Monday, 15 October 2012

Loving Lucy Day 5: The Story of a Lasting Passion

Hello all.
We have come to the final day of our I Love Lucy anniversary celebration.
We have come to October 15th.
61 years ago today, premiered the most important and influential television show in history.

Today, I Love Lucy is still much more than a memory. Young people everywhere watch it, relate to it and love it just like they did 60 years ago. We will talk to some of these youngsters (me included) and see just how they think this show lasted for so long. They are 20 years old or younger, and couldn't have seen the original airings. Here they are: Rianna and Anneleigh, from the United States, Katie and Jess, from Canada, and, finally, Juliana, and lil' old me (Marcela), both from Brazil.
The questions I asked them are as follow:

1. Describe Lucille Ball in one word.
Rianna: Best 
Anneleigh: Strength
Katie: Incredible
Jess: Comedienne
Juliana: Life
Marcela: Unstoppable

2. What was it about "I Love Lucy" that made it so successful?
Rianna: I think the show has that special ‘it’ factor that’s hard to explain, but it worked. It was the combination of so many things: Lucy’s incredible comedic talent, Desi’s brilliant business acumen, the rapport between Lucy and Vivian, the chemistry between Lucy and Desi, the sharp writing, etc.; it was a dream team and it all clicked together. I think it remains popular because the show never relied upon sex, violence, or vulgarity for laughs. Instead, as Desi Jr. said, its main principles are love and friendship, both of which are entirely timeless.
Anneleigh: Like Desi Jr once said, there’s not a part of them that isn’t inside of us. It was truly about love, family, friendship, even those crazy times in life. The principles are timeless and so is the comedy, we will always be able to relate to this show.
Katie: It’s funny, and relatable to audiences. Helps you forget about problems and, I think people fell in love with the characters, thinking of them more like old friends.
Jess: The writing and the cast. Both were just perfect.
Juliana: The fact that everything was very real. The love between Lucy and Ricky, the use of mostly real elements (for instance, the wedding pictures were true wedding pictures of the Arnazes and many of Lucy's fictional friends were named after Lucille's childhood gal pals), the way they depicted marriage (good, but not perfect) and the society of the time.
Marcela: Lucy herself. What else? That and relatability to the American audience.

3. What part of Lucy and Ricky's life would you be willing to bring into the 21st century?
Rianna: The genuine love and tenderness in their relationship was very sweet. You could tell that they cared for each other very much, and loved each other no matter what the other did. That particular factor is missing in the 21st century quite a bit.
Anneleigh: Their love, no couple on TV has ever compared to that love they shared. No matter how many times Lucy got herself into a predicament, Ricky was there by the end of that 24 minutes to say “It’s okay, I still love you and always will.”
Katie: Its humor.
Jess: The clothes! And also, the manners and class people were expected to have and use.
Juliana: Everything but the way Ricky tried to control Lucy's money! Haha
Marcela: They were a very loving, affectionate couple. They gave their son and their marriage a lot of attention, he never left the house without kissing her goodbye and every time they quarreled, they made up. I think this sort of feeling should always live on.

4. What do you think should stay in the past?
Rianna: The times when Ricky treated Lucy like a child, whether it was scolding her on rare occasions spanking her, justified sexism of the 1950s that I’m glad was left in the past. That being said, it’s good to know that in reality, the picture was different: Lucille Ball was more successful than her husband and a trailblazer in an industry dominated by men.
Anneleigh: Of course the only thing to stay back in the 50’s is the whole women’s rights/men’s control factor. Like Ricky giving Lucy a spanking for instance.
Katie: The role of women in the society the show represented.
Jess: The rights and roles of women.
Juliana: Already answered in the last one.
Marcela: Ricky tried to impose his will over Lucy's multiple times. Sometimes I feel he's talking to his daughter when he talks to her. And also, sometimes he resorts to physical violence, which makes me tremble to my very core.

5. How did you discover I Love Lucy?
Rianna: I had just gotten into old films at the time, and one afternoon after school they were showing I Love Lucy on TV so I decided to give it a try; my mom had always talked about how funny it was. The episode was Return Home From Europe and I fell in love right away.
Anneleigh: I first discovered I Love Lucy when my parents were watching the 50th anniversary special when it aired back in 2001. Then a few weeks later I saw my first episode. My life forever changed, that childlike character that had such beauty but such comedic expressions.
Katie: A few years ago, I started watching The Golden Girls after school and after seeing every episode a few times- I needed another series. So I started watching Maude because of Bea Arthur & Rue McClanahan. I went from Maude to The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Good Times to All In The Family to I Love Lucy.
Jess: I didn't really discover it. I Love Lucy has been playing on television here as long as I can remember. I've been watching it since I was a child.
Juliana: Through my grandmother, who's as big a fan as me.
Marcela: I'd seen Old Hollywood fans talk about it non-stop. So I decided to rent the DVDs one time. Blessed day.

