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Underrated Gems


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Branching off from my other thread about the "top" episodes that may not be our personal favorites. Which episodes do you think deserve more recognition?

 

1) Ricky Needs an Agent

I'm frankly surprised this one isn't talked about as much when people list the favorite California episodes. As Brock said elsewhere, all the characters have great standout moments and the plot moves like a well oiled machine. I repeat this one often and never tire of it.

 

2) Equal Rights

Another stellar installment without a wasted minute. The writers take a potentially touchy topic and handle it with such grace they elicit nothing but laughter. Not an unsatisfying moment in the whole show.

 

3) The Publicity Agent

While not especially realistic, Lucy's Maharincess characterization is one of my favorites. And the finale at the Waldorf is a laugh riot. I especially enjoy Vivian Vance in this entry. This was around the time the character started getting some truly memorable moments.

 

4) Lucy Learns to Drive

It is hard to nail down a definite answer, but this might just be my favorite episode of them all. The sense of anticipation in the air as they prepare for their trip is so palpable it makes me energized just thinking about it. And the visual of Lucy driving back onscreen in the reversed cars is easily my favorite sight gag of the entire series. Honorable mention must also go to Getting Ready. These two together make a fantastic double feature.

 

5) California Here We Come

Considering how well known the ending shot is from the famous photograph, I'm really surprised this one doesn't turn up on more best episode lists. Again, perfect pacing, loads of laugh out loud lines and moments, and a great intro to Mrs. McGillicuddy. This is Kathryn Card's best episode in my opinion. And the trunk loading scene with the girls bringing out all those items never fails to send me into hysterics. Lucy throwing the box at Fred in the end caps it.

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The Camping Trip comes to mind.   I think the scene in the woods with the horseshoe is HILARIOUS... The timing and the facial expressions and of course the cleaned and plucked dead duck from a TREE!!!  I also like The Ballet.  Lucy does a great job with the SLOWLY I TURN number.  And I really enjoy Lucy Raises Tulips.  I like the lawnmower scene and I also like Builds a Bar B Que  because I find that to have a great sight gag and one of my favorite lines from the entire series.. "If I'd a known this is what friends are for, I'd of signed up as an enemy." 

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I think Ricky Needs an Agent is the funniest episode of the entire series.

 

The Fashion Show is probably the episode I've seen more often that any other. The scene at Don Loper's is absolutely perfect and some of Lucy's most brilliant work, especially her telephone call ("Thank you veddy much.") and her delivery of "New York City... Upper." Vivian is fantastic in this scene too.

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I think Ricky Needs an Agent is the funniest episode of the entire series.

 

The Fashion Show is probably the episode I've seen more often that any other. The scene at Don Loper's is absolutely perfect and some of Lucy's most brilliant work, especially her telephone call ("Thank you veddy much.") and her delivery of "New York City... Upper." Vivian is fantastic in this scene too.

So true on both counts. Her telephone call scene is perfection. In addition to the lines you mention, which by the way are not NECESSARILY written as funny but Lucy (the one who has no sense of humor) makes them hilarious, there's that vacant look of sophistication she makes as she finishes the call and goes back to Ethel: one of my favorite "little things they do".

So glad Loper didn't do a Dore Shary and chicken out because he adds a lot of hilarity to the episode, albeit unintentional, my favorite being his seemingly annoyed look to the heavens announcing "Mrs. Richard Carlson"; and his fawning complement "you're looking ENORMOUSLY pretty" (Mrs. Robert Sterling--the first one-- might have taken that the wrong way)

 

Parley Baer is perfectly cast (as is Helen Kleeb) and gets that great line on the phone "Well he has one NOW". Just when you think the scene of Lucy coming up with Cuban remake titles is over, Lucy parts the venetian blinds for a few more. The timing of Lucy poking her head through is perfect,note that it's not IMMEDIATE) as are the titles as she gets more and more desperate ("Ricky, Son of Flicka") It wasn't until I had this episode on tape that I deciphered her long list of Cuban-themed remakes.

