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The I Love Lucy Superstar Special -- Sunday, May 17 on CBS!

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TJW awesome job!!!! Are you sure those colors in LA at Last were accurate? I thought the Brown Derby colors would've been more bland and muted. In Here's Lucy the walls were a bright YELLOW when they went to the BD with Johnny Carson. I hadn't seen this episode in a while but totally remembered everything. I wish we could've seen the exterior shots of the Ricardos first arriving at the hotel (and narrowly missing a collision by that errant speeding car.)

I'm probably the only one who noticed in the Superman episode but I thought the colors of those balloons were red blue and yellow--Superman colors--but it slipped my mind that it WASN'T a Superman themed party. It was just an appearance. How did you pick the colors? I forgot about the Little Ricky born on a Saturday dialogue. And it bugs me how it wasn't his 4th birthday or something. Big continuity error, writers!

 

I remember the commentary for this episode by Keith T and the boy who played Little Stevie, Stevie was actually afraid of Bill Frawley, so when they're playing London Bridge, you see that he tries not to look at Bill and quickly runs away from him. If I was his age I don't blame him.

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Two things I noticed. You can actually see the Derby when Lucy points it out. Also the makeup case in the bedroom by the door.

 

Loved the purple flowers in the bedroom. The lamps in the living room are almost identical to curtains I have in my Lucy room.

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Folks, here's just a little proof that I'm not the only "purist" out there. Joe and I may be practically alone on this lounge, but we're not on the whole.

 

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/i-hate-lucy-in-color.html

 

That article was from 2013 after the first color broadcast.  I would tend to agree (a tiny bit) with the assessment at that time.  But what we saw last night was in a totally different league.  I don't see how even the B&W purists could have a problem with the spectacular look of last night's episodes.

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Folks, here's just a little proof that I'm not the only "purist" out there. Joe and I may be practically alone on this lounge, but we're not on the whole.

 

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/i-hate-lucy-in-color.html

The only annoying thing about the colorization was Lucy Ricardo's hair color. Are they going to sell these episodes without the edits shown on the broadcast?

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When the scene opens up with the gang in the apartment, I found me and my friends watching, simply gleaming at the TV. I think I even took a gasp because the colors took my breath away!

 

I noticed two or three tones of red used in Lucy's hair in this installment. It's really a work in progress but it's beautifully done so far. 

I think the accuracy and precision of the Scotland is the best, and this past special matched that and beyond. 

 

Id love to see this offered online in iTunes one day, because it was so crisp and clear 

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The only annoying thing about the colorization was Lucy Ricardo's hair color. Are they going to sell these episodes without the edits shown on the broadcast?

 

Lucille Ball toned down the color of her hair later on in the '60s and '70s, but it was pretty bright orange in the '50s.  I'm not so sure what we saw last night is that far off from what it actually looked like at that time.

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Great special. I was hoping to see the opening ride through Beverly Hills in color but maybe on the dvd release if there is one.

 

I had to grin at the credits including TJW and co. That must be the ultimate for him. I remember being a member of his tiny "We Love Lucy" fan club in its fledgling years when he wasn't even living in California yet...How cool is that to be a big producer! :lucywow:

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A co-worker whom I would never describe as a "Lucy" fan (casual observer, is more accurate) just texted to say how much she was looking forward to tonight's special. Who knew!

 

Did you get any feedback from her today?

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Did you get any feedback from her today?

 

It's a national holiday in Canada today, but I'll definitely ask her tomorrow.

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Great special. I was hoping to see the opening ride through Beverly Hills in color but maybe on the dvd release if there is one.

 

I had to grin at the credits including TJW and co. That must be the ultimate for him. I remember being a member of his tiny "We Love Lucy" fan club in its fledgling years when he wasn't even living in California yet...How cool is that to be a big producer! :lucywow:

Yes, I caught his credit (along with co-hort/technical whiz Jonathan Angus).  Despite my predictions, I think both are going to turn out alright!

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It's a national holiday in Canada today, but I'll definitely ask her tomorrow.

 

What is it, National Day-After-Lucy Day?  Were all the Canadians up late last night celebrating after the special?

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What is it, National Day-After-Lucy Day? Were all the Canadians up late last night celebrating after the special?

HA! It's Victoria Day, the Queen's official birthday.

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Did you get any feedback from her today?

 

VERDICT: She was watched the special twice since Sunday. I think that's a favourable review.

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I see what you did there...

 

:)  And watch what happens when you do that with Dick Van Dyke's last name.  But sorry, no disrespect meant for the queen.

