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Lucy Show: The Official First Season, The (DVD Review)

16 Jul, 2009 By: John Latchem

Lucy Show

Street 7/21/09
Comedy, $42.99 four-DVD set.
Stars Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Dick Martin.

In the 1950s, “I Love Lucy” changed the landscape of television. Lucille Ball’s 1960s follow-up series, “The Lucy Show,” wasn’t as groundbreaking but offered the same kind of zany comedy misadventures.

The show re-teamed Ball with her “I Love Lucy” sidekick, Vivian Vance, to try to maintain some of the spark of the earlier show. “The Lucy Show” was based on the 1961 Irene Kampen novel Life Without George, about a suburban divorcée trying to run a household without her husband. In the show, Lucy played Lucy Carmichael, a widow raising two kids, with Vance as Viv, who is raising her son after a divorce.

The show was a bit more risqué than “I Love Lucy” but is clearly cut from the same mold, and is unmistakably 1960s.

The DVD of the first year (the show would run for six) is a real treat for fans of vintage television and includes all 30 episodes from the 1962-63 season, some new retrospectives and a veritable trove of classic footage.

The centerpiece of the extras is a new 20-minute interview with Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, who guest starred on the show. Arnaz provides a lovely tribute to her mother and offers some great insights into the creative process that went into the series. There’s also a 15-minute interview with Jimmy Garrett, who played Lucy’s son, and a featurette in which Garrett reflects on some of the merchandise based on the show.

The collection also includes clips from “CBS Opening Night,” a variety show that aired to promote the 1962 CBS line-up, and has not been seen since. Other footage includes vintage sponsor segments, promos and cast commercials.

Most fun among the extras is probably the “Flubs” function, which lists various humorous mistakes in the episodes with a description and a clip of the scene (for example, Lucy and Viv have a scene with an elephant in which the trainer, though trying to hide behind the pachyderm, is clearly visible).

The set also contains a pack-in advertisement for some of MPI’s Lucille Ball titles. MPI releases the first season of Ball’s third series, “Here’s Lucy,” Aug. 25.

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