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chedderchester

Was Here's Lucy a good show?

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Yes she managed to make it a top 10 hit for all 6 seasons but I often hear it was bashed and had awful scripts and she didn't even care about making us laugh, only doing work. I feel like the only episode anybody really remembers is the Liz Taylor one. By season 6 you could tell the show was on it's way out--most eps took place at that awfully-decorated restaurant with Lucy, MJ and Vanda. But those scenes were good. Would Lucille have done a 7th season or was she ready to call it quits? 

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Here's Lucy was a good comedy series for Lucille Ball, but, it wasn't as good as I Love Lucy or The Lucy Show.  The show ran for six seasons and seasons one through four landed in the top 10.  Season 3 was the highest rated season (No. 3) and the number 1 show on the CBS network that season (70-71).  Season five dropped a little to number 15 and season six fell to number 29 with a 20.0 ratings and 31% share of the audience.  Lucy definitely should have quit after season five.  She was coaxed by Fred Silverman to do a sixth season, but, i think she did it more for sentinmental reasons.  Seasons one through five had a lot of good episodes, but, in every season (with the exception of six) there were always 4 bad episodes.  Season six had 12 bad episodes and i felt that Lucy's heart was really not into it.  Like I said before I think she did a sixth season because CBS came to her and she liked be needed by the network.  Season six did have 11 good shows but the others were either poorly written or seemed rushed.  Lucy was smart to quit at the end of season six - even though Here's Lucy was no. 1 in its' timeslot during the second half of the 73-74 season.  Lucy knew when to get off.  She holds the record over every TV performer for being in the top ten shows for 16 years and top 15 shows for 17 years.  There are a lot of episodes I enjoyed from this show and I have every season on DVD and have already pre-order the box set which I hope has a bonus DVD.  After Lucy quit in 1974 Monday night was never the same and never will be because Lucy was the best at comedy and viewers saw her as a member of the family.  i still miss her til today.

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I actually think Season Six is one of the better seasons. In fact, I think the middle years -- Two, Three, and Four -- have the highest proportion of duds to gems. 

 

As for the quality of the series itself, Here's Lucy has its moments, but I think it would be very difficult to realistically consider it on the same plateau as Lucille Ball's former work or even the work of its later contemporaries -- most notably All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which both premiered during HL's third year. (And it's impossible to adjudicate the series without comparing it to other shows; that's how we determine our enjoyment -- of anything.) 

 

Now, I think you would be hard pressed to find fans of Here's Lucy whose enjoyment of the series isn't predicated on an appreciation for Lucille Ball's work as a whole. I haven't met anyone who, regardless of Ball, liked the series for what it was. Of course, it's difficult to separate Lucy from the series, but my appreciation for the show is SOLELY linked to my appreciation for Lucy. The same can be said of The Lucy Show, except the scripts and cast (of the Danfield years) were much stronger and more memorable. Meanwhile, I think Lucy in TLS occasionally reached comic brilliance, but I don't think she was afforded the chance -- given the below-mediocre scripts and one-note regulars -- to reach those hilarious heights on Here's Lucy. So, there's no way I would watch this series if I wasn't an over-the-top Lucy fan. 

 

Basically, Lucy fans (like myself) may enjoy the series as another place to see TV's best comedienne in action, but I would never ever consider Here's Lucy a great show. Sometimes, it's good. A lot of the time it's not. 

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I'd be interested to know which 12 episodes of the 6th season you rank as bad. It had a few clinkers for sure but I forgive it everything for that last handful of episodes, 4 of which make me top ten HLs! (more than any other single season).

I don't think I could limit my ranking as "bad" to only 4 episodes in any of the other seasons. 

Where did you get the stats that HL won its time slot for the last half of the 6th season?  That would make sense since the first half of the last three seasons was opposite ABC's popular Monday night football.  Though as a season ranking, season 6 HL did not win its time slot, it was a close race with Football ranking#20--21.2 rating, ABC Monday movie #26--20.2 to HL #29--20.0 rating.  (NBC's Monday Movie was out of the top 30).  I know that the last episode "Fights the System" came in at #12 for the week.

By the 6th season, Lucy and Harry did seem like "older" people. Even THEY acknowledge it in the last episode when Lucy says "There are companies that won't do business with us because of OUR age."  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  HL was one of the few featuring older leads that did not resort to old people jokes. 

The office bickering with Lucy being late or sluffing off was getting old. HOWEVER, it did have one of its best gags in this category on the last show.  When Lucy returns from shopping during her lunch hour, she proceeds to eat her lunch on company time. When Harry protests, she tells him  "If I ate my lunch during my lunch hour, I'd have to shop on your time and that wouldn't be fair!"

