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I Love Lucy: The Complete Series
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Season 2 of I Love Lucy includes two of the most famous half-hours in television history. "Job Switching," originally broadcast mid-September of 1952, is the crazy, battle-of-the-sexes episode in which husbands Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) and Fred Mertz (William Frawley) trade roles with wives Lucy (Lucille Ball) and Ethel (Vivian Vance), culminating in the men making a shambles of domestic chores while Lucy and Ethel take disastrous work at a chocolate factory. That's right: This is the show where the ladies have a Chaplinesque experience with a too-fast factory conveyor belt, forcing them to hide candies in their mouths, in their hats, and down their blouses lest a tough forewoman fire them for incompetence. A half-century later, the scene is still so fresh and funny it would grace any current sitcom. "Lucy Goes to the Hospital," which received an amazing 71.7 rating on January 19, 1953, is the historic episode featuring the birth of Little Ricky and a load of wonderful slapstick. Other television series (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and movies (Nine Months) have tried to top Lucy's time-to-go-to-the-hospital shenanigans, but there's nothing like the sight of Ricky and Fred falling all over themselves or Ricky showing up at the maternity ward (direct from a voodoo-themed show at the Tropicana) in witch doctor makeup.
The other 31 episodes included in I Love Lucy: The Compete Second Season have choice moments, too. "Lucy Becomes a Sculptress" finds the ever-ambitious redhead falling for empty flattery at an art-supply store and commencing an ill-advised career working in clay. Ricky agrees to bless this new endeavor if an art critic says she has talent, but Lucy tries to increase her chances by posing as a bust of herself--resulting in mayhem, of course. The usual running themes in I Love Lucy--Lucy's misguided desire to be a part of Ricky's musical career, and her penchant for disguising herself to investigate something--are all over The Complete Second Season. "Ricky Loses His Voice" is a delightful piece in which Ricky's laryngitis inspires Lucy, the Mertzes, and an aging chorus line to put on a Tropicana spectacle, and "Ricky Has Labor Pains" finds Lucy and Ethel going undercover as male reporters to find out what happens at a stag party. Lots to enjoy here, and the special features include bloopers, information about the guest cast, and snippets from Ball's radio show. --Tom Keogh
I Love Lucy: The Complete Fifth Season finds Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) making an international mess out of husband Ricky's globe-trotting tour as an entertainer. Beginning with "Lucy Visits Grauman's" and "Lucy and John Wayne," the impulsive redhead risks Ricky's sanity in Hollywood by stealing a cement slab, from the famous entrance to Grauman's Chinese Theater, that contains the imprint of John Wayne's footprints and signature. In the tradition of superstars playing themselves on I Love Lucy, an exasperated (and very funny) Wayne gets into the act over and over and over again, making new imprints on multiple slabs because Lucy keeps messing up the results. After more shenanigans in Los Angeles (Lucy attends a ritzy party with a dummy substituting for her unavailable husband) and a disastrous train ride home, it's time to jeopardize Ricky's success during an interview show that ends disastrously.
Lucy's fifth season travel theme continues when Ricky and his band are booked on a European tour that does not include his wife or the Mertzes. Of course, that doesn't stop the determined Lucy (or Ethel), who schemes her way into Ricky's plans, only to have a number of snafus arise as she tries to leave the country. In the I Love Lucy tradition, entire episodes are written around such simple matters as trying to get a passport, or helping with Fred's fear of getting seasick while traveling. All this show's stars really need is a ridiculous, open-ended situation to exploit, and the comedy flows from there. "Bon Voyage" is a particularly funny episode in which Lucy gets left behind by the European-bound ship carrying Ricky and the others, and she has to find a way to get back aboard. The hilarious "Lucy and the Queen" finds her angling in London for a way to meet the Royal Family after Ricky is invited to say hello at the Palladium. From there, Lucy creates chaos in Scotland (this episode includes a memorable dream sequence in which Ricky appears as Scotty MacTavish MacDougal MacCardo), Paris (where she and Ethel plot to meet guest star and good sport Charles Boyer at an outdoor café), Rome (the outstanding "Lucy's Italian Movie" finds her dispatched to a vineyard, where she has to crush grapes--brilliantly--with her feet). Lots of special features, including a behind-the-scenes peek and bloopers. --Tom Keogh
The sixth and final season of I Love Lucy finds new laughs in some old formulas while also expanding the hugely popular show’s horizons with a change of scene. Things get off to a familiar start when Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) gets in the middle of husband Ricky’s business--in this case, disguising herself as a hot dog salesman at Yankee Stadium in order to get near Bob Hope. Hope, she believes, has ignored Ricky’s offer to be the first act at his new nightclub. But, in fact, Hope had already agreed; Ricky was just sitting on the information to keep Lucy from getting typically ditzy in front of one of his celebrity pals. Not surprisingly, mayhem follows when poor Hope finds his hand slathered with condiments and his noggin bonked by a foul ball. Other celebrity sightings include Orson Welles, who copes with Lucy’s aspirations as a Shakespearean actress, and George Reeves, television’s Superman, who shows up unexpectedly, in costume, at Little Ricky’s birthday party. Meanwhile, Lucy--who didn’t want to disappoint the tyke--stands in a makeshift Man of Steel outfit on a window ledge, in the rain.
