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I Love Lucy: The Complete Series
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The Whole McGillicuddy: All 9 Seasons! All 194 Episodes! Fall in love again and again with the timeless comedy that entertains generation after generation. This special 34-disc DVD collection contains every hilarious episode of every classic season of I Love Lucy - from the Lost Pilot to the The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour shows. Join Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel for non-stop laughter as you savor every magical moment of the greatest sitcom of all time. Includes all new special features including I Love Lucy: The Movie, the first Fully-Colorized I Love Lucy episode, I Love Lucy at the 6th Annual Emmy(R) Awards, highlights of Lucy & Desi's First Joint TV Appearance, and hours of bonus features from the individual complete season releases!
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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). True, that particular release was never included with the original complete series set, but it would have been a nice addition with this set, even though it's a bit out of date already, not having three of the six episodes (so far?) that have been colorized by CBS - Job Switching (the chocolate factory episode, aired in 2014) and Lucy and Superman and L.A. at Last (aired in 2015).
2. The packaging - As you can see from the pictures I've posted of the set, the packaging is very cheap and prone to issues. Full disclosure: I didn't buy mine from Amazon; I purchased mine at Walmart, in store, but that doesn't mean you won't encounter similar issues from other retailers including Amazon. If you do, though, it won't be their fault. The box itself (which was torn a bit for me, I don't know why) that houses the disc cases appears to be a little too big for the cases. I can imagine some dents could become an issue for some people, especially on the side where the cases come out. There is almost a quarter of an inch of wiggle room in there, which could also lead to cracks in the disc cases themselves (as mine was, on both the spine and the side that opens). The discs come in two cases, one larger (and wider) than the other, which makes them look a bit odd together. There are 25 discs in the larger case and 8 in the smaller one. As you can see with the larger case, the disc holders themselves aren't attached to the case. Mine was already broken on one of the hinges. It makes it a little awkward going through the discs when the holder isn't firmly in place, too. The discs overlap in the larger case as well unlike in the smaller case (which is more in the style of those 6-disc, clear amaray cases that have become so popular now, for good reason) leaving the discs in the larger case prone to scratches (several of mine had small scratches). The hubs in the larger case were very flimsy as well, only containing two "prongs" on each side to hold the discs in place, which leaves the discs moving around more than they would on a normal hub, making the possibility for scratches even higher. One of my discs was loose inside because one of the prongs broke. There were also a couple discs that had a speck or two of glue or something on the play side of them. I don't know where it came from, but luckily it was very easy to rub off and may have only been an issue with my set in particular, something that would be found rarely if at all. But, having said all of that, at the end of the day, this set is very, very cheap - unbelieveably cheap - and you can't complain too much.
3. The missing "The Celebrity Next Door" scene - OK, so, the set isn't COMPLETELY uncut. There is one instance where a scene is missing - the scene in the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour with Tallulah Bankhead where she first mentions her strawberry allergy to Lucy while at dinner. This wasn't included in any of the other releases either. How it ended up on the cutting room floor from the original masters, I have no idea. It's only a brief moment that is missing, though, certainly not enough of an issue where it would make this set not worth getting.
4. No episode guide/booklet - The original complete series set came with a nice episode guide/booklet, but this only has the episode titles listed on the inside of the cases and on the discs themselves. Anyone who's a huge I Love Lucy fan will know the episodes by their titles, but a more casual fan - you know, one who wouldn't recognize an episode called Job Switching as the chocolate factory episode - may have a hard time finding a particular episode.
There are the pros and cons to help you decide whether to get this new set or not. I recommend it a great deal, even with the (possible) issues. It's worth the money and any I Love Lucy fan will love this.
If you have any questions about the set, post them in the comments and I'll try to answer them for you.
Certainly no true fan of Lucille Ball and 'I Love Lucy' needs to be convinced to get this set since you are likely a die hard fan who still watches the episodes on TV on various nostalgia type channels. With that said, I will confess I had this disk set on my wishlist for a period of eight months, as I initially balked at the over $200 price tag in 2011. Although I love Lucy, Ricky and the Mertzs enough to pay that much for owning all the episodes at home, I thought it was excessive at the time. So, for over an eight months period, I monitored the price as it fluctuated. Finally, in late November 2011, it was at $70.99 for literally like a minute and I jumped at the chance to purchase it right then and there.
Even though I was sure I had seen all the episodes on TV Land and Nick-at-Night over the years, I was pleasantly surprised that in the entire collection of the show, there were about 10-12 episodes I had never seen. It was wonderful to watch these newly discovered (for me) episodes and of course, laugh out loud and smile at the TV as I re-watched all the familiar classic ones.
The DVD set itself comes in a beautiful and thoughtfully packaged heart shape box, that is within a rectangular clear hard plastic shell. All CDs were present and in mint condition.
Of course, each episode has all the charm, laughs and love that we all know the series to have so I won't go into those details. However, I do want to point out how fantastic the picture quality is and how wonderful the special features and extras are. Each disk is filled with good features that further shed light into the making off, backstory and insider production tidbits and mistakes that you may not know of.
I love Lucy and I know you do too, so I don't recommend you wait for the price of this set to go down if price is the only reason you may not want to purchase it now or why you are reading reviews on it. If you do though, rest assured when you finally get it, it is a fantastic addition to any classic TV collection. It is an absolute gem and I continue to play the disks consistently throughout each year I've owned it.