 

I'm not convinced either way that CBS cancelled it or Lucy decided not to continue.  Though HL's last season ranking was respectable, Monday night on CBS had always been a sure-fire win for the network, particularly the 9:00 slot  (and that slot would continue that way up until the last few years  --and maybe to the present.  I don't follow these numbers anymore).   In retrospect, it was probably a wise business decision because the show that replaced it "Maude"'s third season ranked #9 for the 74-75 season.

 

Though we had Mary and Rhoda plus some other good shows: Bob Newhart, All in Family, Maude, TV was never the same without Lucy.  A new TV Guide was not opened with the same eagerness.  The new "Lucy" plot was always the first thing I looked at.

 

 

 in every season (with the exception of six) there were always 4 bad episodes.  Season six had 12 bad episodes

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First, Here's Lucy was number one in its' timeslot from 9-9:30 pm during the second half of the 73-74 season.  Of course, when the whole season is calculated Football in number one and because Here's Lucy's ratings during the first half of the 73-74 season were lower that put Lucy in 29th place.  Also, Lucy Fights the System (one of my favorites from season six) finished in 7th place when it aired and not 12th.

 

The episodes I loved during season six are:

1. Lucy & Eddie Albert Do The Old Song & Dance

2. Lucy's Tenant

3. Lucy & Joan Rivers Do Jury Duty

4. Lucy Plays Cops & Robbers

5. Lucy & Chuck Connors Have A Surprise Slumber Party

6. Lucy Is N.G. As An R.N.

7. Milton Berle Is The Life of the Party

8. Mary Jane's Boyfriend

9. Lucy & Phil Harris Strike Up The Band

10. Lucy Carter Meets Lucille Ball

11. Where Is My Wandering Mother Tonight

12. Lucy Fights The System

 

The episodes I didn't like are:

1.Lucy & Danny Thomas (the worst season opener for a Lucy show)

2.The Big Game

3. Lucy, The Peacemaker w/Steve & Eyde

4. Lucy, The Wealthy Widow

5. Bow Wow Boutique

6. Lucy & Andy Griffith (too much Lucie Arnaz)

7. Tipsy Trought The Tulips w/Foster Brooks

8. Carters Meet Frankie Avalon (although Lucie Arnaz did a great imitation of Cher)

9. Harry Catcher Gold Fever

10.Lucy Is A Bird Sitter w/Arte Johnson

11. Meanwhite Back At The Office

12. Lucy, The Sheriff (The worst episode of season six and this episode ranked number 11 with a 23.3 rating during the week of January 28th 1974)

 

I  still like Here's Lucy because there were more good episodes than bad episodes.  I just happen to think season six is the weakest of all the seasons and I would take season six over some of the comedies that are on TV today like 2 Broke Girls, The Crazy Ones, The Millers, Two & A Half Men (w/Ashton Kutcher), Super Fun Night, Sean Saves The World, Community, Michael J. Fox Show, Back In The Game, Trophy Wife, The Goldbergs, Neighbors, Last Man Standing and  Parks & Recreation.

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Thanks for the clarification.  Nice to know that Lucy went out STILL in the top 10, which lends a little more credence to CBS trying to talk her into another season.  Where are you getting these show-by-show ratings?  I've scoured the internet and can come up with one or two here and there but never a definitive list for an entire season.  One ratings list I saw for early in the season put "Peacemaker" at #6 for the week.

Can't argue with your good and bad season 6 episode list.   Are the good ones in your order of preference?

First, Here's Lucy was number one in its' timeslot from 9-9:30 pm during the second half of the 73-74 season.  Of course, when the whole season is calculated Football in number one and because Here's Lucy's ratings during the first half of the 73-74 season were lower that put Lucy in 29th place.  Also, Lucy Fights the System (one of my favorites from season six) finished in 7th place when it aired and not 12th.

 

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Was Heres Lucy a goood show? I dont think it was.... It had moments, but over all I find the show difficult to enjoy. .especially when compared to Ball's previous series.

It isn't the greatest show and I really didn't like it when I started watching it. But now I have come to really appreciate it. I became a fan of Lucie, Desi, even Gale more than before after watching all of HL.

 

Plus she really cared about this series, very important to her. The forming of LBP, her children by her side, and enjoying the work.

 

There is some episodes that aren't the greatest, but overall it's a good series. We all have to remember that nothing compares to I Love Lucy, but she still had two marvelous other series that followed.

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My favorites for season six are in random order, but, my overall favorite is Where Is My Wandering Mother Tonight?

"Wandering Mother" is a close #2 for me behind "NG as RN".  That latter is my favorite HL.  I can count the moments that made me literally LOL at HL on one (maybe two, but no toes) hand. Not to say there weren't many more amusing bits and generally satisfying episodes but I can remember seeing them first run and my reaction was a spontaneous LOL to the following:

 

"Did anyone else have the beef hash?"

others:

Don't remember what episode but the anticipation of Harry's line after Lucy says "You're not going to believe this but I made a fool of myself"

 

Liz Taylor taking two glasses of champagne with both "her" hands, the tanned one and the pale one.

