Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Here's Lucy

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Lucille Ball as Lucille Carter
Desi Arnaz Jr. as Craig Carter
Lucie Arnaz as Kim Carter
Mary Jane Croft as Mary Jane Lewis
Gale Gordon as Harrison "Harry" Otis Carter
Vivian Vance as Vivian Jones

Special Features:
Commentary by Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz Jr., and Carol Burnett on their favorite episodes

24 episodes on four discs

Never-before-seen bloopers

Rehearsal footage

Sketch from a Jack Benny television special with Lucy, Jack, and Johnny Carson

Sketch from an Ann-Margret television special featuring Lucy and Ann-Margret

Audience warm-up with Lucy's husband and show executive producer Gary Morton

A classic Pepsodent commercial with commentary

The original CBS network promos

The "Here's Lucy" syndication sales tape

Footage from a benefit dinner in which Lucie and Desi Jr. play their parents in an I Love Lucy sketch

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Running Time: +/-12 Hours

Synopsis:
These are 24 episodes from the TV series "Here's Lucy". This show originally aired on TV from 1968 – 1974. In it, Lucille Ball stars as Lucy Carter, a widow raising her two teenage children in Los Angeles. (They are played by Lucy Arnaz and and Desi Arnaz Jr., her real life children.) She also works as a secretary at an employment agency owned by her uptight brother-in-law. As she gets into various misadventures, a parade of stars are featured in cameos. They include Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton., Carol Burnett, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Milton Berle, Wayne Newton, Ginger Rogers, Sammy Davis Jr., Donny Osmond, and more.

This DVD is not rated.

The Movie:
I had seen many, many episodes of "I Love Lucy" and Lucille Ball's other TV series with Vivian Vance and Gale Gordon, but I had no idea she had done "Here's Lucy". It was her fourth and second-to-last TV series, followed by "Life With Lucy" in 1986.

This show had two things noteworthy about it. The first was that it starred her two real life children. I had no idea they had ever acted with her. They added some hip youth to the show (at least back in the early 70's) and it's quite a novelty to see them working with their mother. It's also cool to see Lucy's old co-star Vivian Vance return for a few cameos along with Gale Gordon. Obviously this series was a family affair.

The second most noteworthy thing about the show was the amazing array of guest stars that it featured. Besides the ones already mentioned, the show featured Lawrence Welk, Shelly Winters, Helen Hayes, Eve Plumb, Ann-Margaret, George Burns, Flip Wilson, and more. Every one of the guest stars go their chance to go on the series and do what they do best. Their shtick usually complimented Lucy well and made the show a fun bit of television history. After all, how often do you get to see Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball act together? If you're a fan of any of these actors, you'll want to check out this DVD. I'm a Johnny Carson fan, so it was quite a treat to see him and Ed McMahon on the show together.

If you're a fan of Lucy or you enjoyed any of her TV shows then this is a DVD you'll want to check out. Is it worth buying? That depends on how big a fan you are. I admit that I'd probably be more inclined to watch this series on TV Land than buy it, but it is still a cool piece of TV history.

The Extras:
Normally I would list every bonus feature on this DVD and discuss it extensively, but there are way too many extras here to do that. I'll just say that if you liked the show, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the bonus features. There are blooper reels, behind the scenes footage, rehearsal footage, commercials, and more. On top of that you'll find alternate endings and opening scenes for the episode featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, audience warm-ups with Gary Morton, and more. There's also an episode commentary with Carol Burnett and another with Wayne Newton. You'll also find "Jack Benny's Carnival Nights" with Lucy and Johnny Carson as well as some footage of Lucy Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. playing their parents in a skit from the original show.

Lucy and Desi are absolutely all over these extras. They introduce every feature (whether you want them to or not) and they really raided their personal archives for every possible scrap of footage that could be used on this DVD. They did an incredibly thorough and loving job of bringing this to audiences.

The Bottom Line:
This DVD set is a great treat for fans of Lucille Ball and vintage television. Other audiences may be content with just renting it and briefly checking it out.

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