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mikidiki

Ethel Mertz vs. Vivian Bagley

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mikidiki    127

What differences can you see in both characters that Vivian Vance portrayed?, and can you see any traits of Vivian Bagley in I Love Lucy or traits of Ethel Mertz in The Lucy Show?

 

The reason I started this topic is because I was just watching "Ethel's Home Town" and Ethel is MUCH MORE like Bagley than Mertz in that episode.

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What differences can you see in both characters that Vivian Vance portrayed?, and can you see any traits of Vivian Bagley in I Love Lucy or traits of Ethel Mertz in The Lucy Show?

 

The reason I started this topic is because I was just watching "Ethel's Home Town" and Ethel is MUCH MORE like Bagley than Mert in that episode.

I agree!! I see a lot of Bagley in Ethel's Home Town. There was also a moment in The Benefit when she was trying on the horse costume and said " that's all brother, count me out!" and something about the way she said it was totally Bagley!

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C L A U D E    2,007

Well, it IS the same actress playing both parts so . . . isn't it normal that she'd have SOME of the same characteristics? The only thing i hated was when Vivian would get uppity and snobby with Lucy, regarding her cooking or whatever, seems like two friends wouldn't do that much of it.

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I watched "Ricky Minds The Baby" the other day and felt that Lucy and Ethel were behaving more like Carmichael/ Bagley when Ethel was telling Lucy that she must face the facts that Little Ricky must grow up and Lucy breaks down crying. Viv Bagley tends to be more bossier than Ethel Mertz so when Ethel is behaving with more authority than Lucy than it reminds me of the Danfield duo.

 

It seems that Lucy when she is coupled with different characters, she tends to take on their characteristics as well. When Mary Jane Lewis and Lucy Carmichael are together in scenes on "The Lucy Show", Lucy tends to pitch her voice higher and talk silly like Mary Jane. This example is apparent in "Lucy And The Bean Queen".

 

When Viv comes to visit in "Lucy and Joan Crawford",its as if we are getting the Lucy Carmichael from Danfield who was bossier.

 

With Mr. Mooney, she jumps back and forth in being silly and at times bossy.

 

 

I think in the latter part of "The Lucy Show" series with so many different writers, you didn't know what Lucy Carmichael you would getting.

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Mot Morenzi    1,207

I watched "Ricky Minds The Baby" the other day and felt that Lucy and Ethel were behaving more like Carmichael/ Bagley when Ethel was telling Lucy that she must face the facts that Little Ricky must grow up and Lucy breaks down crying. Viv Bagley tends to be more bossier than Ethel Mertz so when Ethel is behaving with more authority than Lucy than it reminds me of the Danfield duo.

 

It seems that Lucy when she is coupled with different characters, she tends to take on their characteristics as well. When Mary Jane Lewis and Lucy Carmichael are together in scenes on "The Lucy Show", Lucy tends to pitch her voice higher and talk silly like Mary Jane. This example is apparent in "Lucy And The Bean Queen".

 

When Viv comes to visit in "Lucy and Joan Crawford",its as if we are getting the Lucy Carmichael from Danfield who was bossier.

 

With Mr. Mooney, she jumps back and forth in being silly and at times bossy.

 

 

I think in the latter part of "The Lucy Show" series with so many different writers, you didn't know what Lucy Carmichael you would getting.

 

 

Viv Bagley could be a bit of a bitch at times (I know, she's my usernamesake, but still). She was at her funniest when she was more Mertz-like and Lucy's pal, instead of haughty and condescending.

 

But Bagley certainly was prettier than Ethel Mertz; better wardrobe, makeup, hairdos, etc.

 

In the later I Love Lucy's in particular Vivian seemed out of character, much less Ethel Mertz and more Bagley.

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mikidiki    127

Viv Bagley could be a bit of a bitch at times (I know, she's my usernamesake, but still). She was at her funniest when she was more Mertz-like and Lucy's pal, instead of haughty and condescending.

 

But Bagley certainly was prettier than Ethel Mertz; better wardrobe, makeup, hairdos, etc.

 

In the later I Love Lucy's in particular Vivian seemed out of character, much less Ethel Mertz and more Bagley.

