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What episodes are you watching of "Life with Lucy"?

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Started at the top of the DVD during my lunch hour. Now chilling with a drink and Legal Beagle.

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10/10/19 (Thursday Evening):

 

Disc 1

“One Good Grandparent Deserves Another" (Episode #1)

“Lucy Makes a Hit with John Ritter” (Episode #4)

“Love Among the Two-By-Fours” (Episode #6)

“Lucy Get Her Wires Crossed” (Episode #3)

“Lucy Is  a Sax Symbol” (Episode #5)

“Lucy Makes Curtis Byte the Dust” (Episode #8)

“Lucy, the Legal Beagle" (Episode #10)

 

Disc 2

“Mother of the Bride” (Episode #12) - last aired ABC episode

“Lucy and the Guard Goose” (Episode #2) - 1st Unaired ABC episode

“Lucy and the Curtis Are Up a Tree” (Episode #7) - 2nd Unaired ABC episode

“Lucy’s Green Thumb” (Episode #9) - 3rd Unaired ABC episode

“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” (Episode #11) - 4th Unaired episode

“World’s Greatest Grandma” (Episode #13) - 5th Unaired episode

…. And The Special Features!

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"Green Thumb" and "Breaking Up" this morning. IMO "Green Thumb" is the only true stinker of the bunch- the rest at least have a few good moments, but this one feels like a Gorboona might come barreling through Lucy's scheffleras at any minute. Also, the poor direction is staggering. Even when the writing wasn't good, Lucy's shows had compositions and camera blocking that was at the very least decent. Unfortunately it's not so in the 80s with Marc Daniels at the helm. The pickup shots are uncomfortably obvious and close- and considerably more present than in other episodes, and the visible boom mics aren't exactly professional either. The one aspect of "Breaking Up" that I don't buy is the fact that Curtis would so willingly let Lucy and Leonard run the store themselves. And in that vein, a hardware store with only three employees must really be slow. I forgot that Hey Look Me Over is featured in the episode and it was a nice surprise. This one is also a great example of the show getting a creative choice right: Lucy and Gale's relationship has been developing since 1947, so the themes of the episode carry a lot more weight than what was built up over 12 episodes.

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4 hours ago, LucyImHome said:

I wonder why Lucy and the Guard Goose never aired on ABC.

It would've been the 9th one broadcast had they not cancelled the show. It's one of the sillier entries so I can see why it was held back. 

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10/18/19:

“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” (Episode #11)

“World’s Greatest Grandma” (Episode #13)

“Lucy and the Guard Goose” (Episode #2)

“Lucy and the Curtis Are Up a Tree” (Episode #7)

“Lucy’s Green Thumb” (Episode #9)

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One Good Grandparent Deserves Another

This is a pretty solid debut. It's also one of the few that provides Larry Anderson with any kind of decent showcase. His character was really relegated to the background for most subsequent outings. As great as Lucy's entrance is, Gale's is the one I truly love. That wonderful bellow of "ANYBODY HOOOOOME!?" followed by his schlumping through the door is such a great moment. It's a bit hypocritical of Mrs. Barker to criticize Leonard for his smoking, given that HER voice suggests she wasn't always the health nut she is now! The fire-extinguisher sequence would've been so much better had the camera not captured the additional foam being poured in. It nearly ruins the whole routine, but Lucy, Gale and Donovan manage to salvage it.

Lucy Makes a Hit With John Ritter

I'd only seen this episode once before, years ago, and it was better than I remembered. At least the plot had a logical progression, even if some of the individual scenes could've been better written. Ritter's energy helps buoy the show tremendously. With all due respect to Larry Anderson, maybe if they'd been able to cast Ritter in the role and allowed the son-in-law to be Lucy's partner in crime, the show might've had more legs to stand on.

Love Among the Two By Fours

This is one of the more touching episodes. It veers on schmaltz at times, but overall manages to avoid becoming too sticky...no thanks to the kids, who really overplay the cutesy factor. Lucy's little dance with Peter Graves had me absolutely beaming, and might be my favorite scene of the whole series. Gale's a bit obnoxious in this one but he does have some great lines, especially the one about using the faucet to turn him on. It's fun seeing Gale deliver more adult-oriented jokes than he could've done back in the Mr. Mooney/Harry Carter days. IMO, this episode features Ann Dusenberry's best performance. Margo actually gets some decent lines and screen time and Ann shows some solid timing.

