"I Love Lucy" Review -Lucy Does a TV Commercial
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"I Love Lucy" Review -Lucy Does a TV Commercial
Review on the television series "I Love Lucy", discussing the series thematic content and the episode, Lucy Does a TV Commercial’s formal techniques. This series has done much in terms of shaping modern television and has won some awards doing so!
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"I Love Lucy" -Review

My review of the series "I Love Lucy".

Alexandra Alioto's insight:

“I Love Lucy” is a television series known as “the world of television’s first great sitcom”!  “I Love Lucy” first aired on October 15th, 1951 and is continually running to this day!  The series officially ended on May 6th, 1957, with a grand total of 179 episodes and was in the top three for all six seasons according to the Nielsen Ratings.  The series also won a number of Emmy’s including “Best Situation Comedy” for the years 1953 and 1954, and “Best Comedienne”, Lucille Ball in 1953.  There were three directors throughout the life of the “I Love Lucy” television series, William Asher, Marc Daniels, and James V. Kern.  The show’s main actors included:  Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo, Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo, Vivian Vance as Ethel Mertz, and William Frawley as Fred Mertz.  “I Love Lucy” shaped modern television by taking the lead as the first woman to own her own studio, as well as use of new camera techniques.   I would include this series as a significant aspect of American history because she altered the mold for comedy shows not to mention female comediennes.

The entire series of “I Love Lucy” was hilarious, but the particular episode that Lucille Ball was famous for was the episode called, Lucy Does a TV Commercial that aired on May 5th, 1952, or better known as the Vitameatavegamin girl episode.  This episode happened to be the first time Lucy appeared on television.  In this episode, Ricky was going to perform on a television special and needed someone to promote the sponsor’s product.  Lucy was dying to be on televisions and begged Ricky to give her a shot, as usual, he said no.  Lucy continually begged and when she does not get her way she finds a way to trick the actual spokes girl and took her place in the television studio as Mrs. McGillicuddy.  After she arrived and takes a couple of practice samples of the product, everything turned for the worst. 

“I Love Lucy” invented the live-studio three cameras technique.  This was where there were three cameras placed around the stage or scenery and do not physically move, but rather flip from one to the next depending where the actors were on stage.  The show also had a live studio audience which changed some sounds that were supposed to be nondiegetic now become diegetic.  For example, when Lucy was rehearsing her lines for the Vitameatavegamin product, the audience laughed.  So she stopped her lines and continued after the laughter subsided because she cannot continue her lines over the laughter, otherwise they would not be heard.  In terms of cinematography, all the camera movements were very simple.  There was not any shot-reverse-shot or 180 degree rules to worry about, because of the three camera technique.  For example, when Lucy was pleading to Ricky do to the commercial they were both in the frame speaking to one another.  For all conversations both actors were seen facing face to face talking to one another.  There was not much variation in shot scale, most shots were taken as medium shots, and rarely do we see a wide of close up, but when they zoom it was more of an abrupt movement than a smooth one.  For example, when Lucy was taken backstage to lay down in a dressing room, when she began to speak back to the director there was an abrupt zoom in to a get a closer medium shot, to signify that we should focus on what she was about to say. 

In terms of thematic content, the series broke a great deal of television norms, first being Ricky being Latin.  Not until around the 1960s were Latinos considered to be a separate racial group, they were just considered “outsiders”.  With Ricky’s accent we could tell that he was not truly American, and it was a big deal not sounding American when on television.  But, the accent played to his advantage and audiences found it amusing, especially when Lucy would make fun of his pronunciation.  Another sensitive topic of the decade was pregnancies.  During the series Lucy got pregnant, and it was a horrible thing to say the word “pregnant” on television, so they compromised and said Lucy was “expecting”.  They were able to tie the pregnancy into the series and it actually increased the number of viewers of the series.  The series also defined a modern comedy.  It changed the way we look at families, less nuclear and a little more dysfunctional, in terms of Lucy and Ricky playfully fighting.  It was fast paced and was a family series which was big during the 1950s.  Being that World War II just recently ended, people wanted to spend more time as a family, and this show was appealing to everyone as they gathered around the TV to participate in a family activity. 

In short, I was really intrigued when watching the episode Lucy Does a TV Commercial of the “I Love Lucy” series.  I love Lucy’s determined personality to get whatever she wants, and the extent she goes in order to do so.  I also enjoyed when she makes fun of her husband’s accent and sings along with him at the end.  I would definitely recommend   watching the “I Love Lucy” series, which still airs today on select television channels.  The series changed many television norms and truly shaped the time period.  There was a reason why more people watched “I Love Lucy” than President Eisenhower’s Inauguration, in addition to Lucille’s birth kicking the inauguration off the front page of the newspapers!  I would recommend viewing more episodes of “the world of television’s first great sitcom”, “I Love Lucy”!

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We Still Love Lucy (September/October 2011) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin

We Still Love Lucy (September/October 2011) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin | "I Love Lucy" Review -Lucy Does a TV Commercial | Scoop.it
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the classic television show’s debut, as well as the centenary of Lucille Ball’s birth (Aug 6.), the Library of Congress presents “I Love Lucy: An American Legend.” The display explores the show’s history...
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This is about a display presented by the Library of Congress celebrating the 60th anniversary of "I Love Lucy". It has different quotes from critics about the display and the TV series. It also includes some background information on the childhoods of the main characters and some of the things that made the TV series so successful.

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Series: I Love Lucy

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This website is a review of the TV series I Love Lucy. Gives insight to some of the thematic content of the series in addition to some of the film's formal techniques, like the three camera technique and how the TV episodes was filmed in front of a live audience.

 

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BALL, LUCILLE - The Museum of Broadcast Communications

BALL, LUCILLE - The Museum of Broadcast Communications | "I Love Lucy" Review -Lucy Does a TV Commercial | Scoop.it
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This is a biography of Lucille Ball, the main character of the "I Love Lucy" TV series.  It talks about her life and also lists all the movies, TV series, radio shows etc., that she was apart of.  It discusses some of the things that Lucille and her TV show did that "broke" the TV norm of the time.

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"I Love Lucy" -A Celebration of All Things Lucy

A book written by Elisabeth Edwards celebrating the 60th anniverary of the TV series "I Love Lucy".

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 This book includes general information about the TV series, in addition to every episode that aired and a short summary of each. It discusses some of the aspects that made the series different from others of its time, for example, the Latin influences. Also, it talks about the common purchases of the time periods like eggs, cars, houses etc.

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I Love Lucy (TV Series 1951–1957)

I Love Lucy (TV Series 1951–1957) | "I Love Lucy" Review -Lucy Does a TV Commercial | Scoop.it
With Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley. A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.
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This website includes general information about the TV series I Love Lucy.  Including information about running times, cast members, release date, filming locations etc.  Using this website for general background information about the TV series.

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