DVD Release Date: October 9, 2012 (CBS Home Entertainment)
Color / 1967-1968
Packaging: Viva Pack
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 612 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 30 minutes
Audio: English mono
Subtitles and Captions: English Subtitles
Special Features: Clip from The Carol Burnett Show; Clip from 1968 Emmy Awards; Outtakes; "Lucy Gets Her Diploma" Italian audio track and opening credits; Costume Sketches; Vintage Openings and Closings; Guest Cast Biographies; Production Notes; Photo Galleries
Lucy Carmichael has returned one last time for The Lucy Show - The Official Sixth and Final Season! The four disc set completes Lucy's second major series for CBS with 24 more episodes featuring guest stars such as Milton Berle, Joan Crawford, Carol Burnett, Jack Benny, and more.
Although this was the last season with Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon for this series, it wasn't their last season together ever. The following season, a new (and almost identical) series was introduced on CBS called Here's Lucy, which went on to last another six seasons. But these 24 episodes do mark a major milestone, as this season takes us through the end of the Desilu empire, one which began about a decade and a half earlier with I Love Lucy and cranked out hit after hit in those first two decades of television. In fact, you'll even notice throughout this season that the production studio actually changes midseason from Desilu to Paramount. But before Lucy's Desilu days fully fade into the sunset, we have these 24 episodes to enjoy.
The sixth season begins with "Lucy Meets the Berles," where Lucy meets Milton Berle and his wife... and becomes convinced that he is cheating on her! Lucy plays hooky, but gets caught in "Lucy is Trapped." Mr. Mooney wants a famous French movie star as the bank's new client in "Lucy and the French Movie Star," but somebody may ruin this by having a few too many drinks at lunch. In "Lucy, the Starmaker," Mr. Mooney wants his nephew to become a banker, but he wants to go into show biz. Any guesses as to which side Lucy will take? Lucy ends up back in high school in "Lucy Gets Her Diploma." Lucy has to prove to Jack Benny that the bank's vault is safer than his own in "Lucy Gets Jack Benny's Account," but can she?
Lucy masquerades as a little old lady when Mr. Mooney needs to find a date for the elderly bank president in "Little Old Lucy" Lucy tries to help a trucker earn money after being rejected for a loan in "Lucy and Robert Goulet." In "Lucy Gets Mooney Fired," Lucy must scramble to get her boss back on the job. Lucy's Aunt Agatha comes to visit in "Lucy's Mystery Guest," except she just won't leave. Lucy wants to help a bum in "Lucy, the Philanthropist," and Mr. Mooney will have no part of it... until he finds out a secret that the bum has! It's Carmichael vs. Mooney in "Lucy Sues Mooney," where a crooked lawyer tricks her into suing her own boss.
In the two-part episode "Lucy and Carol Burnett," Lucy becomes an airline stewardess with her new friend Carol, but there is one problem: Carol is afraid of heights! Vivian Vance returns to the series to look back on her time on the series in "Lucy and Viv Reminisce." Lucy enters a local pool tournament in "Lucy and the Pool Hustler." In "Lucy Gets Involved," Lucy takes a second job to replace her broken TV, but would you believe she is even worse as a carhop than she is as a secretary? Mooney innocently flirts with a young girl in "Mooney's Other Wife," but when the girl takes it the wrong way, how will he get her out of his life before Mrs. Mooney comes home?
Lucy helps Mr. Mooney get a mink for his wife in "Lucy and the Stolen Stole," but it is a steal... literally. Lucy tries to help a lounge singer make a comeback in "Lucy and Phil Harris." In "Lucy Helps Ken Berry," Lucy is determined to help a dance school owner make his loan payment by getting any customer to come in... even if it is a bunch of truck drivers! Lucy and Viv try to help Joan Crawford become meaningful in show biz once again (a story which was sadly a bit more true than the writers intended) in "Lucy and the Lost Star." Lucy and Mooney can't tell the difference between Sid Caesar and a lookalike in "Lucy and Sid Caesar." The series ends with "Lucy and the Boss of the Year Award," where Mooney submits the name of his boss for an award, but Lucy submits Mooney's name... and they're both doing it for themselves!
