Saturday, January 22, 2022

I (didn't) Love Lucy...

But I do now

                                                Zelda Lopez/Pinterest

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." -Lucille Ball

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

I recently watched and thoroughly enjoyed a movie produced by Amazon titled Being the Ricardos. It's about a week in the life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez at the height of their groundbreaking (and massive hit) sitcom that ran from 1951 to 1957, I Love Lucy.    

Fun fact: I Love Lucy was the most-watched show in America for four of those six years.

I didn't premier till '53 and I was only four when the original show went off the air, but it continued/continues on in various and sundry iterations. One of those iterations was the seemingly endless repeats of the original show that I was exposed to in the sixties... and the seventies... and the, well, you get the idea.

The repeats are still running, 70 years later, and there's even a "National I Love Lucy Day" that's celebrated on October 15th, the day the first show aired in 1951. I never cared for the show in the past and I don't care for the show now.

In the show's defense, I'm not a fan of physical comedy, but Lucille Ball is an acknowledged master of the genre, so whaddaiknow? 

Although the movie is filmed in the currently ubiquitous Gloomyvision (which is like watching a movie/TV show while wearing yellow sunglasses) it defies several other current conventions.

There's no softcore porn or stylized violence (the Blood & Bouncing Boobies school of filmmaking). 
There's actual character development.
There's an understandable plot that doesn't require you to take notes to follow.
There's snappy/witty (as opposed to comic book level) dialogue. 
There's normal pacing that falls somewhere between 200 mph (for people with radically diminished attention spans due to social media addictions) and slooow, life sucks, the world's about to end, have you ever tried heroin? pacing. 

{You're a hypocrite. I know for a fact you're a fan of bouncing boobies, and Deadwood, your favorite/best TV show ever made, is full of violence.}

Not stylized violence, not violence for its own sake, as in let's take the family to the Collosium this weekend, Chlamydia, I hear there's a new production of Christians v. Lions in town.

And as to boobies, I've admitted in the past that I suffer from toxic male gaze syndrome — i.e., I'm a normal straight dude — and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many awokened, overworked/underpaid actresses willing to get naked when it's "necessary to the story." 

After all, what's more common than watching other people get naked and/or copulating in real life?

{And yet there are comparatively few, um, dangling participles on display in movies and on TV shows. It's almost as if men and women are actually different and everyone knows it... but that can't be right, right?}

Careful, Dana. The next thing you know you'll be saying that women carefully consider dressing however they please just because so many men suffer from testosterone poisoning. Personally, I'm a firm supporter of female empowerment. 

{Absabalutely, but we've wandered completely off the path. You're supposed to be explaining why you've come around to loving Lucy.}  

I do love Lucy, the real Lucy, assuming Amazon's biopic is relatively accurate, and I assume it is since her daughter has gone out of her way to praise and support the movie.

She was a woman unafraid to stand up to the corporate weenies, all of whom were men, in an era when women were supposed to do what they were told, children were delivered by storks and double beds for married couples (with communists hiding under them) was the standard in movies and on TV.

As Wikipedia puts it she went from "...being cast as a chorus girl or in similar roles, with lead roles in B-pictures and supporting roles in A-pictures" to becoming "...the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which produced many popular television series, including Mission: Impossible and Star Trek."

In between, she starred in a television show watched by, on average, 11,000,000 families every week when there were only about 15,000,000 TV sets in America. 

In the interest of balance, speaking of daughters, and lest I be accused of being a glass half full fool — if you're into "slooow, life sucks, the world's about to end, yellow, have you ever tried heroin?" sorts of movies (with non-ending endings), The Lost Daughter is also available on Netflix. 

The critics love it. Awards are inevitable.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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