Lucy Gets Her Wires Crossed

This is a fun episode. The infamous armchair scene isn't nearly as bad as critics at the time made it out to be. None of them seemed to realise Lucy wouldn't have done it if she wasn't comfortable with the stunt, and she merely gets jostled a bit. The glued together bit isn't quite as funny as it would've been with Lucy and Gale in their prime, but it's still a fun routine. It's a pity they couldn't have done that on "The Lucy Show" with Lucy, Viv and Gale all getting glued together. 

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Lucy is a Sax Symbol

This is an okay episode, IMO. It's been so long since I last saw it I'd totally forgotten most of the plot. The sentimental scenes would've been more effective without the sappy music. That, to me, dates the show more than the references. I loved Lucy's line "I'm trying to decide if it's real or if it's Memorex!" The mousse in the sax scene was funny. 

Lucy Makes Curtis Byte the Dust

I know some consider this to be the biggest dud of the lot, but I actually enjoyed it. It's a very silly outing, and the computer references aren't very true to life, but the general idea of Lucy and Curtis trying to modernize was a good one. The biggest fly in the ointment to me was Rupert, which was just way too wacky and out-of-the-blue. 

Mother of the Bride

I'm with the general consensus that this is the strongest overall episode. Audrey was a fantastic guest-star and the show is very well-paced. The cake fight is a tad stilted but certainly well motivated, and the wedding scene manages to be touching without getting overly sentimental. I especially love the reveal of Margo in Lucy's wedding dress. It's also nice to see a softer side to Curtis; I concur with Fidelman that this show works best when Lucy and Gale are on the same side, not at each other's throats.

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On 14 October 2019 at 5:32 AM, Freddie2 said:

"Green Thumb" and "Breaking Up" this morning. IMO "Green Thumb" is the only true stinker of the bunch- the rest at least have a few good moments, but this one feels like a Gorboona might come barreling through Lucy's scheffleras at any minute. Also, the poor direction is staggering. Even when the writing wasn't good, Lucy's shows had compositions and camera blocking that was at the very least decent. Unfortunately it's not so in the 80s with Marc Daniels at the helm. The pickup shots are uncomfortably obvious and close- and considerably more present than in other episodes, and the visible boom mics aren't exactly professional either. The one aspect of "Breaking Up" that I don't buy is the fact that Curtis would so willingly let Lucy and Leonard run the store themselves. And in that vein, a hardware store with only three employees must really be slow. I forgot that Hey Look Me Over is featured in the episode and it was a nice surprise. This one is also a great example of the show getting a creative choice right: Lucy and Gale's relationship has been developing since 1947, so the themes of the episode carry a lot more weight than what was built up over 12 episodes.

It's interesting that the episodes predominantly crafted by the old team tend to be the weaker ones. Linda Morris and Vic Rauseo seemed to be the best overall writers the show had. Marc Daniels, sadly, appeared to be the least effective director. 

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10 hours ago, Mot Morenzi said:

It's interesting that the episodes predominantly crafted by the old team tend to be the weaker ones. Linda Morris and Vic Rauseo seemed to be the best overall writers the show had. Marc Daniels, sadly, appeared to be the least effective director. 

One thing I thought of recently about "Breaking Up" is the scene where Lucy is having the big sale at the store. I was surprised by the diversity of the customers. Not only is there a plethora of races, but there's even a little person buying something at the counter! At first I thought he was part of Lucy's circus gimmick and wondered if there would be some sort of gag involving him, but not so! Even though it was far from tasteless, we all remember how Golden Girls centered an entire episode around this just a year before. It's certainly symbolic- who else but Lucy can bring together people of all kinds?

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21 minutes ago, Freddie2 said:

One thing I thought of recently about "Breaking Up" is the scene where Lucy is having the big sale at the store. I was surprised by the diversity of the customers. Not only is there a plethora of races, but there's even a little person buying something at the counter! At first I thought he was part of Lucy's circus gimmick and wondered if there would be some sort of gag involving him, but not so! Even though it was far from tasteless, we all remember how Golden Girls centered an entire episode around this just a year before. It's certainly symbolic- who else but Lucy can bring together people of all kinds?

I actually noticed that too. Not sure if it was that specific episode or just a random one.

Also for a hardware store that small they seemed to sell a lot of kitchen gadgets. You'd think they would specialize more.

 

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On 10/13/2019 at 5:08 PM, LucyImHome said:

I wonder why Lucy and the Guard Goose never aired on ABC.

You must not have watched it or you wouldn't have asked! IMHO it's the "Drafted" of this series. 

:HALKING:

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Lucy and the Guard Goose

I'll always have a soft spot for this one, as it's the first episode I ever saw. It also features one of Gale's funniest performances. Those deadpan one-liners of his are a hoot. Conversely, I think it's one of Lucy's weaker performances. To be fair, the script doesn't give her much to work with, but her cue card reading is very obvious and her delivery stilted. She was clearly still readjusting to the swing of things. 

