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I Love Lucy - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: I LOVE LUCY - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 1, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
Black & White
MSRP: $54.99
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 31
Running Time: 13 hours and 39 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Spanish & English; Spanish Subtitles; Closed captioned.
Special Features: Lost scenes, flubs, original openings, production notes, script excerpts, five complete episodes of the radio show, "My Favorite Husband," original CBS promos and even the rare closing credits!


Introduction:

LUCY!!! Once again, that zany, crazy redhead is back on DVD in the third season release of I LOVE LUCY. You can enjoy the entire Emmy-winning third season on five DVDs. Classic scenes from the third season include Lucy and Ethel ripping apart each other's dresses to shreds during their televised duet of Cole Porter's "Friendship." And you can never forget watching Lucy have to go 24 hours without telling a lie to watching her quest to recover a contest-winning dollar bill to Lucy and Ethel's unforgettable TV commercial for "Aunt Martha's Old-Fashioned Salad Dressing." Included on this set are all 31 original season three episodes with loads of special features, ranging from flubs, lost scenes, script excerpts, to five complete episodes of Lucy's radio show: MY FAVORITE HUSBAND.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The third season, like nearly all seasons of I LOVE LUCY contain quite a few memorable episodes, and they include "The Girls Go Into Business," "Lucy Tells The Truth," "The French Revue," "Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment," "Too Many Crooks," "Changing the Boys' Wardrobe," "Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined," "Fan Magazine Interview," "Oil Wells," "Bonus Bucks," "Lucy Writes a Novel," "Lucy's Club Dance," "Tennessee Ernie Visits," "Lucy is Envious," and "The Golf Game." The more memorable guest appearances in the third season include Tennessee Ernie Ford and golf pro Jimmy Demaret.


Packaging:

The packaging for this set follows the same design as season one but it's blue in color. Inside the box, there are five individual cases, one for each disc. Each case has a spliced shot of Lucy from one of the episodes from that disc. On the discs they are spliced screenshots from one of the more memorable episodes on that disc. On the back of each case, there is a list of each episode that is included on that disc (inside the case are episode descriptions). The descriptions themselves are a couple of sentences and include the episode title, the original airdate and the production number. The episodes are presented in original production number order instead of the airdate order. There are five discs in the set, each one in its own individual case. There are six episodes per disc, but the first disc contains seven episodes.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is simple and is exactly the same format as seasons 1 and 2. It features a spliced shot of Lucy from one of her memorable scenes (Harpo Marx for the main menu, or the chocolate factory on the bonus features menu) on a red background that has screenshots from various episodes of the series. The main menu has a list of the episodes that take you to scene selections and it has the opening theme song playing in the background, although it doesn't loop. It has the popular "Play All" feature as well as "Setup". The bonus menu is the same design as the main menu and lists all the bonuses for that disc. The "Setup" menu allows you to choose if you want Spanish subtitles or a Spanish language track.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video is very good, but the audio needs work. The picture is crystal clear but the audio is still very, very low, which is common for releases of older series. The audio is presented in Dolby Surround Sound. Each episode runs about 26 minutes, which means you get almost four-five minutes of extra footage you can't see in syndication.


Special Features:

Special Features on all of the five discs, which are explained in more detail further down, include "Special Footage." Guest Cast Information is the list of the special guests that are featured on the episodes on that disc. "Original Opening" is the original animated opening that was originally aired along with the episodes on each disc. Now on to the special features -- hang on folks, this is a long read!

