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Posts posted by upperco

  1. I enjoy seeing I LOVE LUCY in primetime, but digital color doesn't enhance my personal enjoyment. (However, I won't begrudge anyone who does find the series more entertaining, or for newer viewers, accessible, in this manner.)


    Frankly, my current LUCY objective is getting the broadcast elements for everything that was presented during the original '51-'57 run -- particularly the repeats, because many of them had new scenes -- preserved for the ages. (And the TLDCH too, especially because I still believe there are scenes that were left off the DVD -- not just in the Bankhead episode.) 


    So my support of colorization comes only from the small hope that there would be enough of a profit from this project that could then go into funding the preservation effort, which I think is much more artistically essential.


    At any rate, I watch every new broadcast and will purchase any new release, if need be, so I'd love to know more about the colorization business model and how it's paying off so far!

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  2. Frasier like Cheers was directed by the legendary James (Jimmy) Brooks, and I think he had a lot to do with that as I've seen other shows he's directed and the same held true: the cast was all introduced before filming began and they then proceeded, no "surprises" thereafter. (He was also one of the producers so that may have played into it as well.)


    It was an MTM/Sandrich thing -- none of their shows wanted applause for a regular cast member. (Sandrich's own roots go back to I LOVE LUCY.) Burrows got his start shadowing there, and did direct episodes of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, PHYLLIS, and THE TONY RANDALL SHOW (among others). When several MTM vets went out to do TAXI, this decision followed. 


    Interestingly, Loni Anderson gets applause in several Season Two episodes of WKRP IN CINCINNATI, but that's quickly halted. 

  3. I got it last Tuesday from DeepDiscount. The episodes are gorgeous; the special features are not as exciting as the first set's (with all the rebroadcast scenes, the makeup test, 35mm pilot, etc.). But it's another labor of love that I hope everyone purchases -- no matter the price. I personally never want to watch the show without the original commercials/openings ever again.

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  4. While I think "Lucy, The Fixer" is among Ball's personal best work ever, I get great enjoyment out of most of the installments mentioned above, especially " A Date For Lucy," which is a lot of fun. In terms of scripting, I've always found the heretofore unmentioned "Lucy, The Shopping Expert" to be an outstanding entry for all of the characters, with plenty of laughs as well.

  5. I never thought I'd care about seeing original commercials. When collecting other yet-to-be released shows, I don't care if the commercials are in tact. But there's something about seeing I LOVE LUCY exactly and completely as it was originally aired that's indescribably exciting. It's as if it's 1952 all over again. Really looking forward to the remaining Blu-ray releases. 

  6. I never took the spanking seriously; it was always broad and designed to elicit obvious laughs. 


    And even if I felt it was an authentic character beat, I wouldn't attempt to apply 21st century notions of politically correct behavior to a product made and released in the 20th century. Certainly it would be inappropriate on a sitcom today. But I LOVE LUCY, though still hilarious, is a period piece; that is, just like any work of art, part of its aesthetic charm comes from our knowledge of the time in which it was created. The show's comedy holds up because it's rooted in still relatable characters, but the individual references and story beats are naturally reflective of its era. (And delightfully so!) Furthermore, we do the show a disservice to expect it to conform and adhere to social conceits that had yet to be formed. 


    Also, I personally never felt the show advocated physical abuse (or even female subservience, although some may argue). These were just jokes and attitudes to which '50s audiences could relate.


    Again, I never took the spanking seriously. 

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  7. So..the two unaired/reshot/whatever episodes: what's that all about???? Splain please! Thanks! :HALKING:

    The first episode, "The Double Standard", features no openings or closings, and uses a script much thinner than the rewrite for Season Two, which introduces Chris and includes Vivian. The aired version is unquestionably funnier, but why the initial offering was shelved remains a mystery.


    The second episode, "Arthur's Friends", has credits and, according to my research, was supposed to air on 01/13/75 but was pulled at the very last minute when sponsors dropped out. Interestingly, the script is surprisingly close to the remake that eventually aired two years later, "Maude's New Friends". But the casting is very different. Bea Arthur's real life husband, Gene Saks, plays the husband in the unaired version and he comes across as very lecherous and almost frightening. The aired version, with James Coco, goes broader and puts more emphasis on the comedy, and thus, works better.


    Both are fascinating, but probably less polished than their aired counterparts.