Lucy's Green Thumb

This episode is what would've resulted if Milt Josefsberg wrote the first season of I Love Lucy. It makes the giant bread loaf look downright plausible. Nonetheless, I like how it shows off the family dynamic. 

Lucy and Curtis Are Up a Tree

This one has a good underlying plot but is unevenly paced. The bedtime story routine grinds everything to a halt. Little Red Riding Hood in Spanish it ain't! I wish the treehouse scene had featured more heart to heart and less bickering between Lucy and Curtis. (Seeing it in good quality reveals just how bad the sky backdrop was. The 1960s canvases were more convincing!) And the whole Singin' in the Rain bit is waaaay to syrupy for my liking. 

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I'm enjoying everyone's take on different episodes.

"Guard Goose"-the 2nd show filmed.  -now that I see it again, I don't know why I didn't like it in the first place.  No classic and actually not all that good, but not bad like I remember.   I don't usually pay attention to Lucy's looks but as I recall (from initial viewing) I thought she looked very tired in this one.  Madelyn told me at the time "Lucy wasn't feeling well that week".   I don't know why they passed on the comedy of Lucy and Curtis being chased by the goose as each entered the store.   It would be interesting to know which episodes were filmed AFTER the premiere got such a lousy reaction.  The show was certainly getting better. 

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Maybe I missed it somewhere but what was the actual order of episodes filmed? I thought that they all skewed fairly close to when they aired, but from what I've read, apparently not. The airing order makes a lot of sense, stacking the "best" episodes and guest star showcases right after the premiere; and I'm assuming "Mother of The Bride" aired pretty quickly after its production.

Imagine if the Bob Hope episode had come to fruition- the cue card boys would be getting paid BIG overtime! 

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9 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

Maybe I missed it somewhere but what was the actual order of episodes filmed? I thought that they all skewed fairly close to when they aired, but from what I've read, apparently not. The airing order makes a lot of sense, stacking the "best" episodes and guest star showcases right after the premiere; and I'm assuming "Mother of The Bride" aired pretty quickly after its production.

Imagine if the Bob Hope episode had come to fruition- the cue card boys would be getting paid BIG overtime! 

The Wikipedia page lists them in aired order but numbers them in production order. That'll help illustrate the discrepancy. And you're right, they did bump up the guest star showcases to try and help ratings. 

Was Bob Hope intended to make an appearance? I'd never heard that before!

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It's criminal this episode didn't air, as it is a top-notch excursion. This and "Mother of the Bride" are easily two of my favorites. The flow is natural, the performances modulated and the comedy heartfelt. That finale between Lucy and Gale brought tears to my eyes. Having all those years of their relationship documented really gives that reunion scene tremendous emotional weight. This episode proves the show was finding its rhythm and deserved more time. 

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Lucy, Legal Beagle

For the longest time, I thought the title was Eagle not Beagle. Nice to finally have that confirmed. I initially wasn't too keen on watching this one, given we're currently dealing with our own version of Mrs. Loomis, but at least it has a happy ending. Lucy's courtroom routine is probably the most Lucy Ricardo-esque bit she has in the whole series.

Dena Dietrich certainly did a lot of these bitchy character parts. For anyone who hates Mrs. Loomis, enjoy Patti LuPone tearing her a new one in this scene from Life Goes On:

 

 

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Nor did I know the episode was called Legal BEAGLE or as wikipedia calls it LEAGLE BEAGLE.   Legal Eagle makes more sense and that's what I always thought was the title.

.  Re: Mot's comment:   "Lucy's courtroom routine is probably the most Lucy Ricardo-esque bit she has in the whole series."  Very true, which is why this one is my favorite.

So IN ORDER (title abbreviated).  X=Unaired.

1. Grandparent  2. Goose-X   3. Wires  4. Ritter  5. Sax   6. 2X4s  7. Up a Tree-X 8. Bytes  9. Green Thumb-X  10. Beagle 11. Breaking Up-X 12. Mother 13. Grandmother-X

They hid their stride with #10 with 4 solid episodes in a row, far superior to any that preceded them except for maybe the premiere.

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It's so unfortunate the Christmas episode couldn't be produced. It would've been great to have another holiday episode in the Lucy canon, especially since Here's Lucy didn't give us any. If only that phone call from ABC had come a week later. Hell, if only they'd held off altogether, maybe the show could've grown an audience!

