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Lucy Carter's a widow with 2 teenage kids; -Kim and Craig, living in LA. She works as secretary to her brother-in-law Harrison Otis "Carter, owner of an employment agency. Lucy's manner often causes her to stumble into embarrassing slapstick situations, much to the chagrin of her best pal Mary Jane.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Recently, I watched the four-DVD set highlighting episodes from the several seasons of this show. Considering that the final years of this ratings winner ran concurrently with such sophisticated CBS series as "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Bob Newhart," it is surprising that it lasted as long as it did. I suppose it filled a void, but seeing Lucy cavort in what is basically a fifties-format sitcom that played in the turbulent 60s/70s, is still a bit of a shock.
Granted, the production quality is great, and the near-Technicolor hues are beautiful, but the plots are hackneyed, at best.
Lucy would once again rehash the format in the disastrous "Life with Lucy" misfire of the mid-eighties.
This series plays better than its previous existence as "The Lucy Show," which itself was a mutation of "The Lucille Ball Show." Business considerations in 1968 required Lucy to reformat the show, in order to maintain ownership. Plus, she finally made it a total family affair. Lucie and Desi Jr. are fine in their roles, albeit with a tendency to over-emote. Gale Gordon is an acquired taste, although he is always the consummate professional in whatever shenanigans the script requires.
The "extras" on the DVD set are quite revealing. Lucy was known as being tyrannical on the set, and it is quite evident in the outtakes and behind-the-scenes bits. Also, it is quite disconcerting to watch Lucy blatantly read the cue-cards in almost every episode.
Vivian Vance and Ball always had great chemistry, and the episodes joining the two are among the best. The guest-star format got a bit ridiculous in this series, with seemingly 75% of the episodes revolving around a celebrity.
Gary Morton, Lucy's husband, executive produced the show, as he did its previous lives throughout the 60s. He was also the warm-up for the show, as seen in the DVD extras. I hate to say it, but there was a reason he didn't find the success that many of his fellow Borscht Belt comedians enjoyed. Obviously, Lucy wanted a producer she could control. In the outtakes, you see her yelling "cut" time and time again, and believe me, that practice isn't kosher in the business.
Certainly, I recommend catching a few episodes of this series, if only to see how a top-notch comedienne manages to strait-jacket herself with a format that limits her own talents.
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