 

Lucy stopping Gale's "frug-ing" at the end of "John Davidson

 

Gale going wild on the powered wheel chair and Lucy stops to admire the table that goes with it.  (also the girls asking Gale what page the braking instructions are on. Gale: "How do I know what page???" as he whizzes by.)

 

Waitress Lucie Arnaz thinking the restaurant owner is offering her a drink in "Fights the System" (when he's actually giving her a tray of drinks to serve)

 

Lucy skiing down the stairs in "Ski Lift/Dinah"

 

Nurse Mary Wickes's line on trying to get Dr.Lloyd Bridges to take her out "I can't even get him to take out my appendix"

 

Cashier Vanda Barra's drop-jawed reaction, complete with ding of the cash register, to the idea that Carol Krausmeyer would be in a beauty contest.  Carol's "YOU HEARD ME: A BEAUTY CONTENT" and her glare at Vanda as she walks away is good too.

 

Lucy jack-hammering cement (can't remember what episode, but the rest of it was dreary)

 

After the real thing shows up and says "Wunnerful" but Lucy thinks it came from MJ "That's the worst Lawrence Welk impersonation I've ever heard"

 

Oh, I'm sure there are more.  Made it to my toes after all.

 

However, all of these laughs (with the exception of Gale's wheel chair ride) were fleeting.  Not the stomach-ache inducing laughs from the gut found in ILL and TLS.  I remember the first time I saw "Operetta" and how much I laughed at Lucy's reaction when the ladies chorus joins her in song; and Lucy's beyond brilliant stilt walk (BOTH of them) on TLS  so MANY more....

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Oh yeah the Operetta is just priceless. 

"And I'm their Gypsyyyyyyyy . . ."

Lucy: QUEEEEEEN!

 

And the first time I saw Lucy's reaction to it being the REAL Lawrence Welk, instead of the wax dummy, I LOL'ed. 

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I like Here's Lucy, I admit as huge fan of Lucille Ball, I'm not completely objective when In assesment of HL, but I think it's pretty good show, but, if you don't like Lucy (Sadly, I think there might be 2 or 3 people out there like that) they should stay clear.

 

  I like season 6. I really like the dynamics between Lucy in season 6 (as well as 5) and Harry does seem more of descent sort from time to time.  

 

 

There are a few "clunkers" in HL that I will complain about from time to time,. but there is no episode from Here's Lucy that I will not watch because it is so bad. I can found something  positive or at least somewhat positive about all the episodes.

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First, Here's Lucy was number one in its' timeslot from 9-9:30 pm during the second half of the 73-74 season.  Of course, when the whole season is calculated Football in number one and because Here's Lucy's ratings during the first half of the 73-74 season were lower that put Lucy in 29th place.  Also, Lucy Fights the System (one of my favorites from season six) finished in 7th place when it aired and not 12th.

 

The episodes I loved during season six are:

1. Lucy & Eddie Albert Do The Old Song & Dance

2. Lucy's Tenant

3. Lucy & Joan Rivers Do Jury Duty

4. Lucy Plays Cops & Robbers

5. Lucy & Chuck Connors Have A Surprise Slumber Party

6. Lucy Is N.G. As An R.N.

7. Milton Berle Is The Life of the Party

8. Mary Jane's Boyfriend

9. Lucy & Phil Harris Strike Up The Band

10. Lucy Carter Meets Lucille Ball

11. Where Is My Wandering Mother Tonight

12. Lucy Fights The System

 

The episodes I didn't like are:

1.Lucy & Danny Thomas (the worst season opener for a Lucy show)

2.The Big Game

3. Lucy, The Peacemaker w/Steve & Eyde

4. Lucy, The Wealthy Widow

5. Bow Wow Boutique

6. Lucy & Andy Griffith (too much Lucie Arnaz)

7. Tipsy Trought The Tulips w/Foster Brooks

8. Carters Meet Frankie Avalon (although Lucie Arnaz did a great imitation of Cher)

9. Harry Catcher Gold Fever

10.Lucy Is A Bird Sitter w/Arte Johnson

11. Meanwhite Back At The Office

12. Lucy, The Sheriff (The worst episode of season six and this episode ranked number 11 with a 23.3 rating during the week of January 28th 1974)

 

I  still like Here's Lucy because there were more good episodes than bad episodes.  I just happen to think season six is the weakest of all the seasons and I would take season six over some of the comedies that are on TV today like 2 Broke Girls, The Crazy Ones, The Millers, Two & A Half Men (w/Ashton Kutcher), Super Fun Night, Sean Saves The World, Community, Michael J. Fox Show, Back In The Game, Trophy Wife, The Goldbergs, Neighbors, Last Man Standing and  Parks & Recreation.

I like both the Andy Grififth episode (I'm about as a huge fan of the The Andy Griffith Show as I am of Lucille Ball and the Bow Wow Botique. (i just love animals!)

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