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teenageluminary

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teenageluminary last won the day on September 4

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  1. I re-watched "Lucy, the Shopping Expert" this afternoon. I know other people, i.e. Geoffrey Mark Fidelman, really like this one, but I'm not a huge fan. Milt Josefsberg tended to write the Lucy character as being dumb and tacky (as opposed to sly, manipulative, and cunning,) and this episode is no exception. The scenes with Lucy messing up the melon display, eating vegetables without paying for them, and dropping things on the ground are annoying, rather than amusing. Like many of the first season episodes, this show feels more like a collection of scenes - as opposed to one unified episode. Individual parts of the episode (i.e. Gale Gordon's "birds and the bees" bit) are funny, but they didn't seem to come together as a whole for me.
  2. Lucy's work ethic during this period must have been incredible. She was running a studio, starring in a hit TV show, doing specials and guest appearances, writing an autobiography, doing a radio show, *and* raising two teenagers at the same time. Looking forward to listening to these episodes! I've heard clips from some of Lucy's interviews with Mary Tyler Moore and Doris Day on YouTube, and they were great. At this point in her life/career, Lucy's voice hadn't turned to bass yet, so her voice is very pleasant to listen to.
  3. I listened to/"watched" this animated version of "Liz Cooks Dinner For 12," from 1950. I really enjoyed this episode! It sounds like Richard Crenna played the delivery boy, just a year before he played Arthur in "The Young Fans" episode of I Love Lucy. And hearing Eleanor Audley (who voiced Lady Tremaine in Disney's Cinderella and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty) as Liz's mother-in-law, was a treat. I really liked the finale, where George tells Liz that the dinner is canceled, just as their friends have sent over fully catered dinners because they know Liz botched hers. While watching/listening to this episode, it was interesting to see how much of a creative role Lucy and Desi played in shaping the "I Love Lucy" and making it different from My Favorite Husband. In Lucille Ball's autobiography, she notes that Desi never wanted people to make fun of his or Lucy's in-laws on the show, so the scenes in this episode where Liz bickers with George's mother would have never happened on I Love Lucy. And Lucy Ricardo, unlike Liz Cooper, was a fine cook who would have had no problem reading a recipe. While watching/listening to the scenes with Bea Benaderet, I kept thinking of what I Love Lucy would have been like if Bea had played the part of Ethel (as Lucy had originally envisioned.) Granted, Bea was a character actress and might have adjusted her performance if chosen to play Ethel, but there was nothing about her voice/intonation in this episode that felt "right" for the Ethel character. I think Vivian Vance brought a sense of sarcasm/dry humor to her line readings that really made that character pop.
  4. I recently saw Mame again as well, and I agree with you. The film itself is entertaining, and Lucy's acting is fine. The soft-focus lighting was very noticeable, but I didn't have a problem with it. I know Bea Arthur did several interviews after the fact where she stated that she didn't want to do the film (and that she only did it as a favor to her husband because he was directing,) but I thought she gave one of the best performances in the movie. Although this sounds obvious, I think the biggest problem with Mame is that it's a musical, and Lucy was simply not a singer. She was also not very good at "speak-singing," either. This time around, I actually fast-forwarded through some of Lucy's solos because her singing voice, at times, was incredibly grating to listen to. (And I say this as someone who *loves* Lucy.) To be honest, I wouldn't have minded if someone like Carole Cook or Lisa Kirk had dubbed Lucy's vocals for this film - I think it would have made the overall experience more enjoyable.
