The "Long Lost Pilot" of I LOVE LUCY makes for a better curiosity piece than anything. It is probably the least humorous episode of the show ever, and it features far too much of Ricky Ricardo singing. It does lay the groundwork for the running them of "Lucy trying to get into Ricky's show" but it offers little else. Watch it once to see the roots of this classic...then move on never to return.
The other three episodes are all good, solid LUCY. I feel like the show still didn't quite have its tone. Ricky dressed a bit more "casual" than he did in later shows in which he looks impossibly dapper and handsome. Lucy's "around the house" wear is very frumpy. Fred's personality is a bit too gruff.
But this is still essential viewing. Just think of it...a TV showed filmed "live" (in one take) nearly 55 years ago, and it's still hilarious. The moment when Ricky opens the door to check out his "blind dates" and there stands Lucy and Ethel in "hick" costumes is still priceless after all these viewings. The show boiled comedy down to its core...loveable people doing really silly things. There have certainly been a lot of great sitcoms since then, but while some may argue LUCY has been equaled, I don't think anyone has ever surpassed it.
Also, the show is a great way to look back at the mores of the 1950's. In the first "real" episode, we get to see all four of them enjoying good, long smokes. It's clearly not a habit but a TREAT for them to smoke. And the idea of two women going alone to a nighclub, even the ritzy Copacabana, is unthinkable. Contrast that to some of the things we see in sitcoms today. True, sitcoms exagerrate reality to a great extent, but they also hold up a mirror to some degree as well. I find LUCY shows fascinating...but mostly, I find them hilarious. Check 'em all out!!
I LOVE LUCY makes its long-awaited DVD debut, with fully-restored picture and sound as well as splendid extra features.THE PILOT - Thought lost, this special 32-minute episode was filmed in order to lure sponsors and producers. This episode does not feature Vivian Vance or William Frawley. Lucy decides to become a clown in Ricky's new act. Refilmed later on as THE AUDITION (found on Volume 2).THE GIRLS WANT TO GO TO A NIGHTCLUB - The official "First Episode". Ethel decides to take Fred to a nightclub … more
The first episodes ofI Love Lucy, in comedy terms, look today like a promising map of great things to come from the hugely influential sitcom. This set of episodes, the first volume in a definitive collection of the classic television series, includes the original three broadcast episodes from October 1951, plus the so-called "Lost Pilot" that finds the earliestI Love Lucyproduction quite rough but genuinely promising. The actual episodes that American audiences first saw--"The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub," "Be a Pal," and "The Diet"--find familiar elements of the classic series already in place. Housewife Lucy (Lucille Ball), restless for excitement, is married to Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz). Ricky's crazy nightclub career, however, leaves him yearning for a quiet home life and a wife content with her simple chores. Alas, it's not to be. With best friends Ethel (Vivian Vance) and Fred (William Frawley) usually aboard for the Ricardos' misadventures,I Love Lucyintroduced an engaging blend of sophistication and slapstick, all wrapped in the intimacy of a three-camera TV approach. Bonus material is very satisfying, including a radio broadcast from 1951 later adapted into a TV script, a couple of gaffes, guest cast listings, and a new beginning for the second-season rebroadcast of "The Diet."--Tom Keogh