 

 

 

VERDICT: She was watched the special twice since Sunday. I think that's a favourable review.

 

Now that's saying something!  I think she may be a convert now.

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Playing catch-up here today... Many thanks for all the comments about Sunday night's broadcast...

 

We originally "conceived" the show as something nice for June or July -- something to air after all the season finales, something to interrupt the summer doldrums... But CBS loved the idea so much that they wanted it in May instead... and we had only a couple of months to pull it all together. Hence, many of us have been eating, sleeping and LIVING this special 24/7 for the past 8 weeks or so.  Now it's all "postpartum" whiplash...

 

Regarding people's "hatred" of colorization, all I can say is that NO ONE wants or intends for the black-and-white originals to go away. No one is ever going to get rid of those.  They are readily available on home video, and are still being run on cable channels and some independent stations around the country.  However, these old black-and-white shows are no longer considered viable in some areas, and many younger people -- particularly those who were weaned with computer screens in their cribs -- simply do not relate to black-and-white images...  So we are trying colorization.  But only to ADD this element... Again, no one is suggesting destroying the black-and-white versions...

 

Regarding our choices of colors: yes, we tried to remain as true as possible to whatever the original color schemes might have been -- but ALWAYS had to bear in mind that those colors had been selected NOT for the way they appeared in the studio but how they photographed in black-and-white.  

 

This became an issue, for example, with the dress Lucy wears in the third scene of the Superman episode.  It was gray in real life and looked fine on the black-and-white version of the show.  But we tried it gray in the new version and it looked TERRIBLE, especially with the gray walls of the apartment.  It not only looked as though we had forgotten to colorize the scene -- it was just not very attractive, period.  So we experimented with various colors and found one that worked. This type of thing was done throughout.  Our bottom line goal was to create a show that was beautiful to look at TODAY.

 

One element continually surprises us -- and is an on-going challenge to the colorization team: the studio lighting.  These two episodes were colorized almost simultaneously.  One was not done two years ago, another last month.  All the same color "formulas" were used for both.  Yet the studio lighting used in the 1954 William Holden episode was totally different than that used in the 1956 Superman show.  (The lights in the latter were particularly HOT.)

 

Am not sure "what's next."  We are finishing work on the Season Two blu-rays, still due out in July, and as I mentioned before the colorized version of "Job Switching" will be included on that... 

 

Thanks again for the comments...

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Playing catch-up here today... Many thanks for all the comments about Sunday night's broadcast...

 

We originally "conceived" the show as something nice for June or July -- something to air after all the season finales, something to interrupt the summer doldrums... But CBS loved the idea so much that they wanted it in May instead... and we had only a couple of months to pull it all together. Hence, many of us have been eating, sleeping and LIVING this special 24/7 for the past 8 weeks or so.  Now it's all "postpartum" whiplash...

 

Regarding people's "hatred" of colorization, all I can say is that NO ONE wants or intends for the black-and-white originals to go away. No one is ever going to get rid of those.  They are readily available on home video, and are still being run on cable channels and some independent stations around the country.  However, these old black-and-white shows are no longer considered viable in some areas, and many younger people -- particularly those who were weaned with computer screens in their cribs -- simply do not relate to black-and-white images...  So we are trying colorization.  But only to ADD this element... Again, no one is suggesting destroying the black-and-white versions...

 

Regarding our choices of colors: yes, we tried to remain as true as possible to whatever the original color schemes might have been -- but ALWAYS had to bear in mind that those colors had been selected NOT for the way they appeared in the studio but how they photographed in black-and-white.  

 

This became an issue, for example, with the dress Lucy wears in the third scene of the Superman episode.  It was gray in real life and looked fine on the black-and-white version of the show.  But we tried it gray in the new version and it looked TERRIBLE, especially with the gray walls of the apartment.  It not only looked as though we had forgotten to colorize the scene -- it was just not very attractive, period.  So we experimented with various colors and found one that worked. This type of thing was done throughout.  Our bottom line goal was to create a show that was beautiful to look at TODAY.

 

One element continually surprises us -- and is an on-going challenge to the colorization team: the studio lighting.  These two episodes were colorized almost simultaneously.  One was not done two years ago, another last month.  All the same color "formulas" were used for both.  Yet the studio lighting used in the 1954 William Holden episode was totally different than that used in the 1956 Superman show.  (The lights in the latter were particularly HOT.)