  5. Always nice to meet a fellow Bewitched fan! Since the pandemic, I've been watching a lot of episodes at home. The first few seasons were so good, particularly when Dick York was on the show. William Asher (who also worked on I Love Lucy,) produced Bewitched, and there were a couple of episodes that "borrowed" from I Love Lucy. There was one episode where Samantha's cousin Serena and her Uncle Arthur lost their powers and ended up making banana splits at the local ice cream parlor. The whole scene was a homage to the candy factory episode from ILL, and it was hilarious! In real life, Agnes Moorehead (who played Endora) and Lucille Ball were friends, dating back to when they did The Big Street together in 1942, and Agnes invited Lucy to the lavish Christmas parties she threw at her house every year. The entire Bewitched cast would attend those as well. Kasey Rogers, who played Louise Tate on Bewitched, said she first met Lucy at one of Agnes' Christmas parties. Later on, Kasey ended up guest starring in an episode of The Lucy Show, where she played Phil Harris' love interest. In the interview I read, Kasey had nothing but the nicest things to say about working with Lucy.
  6. I'm sure ageism was a big part of it. To be fair, Lucille Ball was also phoning it in quite a bit by the time Here's Lucy came around - obviously looking at cue cards, hamming it up for the audience, doing broad takes, etc. There wasn't the same level of nuance and subtlety that she had during I Love Lucy or the first few seasons of The Lucy Show. To be honest, if it were up to me, I probably wouldn't have given Lucille Ball the Outstanding Continuing Performance Emmy in 1968, either - I think it should have gone to Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched, which was still in its prime (creatively) at that point. But I'm sure others will disagree. All that being said, I definitely think Lucille Ball deserved an award for What Now, Catherine Curtis? I think she was great in that.
  7. I watched "Lucy at the Drive-In Movie" from the second season today. I'm not a fan of a lot of the Milt Josefsberg penned episodes, but this one was fun, albeit very unrealistic. The Lucy Carter character, as written by Josefsberg, is very tacky and dumb.** (For example, it's hard to believe that Lucy wouldn't know how to use a speaker at a drive-in movie. Or that Kim wouldn't have recognized Lucy and Harry in their hippie costumes.) But once I moved past all that, the script itself was amusing. The "twist" ending, where Lucy is upset that Craig's date's parents followed *him* to the drive-in movie as well, was funny. If Vivian Vance was still around, I almost think this could have been a fun plotline for them to do together, with Viv taking on Harry's role as Lucy's co-conspirator at the drive-in. Overall, I'd give this one a 6.5/10. ** = When I watch the later episodes, penned by Bob and Madelyn, it's like night and day in terms of Lucy's characterization. I don't know if Bob and Madelyn did as well without Jess or Desi around to coax them into better rewrites, but Lucy Carter is much more like Lucy Ricardo in the later episodes.
  8. Ahh, thanks for the explanation! I didn't realize that those episodes were aired out of sequence. For whatever reason, I thought it was more like I Love Lucy, where many of the episodes were aired in production order.
  9. I needed a break from work today (I've been working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic,) so I watched Lucy, The Matchmaker from the first season. This is one of my favorite episodes from the early years. Particularly during the first few seasons, Lucy and Harry were often written as being at each other's throats - so anytime the show got away from that, it was a nice change of pace. And this was a pretty funny script, too, by Milt Josefsberg's standards. Vivian Vance looked a little "off," facially, in this episode. I remember reading that Vance had a second facelift in the late '60s, and I wondered if it might have been before this episode. She still looked beautiful, but her face definitely looked pulled/tightened compared to how it looked in The Lucy Show. Nonetheless, I never would have guessed that Viv was pushing 60 at the time this episode was filmed - she easily could have passed for a decade younger. The final scene at the dinner party was fun, even though it seemed odd that Viv would ever be attracted to a miserly tightwad like Harry. Even more so since the Vivian Jones character was written to be more like Vivian Bagley than Ethel Mertz here. I could imagine Ethel Mertz putting up with Fred/Harry's foolishness, but Vivian Bagley certainly wouldn't. All that being said, I would definitely put this in the top 15-20 episodes of Here's Lucy that I've seen, for sure.
