TITLE: THE LUCY SHOW - THE OFFICIAL THIRD SEASON
DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010 (CBS Home Entertainment)
Color / 1964-1965
Packaging: Viva Pack
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 666 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 40 minutes
Subtitles and Captions: English Subtitles
Special Features: "Lucy at the World's Fair" documentary; Clips from The Danny Kaye Show; International Promos; Vintage Openings and Closings; Vintage Cast Commercials; Guest Biographies; Production Notes; Photo Gallery
Lucy and Viv are together again for the last time (as regulars, anyway) in The Lucy Show - The Official Third Season! Lucille Ball's second big hit on CBS continues on DVD with The Official Third Season. In this season, the second season that was filmed in color, Lucy and Viv are still roommates living together in Danville, raising their kids in one house together and driving banker Mr. Mooney nuts. That will all change in the fourth season, as Vivian Vance leaves the series and Lucy (along with Mr. Mooney) picks up and moves out to California, but for now, the series stays true to the roots of how the series began.
While the series doesn't quite have the legacy that the previous series I Love Lucy had, it is still very much a hilarious series that has earned a place in classic TV history, and would perhaps be much more popular if not overshadowed by it's predecessor. The Lucy Show, particularly in the first three years, had many great moments and shorelines that can be seen in this four disc set, the first time that this season has ever been released on DVD.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The season begins with "Lucy, the Good Skate," where Lucy puts on a pair of roller skates that she can't remove, right in time for a formal dance she insists upon attending. Lucy's plumber looks an awful lot like Jack Benny in "Lucy and the Plumber" (he is actually played by Jack Benny). Lucy has a new athletic boyfriend, and is determined to learn how to ski (with lessons from Mr. Mooney) in "Lucy and Winter Sports." In "Lucy and the Great Bank Robbery," Lucy's mishaps may help nab the crook.
Meet Officer Carmichael as Lucy becomes a parking officer in "Lucy, the Meter Maid." Lucy's duties as an officer go a step further when she is used as a decoy in a sting in "Lucy Makes a Pinch." In "Lucy Becomes a Father," Jerry is going on a father/son camping trip, and with no father, what other choice does he have? Lucy gets contact lenses that promptly get lost (in a cake, of all places) in "Lucy's Contact Lenses." In "Lucy Gets Her Maid," Lucy takes a job as a maid so that she and Viv can afford a maid for their own home. Lucy and Viv go on a quest for a lost penny in "Lucy, the Coin Collector."
Lucy accidentally vacuums up one of Mr. Mooney's $3000 stamps in "Lucy and the Missing Stamp." In "Lucy and Danny Kaye," Lucy will do anything to get tickets to see The Danny Kaye Show. Lucy has to break in to a department store after hours to get a ceramic cat that Mr. Mooney bought for his wife as a present in "Lucy and the Ceramic Cat." Lucy and Viv are high rollers in "Lucy Goes to Vegas." One of Lucy's childhood friends who is now a countess (played by Ann Southern) arrives in town in "Lucy and the Countess.
Lucy and the Countess go to a fat farm as a favor to Mr. Mooney in "Lucy and the Countess Lose Weight." In "Lucy and the Beauty Doctor," Lucy manages to get money from Mr. Mooney by telling him she needed to see a doctor, but when she is taped for a TV series while at the "doctor of beauty," how can she prevent her tape from being aired? Lucy invests $38 in stock at the bank in "Lucy, the Stockholder," and proceeds to run the bank as she sees fit. The season ends with "Lucy, the Disc Jockey," where Lucy wins a radio contest to be a DJ for a day, which of course, ends as a disaster.
