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teenageluminary

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teenageluminary last won the day on December 7 2020

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 😕
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. This is a good question! It's hard for me to pick one episode because the later seasons of The Lucy Show (particularly after Lucy started working at the bank,) often feel like a completely different show. Not only was there a drastic change in the quality of the writing, but Lucy started "hamming it up" and playing to the camera more. Everything just got louder and broader. If I had to pick one episode from the first three years, I'd go with "Kiddie Parties, Inc." It's not one of the best-written episodes, but I love the interplay between Viv and Lucy in this one, and I love how colorful everything is. It's just a fun episode, and it's not as well-known as "Lucy and Viv Put In A Shower" or "Lucy and Viv Put Up A TV Antenna," which were in the public domain for many years. If I had to pick one episode from the post-Viv years, I'd probably pick "Lucy, The Gun Moll." This was a really well-done episode, and one of Lucy's best performances from season 4.
  11. I live in New York City and have been stuck in quarantine due to the Coronavirus, so being able to stream this show for free on Tubi has been a Godsend. I just finished "With Viv As A Friend, Who Needs An Enemy." I like this episode because of Vivian Vance, even though I don't think it's one of Bob and Madelyn's better efforts. As with "Lucy Goes On Her Last Blind Date," the final scene - where Lucy pretends to have gotten old overnight - isn't very well motivated, and it doesn't play as well as it should. Nonetheless, it's still head and shoulders above the episodes that Milt Josefsberg and crew were writing at that time.
  12. Apologies for the double post, but I was watching "Lucy and the Good Skate," today, another superior third season installment. For anyone who is interested, Garry Marshall talks about this episode in his autobiography - which is definitely worth checking out. Marshall writes that he and his writing partner, Jerry Belson, had written a script that Lucy performed at a charity event in 1964 or 1965. When Milt Josefsberg took over, he remembered them from the charity event, and they were brought aboard. Initially, Garry Marshall didn't want to do it - he had done a couple of scripts for the Dick Van Dyke Show, and at the time, it was considered to be the "classier"/more sophisticated show. But Garry Marshall's wife had just had a baby, so Milt Josfsberg convinced him that The Lucy Show would give him greater job security/better exit opportunities. With regard to "Good Skate," Garry Marshall notes that the first draft was very different, and that Lucy didn't like it at all. She wrote "this is shit," on the cover, and handed it back to him. Lucy didn't think it had a strong enough climactic ending, so Marshall and Belson came up with the finale where Lucy keeps running into things on skates while at the party. Marshall notes that Lucy wasn't interested in plot or believability at this point - she just wanted the slapstick that the audience loved, so that's what the writers gave her. Later in the book, Marshall adds that many of the sitcoms that he wrote and developed in the 1970s - The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, etc. borrowed heavily from his work on The Lucy Show. In fact, his later show, Laverne and Shirley, was essentially a homage to his work with Lucy and Viv.
  13. I watched “Lucy’s Contact Lenses” again this morning. This is one of the better third season episodes, partly because it was written by Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf, but I agree with the posters upthread who noted that the dialogue wasn’t as “crisp” as the episodes they wrote with Bob and Madelyn. Bob and Madelyn had a flair for writing witty banter/repartee that the other writers couldn’t seem to replicate. I did notice two major plot holes in this episode though. First, Mr. Mooney says that he put Lucy’s fudge cake aside because his wife “thinks Lucy is the best baker in town,” when the second season finale (“Lucy Enters A Baking Contest,”) established that Lucy Carmichael doesn’t have much of a reputation as a baker. Second, Lucy tells Mr. Mooney that she made the second chocolate fudge cake for his sheepdog, Nelson, but chocolate is supposed to be poisonous to dogs. (Maybe they substituted gravy or something that looks like chocolate for the dog to eat in real life during the filming of this episode?) Aside from those quibbles though, I enjoyed this episode.
  14. I've been watching a couple of episodes of "Life with Lucy" this week, and it's really not a terrible show. Especially when you compare it to shows like "Full House," which premiered on ABC the following year. I know this has been discussed before, but I really think that if Lucy wanted to continue working, her best bet at this point would have been to join an ensemble comedy where she wouldn't have had the burden of carrying the show alone. At the start of 1986, for example, Charlotte Rae had left "The Facts of Life" (which aired opposite "Life with Lucy,") due to health issues, and I think Lucy would have been fine as the new ditzy "house mother" on that show. (I love Cloris Leachman, who ended up taking on the role, but I think any other actress could have done that part.) Also, "Facts" was produced by Norman Lear's production company, and Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf had worked with him on "All in the Family" and other shows, so maybe there could have been a reunion of sorts. Then again, I don't know if Gary would have gone along with it, since it would have meant less money for him. And although "Facts" was about as family-friendly as you could get, they occasionally handled issues (i.e. premarital sex,) that Lucy might have balked at. But it's interesting to think about what could have been.
  15. I agree that the last minute or so (i.e. where Lucy dresses up as a werewolf to "scare" Ben off,) is much too silly. I re-watched this episode yesterday, and I kept thinking that if Desi or Jess Oppenheimer had still been around, this entire gag would have been better-motivated and handled with more humor. Although the Bob and Madelyn episodes of "Here's Lucy" are head and shoulders above the rest, this wasn't one of their better efforts. Then again, Gary and Lucy were in full control at this point, so who knows what was cut from the original script . . .
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