 

LotusBud mentioned those two great California episodes. The overseer, had there been one without ADHD, of The Lucy Show should have taken note how many story lines there are if you build a story arc. Imagine if they had mined these for pre-quel episodes: "Lucy in Las Vegas", "Lucy Moves to California" and the late, beaten horse "Viv Gets Married".

One of the things that makes the sight gag of Lucy driving the two cars back on to the set so great is that it takes a moment for the audience to realize what's happened.

 

Another episode that rarely gets mentioned in anybody's top ten is "Dancing Star". The phone call scene where Van requests Lucy's services is on par with the Don Loper "thank you veddy much" scene.

 

And you're right that Viv is great in the Don Loper salon scene with "Whatdya PAW through?"

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Another episode that rarely gets mentioned in anybody's top ten is "Dancing Star". The phone call scene where Van requests Lucy's services is on par with the Don Loper "thank you veddy much" scene.

The Dancing Star gets my vote as Lucy's best performance. So much brilliance in this one episode: the telephone scene you mentioned with Lucy's grand exit, her glare to Ethel following "Maybe Charlie will let you stay," her ignored conversation about Clark Gable and Marlon Brando, her pantomime scene, and her big musical number.

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Lucy is just incredible in The Dancing Star, starting with that pantomime thing as Van is sleeping on the lawn chair and yes, in both The Fashion Show and Ricky Needs an Agent, she let's the full character of Lucy Ricardo soar to heights seldom reached before.  Some of the reasons I have always favored almost all of the Hollywood episodes.

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Thank you all for bringing up The Dancing Star. Another highly overlooked one. Why it isn't on par with the equally excellent Harpo Marx episode I'll never know. It is also odd how another two parter is only remembered for one episode. Lucy and John Wayne is terrific but the Grauman's one is great too. For some reason only the second parts are widely remembered.

 

Lucy's Schedule and Ricky Asks for a Raise are two of my all time faves. Never tire of those.

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The Gossip episode. I could watch Lucy pantomime that story to Ethel all day long. She is brilliant & her talent really shines through in this scene. And then when Ricky & Fred start jumping in with their guesses even though they disapprove of the girls gossiping -- so funny :marionstrong: ! Plus Ricky "sleep talking" in English & Spanish, & the scene where the guys talk through the furnace pipe (Lucy: "Oh fine. My conscious has an accent!")

 

The ending was a fun surprise, too, when Lucy & Ethel want the guys to cook them a whole new breakfast & Ricky starts muttering the new menu in Spanish as he leaves the room. When Lucy pays the milkman for acting in her little scheme -- what a great way to wrap up the episode. Even Ethel was surprised along with all of us in the audience :) .

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I think Ricky's European Booking is a really underrated episode. All four have great moments and Viv has two of her best lines of the series in this one episode. I also love the performance of Forever Darling.

European Booking/Raffle is great. Especially like lucy's cunning "yes" following the exchange with the TV salesman after she "picks a case at random for our files. We're sending two dear ladies to Europe to be with their families" and he says sweetly "how nice".

Another GREAT one is "Staten island Ferry" where everybody, including perfectly cast Charles Lane gets their moment to shine, but nobody as bright as Lucy. One of the few (maybe the only) big Lucy-Fred scenes.

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The Dancing Star gets my vote as Lucy's best performance. So much brilliance in this one episode: the telephone scene you mentioned with Lucy's grand exit, her glare to Ethel following "Maybe Charlie will let you stay," her ignored conversation about Clark Gable and Marlon Brando, her pantomime scene, and her big musical number.

YOU guessed it Fred old girl!

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"Lucy's Night in Town" isn't recognized much.   That moment when she is in the wrong booth and says to that stranger "Move over honey".. "OH sorry! Wrong honey!" I like the Ethel don't panic bit.. which reminds me of "Off to Florida"... my god how good is Elsa Lanchester in this one??  The moment when they look at each other and say HATCHET at exactly the same time... jeee whiizz I like this episode. 

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Here's a list of, in my opinion, stellar episodes that never seem to make it into the top. 