I feel fairly confident in saying that the episodes on the set are unedited, as each episode is over 25 minutes long. If (and I doubt that is the case) anything is missing, it would have to be something very minor. Runtimes are as follows, with the "normal" version runtime listed first and the "vintage" runtime listed second:
1. "Lucy, the Good Skate" (25:38/26:03)
2. "Lucy and the Plumber" (25:38/26:34)
3. "Lucy and Winter Sports" (25:38/26:02)
4. "Lucy Gets Amnesia" (25:37/26:02)
5. "Lucy and the Great Bank Robbery" (25:37/26:02)
6. "Lucy, the Camp Cook" (25:37/26:33)
7. "Lucy, the Meter Maid" (25:36/25:59)
8. "Lucy Makes a Pinch" (25:39/26:04)
9. "Lucy Becomes a Father" (25:38/26:03)
10. "Lucy's Contact Lenses" (25:39/26:34)
11. "Lucy Gets Her Maid" (25:38/26:02)
12. "Lucy Gets the Bird" (25:39/26:03)
13. "Lucy, the Coin Collector" (25:38/26:01)
14. "Lucy and the Missing Stamp" (25:38/26:00)
15. "Lucy Meets Danny Kaye" (25:36/25:59)
16. "Lucy and the Ceramic Cat" (25:37/25:59)
17. "Lucy Goes to Vegas" (25:37/26:03)
18. "Lucy and the Monsters" (25:36/26:00)
19. "Lucy and the Countess" (25:37/26:30)
20. "My Fair Lucy" (25:36/25:58)
21. "Lucy and the Countess Lose Weight" (25:37/26:02)
22. "Lucy and the Old Mansion" (25:37/26:02)
23. "Lucy and Arthur Godfrey" (25:39/26:02)
24. "Lucy and the Beauty Doctor" (25:38/26:01)
25. "Lucy, the Stockholder" (25:38/26:04)
26. "Lucy, the Disc Jockey" (25:38/26:04)
Like the previous two sets, this set uses a standard Viva pack with an outer cardboard sleeve. The sleeve and the case itself both have the same artwork, with the cover showing a large picture of Lucy dressed as a doorman in color, along with smaller black and white photos of Lucy and Viv in their various schemes from this season. Everything is in an orange color scheme this time. The back has various snapshots from the season, a description of the season, and a listing of special features. Inside, there is a listing of all of the episodes, along with original airdates and a description for each episode. The discs contain just the series logo on a gray background. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-13, Disc 3 contains episodes 14-20, and Disc 4 contains episodes 21-26. Special features are scattered throughout the set.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the set are very nice, and similar to the previous sets. The menus begin with a video transition that is similar to the beginning of the opening credits of the series, but the black and white scenes were excised and replaced with color scenes from this season. The menu gives options of Play All, Episode Selection, Special Features, and Set Up. There is also an option to play "A Note About Color" on the main menu of Disc 1. The main menu has a snapshot of Lucy inside of a heart.
Episode Selection takes you to a menu that has a snapshot of each episode on the disc, with up to four episodes per screen. When you select an episode, you have options of Play, Set Up, and Credits, as well as a list of scenes from the episode. The Credits option gives you information such as airdate, film date, production, directing, and writing credits. There are many chapters placed throughout each episode.
Special Features takes you to a list of the special features for each disc. This menu is introduced with an animated transition with photos of Lucy and Viv. All of the special features are listed in a text only format on one screen.
Finally, Set Up is where you can select between normal and vintage modes for viewing the episodes. By default, the episodes will air in normal mode, but if you want the original sponsor spots, you'll want to watch the episodes in vintage mode. You can also turn on the English subtitles from this menu.
Video and Audio Quality:
The episodes on this set look and sound great! There is very little to complain about with the exception of the usual (very little) grain and debris with very bright and vivid color. The audio, presented in mono, sounds great as well. Of course, the vintage openings/closings/cast commercials look a little rough, and they are also in black and white, but the lower quality is to be expected from these. There is no closed-captioning, but English subtitles are available for each episode.
