Sunday, September 27, 2009
At Last, The Lucy Show
Tulgey Wood includes all manner of madness, and that certainly covers the particular madness for which Lucille Ball is so celebrated. I am a fan of I Love Lucy and all that went into its making, and so of course I'm thrilled that this ultra-classic TV show is now available in its entirety on DVD, including the rarely-seen hour-long continuation of I Love Lucy, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show. But as much as I love I Love Lucy, I have always also loved The Lucy Show. I (and many other Lucy Show fans) have been longing for a DVD release of Miss Ball's underrated but excellent follow-up, which had many of the same qualities—and much of the same quality—as her first smash show—and no wonder, as it was written and produced by many of the same people, including executive producer Desi Arnaz. Though the show would later devolve (with the loss of Lucy's longtime writers, the true geniuses behind the Lucy throne) into a shallow and unfunny star-of-the-week mess, the first two-and-a-half seasons of the show are charming and hilarious, especially as they co-star that great actress and comedienne (and I Love Lucy alumna) Vivian Vance. Together, Lucy and Viv work together brilliantly, performing like a female Laurel and Hardy. Luckily for all fans of The Lucy Show—and all the Lucy fans who have yet to discover it—the first (and best) season of this gem was released on DVD (complete with plenty of great extras, including original openings, cast commercials, interviews and much more) on July 21. According to CBS DVD, they have never had as many requests for any other TV show as they have had for The Lucy Show. Go here to see a delightful letter-to-Lucy-fans explanation of the DVD release, inspired by The Lucy Show's credit crawl featuring animated versions of Lucy and Viv.