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Old 01-03-2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kasey
This was the first episode I watched when my DVDs arrived last week. I had seen it years ago (edited) and remember being impressed how great it was yet sad that the rest of the series didn't live up to its potential.

"System" almost has a farcical feel to it that predates the kind of comedy "Three's Company" would be doing a couple years later, and the script is much more logical/believable than Lucy running around with chimps or sucking up to celebrities past their expiry date. Of course, Lucie's performance here is hysterically funny and you can tell she was having a blast doing this.

I just feel that this series could have been so much better had they gone in this direction and this is a bittersweet episode for me because it's almost a case of "too little, too late".
I agree with everything you've said here, though I have a slightly different take on the last paragraph. This episode was really Lucie Arnaz's show, not Lucille Ball's. Lucie proved here that she has what it takes to do comedy. But it seems to me that's something she had to work up to. When Here's Lucy first started, Lucie's acting was often a bit awkward. But as the series progressed, so did her performing abilities. By this point, she was a pro. So I'm not sure if "too little, too late" is necessarily the case because Lucie simply might not have been ready and able for performing at this level earlier on. Maybe she would have been ready by the fourth or fifth season -- and I emphasize "maybe" -- and the extent of her talent simply wasn't recognized. But certainly not before then.

What strikes me about this episode is Lucie's stellar skills, not so much in situation comedy, but for sketch comedy. I think after her performance here, SNL or The Carol Burnett Show should have snatched her up immediately. I think she would have been great in a comedy-variety format. Of course, after six years in a television series, Lucie may not have been up to doing more television at that point. She seemed to be more interested in pursuing the stage at this stage in her life. But back to her performance in this episode, the waitress character she portrays makes me think of a younger, sassier version of the Mrs. Wiggins character Carol Burnett would be playing a couple years later on her show. Could it be that Lucie Arnaz was the inspiration for Carol Burnett's character?

Originally Posted by HeresJames
I remembered thinking "Lucy Fights The System" was a scream in 1974. It still makes me chuckle.
The only demerit for the episode comes at the end. Poor Harry didn't do anything to deserve the pie in the face, so it wasn't funny (to me). The restaurant owner (or Kim) should have been the one to get creamed.
I actually think that pie scene was funny for that very reason: Harry didn't deserve it. Gale Gordon, however, did. I think it was a wonderful gesture by writer Bob O'Brien or Lucille Ball or somebody to give the last laugh to Gale Gordon. That was well earned. Also, it was necessary in order to throw in that final line for Gale Gordon to wrap up the series: I knew it would end like this! And that line, and that moment, in certain ways summed up what the show was all about.
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