I Love Lucy is one of those television shows. We have all seen (and laughed hysterically) at least one episode. But the image of the happy television marriage of the Ricardo’s was not the exact truth of the lives of the then IRL married actors who played them, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
The 2003 television movie, Lucy, stars Rachel York as Lucille Ball and Danny Pino as Desi Arnaz. Taking the audience behind the camera to the real lives of actors who would become television icons, the movie tells the story of their stormy marriage and the television show they would create to keep their marriage and their family from falling apart.
As biopics go, this one is not bad. While some biopics try to gloss over the negative traits of their subjects, this one doesn’t. What I like about this movie and the characterization of Lucy and Desi, is that it is simply the story of a couple trying to make their marriage work. Regardless of our marital states, we can all relate to trying to make our relationships work, whether it is with a significant other, a parent, a friend, etc.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
This past Saturday, October 15th, marked the 65th anniversary of the premiere of I Love Lucy.
I Love Lucy is and will forever be a classic. There is no one on planet Earth who has not seen or at least heard of I Love Lucy.
The premise of the show is simple: Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) is a homemaker whose career ambitions go well beyond her apartment door. But her bandleader husband Ricky (Lucille Ball’s then IRL husband, Desi Arnaz) seems to be preventing her from achieving her goals. The results of Lucy trying to start a career at her husband’s behest against her working produced hilarious results. Add in the comedy back up of their landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance and William Frawley) and there is nothing but comedy gold.
This show is more than iconic and a classic. This show is a trendsetter that still influences television decades after it went off the air. Lucy and Desi created the television industry as we know it to be today. Lucille Ball, in addition to being an icon for many redheads (myself included), was not just the star. She started the studio that produced her show and many other classic television shows. She was clearly the HBIC and respected for her work, in front and behind the camera. Without Lucille Ball, there would be no women in comedy. Carol Burnett, Roseanne, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, etc, would have never had careers in comedy without Lucy paving the way.
While Lucy meekly agreed at the end of every episode to return to her homemaker status, millions of women and young girls did not meekly agree to just become wives and mothers. That generation of women paved the way for future generations of women to stand up for their rights and their accomplishments.
I Love Lucy also represented the future of the country. It was the first television show to depict an interracial marriage. Quite a feat when the only people of color on television in the 1950’s were household servants.
There is something about turning on the television and putting on a classic that no matter how many times you’ve seen it, it still make you laugh.
Happy Birthday, I Love Lucy. Here is to another 65 years.