audience erupted in applause just as they always had; everyone loved Lucy, and they always would.

The episode I like best has to be “Lucy has her Eyes Examined”. I’m kinda just realizing this myself now, but I really love episodes where they reflect the decades before the 50s. So in this episode not only is there endless humour, but Ricky lets his friend William Parker, a Broadway producer, put on a 1920’s show at his nightclub. Lucy does the jitterbug, or tries to considering what happens to her eyes, with a funky guy named King Cat Walsch, and Fred and Ethel perform the Varsity drag.. a performance me and my brother (my brother and I, but this is my casual blog tehe) do for fun lool.

This is a hilarious clip where Ricky sets Lucy up by having men hide in the closet before he gets home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQVH_MVN8mI

Season 4:

Season four begins the Ricardos transition to Hollywood. Ricky gets called to sign a contract with MGM, and most of the fourth season revolves around their preparation for the trip, their travels across America by car, and Lucy’s terrible antics in Hollywood. There are many well known actors that make guest appearances throughout the season…

William Holden gets a pie in the face, Hedda Hopper causes Lucy and Ricky to jump in the pool with their clothes on, Cornel Wilde has Lucy break into his room, Rock Hudson plays a joke on the girls, Lucy BEGS Van Johnson to act like he knows her to impress a friend she lied to, Harpo Marx and Lucy perform the famous mirror scene, Lucy breaks into Richard Widmark’s home, and she and Ethel steal then break John Wayne’s footprints from the front of Grauman’s theatre. The general concept is that something goes wrong whenever Lucy encounters a movie star, and it’s pretty darn funny.

I sorta love all the episodes of this season, but “Dancing Star” is one of the best. Lucy sends letters to her friends in New York telling them how she hobnobs with all sorts of celebrities, until one of her friends shows up in LA. Lucy and Ethel pull all kinds of stunts to prove to their friend that they’re part of the elite Hollywood society. Lucy ends up putting on a performance with Van Johnson when his partner gets sick, and I just think it’s so FAB cause you can really see the talented superstar Lucy really was.

Ethel’s best dialogue is while she’s on the phone trying to get Lucy out of Richard Widmark’s house:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvH8p9X_ZsE

Season 5:

Season five finishes off the trip to Hollywood and begins Ricky’s tour of Europe. The writers decided on this trip for the fifth season because it was around 1955 that travelling became affordable for the middle class, the class that the Ricardos represented. So now that Ricky’s a big movie star he gets to go on a European tour, and Lucy, the star’s wife, gets to cause trouble on another continent. A few of their destinations include London, Italy, Scotland, Switzerland, and Paris. Charles Boyer guest stars in an episode, and Lucy carrying on from Hollywood causes some trouble for, and with him.

Season five has most of my favourite episodes. I mentioned one in an earlier blog “Return Home from Europe”, where Lucy pretend her cheese is a baby, and the two episodes where she needs to get her passport are absolutely hysterical. In “The Passports” Lucy plans to stow away in a seal trunk, and being who she is, she gets stuck in it, and in “Staten Island Ferry” she gets high off Fred’s seasick pills and it’s just a total riot.

This is my absolute favourite moment of the entire series!! Ricky comes home to find Lucy’s childhood doctor (there to sign an affidavit) and Lucy trapped in a trunk singing together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96xWLF2lEFg

Season 6:

1957, the year of the suburban movement; the Ricardos, and folks watching at home began their switch over to the country.  Before the move, however, Bob Hope and Superman make guest appearance on the show. Frank Nelson and Mary Jane Croft also make their first appearance as Ralph and Betty Ramsey,  the Ricardo’s suburban neighbors in “Lucy Gets Chummy With the Neighbors”.  Of course the Mertzes make appearances in all the country episodes leading up to “Lucy Raises Chickens” where they finally move into the guest house, making the Ricardo’s the landlords of their old landlords.

I gotta say it’s difficult to choose, but I think “Lucy Gets Chummy With the Neighbors” is one of the funniest, and most well put together episodes. It has a brilliant plot, and ending, and overall is one of the funniest episodes of all. What happens is Betty Ramsey convinces Lucy to redecorate their house, so Lucy convinces Ricky to let her spend $500 dollars on furniture, cause that’s all he can afford. Lucy ends up spending over $3000 dollars, and well, it lead to a series of arguments, and fist fights- including one between Little Ricky and the neighbor’s son.

A scene from the very last episode of I Love Lucy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEBNfrEHuN8

That’s it, my review of the six splendid seasons of I Love Lucy; you can comment below about which season you think sounds best if you’d like..

thanks for reading mes amis 🙂

I Love Lucy… The Couples

I Love Lucy… The Couples

The portrayal of couples on I Love Lucy is unique, accurate, and extraordinarily hilarious.

