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Neil

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Neil last won the day on September 13

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  1. That's interesting. Perhaps Miss Elkins could have been providing Lucy's singing voice backstage only to be taken away mid-song because her daughter was giving birth. Other than the Caldwell exchange, did the script outline anything in the last act except for "Lucy sings and dances"? From 68-69, of the 20 sitcoms on the air, Here's Lucy was the only one still remaining in the 73-74 season. If, as many do, you count The Lucy Show & Here's Lucy as one run, it must hold the record for a sitcom: (or any show) spending 10 years in the top 10, holding every position except #5, #7 and (damn you, Laugh In!) #1.
  2. Here's Lucy premiere Episode 1 "Mod Mod Lucy". The introduction of the kids: they're OK, if a little over-the top-hammy in their line readings. The script is fine, by Here's Lucy standards, with the best line being "Does Mahalia Jackson go surfing before a concert?". But the "You'll have your vocalist....Sonny? Meet Cher" line that ends the 2nd act promises us some comedy in the 3rd act. Instead what we get is Lucy's first on-series dubbed singing of "All Alone", composed by every teenager's favorite Irving Berlin. It's not challenging vocally so I don't know why a dubber was necessary. Nobody has yet confirmed who the ghost-singer is. It's definitely not Carole Cook. Some have suggested it was Lucie herself. Maybe. "All Alone" segues in that trusted Here's Lucy stand-by "I Know a Place" with the teens joining in with precision("ish") choreography. Lucy performs her limber dance moves admirably, but where is the comedy? Why not a Mumu Yo Quiro attempt at lipping to Kim's practice tape? Or something else besides this rather overlong dance number, for which I blame just plain lazy writing. When Here's Lucy involved "typical teens", it could be embarrassing as it is here. Interesting that Doris Singleton's (addressed by Harry as "Miss Singleton" and simply "Doris" in the credits. I mean, couldn't these writers have come up with a character name?) role was dropped--she and Lucy share no screen time-- because we could have had some good Ricardo-Appleby rivalry. I wonder if Doris figured in to some of the early proposed plots. Some of the best Lucy Shows from the first two season were those that featured that outer circle of friends: Mary Wickes, Carole Cook, Dorothy Konrad, Kathleen Freeman and the most prominent Mary Jane as Audrey Simmons. Except for the two appearances of Mary Wickes as Isabel, Lucy Carter was virtually friendless until the fanfare-less reappearance of Mary Jane (evidently Miss Lewis got tired of waiting on Lucy Carmichael's doorstep for her return). Bob&Madelyn made the same mistake with The Mothers In Law as they did creating Life with Lucy, colorless adult children and no steady cohorts for Eve/Kaye or Lucy, but at least Eve & Kaye had each other. Lucy seemed adamant there would be no Viv replacement, but Here's (and LWL) sure would have benefited by a group of semi-regular peers, woman Lucy could conspire with or against. Rumor has it that Viv was approached about returning for Here's, but I haven't confirmed that. Was LBP too cheap to expand their cast beyond the four of them? If so, too bad. (And with Lucie and Desi getting meager scale, there should have been cast money left over). I much preferred the Lucy-Harry relationship later in the run, where there was less bickering (which sometimes bordered on overt hatred, sometimes crossed it), usually from a B&M script. Ski Lift/Dinah, HC-Male Nurse, Kim Moves Out, Wandering Mother & NG as RN are great examples. I find it amusing that for "Milton Berle/Life of Party", it's implied that Saturday nights are regularly shared by Lucy, Mary Jane and HARRY, who normally doesn't like either of them. In defense of the Here's Lucy premiere, it was about as good as 1968 sitcoms got, but disappointing in that they missed the chance to return to a format that involved closeness of a family we actually cared about. The 68-69 Best Comedy nominees were three rather tired long-running series: Get Smart, Bewitched and that insomnia-curing Family Affair, along with two newbies that weren't exactly laughfests: Julia & (the cancelled) Ghost & Mrs. Muir. Get Smart, also cancelled, was the winner. Both Muir & Smart were picked up by other networks for one more season, then scuttled for good while Here's Lucy went on and on, well into the 70s relevant comedy period.