 

"Ricky Asks For A Raise"

"Lucy Is Matchmaker"

"Lucy Wants New Furniture"

"Redecorating The Mertzes' Apartment"

"The Diner"

"Getting Ready" & "Lucy Learns To Drive" 

"Ricky Needs An Agent" 

"Ricky Sells The Car"

"Staten Island Ferry"

"Lucy Wants To Move To The Country"

"Lucy's Night In Town"

 

I've been re-watching THE LUCY SHOW. Just starting Season Four. These are some (I think) underrated installments from the first three years... 

 

"Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit"

"Lucy And The Safe Cracker"

"Lucy's College Reunion"

"The Loophole In The Lease"

"Lucy Conducts The Symphony"

"Lucy Gets Amnesia"

"Lucy Makes A Pinch"

"My Fair Lucy"

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Lucy's Showbiz Swan Song is another great one from beginning to end. I know Fidelman mentioned it was his favorite episode. The quartet ending is so funny.

 

The French Revue also doesn't get mentioned much. Its well worth a look, if primarily for the sequence where Lucy tries sneaking into the club.

 

And regarding The Lucy Show, Lucy Conducts the Symphony. Why oh WHY isn't that 2nd act legendary? It should be. I think it is her single greatest moment in the entire run of TLS.

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Lucy's Showbiz Swan Song is another great one from beginning to end. I know Fidelman mentioned it was his favorite episode. The quartet ending is so funny.

 

The French Revue also doesn't get mentioned much. Its well worth a look, if primarily for the sequence where Lucy tries sneaking into the club.

 

And regarding The Lucy Show, Lucy Conducts the Symphony. Why oh WHY isn't that 2nd act legendary? It should be. I think it is her single greatest moment in the entire run of TLS.

Yes, Symphony is to her Lucy show what Lucy in London was to her specials, a tour de force that never got it's proper due.

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I think Ricky Needs an Agent is the funniest episode of the entire series.

The Fashion Show is probably the episode I've seen more often that any other. The scene at Don Loper's is absolutely perfect and some of Lucy's most brilliant work, especially her telephone call ("Thank you veddy much.") and her delivery of "New York City... Upper." Vivian is fantastic in this scene too.

Viv matches Lucy laugh for laugh in this scene. Her "Ohh Mr. Loper, oh" is a scream. And her snide "well that was a subtle performance" is always worth a giggle.

 

Seldom a week goes by where I don't say "Thankyouverymuch" in one context or another.

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I think Ricky's European Booking is a really underrated episode. All four have great moments and Viv has two of her best lines of the series in this one episode. I also love the performance of Forever Darling.

I might have enjoyed the European arc more if it had the buildup the Hollywood episodes had. If there had been more episodes like this showcasing the preparations for it the anticipation may have built up more. I also love Staten Island Ferry too.

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I might have enjoyed the European arc more if it had the buildup the Hollywood episodes had. If there had been more episodes like this showcasing the preparations for it the anticipation may have built up more. I also love Staten Island Ferry too.

Without looking it up, I don't remember just how many episodes were involved in the build-up before arriving in Hollywood or Europe. I know Hollywood had a longer one, but it seems there were a couple of episodes that were non-Hollywood themed plots in NYC where there was some mention of waiting to hear about his screen test. So not counting those, how many episodes constituted pre-Hollywood and pre-Europe?

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Hollywood was definitely longer. Europe I think had only 3 (Booking, Passports, Ferry) before they were on the boat. Second Honeymoon was the only one that truly chronicled the journey over, as Bon Voyage was all about getting Lucy on the boat.

 

And I realize there aren't as many stories you can do on a boat vs. a car trip. But I kind of wish there had been more prep work in NYC stories for it. But I also realize they weren't able to start right at the beginning of the season because they had to wrap up the Hollywood arc.

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First post here, so hi everyone! I think Bull Fight Dance is a scream. From Lucy typing/acting out her answers to the interview questions to Ethel's "This time the bull is full of Lucy" line. Everyone has some great moments in this one.

Sorry, never really cared for that one, thought it was one of the two worst Hollywood episodes, but hey, that's just me.  What was Hedda Hopper's hometown?  And great avatar, absolutely the first time I ever see THAT picture, very very nice.

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