Saturday, 2 July 2011

Lucy's Schedule

One of my favourite episodes of "I Love Lucy" is called "Lucy's Schedule".  Ricky is complaining about Lucy always taking so long to get ready when they go out anywhere.  Lucy says that she will make sure she is ready on time for the next occasion which happens to be a dinner at Ricky's boss's house.  However, she sets the clocks incorrectly and they arrive so late that the boss and his wife have already eaten.  Lucy is so famished as they converse with the other couple that she gobbles up every last mint in the candy dish.  Ricky gives her a dagger look which is priceless and cracks me up every time I watch the scene.  To make up for their lateness, the Ricardo's invite Ricky's boss, Mr. Littlefield, and his wife over for dinner, hoping to discuss a possible job opportunity running a nightclub.  Ricky puts Lucy on a schedule to impress his boss, thinking that if he can prove he knows how to "manage" his wife, he could manage a nightclub.  However, his plan backfires when Lucy takes the schedule a little too seriously and races the guests through dinner along with her co-conspirators, Ethel and Mrs. Littlefield:  Ricky's boss only gets one sip of his soup before it is removed; he barely touches his main course; the dinner rolls are literally tossed through the air and caught with a baseball glove.  Ricky is furious.  In the end, despite the disastrous dinner, Ricky still lands the job. 

The charm of the "I Love Lucy" show was its simplicity.  The best episodes took place in the New York City apartment and centred on Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel.  In later seasons, the writers brought on various guest actors and had the Ricardo's travel to California and to Europe.  They even had them move to the suburbs at the tail end of the series.  However, they could never duplicate the charm of the apartment and the famous foursome.  Rather than a television show, it was almost like a play.  The emphasis was on the characters rather than on the set. 

I miss the innocence of shows like "I Love Lucy".  Today you can watch 100 channels and yet there's nothing on.  I'd like to go back to 12 channels showing programs with integrity.  It is encouraging to know that even though it's been 60 year since "I Love Lucy" debuted on CBS, people still watch it on DVD.  It hasn't lost its charm.

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