 

Am not sure "what's next."  We are finishing work on the Season Two blu-rays, still due out in July, and as I mentioned before the colorized version of "Job Switching" will be included on that... 

 

Thanks again for the comments...

 

Tom, this is Breck here.  I know you've been bombarded with comments and questions so I'm going to spare you.  I just want to commend you and Jonathan for the tremendous effort you've put forth.  As with the DVDs you've worked on, your passion for getting it right was SO obvious Sunday night.  As for the colorization critics, I understand their point of view, but you're doing the right thing.  Your efforts are going to help keep this show alive for generations to come.  I live in a 93 year-old house.  If no upgrades had ever been made to it, I wouldn't have bought it.  I love that it's an old house, but I also love my modern refrigerator, upgraded electrical circuitry that meets safety standard, hot water heater, and Internet wireless capabilities. 

 

To be quite honest, you're an artist, too.  People need to respect that.  When I watched Sunday night, I found myself laughing at things I hadn't laughed at in years.  One thing I laughed at that I'm not sure I had ever laughed at was Fred's shirt.  Seeing that in full color made it really hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny.  There ARE some things that are just funnier in color.

 

Thank you so much for what you're doing!

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Oh, and just a thought here.  Episodes like "L.A. at Last!" are the best way to attract new viewers.  With that in mind, my thought on the perfect (hilarious) hour color special would be "Lucy Visits Grauman's" followed by "Lucy and John Wayne."

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Oh, and just a thought here.  Episodes like "L.A. at Last!" are the best way to attract new viewers.  With that in mind, my thought on the perfect (hilarious) hour color special would be "Lucy Visits Grauman's" followed by "Lucy and John Wayne."

 

Love this idea. Anything to get that "nosy couple", Mr. and Mrs. Irving Massey, back in prime time. ;)

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:viv1:  "May we come in again? We got to talking it over and we decided we acted pretty childish..."

 

Just here to offer some mea culpa. I know the topic of colorization gets me a little hotter than Lucy's hair, but I've been trying to gather some new perspective on it. Deep down, I will always consider myself a so-called purist, one who will always prefer art as originally created and intended, including black and white footage. I haven't been able to see the new shows in their entirety, but I have viewed clips. Yes, I agree that the process has improved considerably, even in the last few years. I would never deny the hard work and effort that went into creating these versions. One can tell that a great deal of artistry was involved. And it is truly fascinating to see the programs presented in a new way. 

 

I suppose my main issue isn't with the process of colorization itself but rather the mindset of some of the fans who "demand" it. Everyone here is open minded about both B&W and color versions of the shows, but I've seen some very petty comments from others elsewhere. "Gimmie all of it in color and gimmie it NOW!" type of behavior, which I find sickening. One troll on Amazon even goes around leaving negative reviews for any B&W program that has color photos on the packaging, calling it "blatant lies" and the like and refusing to buy it until it's colorized. As someone who doesn't like to feel entitled, I don't believe in rewarding that type of petulance. But I realize that mindsets like that are in the minority and that most people are more receptive to either version.

 

As someone who grew up with black and white movies and reruns as part of his daily childhood life, it's just never been a problem for me. And admittedly, I have a hard time wrapping my head around it being a problem for anybody else. I know I'm being rather narrow-minded in this instance, but even with kids today being saturated with nothing but color images, I just can't wrap my head around those who refuse to watch B&W images. It's a concept I cannot grasp, no matter how often I'm reminded it's a reality. I just keep thinking that if they're exposed to it enough, they'll get used to it. But perhaps a "taste" of the show in color will be enough for some to rush out and buy the new Blu-Rays to experience more of it, just because it's funny.

 

I completely realize that the B&W footage is never going away entirely. I guess part of my fear is that, if the show is eventually colorized in its entirety, it will become the new, standard version, and B&W will never be seen again by the general public, and will instead become a "special interest" item. That prospect saddens me. If given a choice, most everyone will choose color, and I can't say that thrills me. But I know that these episodes are being treated with the utmost care and respect for preserving the integrity of the program, and that a lot of prominent people in the "Lucy" community have given their consent.

 

So while I'll never exactly be thrilled by it, I am slowly coming to at least accept it, and I offer apologies for my Fred Mertz-esque cantankerousness on the subject. I'll try to keep a more level head in the future, and I do offer my sincerest congratulations to those who allowed to show to return home to CBS.

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The colourization is getting so much better.

Guess I'm in the minority. I hated the colors they used. That plum dress with Lucy's pink-orange hair was kinda gross. Yikes, was her hair that color in real life?

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