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upperco

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Everything posted by upperco

  1. Just keep away from fireflies during their mating season!

  2. Having seen all 56 recently, I think the biggest disappointment with the switch is how little Deacon himself brought to the role. Carmel was an individual, and given that the only characters with fully developed quirks and nuances were Kaye and Eve, his distinction was a major benefit. The material certainly wasn't doing Roger (or the rest of them) any favors, but Deacon didn't do the material any favors either -- certainly not in the way Carmel did. That said, I don't think the switch had anything to do with the show's declining quality, especially since the comedy had already plateaued by the middle of the first season. Simply: the premise couldn't sustain a full year of excellent episodes. Moments here and there, sure, but nothing consistent. I'm crazy about the show, don't get me wrong. But most of it has to do with the performers and the scattered moments of SUPREME physical comedy. And I certainly don't ascribe the show's failure to receive a third season to the casting of Deacon. As Hamlet said, "the play's the thing..."
  3. For curious parties, here's a clip from perhaps my favorite episode of He & She entitled "A Rock By Any Other Name." I'll set it up... Dick makes a fuss about he and Paula buying each other inexpensive gifts for their upcoming shared birthday. Dick forgets and buys Paula a pricey fur coat, only to learn that Paula has gifted him with a rock...
  4. Thanks! Cheers is my second favorite sitcom, after I Love Lucy, of course, and I'm just nuts about the writing during the first five years of Frasier -- so sharp. I'm not that enamored with the later years, but I can say the same of All In The Family and Seinfeld. So, I'll definitely be doing Frasier. It'll just be a while before I get there.
  5. I just screened every single episode of The Mothers-In-Law for two blogposts (coming in May to http://jacksonupperco.com/) covering my favorite episodes. I also screened every episode of Good Morning World and 25 of the 26 He & She. (I will be viewing the one I'm missing of the latter at the UCLA Archives in March.) I can tell you that He & She is brilliant. Better than any single season sitcom that I have ever seen. It won the Emmy for best writing that season -- deservedly. The ensemble is excellent, the stories are fresh, and the show is laugh-out-loud funny... every single episode. Blows the competition completely out of the water. Good Morning World has about three good episodes out of its 26. The rest are bland. Meanwhile, The Mothers-In-Law launches superbly and runs out of steam embarrassingly early in its run (before the 13th episode). I will say, however, that the second season isn't nearly as dire as I remember -- maintaing that sort of amusing mediocrity for the majority of its run. The Mothers-In-Law deserved the second season it got, but He & She more than deserved the one it never got.
  6. Watching Here's Lucy chronologically for a series of blog posts in May on my favorite episodes... "Mod, Mod, Lucy" was better than I remembered. "Lucy The Process Server" is often chided as being more like an episode of The Lucy Show than Here's Lucy, but I actually think it's quite funny. In the middle of Season Two now... The on-location episodes still do absolutely nothing for me, but "Lucy And Harry's Tonsils" and "Lucy's Burglar Alarm" are much better than I remembered --- very funny!
  7. I think "Baby Pictures" is a great episode, with comedy firmly rooted in the characters. (Also, some delicious stuff between Lucy and Carolyn!) I agree that "Oil Wells" isn't a standout effort -- too formulaic in its premise and structure. But, since it's an I Love Lucy episode, there ARE some laughs.
  8. Have a blu-ray player at my parents' house, but we don't own any blu-rays. I'll take the plunge for LUCY though. tjw, Was there any additional footage found for those first season installments?
  9. I actually think Season Six is one of the better seasons. In fact, I think the middle years -- Two, Three, and Four -- have the highest proportion of duds to gems. As for the quality of the series itself, Here's Lucy has its moments, but I think it would be very difficult to realistically consider it on the same plateau as Lucille Ball's former work or even the work of its later contemporaries -- most notably All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which both premiered during HL's third year. (And it's impossible to adjudicate the series without comparing it to other shows; that's how we determine our enjoyment -- of anything.) Now, I think you would be hard pressed to find fans of Here's Lucy whose