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Old 03-25-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
lucyandethel
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Default "Lucy Moves To NBC" - My Review

I found the first half of the special funny and entertaining (except for the stereotypical Asian jokes, which just make people cringe in this day and age.) The cavalcade of guests stars were GREAT! Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Donald O'Connor, Gene Kelly.

Sadly, this special takes a horrible turn when a pilot for a proposed series starring Donald O'Connor takes up the last half of the special. In my opinion, this pilot made it to air ONLY because Lucy was behind it. Other than that, such an insipid, contrived pilot would have never made it pass a conscious network executive. While I would normally watch anything with Donald O'Connor, but this "proposed pilot" was a disaster. What a shame!
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyandethel
I found the first half of the special funny and entertaining (except for the stereotypical Asian jokes, which just make people cringe in this day and age.) The cavalcade of guests stars were GREAT! Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Donald O'Connor, Gene Kelly.

Sadly, this special takes a horrible turn when a pilot for a proposed series starring Donald O'Connor takes up the last half of the special. In my opinion, this pilot made it to air ONLY because Lucy was behind it. Other than that, such an insipid, contrived pilot would have never made it pass a conscious network executive. While I would normally watch anything with Donald O'Connor, but this "proposed pilot" was a disaster. What a shame!
I agree with your assessment. I saw the show when it first aired 32 years ago and had the same impression I do now upon seeing it again. The first half hour sparkled, except -- like you say -- those Asian jokes, which stick out like a sore thumb. The pilot at the end was uninspired: yet another generation gap plot device with all the stale and predictable "you don't get my generation" jokes. And that subplot about the son wanting a motorcycle I find eerie and uncomfortable to watch, given what happened to Scotty Plummer 12 or 13 years later.

My major critique about the show in general is that it felt desperately old fashioned, even for 1980. First of all, the general plot was hardly original; it was essentially a redo of Lucy's 1964 Lucille Ball Comedy Hour special. Once again we have Lucille Ball playing Lucille Ball, the producer, trying to track down a star to appear in a TV series she's producing, then a show within a show at the end. But the general tone of the entire special was old fashioned. Lucille Ball seemed to get stubborn as she got older. In the 1960s as head of Desilu, she could get behind innovative new ideas like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, but at this point, she didn't seem to be able to look in any direction but backwards. Between this and Bungle Abbey, all she could deliver to NBC were unoriginal shows starring aging actors that could only possibly appeal to a much older audience. NBC was struggling in those days. Fred Silverman was fairly new at the network at that time, having come from ABC, which he had managed to turn around by delivering a crop of fresh shows with cross-generational appeal. It's no surprise he didn't buy what Lucy was offering.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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Gary Imhoff, who played Fred Silverman, is actually an acclaimed acting teacher in Los Angeles now. He taught for many years at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and has his own school now. He is one of the best teachers in town from what I hear.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LittleRickyII
I agree with your assessment. I saw the show when it first aired 32 years ago and had the same impression I do now upon seeing it again. The first half hour sparkled, except -- like you say -- those Asian jokes, which stick out like a sore thumb. The pilot at the end was uninspired: yet another generation gap plot device with all the stale and predictable "you don't get my generation" jokes. And that subplot about the son wanting a motorcycle I find eerie and uncomfortable to watch, given what happened to Scotty Plummer 12 or 13 years later.

My major critique about the show in general is that it felt desperately old fashioned, even for 1980. First of all, the general plot was hardly original; it was essentially a redo of Lucy's 1964 Lucille Ball Comedy Hour special. Once again we have Lucille Ball playing Lucille Ball, the producer, trying to track down a star to appear in a TV series she's producing, then a show within a show at the end. But the general tone of the entire special was old fashioned. Lucille Ball seemed to get stubborn as she got older. In the 1960s as head of Desilu, she could get behind innovative new ideas like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, but at this point, she didn't seem to be able to look in any direction but backwards. Between this and Bungle Abbey, all she could deliver to NBC were unoriginal shows starring aging actors that could only possibly appeal to a much older audience. NBC was struggling in those days. Fred Silverman was fairly new at the network at that time, having come from ABC, which he had managed to turn around by delivering a crop of fresh shows with cross-generational appeal. It's no surprise he didn't buy what Lucy was offering.
What happened to Scotty Plummer?
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRickyII
I agree with your assessment. I saw the show when it first aired 32 years ago and had the same impression I do now upon seeing it again. The first half hour sparkled, except -- like you say -- those Asian jokes, which stick out like a sore thumb. The pilot at the end was uninspired: yet another generation gap plot device with all the stale and predictable "you don't get my generation" jokes. And that subplot about the son wanting a motorcycle I find eerie and uncomfortable to watch, given what happened to Scotty Plummer 12 or 13 years later.

My major critique about the show in general is that it felt desperately old fashioned, even for 1980. First of all, the general plot was hardly original; it was essentially a redo of Lucy's 1964 Lucille Ball Comedy Hour special. Once again we have Lucille Ball playing Lucille Ball, the producer, trying to track down a star to appear in a TV series she's producing, then a show within a show at the end. But the general tone of the entire special was old fashioned. Lucille Ball seemed to get stubborn as she got older. In the 1960s as head of Desilu, she could get behind innovative new ideas like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, but at this point, she didn't seem to be able to look in any direction but backwards. Between this and Bungle Abbey, all she could deliver to NBC were unoriginal shows starring aging actors that could only possibly appeal to a much older audience. NBC was struggling in those days. Fred Silverman was fairly new at the network at that time, having come from ABC, which he had managed to turn around by delivering a crop of fresh shows with cross-generational appeal. It's no surprise he didn't buy what Lucy was offering.
Yes, trouble was Lucy's husband Gary never introduced her to anybody who was great in Hollywood and who could have guided her to something new and fresh.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bogdanloveslucy
What happened to Scotty Plummer?
He was killed in a motorcycle accident. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotty_Plummer
Given that reality, listening to the dialogue in that scene in the special made me a little uncomfortable.
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