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Everything posted by upperco

  1. "My Fair Lucy" and "Lucy And The Countess" are my favorites. The other two from Season Three aren't bad either. I agree that "Lucy And The Countess Have A Horse Guest" is her best appearance from Season Four. I do not care at all for her other two appearances in Season Four.
  2. Continuing my THE LUCY SHOW marathon. On the last disc of Season Five... Some episodes that I think are "underrated gems" from Seasons Four and Five: "Lucy And Art Linkletter" "Lucy And The Soap Opera" (Save the painfully uncomfortable sequence, I think there are ample laughs in this one) "Lucy, The Gun Moll" "Lucy's Substitute Secretary"
  3. I know you've always had a clear preference for the post-Viv years of THE LUCY SHOW, and that's great. It's not THE LUCY AND VIV SHOW. It's THE LUCY SHOW. But I will always prefer the earlier seasons, in which I felt the scripts were stronger. Though different strokes for different folks. My point here isn't about the various formats of THE LUCY SHOW. It's about the necessity of the ensemble in I LOVE LUCY. I truly believe that they're integral to the series' success. I'm a bit confused about your point-of-view, however. Do you think Lucy ever produced work that was consistently of the same caliber as I LOVE LUCY? And if you don't, to what do you attribute I LOVE LUCY's unique success? For me, it's the writing. But part of that is also the format that allowed for richer characters -- the ensemble included. To clarify my feelings about Lucy's importance to the show. Lucy + writing = brilliance in "Lucy Does A TV Commercial." Nothing else. BUT generally Lucy + Writing + Ensemble = brilliance in I LOVE LUCY. For me, an episode where Lucy AND the ensemble get chances to shine is usually going to take precedence over an episode in which only Lucy gets to shine. But there are exceptions to every rule, and everyone's mileage varies. I know you probably feel that any episode that Lucy gets to shine is paramount, regardless of anyone else. And I see the point -- it's Lucy. She should always shine, and I always WANT Lucy to shine. But part of what I think made I LOVE LUCY special is that others shone too. So, as far as I'm concerned, "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" is not the best representation of the series. But it's a nitpick. A funny episode is a funny episode.
  4. She didn't need anyone else in that particular bit. She definitely needed support in the series as a collective entity. In fact, one of the reasons I think I LOVE LUCY is a cut above all of her later works is that every single player got chances to shine. They were developed, fleshed out, and given moments of their own. Yet, there was never a doubt who was the star. It wasn't an ensemble show like MARY TYLER MOORE or GOLDEN GIRLS, but there was such strength in the regular cast. Lucy was never alone. This is nothing like THE LUCY SHOW, particularly in the last five seasons. I'm currently re-watching that series in order (I'm in the middle of Season Five right now), and even when she has the greatest guest stars in the world, the lack of a solid team is glaring. Yes there's Gale and Mary Jane -- but they're shadows when compared to the nuanced characters like Ricky, Ethel, and Fred. We all here love Lucille, and she's undoubtedly the most important ingredient to I LOVE LUCY, but she's not the only ingredient. I adore "Lucy Does A TV Commercial," but the missing Ethel makes it imperfect from a structural standpoint. The relationship they share is integral to the series and any episode that doesn't feature that is going to be lacking in an essential ingredient. Does it stop it from being funny? No. Does it stop the "Vitameatavegamin" bit from being brilliant? No. The same principle is applicable to "The Chinese Restaurant" episode of SEINFELD. It's brilliantly funny, but doesn't feature Kramer.
  5. No, but a major part of the series is the friendship between Lucy and Ethel. The fact that Vivian isn't in this episode means that I'd never show it to new fans hoping for a taste of the show, since it isn't indicative of the series as a collective whole. In these regards, "Job Switching" would be a MUCH better choice, as it is a better representation of the series and its storytelling. But the infamous sequence in "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" is brilliant, and I actually do prefer it to the infamous scene in "Job Switching," though the latter episode has a better script and a stronger set-up.