The episodes appear to be unedited (as far as I can tell). One episode runs about 15 seconds shorter than the rest, but I don't believe anything is missing. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "Lucy Meets the Berles" (25:33)
2. "Lucy Gets Trapped" (25:18)
3. "Lucy and the French Movie Star" (25:34)
4. "Lucy, the Starmaker" (25:34)
5. "Lucy Gets Her Diploma" (25:35)
6. "Lucy Gets Jack Benny's Account" (25:33)
7. "Little Old Lucy" (25:34)
8. "Lucy and Robert Goulet" (25:35)
9. "Lucy Gets Mooney Fired" (25:37)
10. "Lucy's Mystery Guest" (25:33)
11. "Lucy, the Philanthropist" (25:34)
12. "Lucy Sues Mooney" (25:35)
13. "Lucy and Carol Burnett (Part 1)" (25:33)
14. "Lucy and Carol Burnett (Part 2)" (25:35)
15. "Lucy and Viv Reminisce" (25:26)
16. "Lucy and the Pool Hustler" (25:35)
17. "Lucy Gets Involved" (25:35)
18. "Mooney's Other Wife" (25:35)
19. "Lucy and the Stolen Stole" (25:34)
20. "Lucy and Phil Harris" (25:35)
21. "Lucy Helps Ken Berry" (25:33)
22. "Lucy and the Lost Star" (25:32)
23. "Lucy and Sid Caesar" (25:34)
24. "Lucy and the Boss of the Year Award" (25:31)
Six seasons and consistent packaging for all six of them? Great job, CBS! Once again, we have a Viva case with an outer slipcase, but both of these have the same artwork. On the cover, we have a large color photo of Lucy, along with several black and white photos of Lucy in various costumes, with a yellow background and a green border. On the back, we have a few episode snapshots and a brief description of the season, along with a complete list of special features. Inside, you'll find the four discs, all of which have the series logo on a gray background. Each disc contains six episodes. Titles, descriptions, and airdates for all episodes are printed inside the case.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on this set are, as far as I can tell, pretty much identical to the previous season. The main menu gives options of Play All, Episode Selection, Special Features, and Set Up. Selecting Episode Selection gives you a photo snapshot of the episodes on the disc along with the title. Once you select an episode, you get a menu featuring a photo from the episode, a list of scenes, and options of Play, Set Up, and Credits. Special Features will take you to a list of special features on the set (exactly what it sounds like!). And finally, Set Up is where you can turn on English subtitles.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality on this set is about as good as they could possibly get it. The episodes are said to be restored, and while I don't know how much work was really required to restore them, they look really good for episodes that are almost fifty years old. There is the occasional grain, but it isn't too bad. The audio is a very loud and clear mono track, with few problems of note. Each episode contains English subtitles.
Six seasons later, and we've still got a ton of special features... even for this very last set! We'll start with the features which you'll find on every disc. Once again, there are many original opening and closing credit sequences (some are actually from same season rebroadcasts), where you can see the original sponsor plugs in the credits. Some of these are in black and white, but it seems that most are actually in color this time... even including the CBS "in color" tag on many of the opening credits. I wish that they would have set up the episodes to where we could watch these "reattached," but given that there seems to be some inconsistencies on what is available for each episode, I can sort of understand why they didn't.
They've also included the guest cast biographies for each episode again, where you can go through each episode and look up each guest star... and if you select their name from the menu, you can get a very nice (but brief) text biography of who they are. Production notes take us behind the scenes on some of the episodes and the series in general. It is interesting to read the notes about how Desi Arnaz "moved back" into the studio at Desilu this season, and how his own studio shared resources to produce The Mothers-in-Law and The Lucy Show at the same time. Finally, there is a photo gallery on each disc, with publicity stills from the episodes included on that particular disc.