  10. Sorry for double posting (guess it's been quiet around here!) I saw "Lucy Goes To Vegas" today - definitely one of the best episodes from the third season, in my opinion. This one almost feels like a throwback to the first season, when it was all about Lucy and Viv, and less about Lucy figuring out ways to wheedle money from the bank. This is one of Bob O'Brien's better scripts, and I love the dialogue and the little bits of business, such as having Lucy and Viv steal cookies and toast from the hotel because they can't afford food. Lucy and Viv's outfits in this one are also really fun to look at, and I like Lucy's weird green hat (the one that Viv says "looks like a piece of crabgrass.") I wouldn't have minded a few more episodes like this. Unfortunately, after this episode, Viv's role gets smaller and smaller (ostensibly because TPTB knew she was leaving.) By the time "Lucy and the Disc Jockey" comes around, she's barely in the episode.
  11. I saw this episode today, and it wasn't that great either. But to be honest, I think they did way too many of these musical episodes in the later years to begin with. Aside from a handful episodes (i.e. Lucy and the Generation Gap, which is really only interesting because of the sets and because Lucie and Desi are in it too,) I tend to skip past them. With regard to the Eddie Albert episode: I know 1973 was a different time, but did anyone else think it was weird that Lucy just went up to Eddie Albert's front door to ask him to be in the show? I know Lucy interacting with celebrities had been a staple on Ball's shows since the I Love Lucy days - but at least back on I Love Lucy, Ricky was in show business, so it made sense that the Lucy character might have interactions with his co-workers. I couldn't imagine Lucy Ricardo ever walking up to a celebrity's front door to ask them for a favor, the way Lucy Carter does with Eddie Albert, unless she actually lived next door to them (i.e. Tallulah Bankhead in The Celebrity Next door.)** ** = And at that point, Lucy and Ricky lived in a relatively affluent suburb in Westport, and one might expect that a Broadway stage actress, such as Bankhead, might actually move in next door. And to Desi and the writers' credit, Lucy Ricardo invited Tallulah over for dinner, established a friendship, and *then* asked her to be in the PTA benefit. It didn't seem as illogical or out of the blue.
  12. Thanks so much for posting this. Seeing him smoke a cigar throughout the interview, knowing that he died of lung cancer, made me sad though 😕
  13. I saw "Lucy Goes To Art Class" today. This is one of my favorite Season 2 episodes because it focuses on the Lucy/Viv relationship. I also really like the red and black dress that Viv wore on her date - she looked amazing! I wish the final act had been better motivated though. It seemed petty/unusually vindictive for Lucy to enter Viv's date's apartment to put the "fake" pie with the hot peppers in the oven (to make Viv look bad.) I think that if Jess or Desi had still been around, Lucy's actions would have been better motivated. That being said, I liked that the writers inserted dialogue beforehand that Viv's date planned to leave his key under the mat (to explain how Lucy was able to enter the apartment in the first place.) Also, as staged, the very final part - where Lucy breaks the Mona Lisa print and sticks her head through it - is a bit silly. Does Lucy really think that Viv and her date won't be able to tell a three-dimensional person from a painting? But I think the comedy works here because all of the actors are so invested and clearly believe in the material. Viv's reactions here are spot-on.
  14. I don't think this special is all that funny, but I agree that Lucy looks amazing in it. If you compare her appearance in this to some of the early episodes of The Lucy Show (where she's not wearing a wig,) it's like night and day. It's amazing what good lighting and cinematography can do. I also love her outfits/costumes throughout the special as well. I'm not sure how much input Jess Oppenheimer had in terms of the special, but I agree it's too bad he couldn't come on board after Bob and Madelyn left.
  15. I just re-watched "Lucy and the Countess Have A Horse Guest." I don't think is the best script, but I loved the interplay between Lucy and Ann Sothern. I also liked the cameo appearance with William Frawley - although it was a bit jarring to see how much older and frailer he had become. I wish Ann Sothern could have taken over Viv's role in the series, but I guess it would have been tough for Ann to go from running her own production company and starring in two series to becoming Lucy's second banana. Still, I always thought it was odd that they didn't bring her back for occasional guest appearances. In the Desilu book, Ann told the authors that she and Lucy got into a few arguments while doing this series (in part because Lucy liked to be in control,) so maybe Ann just thought it would be healthier for their friendship if they didn't work together.
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