Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Lucy and a bleating sheep

After the end of I Love Lucy as well as the dissolution of Lucille Ball's marriage to Desi Arnaz [although not the end of their professional relationship due to their involvement in Desilu], Ball and Vivian Vance re-teamed without the boys as a widow and a divorcee living together with their children in a small town. Although The Lucy Show had the same writers as I Love Lucy, the show -- which also ran several years before turning into Here's Lucy -- was not in the same classic league. [One problem was that the writers couldn't resist re-using some classic I Love Lucy bits and plot lines.] There are, however, some funny moments and memorable scenes in the first season, such as "Lucy and Viv take Up Chemistry" and "Lucy Buys a Boat." The two best episodes are "Lucy Builds a Rumpus Room," which has a very funny finale, and "Lucy is Kangaroo for a Day," which has a priceless bit in which a strand of her suit is caught in an elevator and completely unravels her outfit, as well as some hilarious scenes in a restaurant. Dick Martin is okay as the girls' neighbor and occasional date, Harry, but Charles Lane [later replaced by Gale Gordon] is terrific as the severe banker Mr. Barnsdahl. The three children in the cast are all talented and appealing as well. However, there are too many mediocre episodes to make most people want to look at later seasons, although they had their moments.

Verdict: Lucy can still make you laugh -- with reservations. **1/2.

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