Easy to Love I Love Lucy

November 20, 2007
By
When many people think of the 1950’s, they usually think of well-mannered families gathered around in the living room listening to Frank Sinatra on the radio. In I Love Lucy, the characters reflect that gentle life-style…with a twist. This show features everyday people in situations many viewers face in their lifetime. However, character’s in I Love Lucy (Tuesdays at 4 p.m., Hallmark channel) often deal with them in humorous ways that are entertaining to audiences not only in the 1950’s, but in present day. The stars of the show include Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), Lucy’s husband Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), and their landlord’s Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance), an older couple who are close friends to Lucy and Ricky. I Love Lucy is easy to love because of the set up of the show, the humorous conflicts, and the actors that bring the characters to life.

Every sitcom has a location, and though I Love Lucy’s setting might not be as glamorous as others, neither are the characters. Set in the 1950’s, the show features everyday people in everyday situations, but perhaps more extreme. In this way it is easy to identify with the characters as they undergo their humorous crisis. This show is often an example of what happens when you try to fix things yourself, as the four friends meet in the Ricardo’s living room or at Ricky’s night club to socialize, often resulting in disastrous and hilarious problems.

What really causes this sitcom to shine is its fantastic storyline and complicated scenarios. The show contains three conflicts: the conflict of culture, the conflict of age, and the conflict of man versus woman. Ricky Ricardo, the Cuban owner of a night club, has trouble understanding American culture, often resulting in humorous misunderstandings. For example, in one episode, Lucy is thought to be a kleptomaniac, otherwise known as a thief who steals things without meaning to. Ricky is discussing this with Fred after he sees her hiding items she’s selling for a Bazaar she’s not supposed to be involved in. Fred then asks, “You don’t suppose she’s a kleptomaniac, do you?” “No,” says Ricky, “I just think she steels things without meaning to.” While his comprehension of the English language may be limited, the laughs are not. Meanwhile, jokes of age between the four characters contain brevity and cleverness, but not so much as to overdo it. The greatest conflict throughout the show is between the men and women. Often Lucy and Ethel will team up against Ricky and Fred in an effort to prove their point of views right.

In order to make a great plot stand out, you have to have the actors and actresses who can bring the characters to life. Because they are average people, they are easy to identify with. As the season goes on, the characters learn about each other, such as how Ricky will not allow Lucy to be involved in his show business because of her lack of talent in such matters of singing and dancing. However, Lucille Ball is the mistress of comedy, and her performance is worthy of praise. With her big eyes that widen with surprise and her bright red hair, few can resist laughing. But the closeness of the characters inspires an atmosphere of friendliness and they joke with each other. The way they execute their dialogue is perfect. In one episode Lucy and Ethel barge into Lucy’s living room where Fred and Ricky were sitting. As they see each other, they great one another like so. Lucy says, “Hi Ricky.” Ricky says, “Hi Lucy.” Fred says, “Hi Ethel.” Then Ethel says, “Hi fatso.”

The elements contained in I Love Lucy are phenomenal, between the basic makeup of the sitcom, the entertaining scenarios, and characters and actors who bring the show to life. I Love Lucy’s title speaks for itself. This show deserves a place among the best. If you’ve never seen I Love Lucy before, then today would be a good day to start.





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