It’s unique in the sense that the relationships on the show are quite a close representation of the relationships between the actors off air. What I mean is, Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo) was married to Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo) on television and in reality, playing the couple that is young and in love. However, as the years progressed Ricky became a known womanizer, and adultrist, causing great tension in their marriage on and off screen. As the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour neared its end the couple wouldn’t speak to each other between takes, referring to each other as “Ms. Arnaz” and Mr. Ricardo”. Eddie Adams made a guest appearance on the last episode of the show and said, “there was a big cloud over the whole set, everybody was on edge”. Despite the divorce, which- according to Eddie- Lucy filed for the next day, she and Desi remained great friends until his death in 1986. On the other hand, William Frawley (Fred Mertz) and Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz) had a strained relationship from the get go. Vivian was not pleased to be playing the wife of a man so much older, and Fred, feeling insulted, reciprocated the hatred; the writers used the feelings between the “couple” to their advantage, translating it into a goofy likeness of their true emotions.

The tension and hilarity was what created more of an accurate depiction of married couples, for there are few marriages that are pure bliss. Arguments over money, and quips about their spouses’ weight and habits made the couples more relatable to the audiences of the 50s and onwards. Routine was another characteristic of marriage displayed on I Love Lucy that made the show a little more authentic. Episodes such as “Be a Pal”, and “Vacation from marriage” addressed the issues of a stale marriage. In this clip, Ethel ties Fred down to the bed, an act that took much practice…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiACfMJ-nAQ

As you can imagine, there is no end to witty remarks amongst couples. I hear it from my grandparent, parents, teachers, friends, and on television shows from Lucy, to Cosby, to Fresh Prince, all the way to Modern Family.

After abandoning their “sweet” acting husbands, suspicious of a plot, Lucy says to her friends:

Lucy: Well isn’t this a pretty sight; two cringing wives, crawling on their knees, begging their husbands’ forgiveness;

Ethel: Comin’ with us Lucy?

Lucy: Yes.

This is Ethel talking about Fred whose left home after they’ve had a quarrel;

Ethel crying: I haven’t eaten since he left.

Ricky: Aww really?

Lucy: Gee, you sure must miss him.

Ethel: I do not; he didn’t leave me any money the big fat slob!

When she has to apologize;

Fred: She said my mother looks like a weasel.

Lucy: Ethel, apologize.

Ethel: I’m sorry your mother looks like a weasel.

Last but not least, a one liner as Ricky talks to Fred.

Ricky: Fred, I’ve got an awful problem on my hands.

Fred Mertz: You should have thought about that before you married her.

Do you have a favourite, or least favourite part of my blogs? I’ve done description, tried videos, and added some dialogue. If you’re stuck on commenting, please let me know what you prefer.. =)

I Love Lucy… the people

As mentioned in my last blog post there are four main characters that make I Love Lucy a true success.

Lucy Ricardo-

Lucy Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball, is the crazy redhead referred to in the title of the show. Lucy is a New York housewife of the 1950’s; she is not however anything like the stereotypical doting housewife of those times. Ricky Ricardo (her husband) often tells her he wants her to stay home, cook, clean, and have his children. That lifestyle doesn’t earn anybody a show for themselves, so Lucy spends much of her time trying to get into Ricky’s shows (he’s a nightclub performer/owner). In this video, she sneaks into an Indian number by cleverly manipulating the girl who is meant to sing. The beginning is the rehearsal with the right girl; Lucy’s attempt to sing starts at 2:13.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMpL6y7LJoY

The whole concept is hilariously ironic because Lucille Ball, one of the most talented woman to live, acts as if she has no skill in any field of performance. Aside from her many attempts to get into show business, Lucy comes up with hundreds of other half-witted ideas. One of my favourite has to be when she took a 25 lb piece of cheese onto a plane disguised as a baby assuming it would fly free. Ricky, not wanting to have a thing to do with her plan leaves Lucy to put up with an incredibly nosy mother as a seat mate.

lady : is it a girl?

Lucy: no

lady: oh it’s a boooyyy

Lucy: alright

To help her out with every plot is her very best friend…

Ethel Mertz-

lucy and ethelPlayed by Vivian Vance, Ethel Mertz is Lucy’s best friend and landlord. Having a second-hand in Lucy’s schemes is her purpose as well as providing a ton of comic relief. I can’t count the number of times Ethel’s nonsensical rambles have cracked me up. The Following dialogue sums up the relationship between Lucy and Ethel as soon as they start plotting;

Lucy: You think of something

Ethel: Listen, if Einstein can’t work out a problem you don’t hand it to Mortimer Snerd

Lucy: But Ethel, I’m desperate

Ethel: Wellll I never have any good ideas

Lucy: Well think!