The set is full of nice special features once again, with nothing to really complain about as far as special features. As was the case with the previous sets, there are original opening credits and closing credits for every episode, as well as cast commercials for SOME of the episodes. However, there is only one cast commercial available for this season, so the episodes that have the cast commercial all have the same one. You can watch these all separately on each disc, but the best way to watch them, as mentioned in the episodes section, is with the episodes. These are all in black and white, as the series was actually broadcast on CBS in this season (the series was filmed in color because it was anticipated that it would be preferred that way when syndicated).
On each disc, you can also find guest cast biographies. These are very detailed text biographies and tell you everything you could ever want to know about each guest star. It is clear that a lot of work was put in to these, and they are very enjoyable to read.
One of my favorite special features that can be found on each disc, though, is the production notes. Here, we get a behind the scenes look at the series, and go in-depth on some very minor things that we may not have noticed while watching the episodes. You'll even find some flubs in here, although it is too bad that flubs weren't included as video special features as they were in the first season. Still, you'll see what they have in the production notes, including one snapshot from a scene that was excised from the original color negatives after the original broadcast due to a harness accidentally being shown on screen. If only the producers back then knew what we know now about fans being interested in having these scenes intact!
Finally, every disc includes a photo gallery, which is essentially a set of snapshots from the episodes contained on the disc. These are mostly black and white photos, but there are a few color ones scattered within.
Now, we move on to disc specific special features. On Disc 1, we start with "A Note About Color" (0:51), which basically just explains why the opening credits include both black and white and color footage. This is similar (though not the same) as the one seen on the second season set. Next, we have "Lucy at the World's Fair" (28:34), where we have vintage black and white footage of Lucille Ball when she visited the World's Fair in 1964. This is a hosted featurette where one of the hosts for Lucy's visit to the World's Fair talks about his experience of welcoming her to the fair and her experience of visiting it. There is a lot of interesting footage here. "Lucy and Jack Benny" (3:30) is a featurette that serves as an introduction to the "Lucy and the Plumber" episode, and explains why the episode was so significant. The video introduction even includes an actress who plays Lucy on stage.
Disc 2 is a little scant on special features, with the only unique one being "Meet Maury Gertsman," which is just a brief on-screen text biography of the series director of photography. This is very similar to the guest cast biographies that are found on the set.
Disc 3 has footage from when Lucille Ball appeared on The Danny Kaye Show. Her appearance on the show was a tradeoff for his appearance on The Lucy Show. The first clip (6:48) is a sketch that she did about a husband and wife trying to fire a maid. The second (0:57) is a clip from the same episode where she talked to Danny Kaye about working together in 1962.
Disc 4 contains several international promos for the series. Unfortunately, all of them are either missing the audio or the video, so we can't exactly see them put together, first, BBC Promo (0:42) has audio from a BBC promo advertising Lucy coming to the BBC. There are still snapshots taken from the shoot included here. International Promo #1 (0:27) has an approximation of picture elements for a promo that was used in the Philippines and Singapore. Finally, International Promo #2 (0:21) has four different variations of a single video used for a promo on the BBC, as well as in France, Germany, and Spain. These have subtitles, all in their appropriate languages. There are also some foreign language excerpts from episodes of the series, one in French (0:24) and the other in Japanese (0:32).
Finally, we have on Disc 4 "Meet Eddie Stevenson," which is just an on-screen text biography of Lucy's fashion designer.
It would really be nice to see more interviews on future sets, although that would be difficult since many involved with the show are now deceased.
This is my first time seeing this season of the series, and I have to say that I am impressed with it. The series is still as fresh as it was in the first two seasons, and delivers many good laughs. This is also more or less the end of the series as it was originally devised to be (focused on character plots rather than guest stars), as Vivian Vance's departure after the end of season three left a hole that needed to be filled that no single actor or actress could really fill as the series moves to California. CBS Home Entertainment has put together an excellent DVD set here, thanks to DVD executive producer Thomas Watson, that is surely not about to disappoint any Lucille Ball fan, and this set is a must own set for lovers of Lucy and classic TV in general.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/07/10
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