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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Here’s Lucy – Season One (1968 – 1969/MPI DVD)

Here’s Lucy – Season One (1968 – 1969/MPI DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Episodes: B



The Lucy Show ended in 1968 because the series was owned by Desilu.  At this time Desilu was no longer owned by Lucille Ball.  The comedienne opted to begin a new series produced by the newly formed Lucille Ball Productions.  The result was another long running series for the Queen of Comedy: Here’s Lucy.


Here’s Lucy had Ball playing Lucy Carter, a widower.  Her co-star was Gale Gordon, who previously played Mr. Mooney in The Lucy Show, and her two real life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. 


Lucy was employed at the Unique Employment Agency working for her brother-in-law, Harrison Otis Carter (Gordon).  At home she coped with her teen age children: Kim (Lucie) and Craig (Desi).


The first season contains many funny moments proving Ball was still a master at physical comedy.  The Arnaz children are quite able to keep up with their mother’s frantic pace.  All 24 half-hours are included here.


As with the last three years of The Lucy Show guest stars kept popping up.  On this DVD set Lucy encounters, Carol Burnett, Eva Gabor, Van Johnson, Shelly Winters, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Wayne Newton.  The more memorable celebrity encounters feature episodes with Cesar Romero, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason and Vivian Vance.


What is missing from these episodes is the warmth and wit of Ball’s previous series.  There is barely any character development between Lucy Carter and her children. Audiences cared about what happened to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and their best friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz.  During the first season the performers set up and follow through on the comedic plots rather than develop characterization.  This will change a bit as the series progresses.


Veteran Lucy regulars, Mary Wickes and Mary Jane Croft appear briefly during the first season (though both would be seen more frequently as the series went on).  Their presence, no matter how brief, is always a welcome sight.


The extras on this set are outstanding as we hear a very informative discussion from Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon from the radio series, Let’s Talk with Lucy.  Gordon discusses his private life.  He and Ball discuss the difficulty of working on a comedy series and the troubling youth movement.


Fans get a chance to see the I Love Lucy cast in color filming episodes for The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour via silent home movies.  Other silent movies consist of a cute film titled, The Chase, with Lucy’s second husband, Gary Morton and golfing footage with Jackie Gleason.  Location shooting for Here’s Lucy is also presented as silent film.


The Arnaz children’s screen test for the feature film, Yours, Mine and Ours is included and presented at different angles.  We see the tests for the stop-motion animated puppet of Lucy that introduces each episode with its opening credits.


In Meet the Carters, Lucie and Desi Arnaz Jr. explain how their mother approached each about starring in the series and their initial reactions.  Each episode of Here’s Lucy is introduced by either Luci or Desi with recollections of the plot, guest star or the production.  It is a nice addition more shows should try out.


Both the 1.33 X 1 full color video and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio are excellent for their time and age.  Though there are minor aliasing errors on the picture and the sound can show its age, these are new copies and the show has not looked this good in a very long time.


This is a must have for any Lucy fan.



-   Fred Grandinetti


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