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Lucy Is A Sax Symbol

When Lucy pulls the saxophone out of the trunk the audience clap is nice. They knew it was her trademark instrument. With the saxophone appearing in this episode, Lucy has now played one on each of her 4 series.

Lucy and Becky have a very lovely scene at the end and I don’t think it’s too sappy. Jenny was a good young actress and I think if another less talented kid was to do this scene it would be too sweet. A meta reference I liked was Becky saying she rather play electric guitar. Jenny actually does play guitar now.

Whoever wrote this episode has never played a saxophone. When Lucy has Becky push her lips together, that’s how you would play a brass instrument. For example to play a trumpet you need to purse your lips to create a buzz noise. To play the saxophone you roll your lower lip over your teeth and the mouthpiece sits on them. You also don’t puff your cheeks out to play. When Lucy says her ring is stuck in the valve, I can see that working as a stuck point, but where it would be stuck is not a valve. It’s the cutout for the key. If she slid her hand in the bell and the large part of the ring wrapped itself over the lip of the brass then it could feasible get stuck.

I played the sax for 9 years in school and when Lucy starts pushing on the keys and you hear the pads touch the brass, that brought back so many memories of my years playing.  I also noticed the transition music had a heavier sax element to it than other episodes.

Three pop culture notes. That pink cassette player of Becky’s was really popular in the 80s. I can’t remember if I had one or a friend did but I remember using it. It also had a strap on so you could carry it with you. Lucy holding up the poodle skirt saying that will never come back in style. The 80s was very big on 50s nostalgia so thought that was odd. Also, those swing skirts are super popular in the vintage community now, although I don’t see any with poodles on. Cats, haunted houses, bikes, even found one with backgammon pieces. I forget who was watching the Three Stooges marathon but I wonder if they noticed a tall blonde lady that looked kind of like grandma.

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Lucy Legal Beagle

I think this family might need to look more into a conspiracy theory on that bear gone missing. We do have a future Sunshine Girl here that will become a teddy bear kidnapper and ransom seeker. I think Becky may have gotten together with Mrs. Loomis to spit that $500.  

This is the second episode where Kevin’s friend Max shows up. I think that kid is trouble. Watch out for him.

Does anyone else think the courtroom is set up oddly? There is a HUGE area from the podiums to the judge’s bench. Maybe they had it that way to give them room for the bear tossing scene to come. The witness box though is stupidly placed. Instead of putting it right next to the judge, it’s crammed off to the side and right up against a wall.  It also looks dark over there too.

Another tender moment at the end with Lucy and Kevin. Those hugs she gives the kids in all the episodes are so genuine and so real.  It kind of gets cut off with the freeze frame at the end but you can hear Lucy say “God love ya”. That’s a Lucille adlib I’m sure.

 

Love Among The 2x4s.

I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. I love when Lucy dates. It softens her. So much to love in this episode.

We get some backstory on the Lucy character with finding out more about her high school boyfriend and why they stopped seeing each other. Him moving away allows the relationship to remain open as opposed to they just broke up.  The very real theme of dating after a spouse dies runs through the whole episode so the scene at the end is set up nicely.  Something missing heavily from TLS and HL is mentioning the dead spouse.  He never even gets a name on HL and the kids in both series never seem to miss him.

When Lucy and Ben are at the house, he keeps trying to kiss Lucy and she backs away twice. So when they are falling down the hole, why does she initiate the kiss?  I love that Lucy gets to dance a bit, twice in this episode. Watch her layback she does into Ben’s arms when they are at the house. She still had her great flexibility.

In looking at the physical comedy I get the falling through the hole but why the stupid tape gag? It’s stilted, doesn’t go anywhere and isn’t funny at all. Just seemed like, ‘hey, Lucy needs more physical comedy in this episode”.

A few random observations. We learn that Lucy’s maiden name is Everett. The Star Trek reference at the beginning is fun. Lucy just standing there smiling at Leonard, “yep, I did a good job in green lighting that show.”  Gale has the great line, “all that beauty and funny too.” He just described Lucy perfectly.

The Margo and Lucy scene at the end is my second favorite in the whole series. It’s got a laugh or 2 in but addresses some topics in a very adult way. You can’t help but think that she’s reflecting back on maybe both her marriages, but with Desi’s death coming soon he’s got to be foremost in her mind. The sadness and break in her voice recalling the years this Lucy character and Sam were married, that’s what gets you. And despite her and Desi’s difficulty, “the romance was always there.”

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Mid-October front page headline in Enquirer/Globe/One of those  "Cary Grant: Lucy Wants Me to Save Her Show".  Can't remember the story but evidently he was asked.  I wonder how serious this negotiation got.  He died in November 29, 1986.

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