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Here's Lucy - Best Loved Episodes


TITLE: HERE’S LUCY: BEST LOVED EPISODES FROM THE HIT TELEVISION SERIES


Info:

DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004 (Shout! Factory)
Color/approx. 723 min
MSRP: $34.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24 (6 on each disc)
Languages and Subtitles: English, no subtitles.
Special Features: Too much to list here, but they include 14 commentaries by Lucie Arnaz, Desi Jr., Carol Burnett & Wayne Newton. Never before seen bloopers, long lost sketches, outtakes, rehearsals, audience warm-up footage and much MORE (see review)!


Here's Lucy DVD Menu Here's Lucy DVD Menu
Here's Lucy DVD Menu

Introduction:

Here's Lucy (CBS; 1968-1974) was Lucille Ball's third hit series. Ball portrays Lucy Carter, a widow who lives in Los Angeles raising her two teenage children, Kim and Craig (portrayed by her real-life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Jr., respectively). Lucy Carter works as a secretary in an employment agency owned by her somewhat stuffy brother-in-law Harry (played by Gale Gordon). Over the course of its six-year run, notable guest stars have been Elizabeth Taylor, Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, Jackie Gleason, Ginger Rogers and so many more!


Packaging:

The case itself is hard to describe. The cover features the show logo with a color photograph of Lucie, Lucy and Desi Jr. sipping an ice cream float (I'm assuming) with a teal background. It's a nice cover. It folds open to reveal all four of the discs included in the set. There are two notable sections that include descriptions for each disc, such as the episodes on the disc (along with the guest star for that episode, if there is commentary included, who wrote the episode, who directed and even the original airdate!). It also includes a list of special bonus features for each disc, which is very handy to have. The part that holds the discs features a colorful background with various color promotional photos of Lucy with her famous guest-stars and the screenshots even match who guest stars in the episodes on the disc!

The discs themselves feature the Here's Lucy logo and the discs are red in color with squares of a lighter red color. It's very easy on the eyes and a nice choice. The back of the case features four more promo shots (Lucy with Carol Burnett, Lucy with Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor and Lucy with Johnny Carson). Underneath it lists a good portion of the special features and then a synopsis explaining the series as well as the memorable guest stars that appear on the episodes in this set. It also has a little box that explains where the commentary for the episodes was recorded as well as the dates, which is an odd, but interesting addition (the last bout of commentary was recorded on May 26th, 2004). It also gives thanks to Carol Burnett and Wayne Newton and a few other notable thanks and a brief blurb that says “Dedicated with Love to Lucille” in red color.


Episodes Included / Notable Guest Stars:

Now, onto the actual episodes and everything in between! Just to start off, all 24 episodes included in the set were hand-picked by Lucy's children -- Lucie and Desi Jr. So these are already memorable episodes. Speaking of memorable episodes, I couldn't even begin to list how many memorable episodes are included on this set. "Lucy Meets the Burtons" (guest starring Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor) is one of the most memorable from the entire run of Here's Lucy. The guest stars that are included on this set are Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Carol Burnett, Lawrence Welk, Vivian Vance, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Donny Osmond, Eve Plumb, Helen Hayes, Charles Nelson Reilly, Shelley Winters, Sammy Davis Jr., Wayne Newton, Milton Berle, Ann-Margret, Ginger Rogers, George Burns, and Flip Wilson.


Menu Design and Navigation:

On each disc there are six episodes along with special features. In this set, there are four different discs, and each disc has many special bonus features included. I've already described the discs above, but they are red/maroon in color with the Here's Lucy logo on them. The menu feature is animated, so to speak. The opening with Here's Lucy (featuring a clay-like animation of Lucille Ball, used for the opening) is used as well as some background music. The main menu includes the "Play All" feature, Episodes, and Extras. When you select Episodes the background (with music) features a still shot of various sets used for the show. When selecting an episode, you go to another menu screen with a screenshot from the episode, the episode title, the original air-date, any guest-stars in the episode as well as being able to go through the special features that involve that episode (it's hard to explain, so I hope the screenshots above help some).


Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality is pretty good, a little scratchy but overall I really think it came out nice. The audio is low, at least for me. No subtitles are included, and there seems to be no closed captioning available--bummer.


Special Features:

The specials are such a trip; I don't know how I can even list them all. A nice bonus is that each bonus feature includes a recorded description from Lucie Arnaz explaining what you are going to see!

The special features on disc one: Lucy's Blooper Reel #1 (features a voice-over introduction from Lucie Arnaz) and runs about 10 minutes, Rehearsal footages "Lucy Meets the Burtons" (about 7 minutes and 30 seconds), Behind-the-Scenes Footages (6 minutes and 25 seconds) includes some rough copies of a few scenes from the episode, "Lucy Meets The Burtons" Original Ending (Elizabeth Taylor's "Goodnight Lucy" scene that was cut out of the original broadcast because it parodied "Laugh In" and the two shows aired opposite of each other. It lasts about 1 minute and 10 seconds) & Script for Alternate Opening Scene, and Jack Benny's Carnival Nights with Lucy & Johnny Carson (features voice over intro from Lucie Arnaz) runs approx. 6 minutes (It's, I think, the skit that involved Lucy from the special. You can also play this special with commentary from Lucie and Desi Jr.).

Disc two has: Lucie's Pepsodent Commercial (30 seconds) your average commercial that is tied in with Here's Lucy for Pepsodent toothpaste, CBS Promo #1 (approx. 1 minute) an original promo from CBS broadcasts --not a remastered copy but still good quality (features voice over by Lucie explaining how they found the promo), Rehearsing with Sammy Davis Jr. - with and without commentary (approx. 4 minutes), Rehearsing with Buddy Hackett (approx 1 min -- this is rare footage because Buddy was taping a cameo appearance that was cut from the episode - no real footage existed so this is the rough copy of the rehearsal), Audience Warm-up with Gary Morton (features voice over by Lucie explaining the clips - approx. 13 minutes - basically the audience for that episode arriving, and then the usual warm up jokes, etc.), Sammy Davis Jr. Bloopers (approx. 30 seconds) and Lucy Introduces The Cast.

Disc three contains: Lucy's Blooper Reel #2 (voice over with Lucie; approx. 7 minutes), CBS Promo #2 (approx. 1 minute - they found this promo on eBay! And it's actually good quality. Color is terrible, but it's still pretty darn clear.), Ann-Margret Special (from December 1969, either with commentary or without - features a brief intro voice over from Lucie and Desi Jr. - approx. 8 minutes - basically the skit with Lucy is only included, not the entire special) and Rehearsal for "Lucy the Skydiver" (approx. 3 minutes - with commentary from Lucie & Desi Jr.).

Finally, disc four has the following: Lucie & Desi Jr. as Lucy & Ricky Ricardo at the Thalians Ball (approx. 5 minutes - from 1974, it was a benefit at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and features Shecky Greene as Fred, Ruta Lee as Ethel, Lucie as Lucy and Desi Jr. as Desi - It's a skit they put on from the Lucy episode about the various ways Lucy tries to tell Ricky she is having a baby -- awesome bonus, in my opinion, really really cool, It's available with or without commentary), Rehearsing with Jack Benny (features rehearsal footage - approx. 11 minutes), Jack Benny Bloopers (approx. one minute), TV Syndication Sales Tape (approx. 10 minutes - it's basically a tape where the cast tries to sell the show into syndication) and Sales Tape Bloopers with Bob Hope (approx. 3 minutes - it's the bloopers from Bob Hope's cameo for the sales tape)!


Final Comments:

In closing, this set is absolutely fantastic. A must have for any die-hard Lucille Ball fan. I really would love to see season sets released with even more (if that's possible; so much was already included) bonus features. Shout!, Lucie & Desi Jr. really put a lot of effort into this set, and with special commentary from Carol Burnett and Wayne Newton, it makes this set even better. I would highly recommend this set to anyone who is a fan of Lucille Ball.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn) on 08/18/04

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00026WV5O/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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