  6. Love "Lucy Does A TV Commercial." Just wish Viv was in it, then it would be perfect.
  7. Here's a list of, in my opinion, stellar episodes that never seem to make it into the top. "Ricky Asks For A Raise" "Lucy Is Matchmaker" "Lucy Wants New Furniture" "Redecorating The Mertzes' Apartment" "The Diner" "Getting Ready" & "Lucy Learns To Drive" "Ricky Needs An Agent" "Ricky Sells The Car" "Staten Island Ferry" "Lucy Wants To Move To The Country" "Lucy's Night In Town" I've been re-watching THE LUCY SHOW. Just starting Season Four. These are some (I think) underrated installments from the first three years... "Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit" "Lucy And The Safe Cracker" "Lucy's College Reunion" "The Loophole In The Lease" "Lucy Conducts The Symphony" "Lucy Gets Amnesia" "Lucy Makes A Pinch" "My Fair Lucy"
  8. About to start watching Season Four for the first time since getting the DVD. That was my first time seeing any of these episodes, and I remember "Lucy and the Golden Greek" being one of my favorites from the season. Loved the introduction of Mary Jane, and it reminded me of Season One as the plot involved Lucy dating. If I recall, this isn't a universally loved installment. What does everyone think of this episode?
  9. As for "The Ballet," I love it up until the final scene, which nearly ruins the episode for me.
  10. I like "Job Switching," but I think the funniest scene is between Ricky and Fred in the kitchen. The whole show is superbly well-written. But that scene is my favorite. Never been enthusiastic about "Bon Voyage" -- not enough interaction between Lucy and the others. And the only pregnancy shows I'm crazy about are "Lucy Hires An English Tutor" and "Lucy's Showbiz Swan Song." I agree about "Lucy Meets the Burtons." (Is there any other episode from HERE'S LUCY that's "famous"?) Well, since this seems to be a well-liked one around here -- I don't think "Lucy Is N.G. As An R.N." is anything more than adequate.
  11. The Lucy Book has "Lucy And The Pool Hustler" airing as 6x13 on 12/04/67. TvGuide agrees. (The Carol Burnett two-parter follows on 12/11 and 12/18.) Most websites have this date. The DVDs say "Lucy And The Pool Hustler" aired on 01/08/68. IMDb agrees. (The Carol Burnett two-parter appears on 12/04 and 12/11.) Which is correct? When did these shows actually air? I'm assuming that CBS's DVDs are correct.
  12. I also think, despite the high quality of the writing and the production, the fact that the series never left the public eye has contributed to the general feeling of timelessness -- it's still funny for every generation. If the series was like other '50s sitcoms and went relatively unseen after its initial airing, it wouldn't be perceived as timeless -- even if was released on DVD and fostered a following of new fans. It's been on TV for 62 years... discoverable for new audiences at any time. Hence, the show is timeless. That being said, it was the smartest and funniest sitcom of the decade. (And, I believe, of all time.) So, even if it wasn't as syndicated as it was, I'm sure we'd still all be here discussing how brilliant and funny it was.
  13. I also like the majority of "Lucy Is Envious." I see Jess' complaint, but I'm not really bothered by it. "Lucy Makes A Pinch" is one of my favorite third season LUCY SHOW episodes. Both Lucy and Viv are great in this one. I think "Lucy, The Other Woman" is quite funny. That Totie.
  14. I LOVE LUCY: "The Freezer" "The Operetta" "Ethel's Birthday" "Ricky Needs An Agent" "The Great Train Robbery" "Return Home From Europe" "Lucy Wants To Move To The Country" THE LUCY SHOW: "Lucy Puts Up A TV Antenna" "Lucy Buys A Boat" "Lucy And The Safe Cracker" "The Loophole In The Lease" "Lucy Conducts The Symphony" "Lucy Gets A Roommate" "Lucy And The French Movie Star" HERE'S LUCY: "Lucy, The Matchmaker" "Lucy, The Fixer" "A Date For Lucy" "Lucy Meets The Burtons" "Lucy And The Group Encounter" "Lucy And Joan Rivers Do Jury Duty" "Where Is My Wandering Mother Tonight?"
  15. Anybody been through the 109 online episodes to determine which ones are repeats? Do we have yet an accurate total of how many available episodes there are?
