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We Love Lucy Reelz Special


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The Reelz Channel is airing a new Lucy doc on September 12. 

Lucille Ball: We Love Lucy - New special premieres Saturday, September 12 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. Lucille Ball didn't just make millions of people laugh uproariously. She blazed a whole new path for women in the entertainment industry that still resonates today. Her bravery and willingness to try absolutely anything to elicit a chuckle changed the rules of television and made I Love Lucy a cultural phenomenon that averaged more than 30 million viewers per episode. Lucille Ball: We Love Lucy traces her journey from growing up on the dirt roads of Jamestown New York to stepping under the glittering lights of Hollywood. After moderately successful movie roles she became the Lucy the world knows and loves when I Love Lucy hit the airwaves. And the TV world was never the same. Ball continued to dazzle audiences with her inimitable physical comedy on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy but she was surprisingly serious off camera with her signature work ethic driving every move. Along with her husband and co-star Desi Arnaz the couple were shrewd enterprising business partners who when not on screen making audiences laugh had formed their own studio in Desilu Productions which was a groundbreaking move at the time. And even after their marriage failed Ball doubled down on her ambitions buying out Arnaz from Desilu Production and making history as the first female head of a major studio. Ball continued to build her entertainment empire with Desilu Productions cranking out hits for TV including introducing the world to the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible mega-franchises. Comedy legends Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin, Debra Messing and Suzanne Somers share their personal stories of how they were uniquely inspired by Ball's comic genius, and Keith Thibodeaux recalls his experiences on set as the TV son Little Ricky on I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball: We Love Lucy is produced by AMS Pictures.



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  • 2 weeks later...

It was definitely interesting to see a two hour documentary about Lucy that had the 1950s end at the halfway point. Great clips! I imagine most the clips came from YouTube (it seemed like some of the I Love Lucy ones were HD). If this was 15 years ago, I bet all of it would be public domain stuff. It seems like once YouTube came along, they stopped policing these things. 

It was nice to see The Lucy Show praised so much. Here’s Lucy got the short shrift. I don’t think they mentioned the kids involvement at all. I also don’t think Gale’s name was mentioned, although he was seen in quite a few clips. 

They were pretty factual until the end when they said she died on April 25. 🤨

The overall theme seemed to be “Woman Power!” rather than then typical “Lucy & Desi love story,” although they did loop back to that at the end. 

Overall, this exceeded my original expectations. It was nice to see such time spent on the post-I Love Lucy years and in a generally positive way.

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I enjoyed this documentary even though I knew the majority of its content already. But hey ... I'm been a Lucy fan for years now.

I appreciated that they gave some time towards The Lucy Show. Past Lucy documentaries just mention the show and nothing more. So it was good to see this change for once. Other information that they could have included about the show but wasn't: the original writing team leaving the show after the second season due to script dispute between Lucy and the writers, Lucy hiring new writers for the show, the addition of Gale Gordon to the series and his unavailability during the first season, the explanation of why the series changed settings and the dropping of the kids, Lucy trying to find a replacement for Vivian Vance with the likes of Ann Sothern, Joan Blonde and finally Mary Jane Croft, the well-documented feud with Joan Crawford, Lucy the businesswoman making the decision to film The Lucy Show in color starting with the second season despite CBS airing it in black and white prior to the fourth season, etc.

It was interesting to see what the commenters had to say about The Lucy Show: The Lucy Show is I Love Lucy just without the men, After Viv left it became an entirely different show, it was Mr. Mooney and Lucy and guest stars.     

Here's Lucy was briefly touched on. However, it didn't get the same amount of time as her other shows. More could have been said about Here's Lucy (i.e. it's competition with Laugh-In and Monday Night Football, the departure of Desi Arnaz Jr., etc., ect.).

I really enjoyed the stories that Carol Burnett shared about Lucy: the flowers that Lucy sent to her on her birthday after finding out she died, meeting Lucy for the first time and getting herself to ask Lucy to appear on a special with her.   

I was pleased that they recognized Lucy and Viv as a dynamic female duo and their contribution to television in that regard. And mentioning Mary Tyler Moore and Laverne & Shirley as being inspired from the Lucy-Viv female duo.