Just like the fifth season, Disc 1 has another featurette about the opening credits, "Keep Smiling" (1:43), where we get to see raw footage of Lucille Ball creating new poses for the opening credits. "Special Footage" (1:40) is a series of "episode trims" (i.e. footage of the production crew at work) from the episode "Lucy Gets Jack Benny's Account." Don't bother adjusting your volume for these... they are silent. We have two radio PSAs (1:32, 0:32) from Lucille Ball for Youth Appreciation Week, where she credits "the 95% of our great youth" for The Optimist Club... clearly, they weren't too optimistic about that other five percent! We get images from the episode "Lucy Gets Her Diploma" while the audio plays. Speaking of the episode "Lucy Gets Her Diploma," they've actually included a recently discovered version of that episode... in Italian! You can watch just the much different opening credits (0:34) or the entire program (25:34), which includes Italian audio and English subtitles. Surprisingly, this audio track sounds very good, and syncs up very well to the video.
Disc 2 has a "Fashions by Stevenson" featurette, where we get to find out a bit about Eddie Stevenson, the fashion designer for Lucille Ball. Mostly, we get to see a lot of the sketches that he created for her outfits, and how the outfits actually turned out on screen. According to the biography, he actually died about nine months after the series ended, so his legacy, which included working with Lucy for over a decade, didn't get a chance to carry on through Here's Lucy.
Disc 3 begins with a brief clip from one of the very first episodes of The Carol Burnett Show (3:13), where Lucille Ball was a guest star. This is almost somewhat of a promo for Time-Life's recently released DVD sets of the series. "Meet Jack Baker" is a text biography which tells us about Jack Baker, choreographer for this series (as well as some episodes of I Love Lucy).
Disc 4 has another "Lucy Wins an Emmy" featurette (2:18), where Lucy wins her fourth Emmy, and second for this series. It is really interesting how Lucy won an Emmy in both of the final two seasons of these series considering that the earlier seasons were certainly more "Emmy worthy" (it is really surprising that she didn't win one in those earlier years, she certainly should have), but everything looks different in hindsight! "Funny Outtakes" (3:54) is a nice collection of the few bloopers which were saved by Lucy's estate from the sixth season. Finally, "Here's Lucy Promo" (1:09) is just a promo advertising MPI's releases of Here's Lucy... a task which they will be completing this coming December.
There really is nothing to complain about here with the special features... they've done a very nice and thorough job here, just as they did with every other season.
I didn't enjoy the quality of the episodes included on the fifth season as much as the previous ones and my recollection of this season was not really that positive either... but in watching these episodes, I have to say that they are better than I remember, and these episodes are actually a little better than those fifth season episodes. These episodes are mostly just Lucy and Mr. Mooney (and occasionally Mary Jane) along with their "guest star of the week," but we do get to see some great episodes which only focus on the main cast here, and I feel that they did a better job of working in the guest stars in this season by giving them less ridiculous plots. Although it was technically a different series, I feel that the retooling made as the series transitioned to Here's Lucy did make a major improvement to the series, almost bringing it up to the excellent quality that this series had in the first three seasons.
I'm also glad that CBS did an excellent job not only on this set, but on all of these releases. We've gotten episodes which are about 99.9% unedited, a healthy collection of special features for ALL six seasons (I honestly expected them to transition to "episodes only" sets around after a season or two), and on top of that, we got it all wrapped up in just a little over three years. The same can be said for the fine folks at MPI who are in the process of completing Here's Lucy. The mutual cooperation and cross-promoting from both studios seems to have made these both of these series, which are certainly a less memorable part of Lucille Ball's legacy, thrive on DVD. I feel that now we can really close the book on this series and call it a wrap, but I can't help but to wonder if we'll see a complete series release in the future with even more special features. These sets would be hard to top, and really, that statement in and of itself is a great compliment.