I have been watching I Love Lucy since my elementary school years. I grew up watching it, even though I wasn’t around when it first came out. Young and old love this show.
It is much cheaper buying the complete series than buying each individual season, which is what I did, until I saw this on Amazon, so I sold my other sets to get this one. Usually Amazon is pretty competitive with their prices, but I got this set for $137.72 at Sams Club. Now I will be waiting for complete series of TV sows to come out, rather than buy each individual season of different TV shows.
This set includes all 180 episodes plus the pilot episode to make it 181 episodes from the show I Love Lucy plus the 13 episodes from The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour series for seasons 7, 8, and 9, making it a total of 194 episodes. All of the discs are exactly the same as the individual season boxed sets, but there is a bonus DVD included.
This disc includes:
“Lucy Goes to Scotland”-In Color
“I Love Lucy: The Movie”
Lucy and Desi’s First Joint TV Appearance
“I Love Lucy” At the Sixth Annual Emmy Awards
On-Set Commercial From the Series Premiere
It was great being able to see one of the episodes in color, to see what the audience saw when they were there watching the actors in person. It was especially nice to see Lucy’s red hair, but I do have to admit I much prefer the series in black and white because that’s what I’m used to.
Many people in the past reviews have mentioned I Love Lucy: The Movie. Well to be honest it’s only three episodes (The Benefit, Breaking the Lease, and the Ballet) all one right after the other with some extra minutes in between each episode to add a story line from one episode to transition to another, so it flows together and makes sense to create a movie length show. It’s still great to watch, but it wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it was going to be.
And there are many other extra bonus features on each disc, the same bonus features that are on each of the season boxed sets. The discs are also the same in appearance both on the outside just looking at it, and also once put in the DVD player, on the main menu screen. Also what I have noticed on the bonus disc before choosing to play the commercial for Philip Morris, there is a warning label: “This material is shown in its historical context. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND SMOKING, WHICH CAUSES LUNG CANCER, AND OTHER DISEASES.”
On all of the discs there are Spanish Subtitles, and on every season disc (not the bonus DVD) you can choose to watch any episode with English or Spanish as the spoken language.
Also on the first season discs in this set, on the main menu screen you can choose to play all episodes on the disc or play them individually. If you choose to play them all by clicking the “play all” button on the screen, the I Love Lucy song plays with Ricky singing the lyrics. Then there is a group of people singing the song right before it ends. There are several different scenes from the show that show on the screen while the song is playing. Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel are in color on the screen during the song, but everything else is in black and white. Before the song plays and right after it, a pink curtain pulls up and down that says “The Collector’s Edition.” You’ll probably recognize the lyrics to the theme song.
These are the words to I Love Lucy:
I LOVE LUCY
AND SHE LOVES ME
WE’RE AS HAPPY AS TWO CAN BE
SOMETIMES WE QUARREL BUT THEN
HOW WE LOVE MAKING UP AGAIN
LUCY KISSES LIKE NO ONE CAN
SHE’S MY MISSES AND I’M HER MAN
AND LIFE IS HEAVEN YOU SEE
CAUSE I LOVE LUCY
YES I LOVE LUCY
AND LUCY LOVES ME
The pilot episode on the first disc from the first season, I was surprised how clear the screen was. All of the discs have such clear picture quality, much better quality on these discs than on reruns on TV. Of course it may depend on how good a picture your TV gets. If you have a good picture on your TV, then the reruns on TV are usually pretty clear too.
In this complete series, the DVDs are not in cases, like they were for the individual seasons. Instead there are two cardboard book-like CD cases that they are in (accordion shape style). One has seasons 1-3 including the bonus disc and the other for seasons 4-9, so they are split up about equally to be the same size to fit into its case. For each slot in the CD case, it says what season and what disc the slot is. The colors on the slots match the colors on the discs. For example, the first seasons’ discs are pink, so the slots for season one are pink. Everything is put in order and easier to locate and find.
There is also a pamphlet or small thin book (whatever you want to call it) that tells you what is on each disc. For each page in it, it…
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What can I say that isn’t already known about the best-loved sitcom in television history? Well, it has a history of many firsts as its makers were pioneers in television. They single-handledly invented the re-run. They were also the first show to have a video club in VHS format for sale back in the late eighties. I purchased those tapes and still own them, and waited for the day the full six seasons would be available on DVD. I also own the 13 episodes of the “Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” on VHS, which were shot as once-a-month specials at the end of Lucy and Desi’s run. A separate DVD package for that makes sense, and we the fans look forward to its release (hey, while you’re at it, guys, The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy would be great too!).