I was displeased that hardly anything got said about Gale Gordon, Lucy's other main long-time co-star. He had a great career; however, what people remember about him the most is his association with Lucille Ball particularly her television shows. And yet these Lucy documentaries tend to overlook him. It's almost as if he wasn't that important. And that is sad. He contributed a lot to Lucy's television career. And not to mention that he is the ONLY one that appeared in ALL five Lucy TV series plus her radio show. That says a lot. Lucy truly felt she needed him by her side. Again, he gets no credit.

I wished the commenters were asked "what's your favorite Lucy episode?" (and not "what's your favorite I Love Lucy episode?"). The latter question gets asked so many times on these documentaries/magazines that cover Lucy and it is quite tiresome. And limiting. There is more to Lucille Ball than just I Love Lucy

One thing that was new to me was the story of Desi getting arrested for shooting a gun to scare off kids and Lucy trying to come to his defense by sending guns with blanks in them. That was an interesting story.

And I must admit I did get emotional towards the end with the clip of Lucy receiving the standing ovation at the awards show, Robert Stack reading Desi's speech and the look on Lucy's face that came afterwards and of course the news of Lucy passing away and what she meant to people.

The ending of it was quite good when Carole Cook said "Lucy was the original". So true!!!

Overall, this documentary was good. I would give it a "B".     


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I just added Reelz to my already exorbitant cable bill to get to be able to see this, along with the two Autopsy episodes about Lucy and Desi (which I have not watched yet). 

Overall, I think they did a credible job (one exception being the insert of a still photo of supposed young Lucille that was definitely NOT her!) and while i didn't really learn anything new, I certainly enjoyed the participation primarily of the Desilu author Tom Gilbert, Carol Burnett certainly (sweet to see her tear up upon sharing the I got her flowers the day she died story for the umpteenth time) and most of all, our own Carole Cook who at 95/96 (who knows when her interview was recorded), conveyed I feel the most heartfelt emotion, honest opinions and of course, a couple of witty asides to make the whole thing so riveting, even though we're by now so familiar with so many of these stories and events that I not only was very impressed and appreciative, it makes me wonder what else Amy Poehler, Ron Howard and company are going to be able to come up with in the next doc project in the works. :HALKING:

Addendum: After watching both Lucy and Desi's separate "Autopsy" episodes, I was reminded that Lucy did indeed suffer a stroke in the last year or two of her life; however, this doc made no mention that I caught of this significant event. Odd. Should have been touched upon, IMHO. Minus half-a-star if I were rating this otherwise 3.5 out of 4 star production. 😇

Edited by JoeySoCal
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  • 2 months later...

I wasn’t expecting this Reelz follow up documentary:

Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money Premieres Monday, January 25 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. Legendary star Lucille Ball is known as one of the greatest comedians of all time. On the air for six seasons she cemented her iconic status in I Love Lucy where she and first husband Desi Arnaz pulled in astronomical ratings. It's also here that Ball forged her way to becoming a leading lady off screen as executive producer later launching mega movie and TV franchises including Star Trek and Mission Impossible. When she passes away in 1989 her sizable estate of $40 million is split among her two children and second husband Gary Morton. Unlike many celebrities Ball left behind a will and testament but even with one so clearly written her estate becomes entangled and bitter. After her death Morton remarries pro golfer Susie McAllister. He then suddenly passes away leaving behind a number of Ball's highly personal and sentimental items to Susie. Knowing their value Susie decides to put these items up for auction looking to fetch hefty amounts. This is when a full out estate war erupts between her and Ball's children. Together the Arnaz siblings fight to get back the precious items including jewelry, lifetime achievement awards and love letters. But would mismanagement see these priceless items be lost forever? Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money is produced by Buck Productions.

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Well damn. This one should be a doozey. I wonder if they got an interview with Suzie.

Money and Lucy was not something that was ever controversial. She invested well, she didn't have a smarmy husband bankrupt her like some other stars had. Money after death went to who it does in those cases. 

The double lawsuit was interesting but it was basically over a bunch of trinkets, low level awards and letters to Gary. 

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