American Icons: I Love Lucy
Originally aired: October 8, 2010
Friday, November 09, 2012
This is where television invented itself.
It set the model for the hit family sitcom. Lucy was a bad girl trapped in the life of a ‘50s housewife; her slapstick quest for fame and fortune ended in abject failure weekly. Both the antics and the humiliation entered the DNA of TV comedy, from Desperate Housewives to 30 Rock — writers can’t live without Lucy. Rapper Mellow Man Ace celebrates the breaking of an ethnic taboo; a drag performer celebrates Lucy as a freak. With novelist Oscar Hijuelos, producer Chuck Lorre, The Office’s Mindy Kaling, and a marriage counselor who has some advice for the bickering couple.
Bonus Track: Mindy Hearts Ricky
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, The Office) grew up thinking I Love Lucy was “one of the many black and white things that people keep telling you is so great... and you’re just sort of bored and annoyed by it.” Then her Office boss Greg Daniels ordered her to watch it. She came away with a pretty serious crush on Ricky Ricardo. And she says she's not bothered by jokes about his accent.
Bonus Track: Deconstructing Lucy
Although Lucy's on-screen antics may have looked improvised, every gesture, glance, and step was written into the script. Gregg Oppenheimer — son of creator, producer, and head writer Jess Oppenheimer — reads a bit of telling stage direction from “Lucy is Enceinte.” Jess and Gregg Oppenheimer are the authors of Laughs, Luck... and Lucy.
Bonus Track: Notes on a Scandal
In 1955 Confidential Magazine, a Hollywood scandal rag, reported on Desi Arnaz’s supposed philandering. Dartmouth film and television professor Mary Desjardins explores the less desirable side effect of being a celebrity couple.
Slideshow: Behind the scenes of I Love Lucy