DISC ONE - The first "Flub" is from the episode "Lucy Tells the Truth" in which you see a moth fly directly in front of Vivian Vance's face; the next flub is about the sudden switch of the number of Ricky and Lucy's apartment. In the episode "Ricky and Fred Are TV Fans" it is 3B but in "Lucy Tells the Truth" it is 3D. The writers changed the number to make a joke work, hoping viewers wouldn't notice; In the final flub on this disc is from the episode "Ricky's 'Life' Story" in which a prop man pasted together the magazine started with an article about a face type but left in the subtitle that Ricky is a pleasing and graceful type." Special Footage - The special footage on Disc One is the 3rd season promo. CBS aired this promotional spot on the evening of September 28, 1953, exactly one week before I LOVE LUCY returned for its third season. In "Lucy on the Radio" bonus, we have the episode "Liz Appears on Television" from MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and it was originally broadcast on April 23, 1950 and inspired the I LOVE LUCY episode "Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress." The first production note explains how in the episode "Lucy Tells the Truth" a scene was written that featured Ricky learning he will be audited by the IRS. Desi Arnaz didn't like the scene for various reasons and so the writers came up with the scene you see today of knives being thrown at Lucy. You can also read the original script scene of the IRS audit. Although in my opinion, it was hit or miss. Some of the jokes from Ethel and Fred were good, but I had to agree with Desi, the scene wasn't the greatest for the character of Ricky although in actuality, it fit better with the theme of the episode, it was better to cut it. The next production note is from "Equal Rights" when Lucy blew up the paper bag and punches it to make the sound of a gunshot. Although it lasted just a minute, Lucy wanted to perfect it. And finally, the Behind the Scenes featurette is yet another audio excerpt from Jess Oppenheimer's book "Laughs, Luck... and Lucy."

DISC TWO - In the first of four "Flubs" it comes from "Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment". Lucy flubs a line about painting and reupholstering the old furniture but Desi's clever ad-lib saved the scene. The next one, also from "Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment" is the final scene from the episode set a "few days" after all the feathers, etc. had been cleaned up, but you can clearly see one lone feather floating through the scene. The third flub is from the final scene of the episode "Lucy Has Here Eyes Examined" and features Desi/Ricky's struggle with pronunciation. Much of it was added to the scripts but Desi's struggle to say "homecoming" wasn't part of the script. The final flub is how Ethel's middle name changes from Ethel Louise in "Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress" to Ethel Roberta in "The Million Dollar Idea." In the first of three "Special Footage" scenes is the "Jingle Bells" Tag scene, seen at the end of CBS's original airings of "Ricky's Old Girlfriend," (which aired 12/21/53) but was originally seen at the end of "Drafted" on 12/24/51, and repeated on 12/22/52 at the end of "Lucy's Show Biz Swan Song." The second is a restored opening sequence. In "Changing the Boys' Wardrobe" it originally opened without music. CBS later added music to the show making it appear that Ricky is raising his voice to be heard above the orchestra! But the DVD edition restores it to how it originally was. The last one is lost footage from the episode "Ricky's Old Girlfriend". When CBS edited the episode for syndication, they inadvertently eliminated Lucy's, Fred's, and Ethel's dialogue as Lucy offered the Mertzes coffee at the start of the show. For this special DVD edition, they've restored the missing lines using a rare 16mm print of the episode. In the second "Lucy on the Radio" bonus, we have the episode "Husbands are Sloppy Dressers" from MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and it was originally broadcast on September 2, 1950 and inspired the I LOVE LUCY episode "Changing the Boys' Wardrobe." The "Production Note(s)" is from "Too Many Crooks". The LUCY writers originally conceived a different closing scene in which Madame X made a clean getaway but during rehearsals, the ending was abandoned. Here you can see the original script. The second explained that the many references to the magazine "Better Homes and Gardens" in "Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment" wasn't due to product placement but due to the fact the writers felt they owed it to the magazine after the joke they did in "Men Are Messy". The next one explains that in "Ricky's Old Girl Friend" how the list of Lucy's many "boyfriends" are really just names of the production staff.

DISC THREE - The first of two "Flubs" explains how Lucille Ball always pronounced Tomato's "Tomahto" but she used the other way while playing Lucy Ricardo, but in the episode "Ricky Loses His Temper" Lucille slipped and used her pronunciation instead of Lucy's. The second one is from the episode "Ricky Minds the Baby". It was the final scene and Lucy walks out of Ethel's apartment wearing a pair of sling back shoes, takes a few steps down the hall and enters her own apartment suddenly wearing ankle strap shoes! In the first of four Special Footage segments, you can see a promotional message from Lucy and Desi filmed on the set of their then-upcoming movie THE LONG LONG TRAILER that aired at the end of "Oil Wells" on 2/15/54. The second one is how the DVD edition restored lost music from the episode "Fan Magazine Interview" that CBS replaced with their own tune. The third one from the 2/1/54 episode "Sentimental Anniversary" and features a special pitch from Lucy and Desi for the March of Dimes instead of their usual Phillip Morris plug. The last one is from "Ricky Minds the Baby" and explains how the folks who dubbed LUCY into Spanish in the 50s had no separate dialogue track so they had to recreate it from scratch and gives an example here. In the third "Lucy on the Radio" bonus, we have the episode "The French Lesson" from MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and it was originally broadcast on December 9, 1949 and inspired two I LOVE LUCY episodes "The Adagio" and "The French Revue."