So from the first episode shot (which aired as episode #3, entitled “Lucy Thinks Ricky Wants To Murder Her”, to the final episode from season six, entitled “Lucy Dedicates A Statue”, you now have the complete set, with a pristine and lovingly restored picture, and all the extras from each season DVD.
Here’s something a lot of people are surprised to know when I tell them. The advantage of watching all six seasons in a package like this is you see the story of the Ricardos and the Mertzes unfold, and the story has an arc, particularly for Lucy. This is perhaps most evident in one particular Hollywood episode, when she is offered a golden opportunity. But I won’t give anything away here, you’ll have to see what I mean!
Lucy collectors have been around since the beginning of the I Love Lucy phenomenon, and I think it’s mainly because the show has heart. The jokes never get old, and there is a genuine appeal – you can relate to the show no matter who you are or where you’re from. Sure, there was backstage controversy over the marriage which ended in divorce in 1960, and women’s groups may quibble about how Lucy did not exactly move the women’s movement forward, but it did what television does best: reflect the times of our culture. If anything Lucille Ball was quite the pioneer herself, as the first female TV Studio executive, navigating Desilu well into the 1970′s.
Anyone who wants to see a master at play in situation comedy should take a good look at this collection. In fact, the work of Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance (whom I may submit here as the greatest sidekick in sitcom history) and William Frawley presents the original Fab Four, way before Seinfeld. These cats still show how it’s done.
I had purchased each season of “I Love Lucy” and enjoyed them. But I decided to pass them off to my mother so she could enjoy the episodes whenever she wanted – and in the process, made my two nieces fans of Lucy’s. They love to spend time at Grandma’s watching the show with her. But I started to miss my DVD collection. Then I spotted the Complete Series set at Target for $140 and couldn’t pass it up. While not a fan of the way the studios are treating consumers by releasing a “Complete Series Box Set” with new extras – Studios, please allow fans who have already purchased these discs the opportunity to also get the bonuses – this set is done right.
First, the packaging is neat, though not the best. There are two accordian-style books made of a glossy type of paper with color-coded slots for each season and each slot numbered for each disc per season – one disc per slot. The discs should be safer in this than if they were in paper sleeves, which based on past reviews of other sets fall apart and glue gets transfered to the discs – that won’t happen with this set. The discs for Seasons 2-9 are the exact same discs as what were released in the season sets (except disc 5 from Season 4 has the missing scenes in the bonus features that were discovered after the original discs were pressed – a replacement disc was available from Paramount). But the Season 1 discs are brand-new. The episodes have been digitally restored and they look incredible. I can’t believe the difference from the previous release. The Season 1 episodes in the original release had a more grainy look compared to the rest of the series. They are now sharp and clear – very little grain. They now look as good as the rest of the series. I have noticed that any extras that show smoking (such as an original commercial) has a warning stating that this is being shown in a historical context and that smoking is bad for you. There is a booklet that lists all the episodes on each disc. The descriptions are taken from the disc covers of the original sets. Plus it lists a few bonus highlights for each disc and now I know which episodes of “My Favorite Husband” are on each disc. But the best part is the Bonus Disc. There are several bonus features on it, but I will only cover two – the others are the opening commercial from the first episode, clips from the Emmys (Vivian Vance and I Love Lucy won), Lucy and Desi’s first appearance together on TV on Ed Wynn’s show. First, the colorized episode of “Lucy Goes to Scotland.” WOW! I hate colorization but this one was done with love. Using color publicity photos and the color dress rehearsal footage (and new technology), this episode was colorized and looks incredible. Even “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie” (which were colorized only a couple of years ago) don’t even come close to this. The skin tones are just slightly off (in the non-dream scenes) but the episode actually looks like it was filmed in color. That’s how good a job was done on this episode. It is mentioned in text that this episode was specially designed for the studio audience in mind and used a lot of bright colors, whereas most other episodes used muted colors such as gray and browns. Then, there is the “I Love Lucy Movie.” Wow! This had been lost for 48 years and no one even remembered that it existed. What a find. It looks beautiful and is very enjoyable. It runs 1 hour and 20 minutes. An explanation of the history of this movie in text form can also be selected.
I understand and agree with what everyone is saying about the studios ripping off the consumers to make more money but in this case, I am very happy to spend the money – quite a bit less than what I had paid for the original sets. If the bonus disc becomes available seperately, BUY IT! I can’t wait to sit down and watch the whole set. I love Lucy!