A number of episodes concern Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux) now that he’s old enough to be a functioning character on the show. In "Little Ricky Learns to Play the Drums," the lad takes after his musician father and starts playing percussion, leading to some frayed nerves. A couple of episodes later, young Ricardo gets a bad case of stage fright at school, and Lucy suggests Ricky let him play the drums at the nightclub. (But then, of course, she has to figure out how to talk her son into performing.) A big change comes to I Love Lucy in the season’s second half, when the Ricardos decide it’s time to become homeowners and pull up stakes at their old Manhattan apartment. Moving to a nice, new house in Connecticut, they’re soon joined by Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance), and the season’s storylines take on a distinctly suburban flavor, with country clubs, barbecues, and gardens figuring into the comedy. With those developments, I Love Lucy came to a close after making television history as a much-beloved sitcom. Lots of special features, including multiple audio commentaries, flubs, lost scenes, and five episodes of My Favorite Husband, Ball’s radio show. --Tom Keogh
Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show
From Lucy-tormented Hollywood A-listers and bongo-propelled production numbers to archival goodies such as long-lost footage, there is much to love in this collection of all 13 episodes from The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (also known as The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour). Following I Love Lucy's sixth and final season, these monthly (give or take) specials reunited America with Ricky and Lucy (and Keith Thibodeaux's adorable Little Ricky, still living the country life in Connecticut. The expanded, hour-long format allowed for celebrity guest stars and excursions to far-flung locales, such as Japan and Mexico. Not matter where they go, Lucy can always be counted on to act, in Desi's words, "a little crazy in the head," which is how she winds up masquerading as Ernie Kovacs' chauffeur in "Lucy Meets the Moustache" (an episode making its home-video debut), dangling Milton Berle from a construction crane in "Milton Berle Hides Out at the Ricardos," or sparking a uranium uproar in Las Vegas in "Lucy Hunts Uranium."
A highlight of this set is the first-ever home video release of the uncut version of "Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana," a flashback episode in which Lucy meets Ricky on a "maiden voyage" to Cuba. She also meets future best friend Ethel (Vivian Vance) and her new husband Fred (a toupeed William Frawley), and goes overboard for her first celebrity sighting, Rudy Vallee. Because these episodes do not play as often in syndication, they seem fresher than their endlessly re-run counterparts. They are full of delights for movie, TV, and Lucy buffs, among them, Fred MacMurray getting "Uranium" fever, Maurice Chevalier singing "Yankee Doodle Boy" in the "Mexico" episode, prolific character actor Sid Melton as a bellboy in the "Alaska" episode, and a va-voom Vance decked out as maid and a dance hall girl, respectively, in the "The Celebrity Next Door" and "Milton Berle" episodes. Among this set's prodigious bonus features include 1951 color footage that an audience member surreptitiously filmed, rediscovered scenes that were cut from the original broadcasts, and a filmed presentation to Westinghouse, which sponsored the series. If you don't add this to your library, you have some 'splainin' to do. --Donald Liebenson
Top Customer Reviews
1. The price - Even if this set was sold at its SRP (suggested retail price) of $80, it would be a steal, but the fact that it's being sold (as I write this) for around $45 is insane! That's less than $1.50 per disc. It's an amazing deal for the complete series.