 

I didn't mind Viv being haughty and condescending - I actually found it amusing to watch Lucy's reaction but I do agree with you about the later I Love Lucy episodes.

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Mot Morenzi    1,207

I didn't mind Viv being haughty and condescending - I actually found it amusing to watch Lucy's reaction but I do agree with you about the later I Love Lucy episodes.

 

Yeah, some of the haughty Viv episodes were quite funny, especially "Vivian Sues Lucy" and "The Loophole in the Lease"

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vivfantoo*    129

I found myself nodding in agreement while reading MonaLucy's description of Bagley being more bossy than Mertz.

 

I felt like I was watching ILL again when Lucy & Viv unknowingly got drunk on punch & (attempted to :marionstrong: ) decorate a cake. It was like watching Lucy & Ethel & that is one of my favorites scenes out of all TLS episodes I have seen so far.

 

Ethel seemed more caring; Bagley often comes across as not very nurturing in scenes with her son.

 

Anyone else dislike Viv's last name on TLS? Bagley sounds too much like Bag Lady to me & I sometimes wonder if that was deliberate ... another (subtle?) way to remind everyone that Viv, like Ethel before her, was lower on the status pole than Lucy (even though she wore much nicer clothes).

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mikidiki    127

I found myself nodding in agreement while reading MonaLucy's description of Bagley being more bossy than Mertz.

 

I felt like I was watching ILL again when Lucy & Viv unknowingly got drunk on punch & (attempted to :marionstrong: ) decorate a cake. It was like watching Lucy & Ethel & that is one of my favorites scenes out of all TLS episodes I have seen so far.

 

Ethel seemed more caring; Bagley often comes across as not very nurturing in scenes with her son.

 

Anyone else dislike Viv's last name on TLS? Bagley sounds too much like Bag Lady to me & I sometimes wonder if that was deliberate ... another (subtle?) way to remind everyone that Viv, like Ethel before her, was lower on the status pole than Lucy (even though she wore much nicer clothes).

 

Yeah, it was a pretty crappy name - wonder who chose it for her?

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Annaleigh    296

Viv Bagley could be a bit of a bitch at times (I know, she's my usernamesake, but still). She was at her funniest when she was more Mertz-like and Lucy's pal, instead of haughty and condescending.

 

But Bagley certainly was prettier than Ethel Mertz; better wardrobe, makeup, hairdos, etc.

 

In the later I Love Lucy's in particular Vivian seemed out of character, much less Ethel Mertz and more Bagley.

Another thing in the later ILL and Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour that seemed more Bagley was the fact she started to get a bit more glamorous. Her hair was longer, false eyelashes were worn, and her wardrobe got a lot better, which also gives off that vibe of more Vivian Bagley than the Ethel Mertz character.

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Justin    10

What I've noticed in Vivian Bagley that I find amusing is that Vivian Bagley seems to be less tolerant of Lucy's antics. Compared to Ethel Mertz, it seems Vivian Bagley just wasn't gonna take Lucy's sh*t anymore haha! She's quick to say no and she puts up more of a stance when she tries to talk herself out of Lucy's latest scheme. It's as if Vivian Vance took with her all the history from Ethel Mertz over to the Vivian Bagley character.

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Lucyilove    234

I can only imagine Vivian preferred her TLS role because she is much more glamorous and attractive in the part(and of course no Frawley to deal with) yet I don't feel the character is quite as multi-faceted as Ethel. Of course since Lucy Carmichael isn't quite as awesome as Lucy Ricardo one could hardly expect Vivian Bagley to rival Ethel Mertz.

 

Ethel Mertz is much more vulnerable than Vivian Bagley - she's at the mercy of Fred's cheapness or Lucy's scheming and while she may throw out a dig or two (or twenty at Fred) she pretty much goes along for the ride rather than taking the wheel. I think this makes her a more endearing character although Vivian Bagley is a pleasant and appealing one.

 

Vivian does stand up to Lucy more than Ethel did, I don't really find her ever bitchy though just someone who is not going to be a pushover or move to the backseat. Lucy & Ethel seem closer, although they did fight more, perhaps they not as tight on TLS because each woman has children and a life outside of the other (ie: dates) even though they are now living under the same roof.

