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Old 09-03-2018, 03:07 AM   #1
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Default In Defense of ‘Here’s Lucy’

http://comforttv.blogspot.com/2017/1...eres-lucy.html

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The prevailing opinion among TV intelligentsia goes that I Love Lucy (1951-1957) is one of television’s crown jewels, and that The Lucy Show (1962-1968) is not as highly regarded, though perhaps its best moments rivaled the quality of its predecessor.

By contrast, Here’s Lucy (1968-1974), an unofficial continuation of The Lucy Show, surpassed the freshness expiration date for its antiquated sitcom formula – and its leading lady.

But as is often the case with television, those who make such pronouncements did not speak for the public at large. Here’s Lucy ran for six seasons and 144 episodes. It ranked among the top ten highest-rated programs in its first four years, rising as high as #3 in 1970-71.

It’s likely that Lucy’s basic brand of comedy may have seemed outdated to those that preferred more substantive sitcoms like All in the Family, MASH and Good Times. But clearly there were just as many viewers who enjoyed a weekly visit with a friend they had watched for 20 years. For them, it was comfort TV.

Looking back on Here’s Lucy now, it’s easy to appreciate its old-world craftsmanship: the way standard plots unfold with clockwork predictability; Lucy’s comic incompetence at office work and blustery Gale Gordon as her exasperated boss (and in this case, brother-in-law); the lavish musical production numbers, expertly arranged and choreographed within the show’s standard shooting schedule, and performed for a live audience.

The series frequently featured big-name guest stars, something The Lucy Show did in its later seasons as well. At the time these appearances were not considered all that special, but more than 40 years later it’s wonderful to watch so many classic film and television icons sharing the stage with Lucy.

Not that the show needs my defending, but here are ten episodes from an overlooked series that is worth a second look.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:23 AM   #2
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I have always enjoyed Here's Lucy. I do not compare ILL to HL as they are two different shows to me. They both stand on their own. Lucy Carter is not Lucy Ricardo. I also enjoy watching all the old stars from yesteryear.
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:40 AM   #3
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I can enjoy all of these series. The ratings decline of Here's Lucy after the third season was in part due to its having to compete against Monday Night Football beginning in 1970.

Two things changed that worked against Here's Lucy in its later seasons:

1) In the 1960s, TV was full of the kind of physical comedy practiced by Lucy: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and the like. 10 years later, there was not much physical comedy left, and the popular comedy series of the day were dialog comedies: All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Maude, MASH, etc.

2) As Lucy got older, viewers were less likely to accept her doing the physical comedy she had done decades earlier. And Gale Gordon was even older. A woman in her 60s doing physical comedy makes viewers nervous that something was going to happen.

The decline of physical comedy didn't affect only Lucy; about 1983, Madeline Kahn did a a series, Oh Madeline! that tried to bring back Lucy-style physical comedy. Critics liked it, but viewers didn't.
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:36 PM   #4
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I can enjoy all of these series. The ratings decline of Here's Lucy after the third season was in part due to its having to compete against Monday Night Football beginning in 1970.

Two things changed that worked against Here's Lucy in its later seasons:

1) In the 1960s, TV was full of the kind of physical comedy practiced by Lucy: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and the like. 10 years later, there was not much physical comedy left, and the popular comedy series of the day were dialog comedies: All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Maude, MASH, etc.

2) As Lucy got older, viewers were less likely to accept her doing the physical comedy she had done decades earlier. And Gale Gordon was even older. A woman in her 60s doing physical comedy makes viewers nervous that something was going to happen.

The decline of physical comedy didn't affect only Lucy; about 1983, Madeline Kahn did a a series, Oh Madeline! that tried to bring back Lucy-style physical comedy. Critics liked it, but viewers didn't.
Interesting perspective.
About physical comedy, The Three Stooges almost completely relied on it and I think that no matter how "classic" and "iconic" The Three Stooges are said to be , the physical comedy was overdone and actually The Three Stooges ( of course they mostly were in movies than sit-coms) were these older men who must have been in their 40s at the youngest were slapping each other, poking each others eyes out and pulling each other's hair (actually Mo did most of it to the others). To look at it in retrospect according to today's social climate, it is on one hand scary that people are doing such harm to each other and on the other hand it is so predictable that someone is going to get slapped or poked before the next 3 minutes are up and therefore boring and un-original.
When i was a kid, I once saw a scene on a Three Stooges movie or TV show in which Shemp was stuck in a hole on the floor and his feet were dangling through the ceiling on the lower apartment while his head was sticking out from the floor on the upper apartment and then someone came and pulled him by the head to pull him through the floor and his neck stretched out from his shoulders. Of course it must have really been a dummy in that scene but I was horrified even though I was used to the antics of the Three Stooges.

In Gilligan's Island there was some slapstick comedy. The Skipper seemed to be a man in his 40s at the youngest. Gilligan seemed to be in his mid 30s.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:22 PM   #5
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Here's Lucy was on Cozi TV for awhile, I caught a couple of episodes, I was stunned at how dated the show was, it seemed more like a show from the 1950's than the 70's. Lucy's audience had grown older since ILL, I always wondered why Lucy seemingly refused to realize that. Decades had a Lucy Show marathon a few months back (when we all still had Decades), seeing the early episodes I was impressed by how strong they were, and still are. Lucy hit a creative wall about midway through that series and that was that, she seemed satisfied with just running the same material out year in and year out until even her most loyal audience members must have become bored.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:25 AM   #6
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It’s horrific. Lucy acting like a moron, annoying Uncle Harry, croaking out her lines, and just living for the chance to do a number. Gale Gordon yells all his lines, and Lucie Jr. is a total stiff. Desi Jr. is easy on the eyes - that’s his main contribution to the show.

