|Lucy and Viv try to get the "world famous Thunderbolt" to move|
The first season of The Lucy Show had its moments but was certainly no I Love Lucy. The second season also has some laughs, but there isn't a single really outstanding episode. The more memorable ones feature Jay Novello as a safe cracker; Robert Alda and John Carradine as art student and instructor [and a very clever bit involving the Mona Lisa]; Lucy's all-woman fire department putting out a fire at the bank; Lucy and Viv opening a restaurant [though it can't compare to "The Diner" episode on I Love Lucy]; Lucy working with Mr. Mooney [Gale Gordon, who is introduced on the fourth episode of the season] at the same bank; the gals competing in a bake-off; and the frenetic couple organizing kiddie parties [the funniest bit has the gals trying to get a recalcitrant dog, "the world-famous Thunderbolt" -- see photo -- to just get up and move]. The problem with The Lucy Show is that everyone thinks that all Ball needs is a little shtick to be hilarious, but the episode with her conducting an orchestra is just plain bad, and there are other overly silly and unfunny episodes with labored and poor material that even the talents of Ball and Vance can't save. However, the gals get some good support from Gale Gordon, Mary Jane Croft, Kathleen Freeman, and others. Ball's second husband, comic Gary Morton, appears in one episode and is quite good. Season three was slightly better. In the introduction to the show, there are nuermous photos of Lucy, and only one of Vivian Vance, who is still billed only as a "co-star."
Verdict: "Ethel Mertz" is one thing, but you can really miss her teaming up with Ethel Merman. **.