Featured TV on DVD Review: The Lucy Show: Season Six
October 7th, 2012
Halfway through The Lucy Show, there were major changes to the show and it could have been renamed Stunt Casting starring Lucille Ball. However, while stunt casting is usually a sign of a show outliving its initial premise, watching Lucille Ball interacting with famous celebrities, many times playing themselves, was worth checking out every week. The sixth season was also the show's final season. Did it go out on top? Or should it have ended one season earlier?
The season begins with a guest appearance by Milton Berle, again. The fact that they are repeating guest stars is a bad sign. Lucy gets a temporary job as his secretary, but when she overhears him rehearsing, she thinks it's really happening. In the second episode, she tries to trick her boss, Theodore J. Mooney (Gale Gordon), into thinking she's sick, so she can go to a sale, but then she becomes the stores ten-millionth customer and among the prizes is her picture in the paper. Frankie Avalon plays a wannabe musician whose father is forcing him to learn the banking business, because he wants his son to have a real job. Mr. Mooney is on TV talking about education in the business world when he says everyone should have at least a high school diploma, something Lucy doesn't have. Now she has to get one, and fast. (Lucie Arnaz co-stars as one of her fellow students.) Disc one ends with a guest appearance by Jack Benny.
Lucy is involved in a hair-brained scheme at the bank, only instead of trying to keep it a secret from Mr. Mooney, it was his idea. Robert Goulet shows up as someone in need of a loan, but he doesn't qualify, so Lucy suggests he enters a Robert Goulet look-a-like contest. The bank is short 48 cents and Mr. Mooney is determined to find it, and he won't let any of the workers go home till they do. So Lucy just adds 48 cents into one of the tills to "fix" the error. Of course, when the bank examiner finds the real error, he fired Mr. Mooney for messing up three times (being under 48 cents, being even, and then being over 48 cents). Mary Wickes plays Lucy's aunt who comes to visit and stays way longer that she'd like. Frank McHugh guest stars as a homeless man Lucy meets. He used to be an accountant, so she tries to get him a job by convincing Mr. Mooney he's the undercover millionaire who gives gifts to kind strangers.
Disc three starts with a two-part episode featuring the return of Carol Burnett. Vivian Vance returns the next episode and she and Lucy reminisce. Lucy and Mr. Mooney get into a friendly game of pool, but it turns out she's a shark. She enters a ladies pool tournament and her only real competition is Dick Shawn in drag. When Lucy's TV is broken, she borrows Mr. Mooney's... and breaks it. Now she needs a second job as a carhop at a drive in. While at a business conference, Mr. Mooney innocently flirts with a woman and suddenly she's madly love. Now Lucy has to convince her to back away from the married Mr. Mooney.
The final disc starts with Lucy helping Mr. Mooney find an anniversary gift for Mrs. Mooney but they get a stolen stole from Buddy Hackett and the pair wind up in jail as a result. Her bad singing drives Phil Harris to drink, which costs him his job and she tries to help him out. Vivian Vance returns, again, this time with Joan Crawford. There are two Sid Caesars, one an imposter and one the real deal, but Lucy can't tell them apart. Finally, Lucy tries to get Mr. Mooney the Boss of the Year award, but that's not what Mr. Mooney wants, as he was trying to get his own boss that award, so he could get a promotion.
Extras on disc one include behind-the-scenes of the glamor shots for the episode openings and from Lucy Gets Jack Benny's Account. There are two radio PSAs for Youth Appreciation Week. You can watch Lucy Gets Her Diploma in Italian. There are some of the vintage openings that include sponsors for that week. There is also a list of guest stars, bios, and images. Disc two has an image gallery of some of the designs by Eddie Stevenson that Lucille Ball wore on the show. There's also the usual guest list, bios, production notes, etc. Disc three starts with a clip with Lucy on the Carol Burnett. There's information on Jack Baker, the choreographer and the usual guest stars, bios, etc. Extras on the final disc include Lucy's acceptance speak at the Emmy's. There are also four-minutes outtakes, a promo for Here's Lucy, the follow-up to this series, and the usual guest stars, bios, etc.
The Lucy Show: Season Six is perhaps not quite as good as season five, even though it had its best run in the ratings. Even so, it is funny enough to be worth checking out and the extras are plentiful enough to warrant picking up.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Filed under: Video Review