6. Desi Arnaz: A good part of Lucille's life?  
Rianna: Yes. Though I think they both gave each other a lot of hell at times, ultimately they loved each other very, very much, and always did, even after the divorce. Her life would have not been the same without Desi, we may have not even have had I Love Lucy without him either (at least, it wouldn’t have been I Love Lucy as we know it). She said so herself: “I don’t even want to think what my life would have been like without him.” He was played a major role in her professional success, and in her personal life was the person who knew her the best, and the deepest, and was probably always the person most important to her.
Anneleigh: Desi and Lucy’s relationship was so strong, they loved each other so damn much. But sometimes the strongest love isn’t enough. Out of all people she trusted his judgment most. Lucy went to him for all moves of her career after the break up. Lucy’s even said that she didn’t have one success until she became Lucille Arnaz. (that’s why every Lucy character have an “AR” in their last name) So to answer Desi was the greatest part of Lucy’s life no matter how hard in my opinion. I always thought it was funny in the beginning of their marriage all they wanted to do was to be together, work together, and have a family, but then when they finally were able to do all those things their empire got so big, they became overworked, and ended up spending too much time together and it became even worse. Another thing that’s ironic is that when they stopped working regularly all Lucy wanted to do was play board games and with Desi, go boating. Too bad they didn’t realize that in ‘51!
Katie: A great part. Not only was he the love of her life, but also without Desi there wouldn’t have been an I Love Lucy. They started the show because they wanted to be together. He basically ran the whole company. She looked no further then his signature before signing something. He was the genius behind the whole thing. Desilu would have been nothing without him. The end of their marriage was probably the worst thing to ever happened to her, and it changed her forever without a doubt. However without him she wouldn’t have had probably some of the best times in her life either. I think the good out weighs the bad for sure.
Jess: Absolutely! No question about it!
Juliana: Of course! An essential part of her life. She may have gone through very rough patches with him towards the end of their marriage, but they were also very happy and loved each other very much. The fun thing is to read about them in her biographies. She always talks so fondly of him, so lovingly.
Marcela: Absolutely. The best. Unfortunately, reality kicked in soon enough. They were both very strong personalities and any clash between them would mean catastrophe. It got to a point where they could no longer live together, despite the love that unites them and that, to be frank, stood strong throughout their entire life.

7. What's your favorite episode?
Rianna: It’s really hard to pick just one, but if I had to, I’d go with Lucy is Enceinte. The final scene, with their unscripted tears, is so incredibly emotional. Their love for each other shines through so brightly there.
Anneleigh: Lucy is Enceinte
Katie: The Great Train Robbery
Jess: I can't! Too cruel! Haha
Juliana: Home Movies, in Season 3.
Marcela: I couldn't! Maybe Job Switching, but I couldn't!

8. What's your favorite scene?
Rianna: Again, I’d probably go with that end scene in Lucy is Enceinte is my favorite. You can’t know the backstory and NOT love it!
Anneleigh: My favorite Lucy scene would be when Lucy tells Ricky she is spectin’ a baby. I’m a huge sucker when it comes to Lucy and Desi, so when you see those true emotions come through, it just captures you completely. I don’t see Lucy and Ricky in this scene, I see Lucy and Desi’s love and happiness.
Katie: Lucy with her chicks in "Lucy Raises Chickens"
Jess: Lucy stomping grapes, for sure.
Juliana: Impossible, I'd have to pick at least three from each episode! Haha
Marcela: "Heaven", from Pregnant Women Are Unpredictable.

9. What's your favorite Ricky performance?
Rianna:  Once more, it’s hard to pick, but I might have to go with “Ricky Needs an Agent.” When Lucy tells Ricky she got him fired from MGM, and she gives him all the bric-a-brac to take his anger out on. His temper there is so incredibly funny. It’s hard, though, Ricky’s reactions to everything were always so sharp!
Anneleigh: Any Babalu performance is tops. Especially in The Pilot or in The Audition. I adore any performance of that song, he put so much emotion into it and looked damn handsome while beating that conga and belting that song.
Katie: The Straw Hat Song
Jess: When they're in Cuba and he performs with Little Ricky.
Juliana: When he sings "We're Having a Baby, My Baby and Me" holding her tight, I get emotional just thinking of it.
Marcela: "Cuban Pete". It's sexy, funny and romantic at the same time. Only the Arnazes could do it.

10. Send a "happy anniversary" message to the cast in 10 words tops. 
Rianna: Happy Anniversary, darlings. Thank you for everything. Love always.
Anneleigh: Here's to another 61 years of love and laughter!
Katie: Thanks for making me laugh, no matter what.
Jess: You make me laugh every time I watch. Thank you.
Juliana: Congratulations, best show around! Sixty-one years, what a blessing!
Marcela: Happy Anniversary! Thank you all for the laughter and tears.

So long,


  1. Lovely interview with lovely ladies! I aodred this I Love Lucy overdosis form the past days!

  2. Great interviews. I really enjoyed this series, a lovely way to celebrate. It's great to see that whether you've grown up with I Love Lucy or discovered it later it still touches a special place in your heart. To the next 61 years.