And don’t get me started on the cheesy guest stars. “Bob Cummings, what are you doing here??!!!”
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:37 AM   #7
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In defense of Here’s Lucy too. I thought the show was cute, had great guest stars, and loved seeing Lucy with her kids—even though (IMO) I didn’t think they were nearly as super talented as Mama.

It’s unfair to compare it to I Love Lucy. ILL was one of the first shows to hit the new medium of television; Desi & Lucy made wise decisions, had lots of moxie, and she rolled the dice on physical comedy—where she proved her genius.

Lucy’s later shows evidenced the great affection she had for Vivian Vance and Gale Gordon, which made the shows endearing. I Love Lucy, every which way—one of the greatest stars ever.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Duster76 View Post
Here's Lucy was on Cozi TV for awhile, I caught a couple of episodes, I was stunned at how dated the show was, it seemed more like a show from the 1950's than the 70's. Lucy's audience had grown older since ILL, I always wondered why Lucy seemingly refused to realize that. Decades had a Lucy Show marathon a few months back (when we all still had Decades), seeing the early episodes I was impressed by how strong they were, and still are. Lucy hit a creative wall about midway through that series and that was that, she seemed satisfied with just running the same material out year in and year out until even her most loyal audience members must have become bored.
I think the "wall" for The Lucy Show came when the show's setting moved to S. Cal. I liked the show when Viv was a regular on it and they had kids (though an occasional stinker popped up in those seasons), but when Lucy had no family, the "star of the week", and Mr. Mooney screaming at her weekly, the show got to be pretty hard to watch for me.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:49 PM   #9
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The worst thing about The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy was Gale Gordon. I never liked him in anything. He was a terrible replacement for Ricky Ricardo/Fred Mertz and Mr. Wilson. I know he and Lucy went way back, but I never got what she saw in him.

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Old 05-08-2019, 05:25 PM   #10
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There is a clip on facebook with Ginger Rogers guest starring on Here's Lucy. Ginger, Lucy and Lucie do a dance routine. They all did a great job and Lucy still had great legs. You could tell they were all enjoying themselves.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:48 PM   #11
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I think the "wall" for The Lucy Show came when the show's setting moved to S. Cal. I liked the show when Viv was a regular on it and they had kids (though an occasional stinker popped up in those seasons), but when Lucy had no family, the "star of the week", and Mr. Mooney screaming at her weekly, the show got to be pretty hard to watch for me.
Totally agree. That format change roughly coincided with Ball’s original “I Love Lucy” writers leaving. Their successors were inferior and there was no longer a strong producer like Desi or Jess Oppenheimer to get rewrites out of them.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:04 AM   #12
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I Love Lucy was her prime years and the show was perfect television for it's time.

Afterwards, The Lucy Show was simply a way to milk some more cash for the station and allowed Lucy to do wheat she does best....perform, but it was obvious, it was more of a labor of love and admiration from the actors and for the audience than it was a prime actress in a prime show.

After it ended, Lucy decided to give it one more try, but her style of humor was fading out and so was her abilities. No one dared tell her she appeared a bit too old to be performing those old tricks, because everyone simply LOVED Lucy. It was always special to see her doing what she loved the most...performing, but we all knew it was past her prime and so was her show.

She gave it one last chance in another show LIFE WITH LUCY 9in 1986) that also starred Gale Gordon. Sad to say, as much as we all love seeing Lucy perform, there was no hiding it, she was not only too old to be doing this type of humor, but she was way beyond her prime and it showed. This show didn't even survive past season 1 before being canceled.

She will always be the QUEEN OF COMEDY with as many shows as she had and the success she had over the years. And we will ALWAYS LOVE LUCY, and thankfully we have a HUGE collection of shows to rewatch over and over again to remind us WHY we loved her so much!

Her only fault was not knowing when to stop before it got stale.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:32 AM   #13
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I enjoy Here's Lucy, some episodes are duds but overall it's a fun series, I have the complete series DVD's.

Same goes for The Lucy Show, not every episode is great but overall it's a fun series. I have the complete series DVD's. Seasons 1-3 overall are a little better than seasons 4-6, although in season 6 the quality picks up again and there are several good episodes.

I've never been a big fan of I Love Lucy although some episodes are good. I don't have the DVD's but will watch an occasional episode on TV if a good episode is on.

Lucy had better acting chemistry with Gale Gordon than she had with Desi. Lucy and Gale are funny together and they play well off of each other. Lucy and Desi were a married couple in real life and maybe that had an effect on their acting chemistry.

I have the movie The Long Long Trailer and it's a good movie, Lucy and Desi do perform well together in this one and they both seemed to enjoy making this movie.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:46 PM   #14
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Here's Lucy:
Lucy
Uncle Harry
Beautiful kids
Lots of great musical numbers--one of my favorites is Ann Margaret and Desi
Lots of great guest stars
I loved the show and I loved that it was paired up with the Doris Day Show on monday night which I also loved and still do to this day

Here is a link to the Here's Lucy and Mary Tyler Moore theme mash up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuQ1LqE3fQw
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