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  8. The first three years are very broad and quite in keeping with programming of the late '60s. Season One suffers from the kids' lack of experience, but like The Lucy Show, the writers give Lucy time to do some astounding bits. So the year boasts several classic episodes mostly because of her performance. Seasons Two and Three are very inconsistent. Too many forgettable installments with unbelievably trite scripts (especially in Season Three). 


    As I've stated elsewhere, Bob and Madelyn singlehandedly reintroduced logic into the stories and warmth into the relationships. Season Four is an odd jumble of the inane and the smart, making for a very uneven year. Things improve with Season Five, which is perhaps the most consistent of the lot. But for hilarity, I must give the edge to Season Six, which, though not without its duds, has a handful of truly superb excursions with big laughs that don't come at the expense of the characters. 

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  9. Interned on the film this summer -- mostly doing transcription work.


    This story will likely not be in the final cut. I do know that Lucie's interview was shot around 2005/2006. Harper was interviewed years ago, but Rick is trying to get her to come back for a second one. 


    And the list above is not comprehensive. Last I recall, there are about 300 people who have sat down for the trilogy. And there are more still coming in. 


    Rick is hoping for a January 2015 release. 

  10. I am fascinated by both the choices CBS made regarding primetime reruns of THE LUCY SHOW and the decisions made by Emmy voters (every year really, but as the discussion is pointed to the '60s, this decade in particular) regarding the nominees and winners. 


    Count me among those that find Montgomery's snub to be the decade's greatest err. I concur with Neil that had there been a category for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the '64-'65 season, she would have been the recipient. As for Miss Moore, I do believe she deserved both of the trophies she earned as Laura Petrie (of course, high quality scripts had a lot to do with it as well), and that she was the logical choice for the '65-'66 season, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW's last.


    Also, at the risk of offending my fellow posters, I would also suggest that Montgomery's second best chance of snagging the award would have been for the '66-'67 season -- one of BEWITCHED's funniest, and a season of THE LUCY SHOW that I have several times decried as inadequate. Did she deserve it over Lucy? Perhaps. However, I believe that Lucy's series was much better in the '67-'68 season, and that the scripts gave her more opportunities for personal excellence. So as much as I would have liked to see the completely unique Paula Prentiss win for my beloved HE & SHE, I think Lucy's '68 win was, again, the most logical choice. 


    Yet, without turning this thread into another discussion about our individual preferences regarding the Danfield years and the California years, I must confess my sentiments that Lucy most deserved to win for the '62-'63 season, even over the wonderful Shirley Booth, whose series simply couldn't hold a candle to the early years of THE LUCY SHOW, and that first season in particular. I find that to be an odd win, especially since Booth had also won the year prior. Lucy did some outstanding work this first season (the best of which wasn't even rerun by CBS --  another odd decision), and looking at the nominees today, it would seem that Lucy's greatest competition should have been Moore, not Booth. 


    Meanwhile, I would also have liked to see Marlo Thomas take home the award once for THAT GIRL. It was never a brilliantly written series, but it was charming, and she was quite often very funny. Thus, as delightful as Hope Lange is (and there's no contest from me about her abilities as an actress), I question whether or not she deserved to be crowned the Outstanding Lead Actress for both of the two years that she was on the air as Mrs. Muir. (Granted, I do believe the competition was steeper in the middle parts of the decade when Moore was around and the majority of those supernatural and wacky single-camera shows were in their early, golden years.) 


    A few very strong contenders were snubbed this decade in favor of several powerhouses. And while competition was tough, I think it may have been even tougher the following decade. While I do contend that Jean Stapleton and Moore were brilliant and probably the best of he bunch in the early '70s, I still am shocked that Lucy never was nominated for her work on HERE'S LUCY. The scripts were often inferior to the competition's, but, as usual, our redhead did some brilliant stuff, especially in the first and the last two seasons. It was all about competition, I suppose. And while many of these ladies were not equals to Lucy, they often had better writing. 

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  11. Regarding the audience: 


    1, 2, 7, and 9 were done entirely with the audience. The only episodes in which the audience was completely absent were 10, 12, and 13. 


    Partial audience for 3 (the chase scenes excluded), 4 (I don't *think* the race was filmed with an audience, but I could be wrong), 5 (obviously the outdoor scenes excluded), 6 (we know this because we have seen some footage sans laughter, but it's possible that none of it was filmed with an audience), 8 (the entire plane sequence excluded), and 11 (completely sweetened, but it's possible that an audience may have been there for all except the bucket scene -- and the closing musical number). 

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