  3. Is this the one that's a VitaMeta/GuzzlersGin remake? Few of those freelance writers were in tune with what makes a good Lucy show. There was another 3rd season rejected script floating around: "Lucy & Chris: Which One's the Teenager?".....or was that a HL with Lucy & Kim?
  4. I am LOVING these. Lucy's voice is so soft and soothing. She's a great interviewer, showing interest in her guests and asking informed questions, without undo fawning. Just how many "good friends" did she have? She admits that she doesn't "think funny". It's true that she's not "on" but says an occasional amusing thing. And what a great audience she is, with a hearty laugh. I always bristle at the comments made about her having NO sense of humor. This was certainly a heady time for Lucy. As much as she griped later about having to run Desilu, I think she enjoyed being the boss lady and roaming around the studio (and beyond) capturing interviewees. I'm recording so I can listen later and avoid LTTL overload. One interview I keep missing is Ann Sothern. I don't know if this was pre- or post-Countess episodes. I say "Countess Rosie" ("Frankly, Framboise" maybe?) as a spinoff series might have had legs! Trivia of the day in case you didn't know: "Framboise" is French for "raspberry"! But my: how times have changed! Hal's pre-breakfast makeup tips, Mel Torme's misogynistic view of the ideal woman, Arlene Dahl's beauty book "Always Ask a Man", etc. Many of these happy marriages would go bust not longer after these shows aired. I reread Betty Hutton book. On the LTTL, she describes an ideal home life, married to musician Pete Carboli (sp?). Soon after this show, she was watching TV and Rona Barrett announced that Pete was secretly engaged to Edie Adams, who he ended up marrying. This sent poor Betty into an emotional tailspin until she ended up broke and homeless. Unless I'm missing them, I haven't heard any new ones in the mix in quite a while. I had enough trouble finding and securing the Sirius Radio service. I wish Sirius would let us know the schedule. Lucie keeps mentioning the "Sirius app" and how after this run, they will be released once a week as a podcast. Same episodes? Or are they holding some back for podcast release? I'm embarrassingly ignorant of these things. If Ozzie Nelson buffs can claim that Ozzie made the very first "music video" by cutting away from Ricky during a song to show scenery shots, then I guess LTTL can qualify as the nation's "first podcast".
  5. I wonder if Mame could even be done today. "You've done more for the south since anybody since Robert E Lee" "Mother of Jefferson Davis! She's passin' the FOX!" "This time the south will rise again..MAME" And of course the charm of plantations is now OUT.
  6. I posted this to Facebook, but for those who didn't see it:
  7. Darwin Porter is a trash writer, inventing dialogue between two people who were the only ones in the room and no notes were taken.
  8. LOL, as always. I thought there should be a Chris "Home Alone' episode where she returns from a sleepover at Cynthia's and the house is vacant. Lucy: "You know how it is when you're planning a big trip. Some little detail is liable to slip your mind." The move to California, and the great episodes that could have happened, will forever fester in my craw. They dispense with the absurdity that Mooney and Lucy would both move without the other one knowing pretty quickly. but STILL...
  9. Like a lot of these All-Time Best Lists, this one is top heavy with more recent shows some of which I've never seen and an alarming number I've never heard of. I was glad to see Burns & Allen made the list even if it was only #85. Some series might have made the list if you just looked at their first two seasons: Bewitched (did I miss it on the list?), The Lucy Show and The Beverly Hillbillies, whose first season is hilarious in no small part due to the presence of Bea Benedaret as Pearl Bodine.