DISC FOUR - The first of three "Flubs" explains a scene in the episode "Bonus Bucks." Desilu's prop man made sure that the crowbar mounted on the wall of the laundry plant was easily removable. But as Ricky entered the room, the crowbar fell to the floor, forcing actress Patsy Moran to search for it later in the scene. In the second flub (from "Lucy is Envious") it explains how Lucille Ball spent hours handling props to make sure the scene went just right, but the scene shows how Ball met her match in just a little cloth napkin. In the final flub, it's from the radio show MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and how guest actor Frank Nelson blew an "important" line so badly that director Jess Oppenheimer called for a retake - and another - and another. The first of four "special footage(s)" the first one explains how throughout the month of March 1954, Lucy and Desi ended each episode with the same plug for their new movie THE LONG, LONG TRAILER. In the second selection of special footage it explains how At the beginning of the original network broadcast of "Lucy's Club Dance" on 4/12/54, Desi stepped out from behind the curtain to introduce the show, as well as the sponsors brand new "snap-open" packaging. In the third selection it explains how on the March 24, 1954 CBS rebroadcast of "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" with an introduction by announcer Roy Rowan who refers to the series by it's 1950s nickname - the "Lucy Show", not to be confused with Lucy's 1960's TV series. In the last selection, we have a lost scene from the episode "Lucy's Club Dance." On December 26, 1955, as the Ricardos were preparing for their European trip, CBS rebroadcast "Lucy's Club Dance" and to maintain storyline continuity, the cast filmed this new "flashback" opening, and it's seen here for the first time since its original 1955 airing! In the fourth "Lucy on the Radio" bonus, we have the episode "Trying to Cash the Prize Check" from MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and it was originally broadcast on December 9, 1950 and featured guest-stars Sandra Gould, Frank Nelson and others. Also included are more production notes.

DISC FIVE - The first of two "Flubs" explains a scene from "The Sublease" and if you watch it closely you can see that the window shade pull swings THROUGH the windowpane! In the final flub, it explains that one of the reasons I LOVE LUCY remains so fresh is that you're seeing a truly "live" performance, filmed straight through, like a play. Second takes were extremely rare, even when the actors made minor dialogue mistakes and give an example of this in a scene from "The Sublease." The first of three selections of "Special Footage" on this disc explains how CBS's original broadcast of "Changing the Boys' Wardrobe" ended with this special Christmas message from Lucy and Desi, unseen since it's original broadcast on December 7, 1953. The second selection brings us a lost animation. It explains that these animated sequences were used as transitions to the closing commercial on a number of episodes during I LOVE LUCY's third season. The final selection of special footage is I LOVE LUCY's original closing credits, which featured images of Philip Morris cigarette packs. In the fifth "Lucy on the Radio" bonus, we have the episode "Hobbies" from MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and it was originally broadcast on April 9, 1950 and inspired the I LOVE LUCY episode "The Golf Game." Also, more production notes. And finally, a slide show of pictures of scenes from the third season of I LOVE LUCY.


Final Comments:

In conclusion, this set was another fantastic release from Paramount. They really go all out with I LOVE LUCY. The special features are amazing because you can see footage that hasn't been seen in over fifty years! Overall, there really is nothing I would change about these releases and I encourage Paramount to continue doing what they are to bring us all of these amazing treasures. Expect Season 4 in May and season 5 a few months after that. As a life-long Lucy fan, I'm thrilled to own this great set and you will be too!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 011/21/05

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0006IUE0C/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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