Ethel: Weell Van Johnson was asleep down by the pool a while ago.

….

Ethel: He’s still there

Lucy: So?

Ethel: Well we could go down and carry him up here without wakin’ him up, and then we could put him on the couch, and then when Carolyn gets here we’ll say he’s a friend of ours and he dropped by to take a nap (smiles broadly)

Lucy: Thank you Mortimer Snurd

Contrary to her snide remarks about Lucy’s ideas, Ethel wouldn’t have had any fun without them, considering her only other option would have been to spend time with her husband who she cannot stand…

Fred Mertz-

fred and ethel  My favourite source of priceless  one liners is Fred Mertz, played  by William Frawley.

one funny one liner..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsVVs64ZtGo

In the episode “Lucy Raises Chickens” Fred sends a letter to Ricky to apply as a Chicken farmer at their house in the suburbs. His application describes him perfectly:

In answer to your ad I present the following qualifications,

I was born and raised on a farm in the Midwest, and I’m very familiar with chickens. I am an industrious, intelligent, and reliable veteran of WWI. Although my wife and I now live in the city we’re most anxious to return to the simple life. Having been in show business for a long while I feel specially qualified for this position, since over the years I have laid many an egg myself (ahaha). If you’re interested just open your front door; my wife and I are waiting for you on the porch.

Sincerely yours,

Fred H. Mertz (with an Easter seal on it)

Fred is a Grouchy, but soft-hearted man. He is a tight wad- he wouldn’t buy a 3 cent stamp- hence the Easter seal in December, and he is an experienced vaudeville performer. These traits provide humour, and entertainment time and time again; everything a sitcom lover could ask of a show.

Occasionally Fred will get tied up in Lucy’s plots, but sometimes he’ll form an alliance with Lucy’s husband…

Ricky Ricardo-

Ricky Ricardo, played by Desi Arnaz is Lucy’s husband and a famous band leader. He tries his best to keep Lucy from doing obscure things, but it’s usually in rebellion to his orders that she makes things happen. He isn’t always the voice of reason though, in many episodes including “The gossip” and “The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub” Ricky instigates the shenanigans that go on.

Being from Cuba, Ricky has a thick Spanish accent which the writers of I Love Lucy do a fabulous job of incorporating into the script as further comedic relief, especially when he tries to use American expressions such as “the cast is dead” (the die is cast), and when Lucy has some ‘splaining to do (which is most of the time).

This mix of Humoresque and Swanee River with Ricky and Fred displays their great talents as singers, and of course another hysterical moment for Lucy;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbc0OAFl_YM

Skip to 1:24 for my favourite Ricky Spanish moment:

Ricky: That’s no ‘scuse

Lucy: That’s plenty ‘scuse

…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2uo1Q8F9BA

That’s all folks. If you found a particular character interesting, you could comment below if you like, or take the poll just above this =)

lucy and fish

I Love Lucy…the what

hilarious moments from I Love Lucy season 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjlxQ1Y5iZ0

One thing I could talk about forever, I Love Lucy; my absolute favourite show of all time. I’ve seen every single episode at least six times, and at most… well who knows. As redundant as that sounds, the significantly witty lines (there are a ton) get me into a fit of hysterics- making my parents question my sanity- every single time. Whether I can repeat the entire script, or I’m caught off guard, by an episode I haven’t seen for a month or two, I Love Lucy never fails to brighten whatever mood swing I might be having.

For anyone who is utterly confused at this point, I’ll do my best to give an overview; for anyone that isn’t, feel free to add any background information in the comments. So, I Love Lucy is a 1950’s sitcom starring Lucille Ball (as Lucy Ricardo), Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo), Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz), and William Frawley (Fred Mertz). Lucy gets into trouble left, right, and center with her insane schemes and nutty attempts at getting into show business

There are six seasons (I’ll be doing a more detailed blog post on the seasons) revolving around Lucille’s unexpected pregnancy- a breach of her contract- Ricky getting into pictures, development of character, and the 1955 suburban movement all tied up with humor that everyone and anyone can enjoy.                                                                                           The toughest critics I know, including my 5 year old brother, stone-faced sister, and non English speaking relatives have cracked up at Lucy’s ridiculous antics. I even spent about two years watching I Love Lucy on AMI TV, Accessible Media Inc.; because that was the only channel it came on at the time. I was so used to the described video; it continued to play in my head for a good year afterwards.

Watching this show has not only provided me with years of entertainment, but it has impacted my perspective on life, and influenced a lot of my work. I Love Lucy is a très fab source of happiness and knowledge for a mass variety of people, and I’m truly glad I have this opportunity to write about it.

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