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C L A U D E    2,007

I can only imagine Vivian preferred her TLS role because she is much more glamorous and attractive in the part(and of course no Frawley to deal with) yet I don't feel the character is quite as multi-faceted as Ethel. Of course since Lucy Carmichael isn't quite as awesome as Lucy Ricardo one could hardly expect Vivian Bagley to rival Ethel Mertz.

 

Ethel Mertz is much more vulnerable than Vivian Bagley - she's at the mercy of Fred's cheapness or Lucy's scheming and while she may throw out a dig or two (or twenty at Fred) she pretty much goes along for the ride rather than taking the wheel. I think this makes her a more endearing character although Vivian Bagley is a pleasant and appealing one.

 

Vivian does stand up to Lucy more than Ethel did, I don't really find her ever bitchy though just someone who is not going to be a pushover or move to the backseat. Lucy & Ethel seem closer, although they did fight more, perhaps they not as tight on TLS because each woman has children and a life outside of the other (ie: dates) even though they are now living under the same roof.

Ethel was a much more well rounded character, that's for sure, Viv was a more modern, better looking version but lacked the heart of Ethel, a true FRIEND.

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Magster    66

Ethel was a much more well rounded character, that's for sure, Viv was a more modern, better looking version but lacked the heart of Ethel, a true FRIEND.

 

Totally agree. Vivian Bagley is a great character, but she lacks much of the warmth and humility that makes Ethel Mertz so likeable and enduring.

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C L A U D E    2,007

Totally agree. Vivian Bagley is a great character, but she lacks much of the warmth and humility that makes Ethel Mertz so likeable and enduring.

Geez, i wonder if it was a reflection of how Viv was in real life seeing as people keep saying she was a bit full of herself during that time and would make Lucy wince when she would say things to people about how great and talented they were. :(
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Annaleigh    296

Ethel was a much more well rounded character, that's for sure, Viv was a more modern, better looking version but lacked the heart of Ethel, a true FRIEND.

Perfect explanation! :D

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mikidiki    127

Geez, i wonder if it was a reflection of how Viv was in real life seeing as people keep saying she was a bit full of herself during that time and would make Lucy wince when she would say things to people about how great and talented they were. :(

 

Well considering she had to play Ethel for all those years no wonder she decided enough is enough and to admit to everyone that she really does have a backbone! :viv2:

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Neil    1,136

Yeah, some of the haughty Viv episodes were quite funny, especially "Vivian Sues Lucy" and "The Loophole in the Lease"

 

Practically all of Vivian Vance's stellar work is as Ethel. Vivian has some great lines in TLS: her haughty "Thank you Mr. Mooney. It was so nice of you to come by and read to us."

Others: "Hello, Mrs. Schafer" "OK....have it your OWN way."

I loved her as Bagley but she had fewer moments than Ethel and once Mr. Mooney came on, she was given so much less to do. Even less so in the third season culminating in the stangely Viv-less scene of Lucy destroying the radio station, which would have been so much funnier with Viv in it. ((last 3rd season show aired, but not last one filmed).

In ILL, she had another character to play off and she did not in TLS. Can't remember any, other than brief scenes where Viv converses with anyone other than Lucy. Perhaps if they had had Ralph Bagley appear in the flesh, it would have added more to viv's character.

I think she acts motherly to Sherman but s the series progressed the kids were so much less a part of the action. In fact, when Sherman makes her 3rd season cameo in "And the Countess", he's grown considerably siince the last time we saw him. Poor Jimmy Garrett had to stick to the clause in his contract that required him to stay 6 inches under-height.

Another non-board friend says Ethel is much more Bagley-like in the LDCHs. I guess she is but I wouldn't have come to that conclusion on my own. In "Kovacs/Moustache" both she and Lucy are sporting that new hairstyle than must have been au courant in 1960.

And yes, I've always thought "Bagley" sounded like someone who was dumpy.

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Luvsbway    1,685

 

Another non-board friend says Ethel is much more Bagley-like in the LDCHs. I guess she is but I wouldn't have come to that conclusion on my own. In "Kovacs/Moustache" both she and Lucy are sporting that new hairstyle than must have been au courant in 1960.

 

You know I was watching a few LDCH's this weekend and thought the exact same thing. I think it is in part to better clothes and a much improved confidence of the character.

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