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10th May 2013, 12:06 PM Inspirations: I love Lucy

Inspirations – I Love Lucy

So I’ve been trying to decide for a while who would be appropriate to write about next. At first glance it might seem kind of strange to compare what I do to a show like I love Lucy. But it’s actually not that different at all. Sure, the subject matter is often wildly different, but I’ve always thought of Stardust and Freddie as being like Lucy and Ethel.

The reason why I chose this particular time to make the comparison is while I was writing #8 I happened to remember a few episodes of Lucy that used more or less the same technique. It’s the “you think it’s one thing, but it turns out to be something else” trick. A good example is one where Lucy thinks Ricky is having an affair and it turns out to be a surprise anniversary party.  

I don’t know if the show invented it. I’m guessing not. It could go back to Shakespeare for all I know (which when it comes to him, isn’t a lot)

However, when it comes to I love Lucy, I’ve actually seen…every episode. My dad has all the seasons on DVD and I watched them all in a row. I’m not sure if that’s impressive or pitiful.

But either way that might be why I chose to do this series as a sitcom. People say things like “Sitcoms are the lowest form of entertainment”. Well I’m pretty sure reality shows, professional wrestling, soap operas, and porn are much more deserving of that moniker. But I know what they mean. There ARE sitcoms out there that qualify as mindless dribble. But we shouldn’t blame the format for what is ultimately the content’s fault.

Now what was I talking about?

Oh yes!

Technically, “I Love Lucy” wasn’t the first TV sitcom. That honor belongs to a show called “Mary Kay and Johnny”.

Yeah… I never heard of it either.

But there’s a whole heck of a lot of shows that came after which are certainly remembered. “The Honeymooners”, “Dick van Dyke”, all the way through to “Seinfeld” and “How I met your Mother” that most certainly would not exist if it weren’t for Lucy. It’s kind of like The Beatles of the sitcom world.

One of the things I find interesting is that people think the show was so old fasioned. I mean sure, they slept in separate beds and couldn’t use the word “pregnant”. But people miss just how sharp the humor is. At least it was the first few years.  Later on it got more and more about Hijinks, which is how people remember it of course.

I'll also mention there are episodes I can't stand. Most of them are the ones with Tennessee Ernie Ford who I've never thought was funny at all. He's like Jar Jar Binks in a cowboy hat. The other thing is the show gets repetitive when you watch a lot of them in a row. Of course there were no reruns or TiVo then so they could get away with it.

In an attempt to wrap this up, I'll leave you with this compilation of scenes somebody posted on youtube. It isn't the greatest quality video, but it's got most of the stuff I appreciate about the show.