  10. Agree that at least a nomination for "Pillow" seemed appropriate, if for nothing else being a trouper, forging ahead in layered winter clothes despite the unseasonable NYC heat wave. "Here's Lucy" won as Best TV Comedy in 1971 from some TV association. I can't find the Variety clipping right now. I don't know what the Emmy nomination criteria is, but when Lucy won in 1968, there were 5 nominees. For 70-71, there were only three for Best Actress in a Comedy while there were 5 for Best Actor. This was the only season HL got any Emmy recognition that I know of. Gale and Bob&Madelyn's Burton script. Both lost to MTM people. In the seasons in between, Lucy was passed over for lesser performers. The winner for both years, Hope Lange was as good a choice as any given the other none-outstanding nominees. Hope won despite her series being cancelled TWICE. First by NBC, then by ABC. I don't remember much about "Ghost & Mrs. Muir" but it didn't seem like much was required from Hope.
  11. Oh, can't they leave poor "Mame" alone?? In "Center Square: Paul Lynde" biography, Paul tells of advice Lucy gave him when he was starting his show. For some reason, the author feels the need to add "Lynde should have been more dubious because at the time Ball thought she was perfectly suited to play the lead in the disastrous musical Mame."
  12. Contains the most bizarre segment of any Lucy movie. Colorful and dazzling to watch and somehow she shines. She doesn't embarrass herself which is saying a lot considering what she's given to do. Let's see Mary Tyler Moore, Irene Ryan, Inger Stevens, Shirley Booth or Patty Duke (63-64 Emmy Best Actress in a Comedy nominees bypassing Miss Ball) pull this off! This movie sat on the shelf for a couple of years for some reason. By the time of its release MGM had pretty much given up on Lucy, despite appearing in two semi-hits "Dubarry" and "Best Foot Forward" and as movie-stealing support in "Without Love" and "Easy to Wed", all except "Love" in glorious technicolor.
  13. Love your season 3 observations. Before I thought of the fact that there were writers, I remember when I first saw these that something was missing from the previous shows. Maybe it was Bob and Madelyn's way with words? To me, the show just wasn't as funny. Even though it's Viv-less, I like "Lucy Becomes a Father". Her getting stuck in a mummy bag is B&M schtick-worthy. Yes, the poker game is similar to "Be a Pal" but I don't remember any specific bits repeated. Lucy once said on a talk show "I was bitten by a bear once" and it must have been this one. A real live bear was used except for the very last scene. My main season 3 complaint is the complete eradication of the various supporting semi-regular players, even though as you say, they were at least mentioned.
  14. I guess I'm the only one (except for Lucy herself, apparently) that enjoys the John Wayne episode. Each summer when CBS ran The Lucy Show from 68 to 71, it was shown. Yes, it's a bit overboard that Lucy would get "carried away", but I think it's one of her best free-wheeling performances. I'm continually amazed that these shows were put together in 4 days. By this time of TLS, SO MUCH relied on Lucy herself carrying the whole show: "Lucy Flies to London" is a perfect example. I've always wanted to see the John Wayne script because I've assumed it was one of the few times where Lucy seemed to ad lib, brilliantly IMO. I love her swiping the sponge from Bennett Green and jerking John's face back and forth as she adjusts his make up, all the while lamenting how he's always ganged up on in his movie scenes. Oh, well....it's not the first or last time I've been out on my own with my opinions. The 6th season is by far my least favorite. "Phil Harris" has grown on me even though it's not The Lucy Show as I wanted it to be. Missing scene: Lucy getting drunken Phil our of his clothes and into that bathrobe! (which might have been quite funny). By this time, TLS was a two-character show set in a bank. Roy Roberts added nothing and Mary Jane, through no fault of her own, was no Viv and was given little to do other than react. You have to give Phil Harris scribe Bob O'Brien some credit for trying to expand the premise beyond that stodgy bank. Though impoverished, the Lucy Carmichael of the first two seasons had class. 6th season Carmichael was, much of the time, more annoying than funny. I detect a change in the character from the 5th season. What is missing? Her sweetness and vulnerability, maybe. Though it had more than its share of duffers, there are many 5th season shows I like. No so, the 6th. I enjoy "George Burns" but the routine is lifted verbatim from Burns and Allen. You can have your Rose Nylan and Connie Stevens' Wendy. No one else could do Gracie. Not even Lucy.
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