  16. I thought the list was pretty disgraceful. Not only were there some questionable SHOW inclusions (FRESH PRINCE being the most glaring) the episode selections were largely disappointing.
  17. I would never put you down, Claude! I like FRIENDS as well. And though they are opposites in many ways, I think the quality of the comedy vs. the actual script construction in both shows is quite similar. Mindless. Good for some laughs. But certainly not of the aesthetic beauty of an I LOVE LUCY or MARY TYLER MOORE, for example.
  18. With regards to MODERN FAMILY: I feel like the show is very hit and miss. I find the writing very formulaic, despite the show's insistence that it's original and hilarious. Vergara is a dynamic performer, but I can't seem to get on the Bowen bandwagon. I think much of the series' success rides on the existence of Cam and Mitch, who indeed are the most original thing about the show. And while O'Neill and Vergara always score with laughs, I have never found Bowen or Burrell especially entertaining. Not an awful way to spend a half hour, but its Emmy wins speak more to a lack of competition than anything else. In my opinion, of course. I much prefer MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN, a true parody of the domestic sitcom. Which, although made of a cheaper cut (like FRIENDS and THE GOLDEN GIRLS), could fairly regularly deliver some of television's most uproarious laughs. It's rude, it's crude, but we don't take it seriously. Unlike FRIENDS, THE GOLDEN GIRLS, and the other domestic sitcoms of the '70s and 80s, there are no attempts made to pull at our heart strings. It's refreshing, as long as you aren't too turned off by the crassness and the cheapness of some of the jokes that miss. It's no where near I LOVE LUCY or its quality, but if you want a quick and easy laugh, MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN is ideal.
  19. Different strokes for different folks. (Pun intended. ) I completely understand what you're saying but I don't think relatability is essential in distinguishing good comedy from middling comedy. Certainly it helps when ascertaining one's personal tastes. Anyway, FRIENDS will always have a following because the shows are often funny. But I still think the writing, even by many of its fans, has never been considered brilliant. And while most people think the things they enjoy ARE brilliant, I do think we can sometimes distinguish between our own personal pleasures and the seriously exceptional pleasures. I think FRIENDS is actually a lot like THE GOLDEN GIRLS: strong performers and characters, with many laugh-out-loud moments. But the writing and comedy, especially in the later seasons, is just cheaper to me. I think this is especially evident when we compare the writing of other successful shows. But taste is all subjective. When the people of 2200 examine sitcoms, they'll undoubtedly compare all of these shows as we are doing now. Though they may like FRIENDS, I don't think they'll classify it with I LOVE LUCY. As I said earlier, SEINFELD might still be well regarded... but by then, the novelty could have worn off. People of 2200 might indeed be turned off by the neurotic-ness. Everyone's mileage varies, as they say! I LOVE LUCY will always have the notability of being a pioneer. And I think there will always be people who adore it. In terms of quality, it's my absolute favorite. However, it would be much more interesting to compare LUCY to other shows with, I think, stronger writing. In my mind, some of those include: THE HONEYMOONERS, DICK VAN DYKE, MARY TYLER MOORE, ALL IN THE FAMILY (early years), and CHEERS. Also, a contemporary of SEINFELD and FRIENDS that I think might have a shot at more lasting notoriety is EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, which I think is arguably the best written domestic sitcom of the late '90s and early '00s. It's no early season FRASIER, but the scripts are much more consistent, I feel, than FRIENDS. As a domestic sitcom, this might be the poster child of the era. But, as always, to each his own.