enjoyment of the series isn't predicated on an appreciation for Lucille Ball's work as a whole. I haven't met anyone who, regardless of Ball, liked the series for what it was. Of course, it's difficult to separate Lucy from the series, but my appreciation for the show is SOLELY linked to my appreciation for Lucy. The same can be said of The Lucy Show, except the scripts and cast (of the Danfield years) were much stronger and more memorable. Meanwhile, I think Lucy in TLS occasionally reached comic brilliance, but I don't think she was afforded the chance -- given the below-mediocre scripts and one-note regulars -- to reach those hilarious heights on Here's Lucy. So, there's no way I would watch this series if I wasn't an over-the-top Lucy fan. Basically, Lucy fans (like myself) may enjoy the series as another place to see TV's best comedienne in action, but I would never ever consider Here's Lucy a great show. Sometimes, it's good. A lot of the time it's not.
  10. Now that I think about it, you may be right. Cahn says it was directed by Sedgwick, who also directed the wraparound sequences for the film.
  11. I looked it up again -- Dann Cahn says it was filmed around the time of "Equal Rights" and screened in a theatre once. It documented production of an episode and what everyone did behind-the-scenes.
  12. Anybody in "the know" with regards to the special features? I must admit -- my curiosity is definitely peaked. Anyone care to speculate or engage in some wishful thinking? Maybe there's more material from the pre-series vaudeville tour. Maybe more on set home movies. Maybe that documentary that Fidelman's book claims was produced during Season Three's "Equal Rights" will make its way onto a future release. (This would truly blow my mind.)
  13. Thank you! I got a nice note from Yip Harburg's son following my post on Hooray For What!, which starred our very own Viv! http://jacksonupperco.com/
  14. Yes, that's me! I'm working my way through my sitcom collection chronologically by debut year. I've already covered I Love Lucy and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Plus The Honeymooners, Our Miss Brooks, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Next up is Bewitched. Here's Lucy will pop up in late Spring.
  15. The most consistent year. Also, the season that most resembles other domestic '50s sitcoms, but demonstrates precisely why I Love Lucy was supreme.
  16. I like "The Fox Hunt." It's not brilliant, but it's I Love Lucy, so it's pretty darn good. There are definitely some laughs.
  17. I think that few of the episodes are really bad, but there are too many that are just blah. Madelyn & the Bobs were running out of steam, I think. Contrast that to Season Three where the majority of the episodes are quite memorable -- whether they're excellent or not.
  18. Not sure if this one is underrated, but I think "Lucy Meets The Berles" might be my favorite from the final season.
  19. Totally in agreement with you about Season Two. From Season Six, I really enjoy: "Lucy Meets The Berles" "Lucy Gets Trapped" "Lucy And The French Movie Star" "Lucy Gets Her Diploma" "Lucy Gets Jack Benny's Account" "Lucy Gets Mooney Fired" "Lucy's Mystery Guest" "Lucy And Carol Burnett (1)" [a very silly and illogical episode, but jam-packed with laughs] "Lucy And The Stolen Stole"" "Lucy And The 'Boss Of The Year' Award" I also like many moments from: "Little Old Lucy" "Lucy And The Pool Hustler" "Lucy Gets Involved" "Lucy And Phil Harris" [the opening scene is great] "Lucy And The Lost Star"
  20. Having just watched all six seasons of THE LUCY SHOW in chronological order, I'm wondering if anyone else feels the way that I do -- that Season Six is not only the best of the Hollywood years, but is actually lightyears better than Seasons Four and Five. What do you all think?
  21. Just finished Season Six from THE LUCY SHOW. Aside from the classics, I greatly enjoyed "Lucy And The Stolen Stole," which I would classify as an underrated gem.
  22. THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW gave its star a lot of physical bits, and also developed the ensemble, akin to I LOVE LUCY. Similarly, the writing for both series is of the highest caliber.
  23. I think Vivian and Bill look the most natural. Definite improvement over previous attempts, and I'm certainly not opposed to the colorization of the series in an attempt to garner new fans. I have no clue about what the coloring process is like, but I don't think it's good enough yet -- particularly for Lucy and Desi. (Of course, I didn't think the BEWITCHED colorization job was as stellar as everyone said it was, either, and that got released.) Anyway, I appreciate the effort and will definitely be watching on December 20th.
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