Judge Alice Nelson believes The Tropicana is the hottest spot north of Havana.
Our reviews of The Best Of I Love Lucy (published June 29th, 2011), I Love Lucy: The Complete Second Season (published December 1st, 2004), I Love Lucy: The Complete Third Season (published March 16th, 2005), I Love Lucy: The Complete Fourth Season (published January 11th, 2006), I Love Lucy: The Complete Fifth Season (published October 26th, 2005), I Love Lucy: The Complete Sixth Season (published July 26th, 2006), I Love Lucy: Season One, Volume Nine (published November 11th, 2003), and I Love Lucy: Season One, Volumes One And Two (published July 23rd, 2002) are also available.
A little show that nobody wanted.
Let this settle in…I Love Lucy has never stopped airing on television since it premiered on October 15, 1951. Can you believe that? And to think this classic sitcom almost never got off the ground, because of the taboo surrounding a multi-ethnic married couple. It's hard to imagine, in this day and age, that would be a problem, but in 1950 a Cuban band leader and an all-American girl as husband and wife, almost ended one of television's greatest sitcoms even before began. Paramount's I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1 (Blu-ray) gives us 35 great episodes and an array of behind-the-scenes goodies. Whether you're just getting acquainted with the series or admired Lucy and her crazy capers for as long as you can remember, this collection is a must.
Facts of the Case
I Love Lucy chronicles the zany antics of Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball, Mame), a woman who wants more than anything to be a star. The only problem is she lacks any discernible talent. But Lucy won't let that stop her, much to the chagrin of her band leader husband Ricky (Desi Arnaz, The Long, Long Trailer). With the help of friends Ethel (Vivian Vance, The Great Race) and Fred Mertz (William Frawley, The Lemon Drop Kid), Lucy gets into one wacky situation after another to achieve her dream.
I Love Lucy is a great show…period. Even if you find an old worn out VHS copy, snatch it up, it's that good. But on Blu-ray, do I even have to tell you it's a must have? So let's dispense with the formalities of a normal review and cut to the chase: This one is 100% not guilty! I'm even certain it's a crime in at least 16 states not to go out and buy it right now. Because hey, what more can I say about a show that's been on television continuously for 63 years?
I have seen every Season One episode at least two dozen times, and I still laugh like I was 10 years old sitting in my mom's living room with my little brother. But I Love Lucy is more than just a half hour of laughs. It's a break through series that still influences how television is made today.
Here are three reasons why I Love Lucy is such a significant piece of entertainment history…
I Love Lucy is the perfect storm of talent and timing, executed by artists who loved their craft and were willing to give this project all they had. As I watch my kids enjoying Lucy around the same age I was when I became enchanted with the wayward red head, there is no doubt in my mind that the love for this show will outlive us all.
Paramount's I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1 (Blu-ray) is presented in full frame 1.33:1/1080p HD. These episodes look crisp and clear, highlighting the sharp contrasts in the black and white imagery. The Dolby 1.0 Mono track brings back warm memories of sitting in front of our old Zenith eating cookies, as my mom looked on mystified, wondering why we loved a show she watched before we were born.
As great as these episodes are, the bonus features are a fantastic addition to this classic season.
* The Original Pilot—Re-mastered from 35mm negatives, this was never meant to be aired and you can see why. Bt it did show that I Love Lucy was more than just the screwy husband and wife sitcom haters thought it would be.
* The Very First Episode—This 1990 CBS special let audiences view the pilot for the first time. Hosted by daughter Lucy Arnaz, it also features commentary from writers Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr, as well as interviews with Desi and Lucy in their later years.
* Viewing Options—Each of these episodes can be viewed commercial free or as they were originally broadcast with the now iconic Philip Morris ads. The tobacco company was the lone sponsor for I Love Lucy until October 1955.
* Alternate Show Elements—Thirteen first season episodes edited for rerun when the series was on hiatus.
* Home Movies—On set color footage shot by an audience member during the taping of episode six, "The Audition." This is the only known color footage of the Tropicana and the Ricardo's home set.
* Test Footage—Original costume and makeup tests for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
* Radio Episodes—Audio from the radio show "My Favorite Husband" that inspired I Love Lucy.
* Flubs—Bloopers and outtakes from various episodes.
* Guest Star Bios—Quick look at the various stars of stage, radio, and screen who stopped by the show.
* Production Notes—Detailed look at the inner workings of a hit network series.
* Photo Gallery—Vast collection of still photos from the production.
Regardless of Ricky's innate ability to mangle the English language, and the obvious differences between him and his real life wife, I Love Lucy beat back all the ridiculous controversy that surrounded a show to go down as one of the greatest sitcoms in the history of television.
I dunt thin this is guilty.
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