Review of "Lucy Does A TV Commercial"
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Review of "Lucy Does A TV Commercial"
I review an episode of I Love Lucy.
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Having a Ball on I Love Lucy

I review the "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode of I Love Lucy.

Nick Mauti's insight:

I Love Lucy didn’t invent comedy. It didn’t invent many of the styles and techniques that it used to make people laugh such as slapstick or exploiting awkward situations. It also didn’t perfect these techniques. But constantly being the number one rated TV show for four of its six seasons says that I Love Lucy definitely did something right. A lot of somethings, in fact.

This particular episode of I Love Lucy, “Lucy Does a TV Commericial” (1952), directed by Marc Daniels, sees Lucy trying to be the woman who performs a live commercial for a TV special that Ricky is hosting. This episode follows a common I Love Lucy formula: 1) Lucy learns about something and decides she wants to be involved in it, 2) Ricky doesn’t want her to be involved, 3) Lucy decides she’s going to do it anyway, 4) hilarity ensues when something inevitably goes wrong. This formula has served the series proudly and does no different in this episode.

 

Lucy trying to convince Ricky to let her do the commercial by use of the television set is a classic example of the kind of comedy that I Love Lucy employs. It’s a sort of “situational slapstick,” not physical comedy (although that’s used as well), but a technique that sets up a situation that’s mainly funny because of the personalities of the people involved. In fact, much of the comedy of I Love Lucy comes out of the bright acting of Lucille Ball. Her quirkiness and energy allow situations that would normally not be funny, to be funny. As well, the contrast between her and Desi Arnaz’s more serious character provide a classic environment for comedy. A lot of the show’s success (both rating-wise and financially) came from the fact that these situations could be played out perfectly for the audience, since instead of being recorded live, film was used. This meant that retakes could be performed, ensuring that each scene played out the way it was intended to. Along with using film, I Love Lucy also pioneered the three-camera style of filming which became the norm for most situation comedies.

 

The highlight of this episode is, of course, the ending. Everything before this point has been merely building us up, guaranteeing to us that this will be comedic climax we’ve been waiting for. Lucy starts out fairly well (she always seems to in this show), but a few words spoken by one of the supporting characters gives us a hint that things are going to start getting a little tipsy on Lucy. As the situation gets worse and worse for Lucy we get to experience an increasingly funny piece of television. The comedy is unfortunately broken up a bit by some pandering to producer/actor Desi Arnaz’s singing (a little over a minute), but eventually the episode ends in classic I Love Lucy style where the show ends on a bit of energy.

 

Personally, while I find the episode funny, I do not think it’s as great as many others claim it to be. It’s certainly memorable, and it’s certainly enjoyable, but I don’t feel that it’s as amazing as people make it out to be. At this point in the series (this is episode 30 of the first season) the show has definitely found its stride and uses the aforementioned formula liberally, which is part of why I feel the way I do. This is just another episode of I Love Lucy. One of the parts I have an issue with is the most iconic portion of this episode. It’s almost half of the entire length of the episode and I feel that the iconic part is repeated a little too much. I understand that it’s necessary in order for the plot to progress but I feel that it’s too long and I get bored since I know exactly what’s going to happen each time the scene gets repeated. There’s not much to say about the technical aspects of the episode. Most of the shots are wide and encompassing all of the characters in the scene, or medium distance shots or close-ups of Lucy or Ricky.

 

“Lucy Does a TV Commercial” is definitely an iconic episode of the series. It’s funny, classic I Love Lucy that I believe everyone should see even though I don’t think it’s the greatest episode out there. Lucille Ball certainly defines “sitcom” by taking situations that shouldn’t be funny and making them funny. If you haven’t seen this episode you should and if you have seen it you may want to watch it again because it is good old-fashioned I Love Lucy.

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"I Love Lucy" Lucy Does a TV Commercial (TV episode 1952)

"I Love Lucy" Lucy Does a TV Commercial (TV episode 1952) | Review of "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" | Scoop.it
Directed by Marc Daniels. With Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley, Ross Elliott. In this classic "I Love Lucy" episode, Lucy angled here way onto Ricky's special as the show's pitch girl.
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IMDB provides particulars about the episode.

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Juicy Lucy - Screens - Detroit Metro Times

Juicy Lucy - Screens - Detroit Metro Times | Review of "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" | Scoop.it
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This article provides some facts about the show.

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Remembering Desi Arnaz on His 95th Birthday

Remembering Desi Arnaz on His 95th Birthday | Review of "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" | Scoop.it
Desi Arnaz would have turned 95 years old this week.
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This article gives a more in-depth background on Desi Arnaz.

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Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball

Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball | Review of "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" | Scoop.it
The Geniuses Who Shaped The Future Of Television
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Provides some background of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, specifically focusing on their time in television together.

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