  20. Continuing with my thoughts on HERE'S LUCY... Season One really surprised me upon my first viewing. I thought the episodes were better than the Public Domain Season Five LUCY SHOW episodes. (I hadn't seen any of the Post-Viv official releases yet.) The kids are VERY difficult to swallow, and many of the stories are silly, but again... my favorite episodes from this series come from this season. (fixer, matchmaker, caesar romero, shopping, jack benny). I laughed more this year than in some other previous seasons. And "Lucy, The Fixer" is one of my absolute favorite Lucille performances. Season Two was a major disappointment for me. The location episodes didn't strike me as great, and without any real standouts like last season, the middling level of quality was entirely too apparent. There were some stronger episodes near the end of the season, and I think the Burnett episode is one of their best joint performances together. Season Three has the big episode. And I enjoy Burton and Taylor's appearance just fine. Plot isn't new, but THE ring makes it specific to the couple and the script works. Unfortunately, I think many of the episodes this season do NOT work. And I think this season contains some of the worst installments. (Ma Parker, anyone?) I have always been surprised to see people adore this season. Maybe I'm missing something. I'm a little mixed on Season Four. There were episodes that made me laugh and then episodes that are truthfully best left forgotten. I didn't miss Craig, but Kim's character had definitely improved. There are a lot of little things I like here and there, but nothing major. (And I've never cottoned to Vivian's appearance this season. Have always preferred her Season One guest shot.) Season Five is a definite improvement. I'd heard that Lucille's broken leg brought continuity and a little more heart into the series, but honestly, the leg episodes are the low points of the year for me. Things really take off in the second half with some excellent (for HERE'S LUCY) installments. (group encounter, mechanics, pot, hips). And, okay, maybe it's just me, but Totie Fields cracks me up! In comparison to the three preceding seasons, this one looks stellar. Season Six was also surprisingly funny. I laughed more through this season than any other since Season One. Several episodes really worked for me. (widow, tenant, joan rivers, cops & robbers, wandering mother) I liked that Lucie, who by now I could appreciate, was recurring. I liked that Mary Jane got development. And I just felt that Lucy was looser this season. To me, it looked like she had more fun. Some of the funniest episodes come from this year. If I had to rank the seasons, I'd do: 6,5,1 all tied for first. Then 4. And then 2 and 3 tied for worst. Now, because this topic was THE LUCY SHOW vs. HERE'S LUCY, I'm going to rank them against each other. TLS1 TLS3 TLS2 HL6, HL5, & HL1 TLS6 HL4 TLS4 TLS5 HL3 & HL2 So, I obviously like the Vivian years of THE LUCY SHOW best. But the best episodes of HERE'S LUCY (which I generally find in Seasons One, Five, and Six) are better than the California years of THE LUCY SHOW. And the worst episodes of THE LUCY SHOW are still better than the worst episodes of HERE'S LUCY.
  21. To each his own. I think SEINFELD boasts better writing than FRIENDS, but the latter does have a "feel good quality." FRIENDS will probably serve as a hallmark for the generation that watched it first run. It's exactly what a sitcom should be -- mindless entertainment. But if we're examining the series technically, it doesn't hold a candle to I LOVE LUCY. (Though, not many do.) Sure, its apples and oranges, but FRIENDS outstayed its creative welcome. It's one of the first shows that comes to mind (next to ALL IN THE FAMILY, BEWITCHED, and FRASIER) when thinking of sitcoms that really FELL in terms of quality. But I don't think anyone, no matter how much they love the series, looks to FRIENDS as a paradigm of excellent television. Its job is to entertain. Usually, I think it's pretty successful. They scored with some well developed characters (some of whom DEvolved as the show went along, but that's another story!) and the obligatory rom-com "hook" in Ross and Rachel. FRIENDS is a good show, and a sitcom worthy of some praise, but in my honest opinion, there are better shows -- funnier even -- with less schmultz and smarter jokes.
  22. Perhaps you're right. Perhaps FRIENDS will never lose its popularity. But I don't think the scholars or historians will ever classify FRIENDS as a show of similar quality to LUCY. Meanwhile, SEINFELD has and probably will continue to be (for a while, at least). FRIENDS was always... I like the show and I don't want to be harsh, but... triter. Characters devolving and writers going for easy jokes. And though it's always been well liked, it was never as awarded or as regarded as the early years of FRASIER, which I think are brilliant. (My tastes are DEFINITELY not representative of the majority of television viewers, however.) I think FRIENDS is a THREE'S COMPANY to FRASIER's TAXI. One is fun and enjoyable to watch, the other is well crafted. However, I think SEINFELD, like LUCY, is both funny and well crafted, but I think the latter is still in a league of its own. (P.S. And then there's CHEERS which I think is one of the most consistent sitcoms, next to I LOVE LUCY, of course.)
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