2. Uncut episodes - OK, this is a pro for any of the DVD releases, but it's important to list this here anyway. TV networks today butcher episodes - especially classic shows - to make room for more and more commercials. These are uncut and in some cases, contain over 3 minutes of footage per episode not shown in syndication repeats.
3. Space saving - This set is significantly smaller than the previous release. It's not as elaborate, but it will fit on your shelf with the rest of your DVDs and it won't take up too much space. It's a little bit wider than 5 standard DVD cases.
4. The discs are packaged better - There are issues with the way the discs are packaged (see below) - BUT, they are packaged a lot better than the previous set, which had them loose in cardboard sleeve books. This set is a definite improvement.
1. The missing disc(s) - Unlike the original complete series set, this one doesn't contain the exclusive bonus disc with the colorized Lucy Goes to Scotland episode or the I Love Lucy movie (along with several other special features). Fortunately though, you can buy that disc by itself. Just search for I Love Lucy: The Movie and Other Great Rarities. This set also doesn't contain the special Colorized Christmas disc that was released two years ago (which you can also buy by itself).Read more ›
With this set you get all 179 half hour episodes of I Love Lucy as well as 13 FULL hour episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour on DVD for the low low price of only $168.99 and packaged beautifully plus digitally remastered to crystal clear perfection!!
There will also be bonuses including Lucille Ball on the radio show "My favorite Husband, rare commercials, clips in color, Desilu studio tour with Lucy and the gang and much more.. With the bonuses alone you get several hours of fun and if you bought the season DVD sets it will be much of the same bonuses in this complete series.
If you have never bought the Lucy season sets and you are a fan then you do not know what you are missing. The shows are in crystal clear picture quality and not like they were when DVD's were first made and VHS's also, these are so nice and remastered to perfection and clearer than what you will see on tv. I wont even watch I Love Lucy on the television anymore because the DVD's are so much clearer that it doesn't look right to watch it a little on tv.
You not only get every single episode of the I Love Lucy show and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour to watch over and over again but you get never before seen bonuses that are very rare and some of these bonuses have never been seen on cable before now.Read more ›
To get at the DVDs, you have to go through an adventure in poor design. For starters, the flaps on the [side] of the outer plastic box are quite rigid. You must pull these open so you can slide the contents out [horizontally]. Inside the clear outer box is light plastic insert sitting on top of the heart-shaped DVD case. Because the DVD case is heavier than the plastic insert, getting the two out in synch and back in again is somewhat of an art form since the light insert tends to get stuck on the outer packaging.
Now, if you manage to get the heart-shaped DVD case out without dropping everything on the floor, you'll be greeted with the challenge of navigating the DVD case. The big red heart lifts up to access the individual discs, but when you want to put it back, you have to pull the sides apart because it fits like a snug saddle. If you're not careful, you'll end up cramming the heart into the DVD case.
Finally, we come to the layout of the DVD "case". It's nice they included a color-coded booklet, but this is only of limited assistance since it's nearly impossible to find the exact disc you're looking for while the "accordion" divider is inside the box (color-coded or not). You could take the divider out, but your discs will probably end up all over the floor. If you leave it in, then you have to fumble around until you find the disc you're looking for.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These dvds are so much fun to watch. I love this show and this box set is great. It comes with all the seasons and is really great quality. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Lamar Bennett
I love the new packaging for the I Love Lucy Complete Series. It comes in a box as pictured and I am able to stack and store it better than the one that comes in the box shaped... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Gracella
my mom loved it. When u start the CD on the first episode it shows a quick song with Lucy and Ricky in color.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
I LOVE Lucy! This was a fantastic purchase and the price is unbeatable! I was glad to find this on Amazon for a very good price and fast shipping. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Katelyn Cardona
I have been watching i love lucy for a while and i wanted to just keep on watching without commercials and waiting until the next day! Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
I was sitting on my couch, on a Saturday night thinking I wished I owned the I Love Lucy series. I decided to go on my trusty Amazon app. Lo and behold, eureka, I found gold!! Read morePublished 27 days ago by Patti
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