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teenageluminary last won the day on November 6

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  1. I agree with the posters upthread that it's odd that The Operetta isn't on there, since she later told Lee Tannen that this was one of her favorite episodes. It's also weird to see Lucy and Orson Welles on that list, since Lucille Ball later described Welles as being pompous and overbearing (if Jim Brochu's book is to be believed.) At one point, Lucille Ball also apparently referred to this as "the episode where I got a broomstick up my ass" (referring to the finale.)
  2. I think that like, Jess Oppenheimer, Desi had a really strong knack for planning and character development, and he was able to coax Bob and Madelyn into doing better rewrites and delivering their best work. And as the Desilu authors note - by this point in Season 2, certain CBS network executives and critics had pointed out that it looked like the show was coasting, and that the overall consistency wasn't as good as it had been during the first season. (In hindsight, this might also been the catalyst for Lucille Ball's famous "what are you doing, trying to ruin my career?" comment to Bob and Madelyn at the end of the season.) I think if Desi had spoken to Bob and Madelyn directly, however, he would have been more tactful than he was in this memo. In The Lucy Book, Schiller and Weiskopf said that when they wrote scripts with Bob and Madelyn, they all typically sat down in a room together and came up with the basic plotline. Schiller and Weiskopf would then do the first draft, and then Bob and Madelyn would make edits, check for consistency, firm up the dialogue, and make each script sound like it came from one "voice." I would imagine that Bob and Madelyn followed a similar process with the other writers they worked with (i.e. Fred Fox and Iz Elinson.) While the scripts Fox and Elinson submitted on their own during the third season (i.e. Lucy Becomes A Father) are decent, the dialogue and plotting seem "off," and aren't the same as the episodes they did with Bob and Madelyn, so I agree that B & M were likely the driving force behind the episodes in Season 2.
  3. This is how I feel too. It's interesting that Gary Morton is quoted in the Desilu book as saying that Bob and Madelyn "didn't do much" during the first two seasons of The Lucy Show, and that Schiller and Weiskopf were really doing most of the writing and plotting. I think the third season shows that Bob and Madelyn played a big role in terms of the overall tone of the show. While the Schiller/Weiskopf episodes in Season 3 (i.e. "Lucy's Contact Lenses" and "Lucy And The Bank Robbery") are good, the dialogue just doesn't seem to flow as well as it did in the scripts they did with Bob and Madelyn.
  4. Somewhat off-topic, but this book has a summary of an unproduced 2nd season episode of The Lucy Show, entitled "Lucy Flies A Helicopter." In the Desilu book, the authors mention that even after Desi Arnaz left the studio in 1962, Lucy would often send him scripts to review. At one point, Desi apparently reviewed this script and wrote a memo to the production staff where he had some pretty harsh things to say about it, so it's not surprising that it was shelved. Based on this book's summary of the script, it sounds like "Lucy Flies A Helicopter" was Bob and Madelyn's attempt to rehash some of the elements of the "Lucy Flies To Alaska" and "Lucy Wants A Career" episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. The plotline would have had Lucy and Viv both apply to be a TV show host's Girl Friday. The TV host have to do a segment on board a helicopter, and Lucy and Viv would have accidentally knocked out the pilot and been forced to pilot the plane instead. The basic plotline doesn't sound too bad, at least compared to some of the awful scripts that Milt Josefsberg and his staff came up with in the later episodes. But I do think Desi Arnaz was correct in his assessment that several of the 2nd season episodes of The Lucy Show were not as grounded in reality as they could have been, and that the writers could have broadened their horizons by doing more episodes about home improvements and the Lucy character's experience as a single mother (as they had in the 1st season.) By the end of the 2nd season, virtually every episode seemed to revolve around Lucy's attempts to get Mr. Mooney to give her more money.
  5. To be honest, I'm not sure. I think folks on here initially mentioned that many of his quotes/tidbits were inaccurate, so now I just take everything in the book with a grain of salt. Off the top of my head, I *do* know that he is incorrect when he says that "Meanwhile Back At The Office" was the final episode of Here's Lucy filmed, since posters here have since pointed out that "Lucy Fights The System" was.
  6. Geoffrey Mark Fidelman says in his book that Viv was approached about returning to "Here's Lucy" in 1972, but that Viv turned it down because she was diagnosed with breast cancer. But there a number of inaccuracies in Fidelman's book, so I'm not sure if that's true. For her part, Lucie Arnaz has said in interviews that part of the reason why Viv didn't work with Lucy for several years after "With Viv As A Friend, Who Needs An Enemy?" aired in 1972 is because Viv had health issues.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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